10 Meal Prep Ideas To Free Up Your Time
Meal prep is my life line! Seriously, I cook 2-3x/week, MAX! You see, your talking to a lazy cook and what I mean by that is I'm busy and although I love cooking it's the last thing I want to do after a full day of work. The feeling of having foods ready to grab and go is well, amazing and once we have you converted, you'll never go back!
Now, there is a bit of a method to my madness here. It's not just about cooking up a bunch of random things and hoping it all works out. That's kind of like going to a store and buying a shirt you like and realizing when you get home that you don't have any pants that go with it! YIKES! So it's all about making a complete grab and go plan to truly save your time... oh, and sanity!
Top 10 Meal Prep Ideas:
1. Hardboil eggs on a sunday for the week!
Hardboiled eggs make a great snack or source of protein at meal time. Boil up a bunch of eggs and store in the fridge in their shell for 3 days or out of shell for 1 day.
2. Egg Muffins
Egg muffins are great. Whip up ingredients of your choice in a bowl (my fav: eggs, onions, mushrooms, spinach) and pour into muffin trays lined with baking cups. Bake in the oven at 350 for 20 mins.
3. Stock Your Freezer
I love love love stocking my freezer. Some of my favourite things to whip up are chocolate pucks, chocolate avocado pudding and protein balls (My go to is by my good friend, Pam Rocca's Reese Peanut Butter Protein Balls).
On any day of the week you will find crock pot meals ready to go in freezer bags. Pick your fav crock pot meal, throw all the ingredients in a freezer bag, freezer and the morning of, put in your crock pot and have dinner ready when you get home.
There is not right or wrong when it comes to stocking your freezer! Pick foods you love, make big batches and freeze!
4. Meatballs, falafels and veggie burgers
Meatballs, falafels and veggie burgers are the types of things I would never both to cook on a week night. Prepping these in advance and having them stocked in the freezer makes packing lunches or whipping together dinner so much easier.
Chop up some lettuce, and top with frozen falafels for work and by the time lunch hits, they are thawed.
Roast up some sweet potato fries and warm burgers for a burger and fry dinner.
Boil some noodles, warm meatballs and have spaghetti dinner ready in 20 minutes.
5. Turn one meal into 3 or more!
Anytime I am in the kitchen, I am thinking how can I make this faster and easier?
That is why I love turning 1 thing into 2-3 things. One big pot of chilli, could be chilli one night, stuffed peppers the next, or enchiladas the following night.
Making one big pot of chilli on a sunday makes dinner easy peasy for 3 nights!
6. Double/triple your batch
Promise me something... Promise me you will never cook just one meal at a time anymore. If you think about it, dishes are out, kitchen is getting dirty, why do that every day of the week? Why not do it 2-3x a week?
While you are making dinner, cook up some extras for leftovers, throw some eggs in a pot to boil, cut up some fruit or vegetables for your lunch or roll up some protein balls for the freezer. This is how you stay ahead of your busy schedule and truth time... on those days where you "just don't feel like it", you will be more than covered because you have food that is ready to heat and serve.
7. Make some things for the week and some things to stock your freezer!
Alright I know I've mentioned stocking your freezer a few times, but I haven't taught you my strategy for getting it done. Whenever I food prep I always cook a little for the week and a little for the freezer that way I am taking care of for right NOW (hangry isn't pretty!) and for the weeks to come. This lightens your food prep time and allows you to gradually stock up without the overwhelm.
8. Balance your meals
There is nothing worse than food prepping on a sunday and getting to. wednesday and realizing you have leftover cooked vegetables, but you still have no protein and no carb cooked, so you have to cook anyways. Not helpful!
Every Sunday I cook up something from each of the categories below to not only save time, but also to ensure I'm getting maximum nutrition at each meal. Keep in mind you should be picking foods that your stomach tolerates and customize your food prep session to you.
Protein: Chicken, Meatballs, fish, Pork
Vegetarian Protein: beans, hummus, hemp hearts, eggs
Veg: pick your fav vegetable and either roast, steamed or spiralize
Carbohydrate: quinoa, sweet potato, squash, brown rice, beans
Snacks: nuts, seeds, chopped veg, hardboiled eggs, fruit, chia pudding,
Sweets: protein balls, chocolate bark/pucks, chocolate avocado pudding
By having something from each category prepared you can simply assemble your meals when it comes to meal time. For example: Dinner could be chicken, quinoa, steamed broccoli. Simply reheat and your off to the races!
9. Always have snacks on hand
As soon as the hunger hits, your in trouble. Hunger will have your hands in all the foods you KNOW hurt. Keep snacks on hand means you will make better choices and allows you to bridge the gap between meals, balance your blood sugar and avoid the crash in energy.
10. Schedule in your meal prep
Listen if we are completely honest with eachother, you and I both know meal prep is likely th elast thing you want to do, but it's gotta get done and if you don't schedule it in, it's going to take a back seat.
Pick 1 day each week that is dedicated to setting you up for success with ready to eat meals and prevent you from eating the foods that you know are triggering your guts.
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