Meal Prep for When You Just Can’t Even

Sleeping girl

I have two versions of myself: the one that kicks ass and takes names, and the one that just. can’t. even.

It’s a hormonal thing. I can’t be expected to clean my house and cook dinner and defeat my enemies when I am downing wolfsbane and transitioning into a she-beast. I ride those energy waves just like most women, but I feel like we aren’t allowed to admit that we ride them. Because that makes us “less-better than men,” or “hormonal,” or “crazy,” or “lazy,” or my favorite: “witches.”

Maybe you are that elusive super woman who has consistent mood, energy, and awesomeness all month long, who kicks ass from sun up to sundown 365 days a year and runs and wins marathons on the first day of her period. In which case, Hi Gwyneth! Thank you so much for reading, girl! I loved you in “Duets”!

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For the rest of us, learning to navigate those waves, whether they be from hormones, or depression, or balancing a job and a family is key to master the art of adulting.

I’m a bit of an extremist by nature. I get these grand ideas of preparing surf and turf on a Wednesday, duck a l’orange on a Thursday, tackling a vegan dish worthy of the cover of Bon Appétit on a Friday, and ringing in the weekend with Eggs Benedict and homemade apple crisp.

In reality, I have surf and turf on a Wednesday and then the fridge is empty for the rest of the week and I bounce a check cause that shit is expensive and by the time the weekend comes around, I can be found half naked, squatting in front of the fridge eating the last remnants of a block of cheese.

I’m better now. I’ve discovered “attainable goals” and “pajamas” and something called “meal prep.”

These tips may seem over-simplistic, but that’s the point. We all spend 45 minutes on Pinterest, get these crazy ideas in our head about “30 meals in 3 hours” and 30 hours later, we have 3 meals and are shitfaced and covered in peanut butter. So, here’s to attainable goals and to meal prep for when you just can’t even.

1. Boil some eggs

Delicious, healthy, easy, lasts forever. You can grab one when your blood sugar is plummeting. I like to have one before I go out to eat because it keeps me from eating baskets of bread and chips.

2. Paper towel your greens

Buy those clamshells of mixed greens or spinach, stick a paper towel along the top, and store it upside down. This will straight up give you six more days of use.

3. Get this device

OXO GreensKeeper

Food spoilage is the bane of my existence. I got 99 problems and food spoilage is 98 of them. I want to be able to buy some lettuce or a tomato and eat it eight days later. Maybe it’s all the spells and hexes I cast in my kitchen, I feel like my food goes bad super fast. Then I discovered this thing. You chuck it in your crisper and it sucks all the produce gasses and curses out of your fridge. For real, holy shit balls, why don’t fridges just come with these things?

4. Make it a party

If you do get the urge to make freezer meals, make it a party. Get a friend, some music, a drink, some snacks, hire a clown to make balloon animals, whatever. It’s the difference between feeling like Giada on the set of your own cooking show, and a beaten house elf slaving away for a bunch of ungrateful Slytherins, wishing for a sock.

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5. Sturdy side dishes

I like side dishes. They make me feel like a good adult woman who cares about things like “nutritional soundness”.  But I don’t want to make them every fucking day. I gots shit to do! This is where your sturdy veggies come in. Cabbage, carrots, sprouts all make for long lasting slaws. and then there’s this Broccoli crunch salad; which is phenomenal

Broccoli Crunch Salad: You may have tried this delicious side at Whole Foods. Good news: you can make it at home and save…

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6. Soup is king

Broth-based soups freeze like super stars. You can pick your favorite broth-based soup, make a double batch, and get like…18 meals out of that. Cheap, healthy, and who doesn’t love soup?

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7. Hamburger and turkey patties

Meat patties can go straight from the freezer to the frying pan and they fry up beautifully, no need to thaw!

8. Cereal Saturday

This is for when you really can’t even. Call it something fun like “Cereal Saturdays” and you go from lazy jerk to super fun mom/girlfriend/Jerry Seinfeld.

9. Frozen veg mix

Damn girl, stop being so fancy.

10. For the love of God, buy a Crock Pot

Get. a. crockpot. Get one, borrow one, steal one, buy one, whatever. Just get one.

The joy of the Crock Pot is manifold. Crock Pot meals are easy like Sunday morning, or Monday morning when you can throw some random fridge chunks into the pot and come home to a meal. Its magical, like someone else cooked. it.

Not a morning person? Three hours on high and presto: home cooked goodness. Plus you can add the ingredients whenever. Only have the will to throw the meat in? Do it. Binge watch a few episodes of GoT and then throw the veggies in. Pace yourself, it’s like walking the worlds most pathetic marathon, and you’re the winner… cause everyone wins when there is dinner.

This one is amazing. Chemical free glaze, affordable. If you are looking to buy one, not just steal one from your grandma, this is the one to get.


Lovelies! Share with me your hacks, tips, and recipes for when you just can’t even! I really appreciate it! Be sure to follow and become a part of the growing and amazing Damn Girl army!

108 thoughts on “Meal Prep for When You Just Can’t Even

  1. I’m literally so obsessed with my crockpot, girl. I’m so glad I’m not the only one under the age of 55 that is, lol. I made pulled pork nachos in mine the other day, and HOLY SHIT, they were delicious.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My contribution to meal prep is choosing the restaurant. Thankfully my husband does 95% of the cooking for us. My 5% occurs in the fall and winter when “pots of stuff” is what’s on the menu. I love making soups and stuff on the weekends, but the day to day cooking, that’s all him. Love these hints though…I’ll pass them along!

      Liked by 3 people

  2. BRB going to buy the OXO Good Grips GreenSaver Mounted Crisper Drawer Insert with Suction Cups right now. BONUS you linked me to a 2 pack. An angel you are, really, because I am so damn tired of doing the right thing and buying all these veggies only to have them spoil on me before I can make it to Friday’s dinner. That is how people turn to dried top ramen packets and grilled cheese, that issue right there.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. 😂and OMG as a 48 & 1/2 year old women going through menopause… that’s exactly it! Sometime “I can’t even …” especially that “time of the month” my next blog post was going to be on that very topic … damn I wish I’d thought of “I can’t even … ” as a title! Can I copy you??? 😘

    Liked by 2 people

  4. 2 things – I don’t bother blanching the broccoli and I use grapes instead of raisins. Second thing is get yourself an Instant Pot! Like a crockpot on steroids.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. You are seriously the greatest. Everything you write is so helpful, hilarious, and worth passing on to everyone I know. If/when you write a book, I’ll be first in line for an autographed copy, okay? Also, AUTUMN IS BASICALLY HERE! So freezable soups are about to go down. I’m so excited. (And if I wasn’t already married to my fabulous man, I’d marry my crockpot, so. Yes.)

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Kaiya, every time your little face pops up in my comments I smile ear to ear. For realsies I am working on 3 books, one is done and roaming around for publishers lol, I am also launching another blog in October. I asked my crockpot to marry me, but it was involved with the toaster….it’s a sad story…. lol

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I’m so glad! 😀 I smile ear to ear every Thursday knowing I’ll get to read another of your posts. x

        I’m excited for your book(s)! Best of luck with publishers! I’m not to that stage yet, but it seems overwhelming. What will your next blog be about?

        Liked by 1 person

  6. “In reality, I have surf and turf on a Wednesday and then the fridge is empty for the rest of the week and I bounce a check cause that shit is expensive and by the time the weekend comes around, I can be found half naked, squatting in front of the fridge eating the last remnants of a block of cheese.”

    OMG, this made me laugh out loud. Perfectly sums up how I feel about 90% of the time! I’m also a big fan of chopping up all my vegetables as soon as I buy them, because a) that’s the only time I am motivated enough to do it, and b) then I can throw together quick salads without being 30 minutes late because I was hacking up produce.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I am alllll about the protein packs. Maybe you’ve seen them in grocery stores–they come with chunks of meat, nuts, and cheese. They also have some that come with jerky, nuts, and sunflower seeds that I like because they don’t need to be refrigerated. If you throw some carrot sticks in a baggy, those things can basically be a small meal.

    I also do the precooked chicken thing. Chicken is cheap, healthy, and quick to cook. I’ll cook a mess of chicken strips on Sunday and then I can just throw them over some greens with a little container of ranch and that’s lunch in 90 seconds.

    I struggle with breakfast, though. I hate oatmeal, so those “overnight oats” I always see are just… yuck! So, I definitely do the hard boiled eggs and cottage cheese or those individual packs of Hostess mini donuts if I don’t care about all the other students in class side-eyeing the nutrition major pounding snack cakes like crack. Look, no one is gonna eat healthy ALL the time!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I used to meal prep my workday lunches every sunday, and then I realised a tin of soup and a couple of babybel got me through the day well enough, and no more meal prep needed.
    I do, however, have a freezer full of prepared ingredients – pre-grated parmesan, pre-minced ginger and garlic, pre-cut and seasoned sweet potatoes fries, and a few other bits and bobs, so it’s not like I’m completely failing to adult.
    Only partially.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. lol! I didn’t know you could freeze pre minced garlic…I mean, why wouldnt you be able to. Thats an awesome tip, cause I just want to get that shit out of the way in one garlicky day lol

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Grab yourself some icecube trays, blitz the garlic (or ginger) in a food processor, press minced garlic into icecube trays, cover with a freezer bag, and BAM garlic ready to be cooked as you need it.
        Also, blitzing fresh parmesan in a food profcesser and freezing it is amazing as it’s ncier than the dehydrated powdered stuff, and you don’t have to stand around grating it manually into your bechamel. Also, pizza sauce. DIY pizza sauce then freeze that bitch, ready to be used as needed.
        And home made breadcrumbs – I prep those and keep them in the freezer too.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Slow cooker goodness. The only days we eat at home are days when I’ve broken out the slow cooker. 15 minutes before I go to work, I cut everything up and throw it together. I either put everything in the pot and stick it in the fridge, or I put everything in a bowl in the fridge (if the pot won’t fit) and then hubby tosses it into the slow cooker and turns it on. I get to come home to the house smelling awesome, and hubby gets to say he did the cooking LOL. Sometimes, he does all the work and I get to crow about how he’s an awesome cook. We are big on one bowl meals, where it’s side dish and main dish all in one. Great list!
    I need to get some of those drawer inserts…

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m new to veganism and slowly trying to change other things outside of just eating. I won’t change things for them, it’s not my place to do that. My family can make there own choices and I respect that. He’s been okay with me going this way. It works out. I love soup! I eat it all year round!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It was amazing……um….it was hard……and expensive and amazing…. lol. I would do it again, but I could never do it permanently. Have you tried it?

        Like

      3. No, I haven’t. I am just a newbie to veganism. I would love to give it a go after I feel comfortable with this new lifestyle. I used to do vegetarian off and on in the past then just decided to take plunge into veganism

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Don’t forget a piece of bread with your homemade cookies… makes them stay softer longer. 🙂

    Also, crock pot= bet kitchen gadget EVER! I recently made a chocolate cake in mine and served it with ice cream. Yum!!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I sometimes dig out the old Seal-A-Meal (or deal, back in the day) for soups, chili, and things and throw them in the freezer. Basically it’s a boil in a bag set up that can be a time saver for those days you want to eat, but don’t want to cook.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Dude. You make me laugh so hard, and I absolutely devour every word you write. Gwyneth? Hahaha! I love that mind of yours! I can’t. even. all. the. time. So badly I needed to read this post because I own a crock pot, but have somehow forgotten that I do. What the hell is wrong with me?? Thank you for swooping in and being my ‘can’t even’ hero today! Cereal Saturday is my new thing! You know I love you, but you manage to make me love you a little more with each post. MY HEART IS GOING TO EXPLODE IF YOU DON’T STOP. Never stop. My heart can totally explode for you. Love you, girl. xo

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Haha. I do love chocolate chip. But, you can thank me by continuing to be awesome. You are such a gift and a rare talent and I hope you NEVER doubt that. If you do, I am going to wallop you upside the head because your mind and soul is meant to be shared with the world. You are well on your way, Tiara. And I am one of your biggest fans!

        Liked by 1 person

  13. I got divorced about ten years ago and got custody of my kids because my ex thought that getting divorced meant you had to live out every alcohol, drug, sex, gambling, and partying fantasy anyone had ever thought of. And while all three of us were much happier without the crazy in the house, she was the one who had done most of the cooking.

    It took about about six weeks for me to realize that the kids needed a diet a little more diverse than frozen pizza and leftover hotdog water. When I mentioned this to a friend, a woman overheard me and immediately went out and bought me a crockpot. Plus a recipe book to go with it.

    I LOVED THAT CROCKPOT!!!

    I sing about the virtues of crockpots all the time. They make things SO SO SO SO SO easy. I have since learned to cook many other things and am quite handy in the kitchen now, but it was a lifesaver when I had no idea what I was doing and very little time.

    Also a fan of the hard boiled eggs. I’ve always got a half dozen in the door ready to be eaten at a moments notice.

    Latest post Chinese Lessons – 中文课

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Before exams I literally ate either rice noodles or gnocchi that cook for 2 mins and I’d add some butter/coconut oil and lots of garlic powder and sriracha on top. You can survive on that. I did, for like, 2 weeks. Plus, bulletproof coffee for when you can’t even with breakfasts. I totally swapped food for that and it saved me from cooking in the mornings.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Great ideas! I love making soups because they are so freaking easy and will last me all week; sometimes I get super crazy and add some rice to it. It’s so funny that this is the second post I’ve read talking about hormones hahah We all must be feeling it today.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I’m an appliance guy (I know, I’m full of surprises) and I’ve never heard of the filter-in-the-crisper thing. I know manufacturers, I’ll talk to them. Well, I know folks who rep for people who manage territories that distribute stuff from manufacturers, but I’ll talk to them. Better yet, I’ll forward your blog to the next mass e-mail I get from GE and then I’m out of it completely. Whatever I can do to help, but not be personally responsible for, I always say. 😂

    As for meal-prepping, I usually BBQ one or two days a week and/or the wife cooks one or two days a week, then we have leftovers for a couple of days after each session. The perfect storm any given week is I BBQ once, she cooks once, and between them there were five days of leftovers to reheat.

    Would that be after-the-fact meal prepping?

    The imperfect storm (is that a thing?) is when it’s my day to BBQ or her day to cook and we look at each other and say “pizza” and then we have a guy drive up and give us a couple of days worth of dinner in a box. Sometimes that will be “Chinese” or “Mexican” instead.

    And if we’re just being totally honest here, we have far more imperfect weeks than perfect ones. 😉

    Another great entry, my friend. Damn, girl, you got skills!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw, thanks Tom. I think what you are doing is called the “cook once, eat twice method” You have a method and you don’t even know it! lol How is my latest comment fairing over in your world? Rifling through the trash again? 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Why, yes, yes it was. 🙊

        It’s restored now, thanks for that!

        I’ve been keeping an eye on it, so I’m glad you visited. I think it has something to do with the number of links in a comment, or some such, so I’ve upped the parameters on that. Not only does your comment intrigue and enlighten me, but it’s allowed me to use words like “parameters” and phrases like “links in a comment.”

        To the casual observer, it almost sounds like I know what I”m talking about. 😎

        Now I’m going to go back over there and use the “read twice, reply once” method. As Stephen Covey says, “seek first to understand, then to be understood.”

        He never mentioned anything, though, about sorting through the trash first. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  17. This is such a great post! I’m just starting back at the gym and tips like this will really help get back on track and put down the biscuits.
    Em
    Emmajaderamselll.wordpress.com xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  18. GIRL Thank you so goddamn much for these tips. I have a crockpot and totally forget about it when I get to the grocery store. I usually buy simple things like sandwich stuff and granola bars when I know I’m going to have a busy week. But is a sandwich really that fulfilling? HELL NAH.
    Crock pot meals for life yo!!

    Also, boiled eggs is a great tip, I like to sprinkle pepper on them or make egg salad sandwiches (yea im a sandwich girl) for a quick Sunday lunch. Super easy and pretty filling when you are BROKE.AS.HELL all the time like me.

    I always love your posts. KEEP IT UP 💚

    Liked by 1 person

  19. I love the idea for salads since I’ve always got some lettuce in the fridge hanging on for dear life. I also love to make a big pot of chili at the start of the week and I just make rice as I go along. Sometimes I’ll stick it into some beds of romaine lettuce when I’m trying to be fancy or cut carbs. Thanks for reminding me that I own a damn crockpot and shouldn’t be slaving over a stove when it makes me miserable most of the time. Two boiled eggs, two sausage links and a cup of coffee is my go to when I just can’t.

    You’ve got me wanting some chicken soup and a load of bread now. Fyi, a boiled egg before going to a restaurant is such a good idea. I just love food so freaking much, someone’s got to stop me, might as well be an egg.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. I cook a big roast once a fortnight – beef, lamb, whole chicken, whatever – and then we just eat leftover-roast-plus-whatever for three or four days, or as long as it takes to finish it. Goes in salad, goes in sandwich, goes in soup…

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Loved this post! I couldn’t be without my big crock pot and try to cook massive meals to last throughout the week. I’ve wasted so much less food since doing that and can grab something quickly, if busy. I’m going on the hunt to find one of those magic fridge gas sucking devices in the UK, it sounds epic!

    https://amyevans.co.uk – Amy

    Liked by 1 person

  22. I do not understand number 2. I have never seen number 3. I have owned a crockpot for about two years now and used it exactly one time and now it just takes up space.

    Which is all to say that clearly I am on the rung of the ladder below ‘BEGINNERS,’ there is absolutely no hope for me left in this world, and also does anybody want my crockpot?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So In the States our spinach comes pre washed in plastic containers and they get all soggy and sad because the condensation gathers at the top of the plastic lol Quinn, damn girl, get your shit together and use that crockpot! 🤣😂

      Like

  23. Okay, so I know I already commented on this post, but we’ve established that I need a hobby, so here I am. I’ve been thinking about your #crockpotmagic and as I mentioned on our blog last week, I’m the only person I know who can ruin rice. I’m also the only person I know who can ruin every single thing I make in a crock pot. We have one, and the only thing I’ve ever used it for is to keep hot apple cider (which I HEAT ON THE STOVE FIRST) like, kind of hot, and full of brandy.

    Crock pots, for me, are basically the devil’s work– stretching 30 or so minutes I’d normally spend on some kind of mexican-ish casserole out to 5 or 6 hours. In short, you’re simultaneously inspiring and intimidating me! I’d say you’ve got your shit together! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  24. After years of adulting, I still have the weeks where I’ve gone through all my food and I can’t even be bothered to go the the store to get more food so I eat the remainders of whatever is left. I call it scavenging, lol.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. I’ll be the saddest one here with my meal prep ideas 😦
    -2 slices of white or wheat bread (whichever you prefer) + 1 or more slices of ham of choice= ham sandwich! Add whatever you like to add flavoring. Can be eaten hot or cold.
    -1bowl, 1 spoon, cereal of choice and milk
    EASY PEASY!
    I have no life and lack motivation and energy after pinning and planning all those good looking meals on Pinterest. So exhausting! Lmao!!!

    Great ideas! Love the post and if all else fails…sandwich and cereal for the win 🙂

    Like

  26. I’m always so optimistic on Sunday evenings…thinking “yes, I will cook a real dinner every night this week”. Monday-always a success! Tuesday-still somewhat successful yet not as hyped as I made it out to be in my head, Wednesday-grilled cheese, ALWAYS! Thursday-frozen pizza made by by husband as I fall asleep watching tv by 6pm…Friday-Sunday- Real pizza…it’s a never ending cycle. Like these tips though! Love you Damn Girl! You make my Thursdays!

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Love this! I need a crockpot. I just get way too overwhelmed like what the FUCK do I even throw in this thing?!?! I seems like “too complicated”
    Of a thing for me- because very simple things are the exact things I over-fucking-complicate! And that THING FOR THE FRIDGE. Listen!!! My cilantro doesn’t make it past day TWO EVER!!! Where has that thing been all my life?! Ugh!!! Awesome tips!!! I wish I had tips to give the world about anything 😂 I’m just like “here’s 1 way not to be a hot mess in life—–DO NOT BE ME—-” bam! XOXO!!!

    Like

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