Food Prep: avoid waste, save time + money!

Sometimes I feel like I spend my entire days in the kitchen either preparing something for the blog or something for lunches or dinner. It can be annoying to realize how much time you have to spend daily in the kitchen! A simple trick that I love is to food prep on Sunday afternoons. It really helps with avoiding food waste, with the cooking of the week, and it reduces food waste: if everything is ready to be eaten, you’ll eat it up! At first, you’ll think that spending an entire afternoon in the kitchen is really long, but it’s actually much more efficient and when you realize that you can spend about 5 minutes in the kitchen on busy weeknights, you’ll be convinced! It’s also a gentle transition from the weekend into the week. You’ll feel a lot more relaxed if you know that there is food already ready in your fridge come Monday. Here is what I do on Sunday afternoons.

food-prep

  1. Prepare your vegetables: Cut, wash, cook!
    • I love grating carrots and beets in big batches that I keep in my fridge. I can then add some to salads, stir fries, fancy bowls or smoothies. It’s much more simple to have them ready to go in the fridge then having to grate one carrot at a time as I need it. I do the same with lettuce, kale and any other veggie that I want to keep on hand. This makes eating healthier so much easier!
    • I also cook vegetables ahead of time. Onions, broccoli, asparagus, zucchinis, and potatoes will go in the oven before they find a home in containers. It’s much more efficient to cut everything up and to place everything at once in the oven time and energy wise. You can also batch-boil vegetables reusing the same boiling water. It is super practical: toss your veggies with some rice and you practically have a complete meal ready any day of the week!
    • I usually wash any vegetables that I’ll eat raw during the week. Cherry tomatoes are perfect for this. Just place them in an air-tight container with some paper towel at the bottom to absorb extra water and they’re ready to go!
  2. Get your proteins ready: Marinate, broil, cook!
    • I like to marinate tofu ahead of time as it really makes it so much tastier. I like to cut my tofu up and prepare a few marinades in containers. I toss the tofu in, stir it up, and forget about it in the fridge. This is perfect because it will be ready to go for stir-fries or anything else I might be needing it for during the week. I also like to throw some in the oven and roast it so that my proteins for the first few meals of the week are ready. You can do the same thing with canned legumes.
    • If you are using dried legumes and beans, this is the perfect time to cook them up! I usually like to let them soak in water from Saturday night to Sunday afternoon, cook them up and then freeze them in individual portions. That way, it’s just like using canned beans!
  3. Take care of sauces: mix it up!
    • Sauces are an easy way to make simple vegetables more exciting or the key to creating fancy vegan bowls. It’s also really fun to have a few alternatives ready to make each meal different. In air tight container, I find that most sauces or salad dressing will keep longer than a week, so you’re safe to go!

I hope these tips help you out! I really like putting some Gilmore Girls on (am I the only one who is crazy excited about the upcoming season?) and prepping everything up. Let me know what you like to prepare weekly and how you organize your food in your home! Oh, and don’t forget to participate in my super giveaway!

 

 

5 tips for the morning!

I hate waking up early. It really is the worst thing in my day. However, because of work I usually have to wake up pretty early, and I don’t have much time for confusion. Here are five tips to make your mornings easier, even if you only have a few minutes to check out of zombie mode.

IMG_2807.JPG

  1. Prepare the night before: This includes packing your lunch, preparing your breakfast, setting out your clothes and putting all the necessary things in your bag. I usually make sure that everything is organized before I go to bed because my brain is more functional than in the morning. This ensures that important items will come with me to work and that I won’t have any silly ‘I don’t have anything to wear/eat” moments.
  2. Keep some water on your bedside table: I usually keep some herbal tea or water next to my bed. I find that drinking when I hear my alarm helps wake me up, and makes me feel refreshed and less groggy.
  3. Add some movements to your morning: I wake up 30 minutes earlier so that I can cram in a Yoga with Adriene video. This is such a nice way to start the day! It really wakes up my body and puts me into a good mood right from the start of the day. It also ensures that no mater what happens afterwards, I will have had at least 30 minutes of movement and time for myself. On really busy days, even just a few stretches before rushing out help however.
  4. Have something warm next to your bed: I keep a throw blanket or robe next to my bed because it is absolutely to worst thing to have to snuggle your way out of a warm bed to meet an ice-cold apartment. But, if you have a nice comfy robe waiting for you, it seems a lot less scary.
  5. Sleep early: This is kind of a “duh” tip, but I really feel like this is a crucial habit to nurture. Even if it is only 20 minutes more than usual, I find that going to bed earlier just makes me a better person (I don’t snap as much, I laugh more, and I’m happier). So, put that cellphone aside, and go to bed!

I really hope these tips will help some of you. I have been super tired these few weeks because I’ve been recovering from a monstrous cold and it’s the end of the year. I don’t think any of my highschoolers is as excited as me for the end of the year! That being said, I’m off to catch some Z’s.

Sunday Planning Time!

For a few months now I have used Sunday as a buffer day for the rest of the week. I sit down with my cookbooks, bullet journal, markers, and try to figure out what my week will be like. Doing this has really made weeknights a breeze with more time available for fun stuff and the mornings a grab-and-go routine. It also really helps with food waste and reduces our grocery bill. Here are a few tips on how I do this:

IMG_2950.JPG

Of course, sometimes you just have to take a cat break while planning.

  1. Think on what things you need to organize or be done with before the week starts. In my case, I like to make big batches of food so that all the lunches and breakfasts are done for the week. I also like to keep notes on my yoga practice, as well as on my teaching. I use my bullet journal to write down these categories: meal preps, yoga practice, teaching reflections. Then, during the week I can quickly take notes and keep track of things.
  2. Take out your cookbooks and post-it away! I like to select one per week and choose one or two recipes that I’ll be able to either batch-cook or make quickly on a week-night. I really like doing this because 1. it justifies the number of cookbooks I have and keep on buying; 2. it changes things up because I’m not going back again and again to the same recipes.
  3. Make a grocery list. Write down the ingredients that you need for your weekly recipes and stick to these things. Also make sure you only buy the quantity that you’ll need for the week. This makes grocery shopping super efficient and cheaper while also reducing the amount of food we waste drastically.
  4. Cook, cook, cook! This step might seem daunting, but it actually saves so much time! Imagine this: no lunches to prepare for the entire week! I usually go for soups because they’re so easy to prepare in bigger quantities and make for great lunches. Also, I like to cut up all the vegetables and fruits for snacks or salads. Finally, I prepare some granola or roasted nuts so that we have easy snacks for the whole week.

I hope these tips can help you out! Let me know what are some of your organization tips!

 

 

Quick tip: Road trips and snacks

Last week-end, my boyfriend surprised me with a day trip to Quebec city for our birthdays (yes, we are born on the same day!) So we looked for how much time we needed to get there, rented a car and started to get excited. Friday night, I started to think about the 3 hour ride that awaited us in the morning and realized that we needed some snacks! It is quite impossible to find any kind of healthy, gluten-free and vegan snacks on the road so I took down some trusty Masson jars and started to cut up some grapefruit, orange, cucumber, carrot, and kiwi. I also made some nettle tea that I let in the fridge overnight. We were ready to go!

Let me tell you, by Saturday night we had finished everything and did not spend money on ridiculously priced unhealthy snacks.

So next time you have a road trip planned ahead, don’t forget to bring some ammunition! 🙂