Meal Prepping

Hey everyone! Happy Monday! Hope you’re having a start to your week.

Just popping in today to continue our topic from last week (meal planning) and talk about meal prepping.

We went over meal planning last week, how to set a schedule and use tools and go to recipes to plan out what your week looks like in terms of the meals you’re going to eat. So you’ve made your plan, you’ve done your grocery shopping, now what? You maybe have 3 or 4 recipes on the docket for this week and you want to streamline some of that work by prepping some food in advance.

So there are a few ways you can go about this…

  • You can meal prep all in one day. This may take longer, but you could do it on the weekend when you have more time or your spouse is home to watch the kiddos while you prep. I do this on occasion when I don’t have anything plan for a Sunday afternoon and that way it’s done and out of the way.
  • The second way to prep, is to do it throughout the week. So you can prep a couple lunches and some snacks for the week on Sunday, and then Tuesday or Wednesday night when you have some free time, you can prep a couple more things for dinners later in the week. This breaks it up and makes it less overwhelming, and doesn’t take as long as a Sunday all-in-one prep session can take.

Whichever way you choose to go, you’ve got to get organized first. You need to look at what you’ve planned and pinpoint the things that are going to take the longest.

So things like roasted veggies, or baked goods for snacks, are going to take longer to make and cook, so you should start with those. You can cut up some veggies pretty quickly, and throw those in the oven to cook.

Roasting veggies is a great way to have healthy sides on hand! (From left to right: foil wrapped sweet potatoes, chopped sweet/russet potatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots)

While those are roasting you can whip up a batch of muffins to bake and throw those in to cook with the veggies since the oven is already on.  Or if you don’t have enough room in the oven you can at least set up your muffins in the muffin tin, and wait until the veggies are done and then just swap the veggies out for the muffins.  Easy peasy.

Some chopped veggies for egg scrambles, mason jar salads, and protein bites

Once you have your oven things going, you can do more hands on prepping, like chopping veggies for snacks or making sandwiches or salads for lunches, or chopping up your greens to have on hand for quick salads to go with dinner. You could even mix up marinades or sauces in advance so when it comes time to make those dishes, you can just throw the protein you’re using in with the sauce to marinate and not have to make it that night.

All in all, meal prep should not take longer than a couple of hours MAX. If you’re taking longer than that, I suggest you break it up so you don’t get burnt out because that’s a lot of time to be spending in the kitchen.   I usually take an hour or an hour and a half when I do a full Sunday prep, and that usually includes the clean up as well.  The first couple of times you do meal prep, it might take a while, until you get the hang of it, but then it’ll be second nature. And don’t feel like you have to prep everything the first few times you try to do this. You could easily just roast veggies the first time. That’s fairly straight forward and most of the time is cooking time in the oven. Then the next week or two you could make a salad while the veggies are roasting. Then the week after that you could roast veggies, make a salad, and make a marinade for some chicken.  You can slowly add in things as you get more comfortable and efficient in the kitchen at prepping.

 

Extra dinner = easy meal prep

Some meal prep can even just making extras of dinner the night before, so you have a few lunches throughout the week.

Here are a couple big meal preps I’ve done recently…

Brown rice, roasted potatoes, roasted chopped potatoes, roasted veggies, protein bites, muffins and zucchini bread

 

Quinoa, dressing, roasted chopped sweet potatoes and parsnips, protein bites, roasted sweet potatoes, chopped veggies, another dressing, massive salad to eat on throughout the week

 

I hope this was helpful and valuable for you all. And if you prep this week, show me! Take a picture and post it on Instagram or Facebook and tag me.  I’d love to see what you’re making!

Have a great day!

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