Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Tried it Tuesday: Quick Meals by One-Time Chopping

Today I'm linking up with Holly from Fourth Grade Flipper to share my tip for Tried It Tuesday.

I worked at a new school this year that takes me between 45 minutes and an hour to get there. Since my other school was 2 1/2 miles away, I was not used to this. My new job is much less stressful, but my hours are longer. 

I like to cook, but hardly made a real meal last school year because by the time I got home I didn't really have the energy to cook (plus my house wasn't usually clean and that helps contribute to my wanting to do nothing but sit on the couch). Anyways, if I didn't have a plan for dinner, we ended up making some quick meal that wasn't so healthy or ordering a pizza (this happened unfortunately often). 

I've been trying to come up with a better way to do meal planning and make dinners so I don't dread it when I get home. My most hated (is that a phrase??) task is chopping things, and my husband's favorite food is salad...so those things don't really go together. 

In addition, I find that we waste a lot of food. Mostly because it gets hidden in the drawer and I forget that it's there, or I don't feel like cooking for a few days, so then they go bad. I've seen many things on Pinterest about getting prep stuff done ahead so that meals are a breeze, so I thought I'd give it a try. 

Here's my messy fridge.
I grabbed all of my fresh produce out of the fridge and started chopping. Here's what I had with me: 

Carrots: I snack on these, so I cut them in sticks (just make sure they're not too tall to fit in your container). I put these in a jar with some water to keep them moist and crunchy. 

Green onions: Chopped these up to put in my husband's salads. 

Sweet onions: I use these for many things, so I wasn't sure what size to cut these in, but I figured I chop them most often, so that's what I chose to do. 

Broccoli: Cut in medium-size florets - we mostly put broccoli in our salads.

Red Cabbage: I don't use this very often, but happened to have some in the fridge, so I chopped it up for salads. 

Radishes: I love to snack on these, so I just cut them in half and put them in some water.

Lettuce: I knew this needed to be dry to stay fresh, so I threw it in the salad spinner. I cut a bunch of it up so that it would entice me to make lots of salads before it went bad ;)

After all this, my fridge looks great! It's all organized and colorful and pretty :) See?

Look at those beautiful veggies!
My husband and I can applesauce every fall, so we have lots of mason jars hanging around. I decided to use those as my container of choice just so I didn't have to go buy anything. You could use whatever you want, of course. 

This is just a trial run, so I have no idea how long my beautiful veggies will last. But since a lot of our food gets wasted anyways, this was bound to help me use it more frequently and hopefully eat healthier in the process. 

Yay for healthy eating and quick meals. Hopefully I can keep it up for next school year.


  1. Along with doing your chopping/prep work immediately after grocery shopping, I highly recommend the crock pot. It saves my life because I'm usually ready to eat my own arm by the time I get home from school. I love to have a healthy, hot meal waiting for me so I don't snack on junk food when I walk in the door.

    1. I definitely need to try that...just don't have any recipes on hand. I'll look online. Thanks for the tip :)

  2. This looks delicious! I totally agree with all of the chopping and cutting between fruits and veggies-it can be exhausting! Good for you for getting it done for the week. I find if I don't get it done that day or the day after then the freshness starts to go away and we too end up throwing away too much food. So much easier to get it done right away in the summer (as opposed to the school year.) I will have a long commute next year as well so I am going to have get in a routine with all of this as the school year starts.

    Learning to the Core

  3. Be-a-utiful! My mother-in-law keeps her lettuce in a ziplock wrapped in a damp paper towel, and it lasts forever...just a different idea for ya!