Let’s talk about MEAL PREP!
I am a BIG supporter of meal prep, heck I’ve built a business around it. I say that I am a personal chef but really I meal prep for people. We all would love to have someone cook for us (myself included) but it isn’t possible for everyone so you need to get in the kitchen yourself! I know it may feel daunting at first but the more you spend time in your kitchen the more comfortable you will be and the faster you will get.
I personally meal prep every week. Most weeks I cook on Sunday in one large chunk. I strive to cook Sunday because it is a slow day and allows me to be prepared for the week. Every once in a while I don’t have time on Sunday so I do a few smaller chunks of cooking on Monday or Tuesday. Just because you don’t cook on Sunday doesn’t mean you have to write it off as a defeat. Everyone is different maybe it works better for you do to two smaller chunks. My advice is to play around with different things to see what works best for your schedule.
Benefis to Meal Prep
Cheaper than eating out
You get to control what you eat
Allows you to control the quality of food
Keeps you healthy
Allows you to be prepared so you aren’t left feeling starving and reaching for unhealthy options
I know it may sound like a lot if you aren’t used to it. The first week or so may be a bit tough but the more you practice the better and faster you will be! Think about cooking a few different proteins, a bunch of different veggies, maybe a grain if you are into that and for sure a couple different greens. I also suggest having lots of different fresh citrus and herb, maybe a dressing or two to add different flavors to your food so you don’t feel you are eating the same thing every day. Keeps it interested.
You COULD spend a little extra time and pre pack meals in individual containers. That way you can Grab n' go in the morning. I personally leave each food in separate containers so I can mix and match as the week goes.
Tips for Meal Prepping
If you are using recipes read everything first! You’ll get a better sense of what you are cooking and how you can multitask.
Turn on oven right away.
Wash all produce after turning on oven.
Cook thicker veggies first as they take longer to cook.
To avoid large messes clean as you go and use the containers that will hold your meals as bowls.
Set timers! If cooking more than one thing at a time (which I HIGHLY recommend) set timers as it is easy to get distracted.
Meal Prep Ideas
Red Leaf Lettuce
Sauce options for extra flavor
▪ 3 packed cups basil
▪ 1/2 cup walnuts
▪ 1 lemon juiced and zested
▪ 1 TLB nutritional yeast
1. blend all ingredients, optional to add 1tbs olive oil.
Cashew Cream Sauce:
▪ 2 cup cashews, soaking in warm water
▪ 1 tlb sea salt
▪ a generous dash of black pepper
▪ 2 cloves of garlic
▪ 1 tsp cumin powder
▪ 3 tlb nutritional yeast flakes
▪ 1 tlb apple cider vinegar
1. Soak cashews for a min of an hour and up to 24 hours. Drain and reserve ¾-1 cup water. Place all ingredients except water into blender and blend until smooth, slowly adding water. You may need to add more based on your blender. If it is still having a hard time blending you can add a bit of olive oil or your favorite oil
▪ 1 tbs oil
▪ 1tbs deli mustard
▪ 1 tbs red wine or apple cider vinegar
▪ 2 tsp water
▪ 1 tsp dill
▪ 1 tsp cracked pepper
1. Place all ingredients into a jar or glass and whisk together.
Lemon Tahini sauce:
▪ 1 lemon, juiced
▪ 1/3 cup tahini
▪ 1 tsp cumin
▪ 1 tsp turmeric
▪ 1 tsp garlic powder
▪ 1/2 tsp cayenne
▪ 1/2 tsp salt
▪ 2 tbs water
1. Place all ingredients into a jar or glass and whisk together. If it is too thick add more water.
Meal Ideas once foods are prepped and in your fridge.
1. Sweet Potato Salad with mustard vinaigrette
Layer the bottom of a container with red leaf lettuce and spinach.
Top lettuce with sweet potatoes, chickpeas and grape tomatoes (raw or roasted).
The morning you are ready to eat it drizzle with vinaigrette
2. Warm Quinoa and Kale Bowl
In a sauce pan sauté chopped kale with a drizzle of olive oil until bright green. 3-4 mins.
Add a few spoonfuls of quinoa to the pan as well as broccoli and green beans.
Stir around in pan to warm all ingredients.
Serve in bowl with a heavy drizzle of Lemon Tahini sauce. If you have it add some fresh cilantro and red pepper flakes for a nice bite!
3. Spinach Tofu “stir fry”
Place tofu, zucchini, green beans and carrots into a sauce pan with sesame oil to warm. Stir often.
Once it is warmed all the way through, turn off heat but keep pan on the stove. Add in fresh spinach and continue to stir to “cook the spinach.
Serve in bowl and drizzle cashew cream, fresh lime and soy sauce, tamari or Braggs amino acids.
4. Simple Macro Plate
Warm up 2 different veggies and plate.
Warm up 1 protein and plate.
Quickly sauté a green and plate.
Drizzle with sauce, oil or serve with avocado.
Squeeze fresh lemon all over plate.
The above are a few different ideas you can put together once your veggies are cooked and you want to mix it up mid week. My last piece of advice on meal prep is just because someone meal preps a certain way doesn’t mean you have to do it that way. Get in your kitchen, play around and be as consistent as you can.
PS, have a question about cooking and or meal prepping? Let me know in the comments or shoot me an email.