You see those weekend warriors posting about preparing their entire week’s meals on a Sunday, spending all day in the kitchen. We are in awe of these people, but for most of us, the weekends are just as busy as the weeknights and it’s not possible to block a day for meal prep. If you have leftovers at dinner, portion one serving into a container and eat it for lunch the next day. If you are making a salad for lunch, why not make two or three and have lunch done for the coming days ?
We do have meal prep goals though that can be done in 30 minutes or less and help us keep our calories in check. If you read “items in our pantry + fridge” in tips, you know what’s always in our fridge – having healthy snacks to easily grab is a must. After our weekend shopping trip, we set aside a half hour to prep veggies and lettuce that will be used in salads and for snacking and fresh fruit. You will need a lot of plastic food storage containers in a variety of sizes.
- if possible, buy fresh fruit already pre-cut (like pineapple, which can last 5 days in the fridge) and berries that don’t need to be cut = huge time-saver (and last about a week in fridge)
- buy garlic already peeled – sold in most grocers + lasts weeks in the fridge (we like the 6 oz bag of Christopher Ranch Organic Peeled Garlic sold at Whole Foods – lasts months because each pouch inside is vacuum sealed; note: pre-chopped garlic is also an option but we find that it compromises the flavor if chopped in advance and preserved)
- play really good music in your kitchen while you meal prep (or cook anything!) – time will fly
Meal prep timeline (30 minutes):
- start prepping hard-boiled eggs for the week first (cover with cold water, bring to a boil, boil for 8 minutes, run under cold water to cool enough to peel, dry + store in a container in fridge
- we prefer fresh lettuce over bagged (not big fans of brown, wilting lettuce or lettuce that tastes like plastic or preservatives) – wash + spin lettuce dry in a salad spinner and let it continue to air out on counter while preparing the rest of the fruit/veggies, once lettuce is dry, store in a container in fridge
- make a huge container of fresh fruit salad, wash, dry and cut your favorite fruits and keep in the fridge for breakfast + snacks – mix in freshly chopped mint if you like mint (note: some fruits like apples + pears are best cut right before eating since they have an enzyme that is susceptible to oxidation and turn brown shortly after being cut)
- wash, cut + dry fresh veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, bell peppers, radishes + baby carrots hold well in the fridge – we cut cucumbers when needed as they are mostly water and turn mushy and clean any tomato variety but keep them on the counter, not in fridge – it changes their consistency and flavor)