Meal Prep Made Easy
Meal prep doesn't have to be hard, and can be incredibly daunting if you don't know where to start. Here is an easy way to get started!
Although all of us would love to have pinterest worthy preps, sometimes its just about doing something delicious, fast, and efficient (and of course, healthy). My meal prep approach has gotten so much easier after taking a mix-and-match approach. Remember the basic recommendation for macro balance is about 50% carb, 20% fat, 30% protein (although it may vary depending on your body type and goals).
Veggies: While my oven is preheating to 375, I wash and chop up a variety of vegetables, my favorites being carrots, broccoli, and green beans. Recently I've been really enjoying delicata squash, asparagus, and zucchini as well. Remember, the thicker you cut your veggies the longer they take to cook. Typically I cut my carrots and broccoli smaller since they are a firmer vegetable and leave things like zucchini a bit thicker so they cook at the same rate.
After your veggies are cut and dry, toss them in a large bowl with some olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and any additional herbs or spices you enjoy. Sometimes I will separate out my veggies to make a few different flavors, like rosemary and thyme, mesquite, asian-inspired, and Italian herb. Vegetables can taste amazing with the basics but don't be afraid to punch it up!
Put your veggies on a large baking sheet(s) and pop them in the oven once you've prepped the rest of your food! I usually leave them in for around 20 min, but you can eyeball it and wait until they're golden brown, and can be easily pierced with a fork.
Starch, Grains & Carbohydrate: My go-to carbs are almost always either quinoa, rice, fingerling potatoes, sweet potatoes, or some chickpea pasta. If I am making potatoes I just halve them after washing and toss them in oil and salt and pepper, and bake them along with my veggies. For sweet potatoes I leave them whole, poke them with a fork and wrap them in foil before baking.
For the pasta and grains I prepare according to the directions, and portion it out afterward. Typically for me, I end up only eating about 1/4 - 1/2 c servings of the grains and pasta.
Protein: I personally eat a plant-based diet, so my protein looks different than the typical diet (and yes, I do get enough!). Feel free to choose whatever protein suits you best!
Some healthy choices are:
Lean meats (ground turkey, chicken breast)
Light fish (cod, salmon)
Typically I will prep my protein, and marinate it (for meat, tempeh and tofu) then bake or broil. If using tofu, make sure to press the water out before marinating or cooking. You can prep several different proteins, using different flavors if you choose, and have choices for each meal! Just make sure your protein servings make up about 30% of your plate.
Build-Your-Own: Once you have all your foods prepped and cooked, you can portion them out into meal prep containers or tupperware and put them in the fridge until you're ready to eat them!
Of course you'll need more than just lunch and dinner, but that's a great place to start. Some easy breakfast ideas include freezer-prepping your own breakfast sandwiches, smoothie bowls, or overnight oats. Don't forget to have healthy snacks on hand as well like hummus and veggies, or some popcorn and nuts, fruit and peanut butter, just remember to keep those portions in control and keep things simple (and accessible).
Make sure to check back for more great ideas and tips!