As a busy mom, I sometimes feel like I spend hours every day in the kitchen and cleaning up with one meal in time to prepare for the next meal.
I have learned that a little careful eating planning is done just to find out how to cook and shop at the store that can significantly reduce the time spent. Plus, he saves a lot of time in the kitchen!
This is because I started baking on the weekends so I only have less time for dinner during the week. Here’s how you can do it.
What is a Beach Kitchen?
The idea of baking a batch is as simple as the name suggests: it is preparing one week’s worth of food at the same time, so that it takes longer to serve individual meals.
I like to do a great batch of meal prep on Saturdays, when the kids are happily playing in the back yard with friends and I have a few hours left.
In addition to saving time, I have found that baking really increases your chances of staying on a meal plan. You definitely don’t want to waste the healthy food you spend time preparing!
Note: I did not include breakfast in this list, as we have a 4-day rotary breakfast meal that includes various proteins and vegetables and I make it every day.
Beach kitchen planning menu
Beach kicking can be a little trial-and-error, but once you try, you’ll love time and simplicity. Here’s a sample meal plan to get you started!
Lunch: Chicken salad on lettuce with carrot sticks
Dinner: Crab stir fry
Lunch: Stir fry wrapped in Roman leaves
Dinner: The sliced chicken breast is reheated on a greased cookie sheet with sliced chicken, onion and baked butternut squash. Serve with salad.
Lunch: Reheat the leftover chicken from last night, wrapped in Roman leaves, served with avocado and cilantro.
Dinner: cucumber with cucumber cream and cheese (both optional)
Lunch: The rest of the chili
Dinner: Eggplant pizza with side salad
Lunch: leftover eggplant pizza or chicken salad
Dinner: fajita salad
Lunch: Fajita tacos (using leftover fajita meat) wrapped in romance with avocado, salsa, cheese and sour cream
Dinner: Meat balls and salads warmed up
Lunch: Tuna salad on spinach or carrot sticks.
Dinner: Whatever is left!
When you need a quick breakfast, reach out to one of the Noble Ready to eat:
- Devil eggs
- Cream cheese or healthy hummus with sliced cucumber, celery sticks or carrot sticks
- Tuna salad
This grocery store shopping list will determine exactly what you will buy for a week. Adjust as needed. It’s designed for two people, so only double (or triple or quadruple) in terms of family size.
- 2 avocado
- 2 head lettuce, bananas, or other greens
- 1 big bag spinach
- 4 large sweet peppers, no color
- 1-3 lb. bag onions
- Fruits, such as beer or grapes
- 2 zucchini or summer squash
- 1 bag of carrot sticks
- 2 cucumbers
- 1 large eggplant
- 1 butternut squash
- 2-3 dozen eggs
- 1 pound of butter
- 1 container of full fat (8 ounces or larger), plain organic yogurt (either Greek or regular)
- 1 package cream cheese
- 1 block of your favorite cheese (it’s optional on everything, so get what you want)
- Sour cream (optional)
(If you are wondering where I drew a line on dairy, check out this post.)
- 1 can (organic) powdered tomatoes
- 1 BIG in tomato sauce (15 oz or larger)
- 1 can of salmon or 2 cans of tuna
- A jar of pasta sauce (check ingredients, sugar or grains not included)
- 1 jar salsa (check ingredients)
- 1 pound frozen shrimp (or fresh, just pre-cooked)
- 1 package bacon (optional)
- 2 pounds of ground beef or turkey
- 5 Thighs without chicken breasts or bones (I get all the meat I can’t get from local butcher box farms)
- 2 (1 pound) bags of frozen broccoli
Beach cook: Ready day recipe
If you can prep your family meal in one or two large batches, it will make your life a lot easier (and make it easier to stick to a healthy eating lifestyle). I try to prepare everything on a Saturday so that it is ready for the week, but you can prep the simple ingredients first and save the food assembly later.
Single step preparation:
- Cover the chicken breasts with butter and spices and bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Two of these cubes and three pieces.
- Hard boiled eggs 6-8 eggs per family.
- Pre-cut zucchini, squash, onion, pepper, cucumber, and other veggies. Store in a separate container or bag.
- Cut the butternut squash in half and discard the seeds. Cover in 1-2 tablespoons of butter and spices. Bake on a cookie sheet for 325 degrees until soft (usually about 45 minutes). Store in foil to reheat.
- Peel the eggplant and cut it into inch pieces. Bake on a greased cookie sheet at 375 degrees until brown on both sides.
- Make a salmon or tuna salad by mixing well-cooked fish with a package of cheese cream cheese and spices like yogurt. Locked in the fridge or shop
- Fry the shrimp. Heat the butter in a mullet and add 1 pre-cut onion and 1 pre-cut pepper, cook 2 minutes. Add the pre-cut zucchini or squash and cook for 2 minutes. Add 1 pound of frozen broccoli, cook 2 minutes. Add frozen shrimp and cook until the veggies are tender and the shrimp are heated. Add the desired spices (garlic, basil, salt, pepper, etc.). Before eating, add a cream cheese package and whisk until melted (optional). Here is the full version.
- Chicken salad Use a piece of cubed chicken and combine after this recipe. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.
- Pepper. Combine 1 pound ground beef with 1 tomato, tomato tomato sauce, 1 chopped onion, cumin, and other spices to taste. Find recipes here.
- Eggplant pizza Top the slices of eggplant with tomato sauce, spices, cheese, sliced onions, pepper, or whatever else you like. Store in a foil for re-heating. It’s even faster to refresh if you don’t want to make it! So easy I have no recipe for it!
- Meatballs Roll up meatballs using 1 pound of ground beef, parmesan, garlic, basil, or whatever you choose. You can also try these Greek meatballs. Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes, then coat in pasta sauce. Refrigerator covered store
- Fajita salad. It can be prepared before you eat! Heat your sliced chicken breast in a seafood skillet with sliced onions and pepper. Season the crust and serve on the greens with avocado, salsa, cheese, and sour cream (optional). Save the recipe for repeated use here.
- Devil eggs Cut the hard boiled eggs carefully and remove the yolk. Prepare the yuleks with an avocado and season with mustard, dal or other spices for flavor. Return the eggs to the filling and slice the bacon into pieces (optional). You can also follow this simple egg recipe.
Note: The aforementioned eating plan is great any time of the year, but I recommend sticking to whatever the season is, whenever possible. In this podcast I talk about my seasonal meal plans.
How to Improve Your Beach Cooking Meal
The sample meal menu mentioned above worked fine for me, but you may not be a fan of all of these options. In this case, you can always customize the meal plan you are passionate about! The more you enjoy the food you cook, the more likely you are to stick to the plan.
Here are some other ideas for cooking a batch for these busy Saturday nights:
- Use your slow cooker or pressure cooker. You can set them up the night before, or have dinner ready in a pressure cooker. Try adding this chuck roast or meatloaf to the rotation! You can also check out these freezer-friendly slow cooker recipes. (If you haven’t tried Instant Pot yet, you should! … I give my full review here.
- Grab a bunch of sweet potatoes. Roast them ahead of time, and then you can slice them for breakfast, fill them with avocado, even whipping up this sweet potato castle.
- Hold the cabbage head. This is another great versatile veggie for food preparation. Put it in cabbage rice, or pre-fry it in spices.
- Get basil and make pesto. It only stays in the fridge for a few days, but it supports what you’re cooking. This is a combination of my tassel pesto and I also make pesto from Pilanter. Bonus, as a pesto, these herbs last for up to two weeks without spoilage, in contrast to fresh herbs that are only fresh in the production range for a few days.
- Make a large batch of pasta sauce (and freeze). This is great for veggie pizza. You can even use some ground beef to make bolognese! Find my homemade pasta sauce recipe here.
- Is there a Hodgepodge of food leftovers? Make cabbage bowls with cabbage rice, beef, avocado, pilatro or whatever is in your hand.
- Make a grain-free yellow muffin! They are handy as a breakfast, breakfast, dessert or as a side dish. I also make this cereal-free apple sugar muffin regularly.
Kickboxes that help
A good book is worth its weight in book gold. I use the following mix for baking:
- Fitness Mama Cookbook: These are my best 30 minutes, 1 pan meal!
- Cook Once, Eat All Week: I love these recipes. It offers grain-free, gluten-free, or dairy-free diet adaptations, and has shopping lists and step-by-step lists that my husband or children can follow. (Kids want to take the Kids Kick Real Food e-course first for knife skills, etc.) Tips: Usually I repeat vegetables using this cookbook.
- Real projects: This app replaces my chef most weeks, as it contains all of my recipes and other healthy recipes that I love the most.
I’ve got to cook a beach that saves me every weekday. If you’re as busy as I am (or even if you don’t want to save time!), I definitely recommend to plan a meal and try bulk cooking!
Try my Beach Cooking Meal Plan too!
Have you ever tried baking? Do you know some time-consuming tips? Share below!