How I Meal Prep

How I Meal Prep

Types of Meal Prep

  1. Entire Meals: Assemble (and sometimes cook) meals ahead of time for the whole family – lasagna, veggie pasta casserole, etc – and store in the refrigerator/freezer to eat later.
  2. Individual Meals: Prepare food and portion it out for single meals.
  3. Extra To Freeze: I do this with meats – ground turkey seasoned for tacos or spaghetti, breakfast burritos, marinated chicken.
  4. Ingredient Prep: Prepare parts of a meal (slice/chop vegetables, season/cook meat) to assemble later. I also include snack prep in this category.

Things To Consider

  1. How will you store it? I find it easier to store my pre-made meals (just for me) in containers and my snacks in grab-and-go baggies or small Sistema containers.
  2. How will you heat it up?  When I worked full time (and ate at school), I took my lunch every day so the microwave was my only source of heat. All of my meal prepped food had to be microwavable. Now that I eat lunch at home, I have the option of the stove/oven so I do a lot more ingredient prepping rather than meals.
  3. Will you really eat it? I know this sounds silly, but you don’t want to waste your time making something that will just go to waste. I have made some meal prep recipes without actually trying them and turns out I didn’t like them.  Time and food wasted.  Same goes for how long you will wait to eat it. For me, I can only eat chicken for 2 days after it’s cooked because I think it tastes funny after that. There is no use in making 4 days of chicken for lunch if I won’t eat it.

Avoid Boredom

  1. Make simple tweaks to your meals by swapping out the veggie, sauce, or seasoning.
  2. Only make 2 of the same meal instead of 5 for the whole work week. For example, prep 2 meals of tuna patties + vegetable and sweet potato, and 2 meals of turkey nachos. Now you have 4 lunches.
  3. Try the “ingredient prep” method instead of prepping entire meals. This way you can mix and swap ingredients to make new meals.
  4. Incorporate leftovers. Use leftovers in a different way to create a new meal. (I will do a post on this another time!)

Make It Easy

  1. Before serving supper, portion out lunch for you to have the next day.
  2. Repurpose leftovers, as mentioned above.  Say you had buffalo chicken salad for supper on Monday night. On Tuesday night, use the remaining chicken, lettuce, and tomatoes for a buffalo chicken wrap.
  3. Prep while you are cooking supper. I do this at least once a week. If I am cutting/cooking chicken for that night’s meal, I go ahead and cook up some extra (again, ingredient prepping) for my lunch that week.
  4. Choose recipes that have overlapping ingredients to cut down on prep time. Example: using ground turkey for turkey nachos, turkey burgers, and turkey pasta.  Same meat, but 3 totally different tasting dishes. I can brown the turkey at once, then season and prepare it differently.

What questions do you have about meal prep? I would love to help you!

 

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