Mastering the Art of Sunday Prep

Yes, that is a play on the name of Julia Child’s cookbook. My mom and I watched Julie & Julia this weekend, and I have to say Meryl Streep totally nailed Julia Child’s mannerisms, and Stanley Tucci is just my favorite person and always makes a movie even better. He’s like a younger Hector Elizondor1!

Moving on…pretty much every Sunday that I have been employed in the last three years, I have participated in the age old, healthy life-style tradition of Sunday Prep Day. I can’t say how many times I’ve heard successfully healthy people sing the praises of Sunday Prep Day. I’m not going to go through them. You can search for them yourselves. All I can say is, when three years ago, I was juggling a full time job and classes, Sunday Prep Day probably helped me stave off a healthy amount of weight. 

Much has changed over the years — the amount of time I spend prepping, the number of meals I prep, the style of the food I make — but the tradition has held strong, and it is one I was excited to pick up again my first week of work about a month ago now2!

This week’s Sunday Prep Day is not an ordinary one. You see, about a year ago, in the continuation of a binge-eating frenzy that started that summer when I found a lump in my breast (don’t worry, there was no cancer), I discovered these fabulous Thanksgiving sides at Trader Joe’s. 

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Let me tell you, as a woman that hadn’t had stuffing until two years ago at a fabulous Friendsgivukkah gathering, this stuff hit the spot. OK. I feel like that makes it sound like it’s not that good. But let me explain. When I had said fabulous stuffing two years ago, I caught the stuffing bug. It was similar to when I had bacon for the first time almost three years ago now3. I couldn’t get enough of it. I wanted more stuffing. And as happened with the bacon, I didn’t actually know how to cook the fabulousness that was this food. But thanks to Trader Joe’s, I never felt a need to find a recipe. Which is rare for me. I LOVE finding, trying, and perfecting recipes. Ask my friends. Just ask them!

Anyway, so this stuff was delicious, and in the depths of my binge-eating, I think I had one of each every other day, for the entire period they were available in Trader Joe’s4. So I am very thankful that they are a seasonal item!

Since ’tis the season once again for this to be available, I was struck by an urge to buy one pack of each and consume them in one sitting. Two things got in the way: firstly, I knew my parents would judge the living hell out of me5, and secondly, and slightly more importantly, I knew I would feel like crap and likely ruin my whole restful weekend by doing this. But knowing myself, there was no way I could buy these and eat a normal portion that a totally sane person would eat! But like the child that I sometimes am, I wanted them so baaaaaaaad (imagine the voice of a three year old throwing a tantrum). And then I realized, there are three servings in each of these boxes and exactly three lunches that I need to prepare for this week6.

So I’m happy to say that these side dishes, along with chicken thighs that I roasted in the oven for thirty minutes, will be comprising my lunches for this week. I’m really excited to be able to indulge without over-indulging. And glad that I found a way to do this and not just deprive myself of something I love.

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In addition, I will be having my egg muffins. This week’s version is filled with mushrooms and seasoned with garlic powder, onion powder, and cayenne pepper (I always love a kick). Also baked in the same 400 degree oven as my chicken but only for fifteen minutes.

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I’ll also take some fruit, an apple or persimmon, with me to work because a piece of fruit never made anyone fat! And they are sweet and delicious.

After years of Sunday Prep Day, I kind of have a routine down. I usually go to my favorite cookbooks or cooking blogs to find a recipe that I can make for lunch for the whole week, then add egg-muffins for breakfast, and some kind of a snack for the afternoon. I’ve really simplified the recipes I make and usually only take two hours of my day for this activity. I also use mostly hands-off recipes, like roasting, so that I can finish other Sunday chores, like laundry, in the same period of time.

Here’s to Sundays and easing our ways back into the week! Do you meal prep? Share some of your favorite recipes in the comments below!

Footnotes:

  1. A name I just learned, but a face that makes me happy whenever it appears in a film.
  2. Wow! How time flies!
  3. We never kept kosher, but for some reason, we also never just had strips of bacon with breakfast. I don’t think we ever had bacon in the house. Ham, yes, bacon, no. Go figure!
  4. Ok, if I’m being honest, I had one of each every day. I was kind of gross. But working through some things!
  5. Yes, I’m still living with them and yes, I do care.
  6. Thanks to the first two paid holidays at my new job!!!
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