Hey there everyone, I hope you’ve had a good Monday so far!
Mine has been busy, but what’s new? I am always pretty busy, with blogging, work, study and also trying to fit in a social life in there somewhere as well. Which is where meal prep really pays off! I know if I don’t get at least some meals prepped, it becomes all too easy for me to resort to buying take out or eating convenient but unhealthy meals more often than I’d like. So I’m making it a goal this year to get meal prep done each week, even when I don’t want to, because it’s definitely worth the effort I put in!
Before I started my meal prep yesterday, we first went and topped up on groceries. We usually do that on Thursday nights, but I had a hair appointment and so we postponed it until yesterday. Here is what we bought! From L to R: spring onion, garlic, bay leaves, nectarines, GF salami, shiitake mushrooms, spanish onion, parlsey, ginger, Chinese cabbage, pineapple, feta, gouda, kimchi, harrissa, olive crackers, smoked Dutch delre cheese, GF ravioli and oyster sauce.
As usual, I didn’t get much produce because we get the majority of our fruit and veg from our weekly Ooooby box on Wednesdays. But I saw some really cheap produce in the bargain section of the fruit and veg shop and couldn’t resist! We got that package of nectarines and that pineapple for 99c each, and the Chinese cabbage for $1.69. I plan to dehydrate the fruit and I love using Chinese cabbage in my Asian dishes. Definitely not going to waste with us!
First thing I prepped was some lemongrass and ginger marinated chicken. This was actually for dinner tonight, but I prepped it yesterday because I love how much more flavoursome the chicken gets when it gets a chance to marinate overnight. Plus it cut down on my dinner prep time when I got I got home from work tonight (leaving me to write up this blog post!).
I made the marinade from pounding together lemongrass, ginger and garlic with my mortar and pestle, then adding in harissa, tamari and pepper. I had Jared cut up a whole free range chicken into 2 wings, 2 thighs, 2 breasts and 2 drumsticks. I set aside the breasts for yesterday’s dinner, and covered the rest with the sticky and fragrant marinade before popping it into a container to sit in the fridge overnight.
I love using a whole chicken, instead of just always buying the more “popular” cuts of meat. There’s no wastage, you get to enjoy different cuts, and best of all, you have the carcass leftover to make your own chicken stock, which is exactly what I did yesterday!
I popped the fresh chicken carcass, plus another one I had stored in the freezer, into my slow cooker. I then added ginger, 2 small onions, leek tops (that would have otherwise been thrown out and wasted), spring onion, parsley and some marjoram from my garden.
I topped it with water (about 1.5L for this batch) and to season I also added whole peppercorns and Himalayan salt. I usually let it cook on low for 8-10 hours, but because I started it so late in the afternoon, I halved the time and put in on high. Once done, I simply strained it, popped it in a container and let it cool overnight in the fridge. Today after dinner, I’ll measure out 1 cup servings and pop them in the freezer in freezer bags or containers for easy use! This isn’t the exact recipe I use each time either, I’ll generally just throw in whatever herbs/veggie scraps I have on hand so we get a slightly different flavour each time which is nice!
The next thing I prepped was some quinoa stir fry for our lunches. Jared cooked up some tri-colour quinoa and I stir fried that with loads of Chinese cabbage, broccoli, zucchini and red onion and added a good splash of tamari and teriyaki sauce to season it. When it was done, I sprinkled over some pepitas and spring onion. YUM! Perfect nourishing and wholesome plant-based lunch option for us (something I’m trying to incorporate more of into our daily meals).
Last thing I packed was our snacks. We had a really delicious cheese platter for our Sunday afternoon snack made up of the salami, gouda, smoked cheese and rosemary crackers we picked up at the deli. We had plenty leftover so I divided those up into little containers for us to take for snacks at work. Such a fun little treat to look forward to! A nice change from nuts and bliss balls! I think it’s important to have “fun” options for meals sometimes, it keeps things interesting and not so regimented or restricting.
As you can see, we only have a few days worth of food here and that’s because we have the Australia Day public holiday this week, and also I plan to have dinner leftovers a couple of days this week for lunch too. I don’t like to have all my meals planned and prepped, but it’s nice to know I’ve got some ready to go.
I’m off now to get the rest of dinner ready (plus that marinated chicken grilling is making me salivate!). But before I go, I’d love to know:
- Are you enjoying these meal prep posts? Would you like to see them each week?
- Are you a meal prepper? What did you prep for yourself this week?