Monday, February 25, 2013

Meal Prep Tips

Yesterday was my third Sunday in a row making my meals for the week.  At first it was a little rocky but now that I've got the hang of it I really find it beneficial.  Here's a couple of things I've learned while doing it that I thought you might find useful.

1- Make your meal plan and stick to it.  Here's what mine looked like:

Breakfast- always smoothies or eggs (no prep needed besides pre-chopping stuff)
Lunch- one full meal (protein+veg)
Dinner- two full meals (protein+veg)
Snack- (chicken breast+carrots)

You could just do two big meals for lunch and dinner but I like to make a more smaller meals for variety.

So yesterday I made:

• Smoothie packs for smoothies (banana+spinach in ziplocs in the freezer)
• Chicken sausage with peppers and onions (meal 1- mainly for lunch)
• Grilled tilapia with roasted carrots (meal 2- I only made two filets so that covers 2 dinners)
• Grilled burgers (meal 3- for sliders)
• Homemade guacamole (one avocado, 1/4t garlic salt, lots of lime juice- for a slider topping)
• Bacon for a slider topping
• 3 baked chicken breasts for snacks
• I peeled and chopped carrots for snacks
• I also made the kids pancakes and granola bars

2-  When you get home from the grocery store pre-chop all veggies before you even put them in the fridge.  Onions, peppers, kale, carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower all last long in the fridge even when chopped in advance.  This makes your meal prep so much easier!

3-  Set aside quiet time with minimal interruption.  I meal prep during naptime or put my kids in front of a movie while I do it.  

4- Start out with an immaculate workspace.  Wipes counters down.  Wash, dry, and put dishes away....

5-  Start with the most time consuming thing.  Yesterday the first thing I did was get the carrots in the oven.  While they were cooking I did a lot of the other stuff.  

6- Invest in some good tupperware.  Plastic for storage and glass for reheating.  I use mainly plastic because I'm at home and can just dump everything onto a plate to reheat.

7-  Clean up as you go.  Put things back in the cupboards, wash dishes, wipe down counter tops. Less mess for you to clean up at the end!

Do you have any meal planning/prepping tips?


Danielle said...

This is such a great list and has some really great tips! Those granola bars you made the kids look great too! I'd totally eat them myself ;)

Michelle @ Eat Move Balance said...

I guess my biggest tip is to just commit to a designated time to do it! Find what works best (Sunday morning/early afternoon), and just go to town.

Question: How long are you able to keep the guacamole in the fridge before it turns too brown? Any tips on that? :)

Kristen said...

Lime juice in it and lime juice squeezed on top. Mine lasts awhile :)

Kristen said...

Those granola bars are awesome. I make a batch every week!

Emily Farnham said...

My thing is remembering to schedule the prep time right after the shopping time. As soon as I get back from the store I get caught up in the triage that happens when you walk through the door (baby needs a bottle, hubby has a question, have to go to the bathroom RIGHT NOW) that the food sort of sits there until I can deal with it. It does take practice and some good recipes to prep and meal plan effectively!

Hannah @ CleanEatingVeggieGirl said...

This is some serious meal prep. Awesome job! :) And cleaning up the kitchen as you go would definitely be a MUST, otherwise I would get so overwhelmed!

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Kristen said...

I totally agree with you! Cleaning up as you go might be the most important part. If you didn't it would take forever.

Jess said...

I need to get back on the meal prep train!

Kerry @ Totes My Oats said...

I used to meal prep more when I was in college. Now that I'm home with the rents, I just go with the flow! But I really loved prepping. I can imagine it helps a ton with 2 small kids!

Ally's Sweet & Savory Eats said...

Can I have your kitchen please????

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Jen Stimbert Pabst said...

1. I'm in love with your kitchen!
2. The more i get into cleaner eating, the more I realize I NEED to prep food more! Thanks for the tips :)

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Chrissy C said...

These are great tips! I need that reminder to chop veggies when I get home. When I meal-prep I almost always throw a few chicken breasts in the crock pot with some veggies and canned tomatoes (for moisture). The cooking is done for me and then I have yummy shredded chicken for the week. Thank for all of your advice and pics! I love your blog :)

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