How To Start Meal Prepping
Meal prepping can seem overwhelming if you don’t know where to start, but it’s actually really easy once you get a routine down and get the hang of it. The below tips are a compilation of our favorites – let us know your favorites in the comments on this post!
The biggest thing you want to remember when it comes to meal prepping is that you need to fit it into your schedule. Think about when you have time to do it. What day during the weekend works best? What time do you plan to do it? Put it in your schedule and stick to it.
Think about what your storage containers look like – are they mismatched, with different lids everywhere? If so, you’re going to have a frustrating time. Take time, before you begin your meal prepping journey, to organize your containers. Figure out what you have, get rid of containers without lids (or lids without containers) and get everything in line so that you can just grab and go.
While surveying your container situation, take inventory of your spices and see what you could add to your collection. Cumin, red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, paprika, and coriander are all good places to start.
Think about what your typical day looks like – breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Leftover dinner for breakfast or lunch is a super easy way to maximize your meal prep. Think about how you want to manage that when you are planning out your recipes. Now, make a list – go through recipes you want to make this week and base your grocery list off of that. What can you make extras of for leftovers? This thought process will save you so much time in the kitchen.
This next step is easy – go shopping. Pick a local farmer’s market if you can for your fruit/vegetable needs and go to your local butcher for meat. Otherwise, hit up your local Supermarket.
Chop your vegetables/fruits and make guacamole/cut up avocado as a fat. If you have any fruits/vegetables that will brown (apples, pears, stone fruits, carrots and celery) you can treat them with NatureSeal to keep them fresh and ready to use at any time during the week. For the guacamole or just plain avocados, you can also keep them from browning with NatureSeal.
Some of our favorites for chopping and quick recipe inclusion are sweet peppers, sweet onions, broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms, and carrots. Rice the broccoli, cauliflower and carrots for an easy, gluten free side you can add to any protein.
Spiralize some vegetables as well – zucchini, sweet potatoes, and carrots are great spiralized. They make quick and easy additions to any meal if you sauté them quickly in a little bit of ghee or butter.
Roast some of the vegetables you chopped – try and roast ones together that have similar roasting times to save energy and frustration.
If you eat grains, make a big batch of rice. It makes a quick and easy side to go along with all of the vegetables.
What proteins do you want for the upcoming week? Chicken is one of the easiest ones to prepare, but you could also brown ground beef/turkey to have on hand to make your meals for the upcoming week. We make 4-5 lbs of chicken in the instant pot and use it for recipes throughout the week.
When in doubt, make mason jar salads (find tips here: http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-pack-the-perfect-salad-in-a-jar-cooking-lessons-from-the-kitchn-192174). They’re one of those easily thrown together things that you’ll be thankful you can grab and go come lunchtime.
Basically, meal preparation boils down to making it easy for you to eat healthier during the week. If you get everything ready in advance you will have no excuses and will be able to grab and go whenever the mood strikes you!