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Simple Meal Prep Ideas

Meal prepping for the following week is always a good idea. It saves time and, in general, helps to have a more joyful life. When just starting implementing this healthy habit, the main goal is to focus on keeping it simple. These are three general meal prep practical steps that help to keep meal prep simple.

1. PLAN YOUR MEALS AHEAD.

It’s such a great habit to have! Simply finding 20 minutes in your schedule to think and write down next week’s menu. Or start with just dinner for three days of the week. The first step is to keep the focus on the main meals and find a visible place to display that menu. Choose simple, not complicating recipes with quality ingredients. Possibly choose recipes for breakfast and lunch that don’t require cooking at all, for example, salads and toasts.

2. RESTOCK YOUR PANTRY.

The next step is grocery shopping sticking to the “Next Week Menu Shopping List” plus re-stocking essentials in the pantry. With a well-stocked pantry, there are no last-minute grocery shopping trips, and you could make many recipes with just the basic ingredients.

3. DO SIMPLE PREP.

Usually, finding an hour or less on Sunday is all it takes. Just having one or two out of these items below on hand throughout the week already cooked and prepared helps to save time and money. You don’t have to have all of these items available at the same time; just pick a couple of ideas:

  • BOILED EGGS. Excellent source of protein to add to salads, toasts, or even soup.
  • ROASTED VEGETABLES. It could be added to the morning scramble dish, salads or used as a side for dinner.
  • HEARTY SALAD. Some salads require time to make, and pre-making these in advance saves time; I usually focus on making hearty salads (that last longer) and leaving the dressing out (add it when ready to serve).
  • HEALTHY DESSERT. Having some healthy dessert options on hand helps to avoid the temptation to eat processed snacks with refined sugars that, in general, not the best healthy food option to have every day.
  • READY TO EAT FRUITS AND VEGGIES. Wash and pre-cut — a great option to snack on.
  • PRESERVE FRESH PRODUCE. Using fresh organic produce requires some attention since these go bad faster. I usually check what fresh fruits or vegetables need to be preserved. Cutting and storing in the air-tight containers in the fridge helps to make it last several days longer.
  • COOKED GRAINS. Having some healthy grains helps to make quick meals. My favorites are healthy gluten-free grains: buckwheat, quinoa, rice, millet.

If the following week is looking to be very busy, preparing “food containers to go” truly helps; this way, you can grab a container and don’t have to worry about cooking at all.

4. USE PRACTICAL FOOD STORAGE CONTAINERS.

These are easy-to-wash air-tight containers. I found it to be more practical to use square shape pyrex containers and wide-mouth mason jars.

 

Simply roasted root vegetables.

Cooked spaghetti squash, apples, three kinds of potatoes, quinoa with pork, and beans.

Roasted sweet potatoes and beets and raw granola.


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