Everyone has those weeks that are without doubt going to be a challenge. The problem is quite often when one of those weeks hit, it is just too tempting to pick up fast food or take-out. Now that we are settled in from the move, I am back into my cooking and preparing ahead routine. It is being hindered slightly by my goal to paint every room in the house before May along with distractions like various workers coming in and out. We are having a fair amount of custom woodworking done in the house and we've had the utilities, pest control, maintenance personnel, painting, volunteering and life in general our days have become very busy. That means I need to do a bit more preparing ahead for the week.
My total prep time was 15 minutes on the weekend. Vacuum sealing will keep the produce fresh, ready to use for over a week but all of this will be used up before the weekend. If you notice three of the containers have different lids. That's because the are actually Rival Seal-a-Meal canisters not FoodSaver. I rigged up an adapter to use both. I vacuum seal smaller amounts of prepared foods in mason jars as well. This really is homemade convenience.
Canada's Food Guide recommends 4 to 6 servings of fruits and vegetables depending on their age, 7 to 8 servings for teens depending on gender, 7 to 10 servings for those 19 to 50 depending on gender and 7 for those over the age of 51. The thing is a serving size is not as big as you think. A serving of fresh vegetables is only 125 ml (½ cup) so it doesn't take a lot of vegetables to meet which is something to keep in mind from a frugal perspective.
I made a pasta with veggies for dinner. It was a healthy, meat free entrée that when served with a small garden salad would meet half or a little more of my daily fruits and vegetable requirements for the day. We are big fruit and vegetable lovers here so fresh vegetables find their way into almost every meal. Pasta with veggies is just so easy and quick to make. While the pasta is cooking I warm the roasted tomato sauce and prepare any vegetables needed. Then I drain the pasta, top with sauce, sprinkle with fresh grated Parmesan cheese (protein) and chopped vegetables then add a sprig of basil from my indoor (winter) or outdoor (growing season) garden.
We needed something a bit more functional than the standard wood TV trays. Drinks and snacks can easily get knocked over and more so when you have a crowd of 20 to 3o or more. Our friend made us these custom made drink tables. They are on wheels. Each triangular shape can be used individually or I can put them together in an hexagon or put them in line fashion. They were expensive at $125 each but they are solid wood and custom made to our specifications. Since we do a lot of entertaining and I prefer not dealing with cleaning up spills, these tables were a frugal option for us. They help a lot in me being able to focus on the food coming out from the kitchen without worry about my floors (laminate/ceramic tile) in the games room being damaged, slip and fall accidents from spilled drinks and everyone loves them. I have to tell you, they are one of the ultimates for entertaining!