Cooking is not an activity I enjoy or look forward to doing, but I do love to eat. This past year my husband and I have not eaten out at a restaurant. We have ordered take-out a few times, but mostly, we have been eating at home. That makes for a lot of cooking. After working all day, I do not want to come home and spend a lot of time in the kitchen, so meal prep Sunday has become a must. Today I will share some of my favorite meal prepping recipes and tips, as well as three of my must-have kitchen gadgets!
Many years ago, I purchased a Vitamix. This purchase was one I put off making for months because I couldn’t wrap my brain around spending that much money on a kitchen appliance. Then, after breaking three blenders trying to make recipes such as homemade hummus and finding out that the Vitamix had a 7 year warranty, I took the plunge, and I have never looked back. (I bought ours with a 20% off coupon from Bed, Bath, & Beyond. It is so old Vitamix doesn’t even make the exact model we have anymore-see photo above, so I linked a similar one under the photo. QVC often has sales on their Vitamix options, so I’d recommend checking the website regularly for a discounted price. ) I will never be without a Vitamix. This was hands down the best kitchen appliance purchase I have ever made. I LOVE my Vitamix and use it daily. It makes the absolute best and smoothest smoothies. It can make nut butters. It can make hummus. It can make hot soups. The Vitamix can do All. The. Things. It also is incredibly easy to clean with very few parts, which was another huge selling point for me.
While I haven’t utilized my air fryer as much as I know I could (the air fryer recipes are endless), we still use it on the regular. I’ve found it is far superior for reheating foods (which we do a lot because we meal prep), than the microwave. It keeps those things I am reheating crisp (when they are supposed to be crispy), and soft (when they are supposed to be soft). I also love the air fryer for quickly cooking veggies. I know I have many more air fryer recipes to explore, and I look forward to doing so!
Another kitchen gadget I love to use is a slow cooker. Recipes that entail simply adding all the ingredients to the slow cooker, turning it on, and leaving it to do its thing bring me joy. A lot of the time on meal prep Sundays a slow cooker recipe is involved!
At least once a month, I meal prep taco meat—usually hamburger, although last time I chose to cook chorizo, and it was delicious and a nice change in flavor! I also saute’ some onions and peppers separate from the meat, so we can have fajita taco salads at least once or twice that following week. Once the meat and onions and peppers are prepared, it’s just a matter of getting out all the toppings you enjoy: lettuce, sour cream, salsa, olives, tomatoes, cilantro, avocado, & cheese are our favorites.
Along with taco salads, salsa chicken in the slow cooker is another regular meal on rotation in our home. I just throw some frozen chicken breasts, sliced onions, sliced bell pepper, and a jar of salsa in the slow cooker, and let it cook for the day. This makes for a great fajita chicken salad, quesadilla filling, or chicken tacos.
Another slow cooker recipe we love is this Mississippi Mud Pot Roast: https://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/recipes/a51301/mississippi-roast-recipe/ We usually add mushrooms in ours, as well. It is so delicious!
Throughout the colder months, we almost always make some kind of soup on the weekend. We usually double recipes to ensure we have enough for plenty of leftovers. Left-over soups are often even better than the day you make them. If it ends up being too much, we freeze the rest to enjoy in the future. I’ve written about some of my favorite soup recipes here: https://lesliekershaliving.com/2020/11/08/top-five-favorite-fall-winter-soups/
I am blessed to have a husband who is a great cook. He often meal preps by grilling and/or smoking different kinds of meat: Smoked BBQ pork, grilled chicken, hamburgers, and brats are some of our favorites. When we are ready to eat them in the evening during the work week, I can easily make a salad or throw some veggies in the air fryer to complete the meal.
Meal prep Sunday also usually includes a full meal casserole or skillet dish. These are all relatively simple and some of our favorites:
This low carb zucchini lasagna recipe is one I come back to over and over. (I usually substitute Italian sausage for the hamburger): https://www.savorytooth.com/zucchini-lasagna/
I also enjoy this Bacon Cheeseburger Cauliflower Casserole: https://www.sugarfreemom.com/recipes/bacon-cheeseburger-cauliflower-casserole/ Sometimes I “rice” my own cauliflower in the Vitamix, but I often buy organic cauliflower already riced from the freezer section of the grocery store, as this cuts down on time in the kitchen as well. I also sometimes buy real bacon pieces and use that if I want to take less time. These are also great for salad toppings.
Southern Fried Cabbage & Sausage is another one that is on regular rotation in our house: https://www.food.com/recipe/southern-fried-cabbage-with-sausage-507731
This One Skillet Egg Roll in a bowl recipe always hits the spot: https://www.theseasonedmom.com/egg-roll-in-a-bowl/ (We usually substitute Bragg Liquid Aminos for soy sauce for my body’s dietary preferences.)
These are some of my favorite meal prepping recipes, tips, and kitchen gadgets. Sunday meal prep makes the work week feel so much better to me. I already have a menu for the meals we will be eating each night and very little time is spent to get them ready to eat after work. Do you meal prep? Any recipes you love? Please share!
***I am not sponsored or affiliated with any of the brands linked, but I wish I was!***