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Meal Prep and Work From Home

Updated: Jul 26, 2022

You'd think working from home would mean the ability to cut down on eating out and to eating healthier meals. I wish! For some reason, since COVID has had most of us cloistered away in home offices or the spare bedroom, my schedule has exploded. It seems now that I don't have to commute to and from the office, I'm scheduled on calls for that extra hour or so I'd normally be commuting.

I find often I have such a small window to grab something to eat that I'm snacking more than I'd like on less than healthy options or desperately ordering something from a delivery service as a quick fix. Meal prep is proving to be a time, and money saver and ensures I have much healthier choices, ready to reheat in a few minutes.

Great Recipes for Meal Prep

When my partner and I first talked about setting up Sunday nights for meal prep, it sounded like a great idea. So great, in fact, I ran out and bought us an Instant Pot. A past colleague of mine has become somewhat of an Instant Pot legend. I've happily followed her progress as she's grown her empire. And of course, I ran out and bought her book, Instant Pot Fast & Easy then immediately bought the ingredients to make her Japanese Chicken Curry. We loved how easy it was to make and delicious the recipe turned out. There are dozens of excellent recipes for meal prep and freezing in this book! I highly recommend it.

Butter Chicken Batch Meal Prepared and Packaged for the Week

The Instant Pot is a great way to manage prepping a couple of meals at once. You prep your ingredients and start your Instant Pot recipe, then as that batch cooks, move on to your other meal prep work. Tonight my partner made 5 servings of butter chicken in the Instant Pot and also butterflied, breaded and baked 14 chicken breasts.

The butter chicken was packaged over rice in reheatable, lidded bowls. Perfect for a quick and filling weekday lunch. A couple chicken breasts went into the fridge, which will be perfect warmed up with a squeeze of fresh lemon over a garden salad. The rest of the chicken went into re-usable silicon freezer bags. Wherever possible, we avoid single-use food packaging.

Packaging Meals for Freezing

There are so many options for packaging items once prepared. Some items can go in the fridge of course for use within a couple of days, but if you know you want to keep a couple different meal options available then freezing to reheat when needed is a great option. Wherever possible, I choose glass containers or sealable silicon bags for food storage. Glass of course isn't a great option for freezing, but perfect for leftovers and meals you'll eat right away. I like these sectioned glass containers, and the lid has a handy venting feature so you don't have to take it off when reheating.

I also like Stasher silicon bags. They seal extremely well, are dishwasher safe and quite durable. On a recent trip to Ikea, we saw they were offering their own version of these bags.

Although they were a bit flimsy in comparison to the Stasher version, I do love how they have a flat bottom and can stand on their own for easier filling and access. Either option is great. I use a large silicon storage bag to also freeze fresh bananas. I add them to a quick but nutritious Vega Protein + Energy shake I whip up in 5 minutes in the Vitamix for breakfast. Then lunch is a delicious heat and serve prepared meal, which allows me to avoid ordering in or pre-packaged foods that are usually full of added salt, sugar and unnecessary calories.

All in all, we're saving money and eating healthier, one meal at a time.

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