The Busy Girls’ Kitchen Time Saving Guide

15 Aug

I totally love to cook.

I also love a lot of other things. For instance, my job (despite its wacky hours), getting sweaty on the regular, being a wife, playing with my dog, and ya know, maintaining a social life of sorts. So cooking can be kind of a challenge after a long day…and the only kid I have is this guy. I can’t even imagine how you “real” moms do it all.


Something I know very well about myself (that I’m not particularly proud of) is that when I’m short on time, healthy snacks go by the wayside in favor of crap like packaged protein bars and froyo pitstops. Veggies come from the Whole Foods salad bar runs and end up costing me a ton of money when I’ve got heads of lettuce and heirloom tomatoes sitting in my fridge just rotting away.

So I’ve got a little trick up my sleeve for  when I’ve got an extra hour or so, in order to maximize the rest of my weeknights when I’d rather catch up on Mistresses than spend a ton of time slaving over dinner.  And I’m happy to share, since it’s not exactly rocket science.

I like to prep my food ahead of time to make packing a lunch or preparing a dinner as easy as possible. It totally simplifies adding veggies to smoothies, eggs, salads, or just alongside a meal. Because seriously…who has time to make their own snacks and lunches in the morning between a workout and running off to work? No one I know.

Yesterday I came home to a fridge full of fruit and organic meats that Danny had bought over the weekend (we buy tons at a time and freeze individual servings to pull out and thaw) and I woke up to a Farm Fresh to You box on my doorstep. Danny was out with friends for the night and I was home early, so I decided it was time to get to work.

I decided to chop veggies, roast more veggies for 2 or 3 nights of dinner, make quinoa, hummus, and powerballs.

Oh, and tomatillo salsa. My Farm Fresh box was full of the little green tomatoes and I had to send a photo of them to Jess for ID. When she told what they were, I asked WTH I would do with a giant bag of tomatillos. Within seconds, I received this reply: Roast them and add artichoke hearts, mustard, honey, lemon, shallots, pepper, olive oil and sherry wine vinegar in a blender to make salad dressing.

Okay, Emeril. Like are you kidding me, who has a totally specific recipe for tomatillos in their head like that?! My friends kill me sometimes.

I digress. Here’s how I do:


1. First things first, pre-heat the oven to 450 to roast your vegetables.

2. Put the quinoa (or whatever) on the stove and let it cook while you prep.

3. Chop + separate veggies:  This week I had sweet peppers, bell peppers, purple peppers, french beans, zucchini, sweet lettuce and kale, which I put in individual containers so I can easily grab them to cook or snack on. I sliced carrots and celery and put them in individual bags for dipping in hummus.

4. Grab a couple of handfuls of the veggies, toss them in a little bit of olive oil, pepper, and salt if you want it, and spread them out on a foil lined baking sheet. Throw it in the oven for about 15 minutes – I made enough for 2 dinners.

5. I threw together some white bean hummus (this is my go to recipe) which literally takes less than 5 minutes if you’ve got a food processor.

6. Threw together Powerballs as another snack option, which also takes roughly 5 minutes (recipe below).

Once your done, you should have single servings of frozen meat, tons of raw veggies, roasted veggies, quinoa, and several snack options. Mix n’ match for a wide variety of meal options.


Powerballs – Recipe Below


I call these lil dudes Powerballs because they’re full of protein and superfoods such as chia seeds, hemp hearts, dark chocolate, and almonds. They’re an awesome pre/post workout snack or perfect to satisfy a midday sweet tooth.

Adapted from Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Balls – thanks Chocolate Covered Katie!

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup Justin’s maple almond butter (or nut butter of choice)
  • 2 tbsp plus 2 tsp pure maple syrup, or another sweetener of choice (If using a dry sweetener, you might have to add a little water or almond milk to make a dough)
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp oat flour (throw your oats in a food processor), protein powder, or almond meal
  • dark chocolate chips or cacao nibs
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/2 tbsp hemp hearts
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix until well-incorporated. Roll into balls and store in the fridge or freezer.


3 Responses to “The Busy Girls’ Kitchen Time Saving Guide”

  1. Erika Pixton August 16, 2013 at 7:53 pm #

    What’s your go-to way to reheat the roasted veggies when it comes time to use them? Or do you eat them cold? I am all for pre-planning!

    • Meg Motamedinia September 10, 2013 at 3:20 am #

      Ummm- I just realized I ignored this question as I was looking thru my comments! So sorry 🙂 🙂 I’m lazy – I eat them cold. I don’t know if they’d be amazing microwaved, have you tried??

      • Erika Pixton September 10, 2013 at 4:20 am #

        I never thought of eating cold. 🙂 Haven’t tried yet, but I will. I usually just sauté or steam my veggies. I’m trying to branch out and I get my first Farm Fresh delivery on Friday, so I’ll probably do a big prep for the week on Sunday.

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