So yesterday afternoon I set aside two hours to do as much meal preparation for the week as I could. I’ve posted the ‘before’ picture above, even with trying to tidy as I went along the ‘after’ picture was carnage! I used every saucepan I own and ran out of work top way before I’d finished. Despite that, though, I’m really pleased with how much I got done – it’s nice to start the week knowing that we’re going to eat some decent meals instead of relying on oven chips and frozen pizza 🙈.
The plan was to cook fajitas for tea that night, but the kids threw a spanner in the works (while emptying all the Play Doh we own all over the dining table and kitchen floor 😕) by telling me that they weren’t going to eat it. Just as well I’d bought ingredients for a few other meals as well, then!
I started my two hours by cutting up peppers, onions and chicken for fajitas (not for the kids, me and hubby have eaten it tonight, with leftovers for me to take to work this week). It only took 5-10 minutes but our Monday nights are really busy so any time I can save is a big help. I stored the veg in one freezer bag and the chicken in another, popped them in the fridge then started on a shepherd’s pie.
I peeled and cut the potatoes and put them on to boil, then chopped the onions, garlic and carrots and fried them off. Once that was done I added the mince and made up some stock. That seemed like a good time for a cuppa, and a quick bit of house work (I’ve become the queen of multitasking since having the kids 😁😃).
Next up was a chickpea and spinach curry – more veg cutting and frying off (this time with spices, my kitchen was smelling great by this point!). This was where the shepherd’s pie started to go wrong. It turns out i’d added too little flour and too much stock – so much for adding that recipe to the blog any time soon, it clearly needs a little work…
At the end of the first hour the curry was well underway and the shepherd’s pie had just about been rescued and was almost ready for the oven. This was when I realised I had a problem – I’d used my only jug for the beef stock and now needed to measure out some milk for the cheese sauce. Que some speedy washing up and me losing track of time. I just about remembered to get the oven on so that I could get tea on the table on time.
The last thing I cooked was a cheese sauce, which will go into a vegetable pasta bake. It doesn’t take long to make a cheese sauce but if you want a non-lumpy sauce it needs near constant attention. So of course this was the point at which the younger members of the family decided to come back into the kitchen to ‘help’ me. Daddy took them out to wash their hands while I hurriedly finished cooking.
And that was it, two meals cooked and much of the prep work for another two sorted in two hours. Meal prep Sundays are going to be a thing in our house from now on 😊.