Social media, like most things in life, has 2 sides. What we see and reality. As an interior designer, I post professionally designed, accessorized, and polished rooms and vignettes as a tool for my business; to help me connect with clients and grow "Amna B Interiors." But, pretty pictures don't necessarily ensure an ideal life in all aspects. The last few years have been difficult; I felt like I just could not keep up with everything on my plate (pun definitely intended 😂) and was falling behind. One of the main areas that needed work was food. Those that have followed along on the 'gram for more than 3 years know that cooking up intricate delicacies has been a favorite pastime of mine, but lately it was falling to the wayside, to the extent that we were almost scrounging for food (just kidding..we mostly ordered Door Dash). Of course, I would make 3 meals a day for Sophie, but the rest of us definitely suffered.
Enter this idea of a large scale meal prep in comparison to the typical weekly sort (which I tried on multiple occasions) , thanks to my super thoughtful friend who also gifted me a food sealer. The food sealer is absolutely a game changer, I'm a picky eater and cannot stand that freezer smell. This totally eliminates that and everything tastes fresh for weeks, and even months.
Read on for the life-changing process:
**It really helps to have a friend or two to help; it goes so much faster and its less boring, too.**
Game Plan: Decide what you will be cooking. I decided on my Chicken Tortilla Soup, Beef & Bean Chili, Chicken Noodle Soup, and Roasted Chicken with Potatoes for day 1 and Grilled Chicken Breast Cubes, Grilled Steak Cubes, and Grilled Chicken Teriyaki, and a ridiculously large batch of Bolognese for day 2.
I chose to split the cooking into 2 days. For all of the items, I either tripled or quadrupled the amounts I would make on a normal day.
Execution: After deciding and writing down what foods to cook, I cleaned out the entire freezer and pantry and made a comprehensive grocery list of which ingredients were still needed. We made a quick run to the store and bought everything in bulk.
*Sidenote: Buying ALL organic/grass-fed (beef), and free range (chicken), even in such a huge amount, is still MUCH cheaper than eating out on a regular basis.
The most helpful advice I can offer for the cooking portion is to prep (chop, dice, slice, mince) ALL of the veggies, onions, and garlic in advance.
There were pots and pans everywhere, and it looked like a hurricane had torn through most of the house, but I kept telling myself it would be worth it. Which brings me to my next tip: try to delegate one person just for cleaning, preferably while you cook.
Next, we cooked. And cooked. And grilled.
After all of the food had been cooked, we laid it out in trays to cool it faster. At this point, everyone was beyond exhausted, but we pushed through and bagged and sealed everything.
Aftermath: The dishes took over 3 days afterwards (all in the dishwasher, load after load). Cleaning wasn't too bad, otherwise, since we cleaned as we went.
Results: We have consistently been eating at home, every night, unless invited to parents' homes for dinner. As of yet, the food has defrosted beautifully and tasted great with no hint of that dreaded "freezer" taste.
For more quick videos, boomerangs, and pics, check out "Meal Prep" in my highlights on Instagram. And, let me know if you end up trying this out- I had over 50 direct messages with questions about the process and I really hope this post helps!