I used to hate meal planning and prep work, but once I got into the habit (which took this unorganized girl awhile) I realized it’s so worth it. When I plan my meals I eat healthier, save time and money. I also feel so much more prepared for the week. This is important because our week’s get pretty busy and I’m not good at rolling with the punches, especially on an empty stomach.
Here’s a sample meal prep day in my house and some tips for making this work for you.
I always start with the project that takes the longest. Washing, cutting and preparing veggies. This week I had an eggplant, butternut squash, sweet potato, onions, garlic and brussel sprouts. I washed, peeled, chopped and seasoned with coconut oil, turmeric, sea salt and black pepper and roasted them at 425F for about 30 min.
While they were roasting I put a 2 pans of water on the stove. One to boil 2 chicken breasts for about 10 min until fully cooked. These went into the the KitchenAid mixer to shred and we’re then stored in the fridge. The second pan was for quinoa. I cooked a cup and half to add to salads, veggie bowls and soup this week. I’ll add the shredded chicken to salads too and I’m planning to use some of it for white chicken chili.
Next, I opened a box of black beans, rinsed them, drained them and put them in glass tupperware in the fridge. I love to toss black beans on salads, quesadillas or veggie/quinoa bowls for a little extra fiber and protein. Having them ready to go means I’m more likely to use them.
I also peeled 3 banans, cut them in half and put them in a freezer bag for smoothies.
Last, I washed and cut bell peppers, carrots, celery and strawberries for snacking, juicing and smoothies. When they’re already washed and ready to use I eat a lot more of them and I’m more likely to use them up if I don’t have to stop to wash and cut every time I want a piece of fruit or veggies.
When the roasted veggies came out of the oven I let them cool and stored them in the fridge.
This whole process takes me about an hour. But saves me so much time and stress during the week.
- I keep a weekly meal plan on my fridge. It lists whats for dinner each night. This helps me remember what I need to take out of the freezer and plan ahead so I won’t be scrambling at dinner time when we’re also running to TaeKwonDo or basketball practice.
- I keep a magnetic notepad on the fridge so I can write down things I need as we run out of them.
- I toss all my food scraps in a bowl as I go and use them in my garden to feed the soil.
Do you meal plan/prep? What are best tips for making it work for your family?