Easy Meal Prep
A question I get often is – How Can I Make Meal Prep Easy and Succeed? Below are a few short answers with detailed how to tips!
- Clean Eating Cooking Basics
- How to Simplify- Make Grocery Shopping Quick & Easy
- Weekly Food Prep- 1-2-3
- Stock it!
- Time Saving Tips
- How to Organize your Fridge & Freezer
Become a Label Reader– if you can’t pronounce it don’t buy it, don’t eat it, don’t touch it!
- Avoid most packaged and process foods.
- Choose real foods
- Cut back on added sugars and determine which sweeteners are best for you (Cane, Coconut, Date, Monkfruit, Stevia, Honey…there are a ton out there!)
- Avoid trans fats
- Cook and eat at home
- Stay hydrated and determine your beverages (water, tea, coffee, fresh pressed juices)
- Limit caffeine and alcohol (1/2 caffeinated or antioxidant options)
Decide on your parameters– only fresh, which proteins (Fish, Beef, Chicken etc.)
Which can goods are ok for you?
Organic, BPA Free Lined Canned, Non-GMO
Some that I buy are Coconut Milk & Boxed Tomatoes
Which Frozen Foods/Products okay?
Organic Frozen Fruits and Vegetables- These are great for Soups, Smoothies & Sauces! It can cut your prep time dramatically.
Wild Caught, Grass-Fed & Organic Proteins- We rotate our proteins and having Grass-Fed Organic Beef is even easier to find than ever. I purchase a 3 pack at Costco so it is always in stock at my house. Chicken Breast make it easy to grab a few and marinade instead of thawing out the entire package. You can find 5-6 portioned frozen wild caught salmon fillets at Whole Foods for $20-$25.
How to Simplify
Clean Eating does not need to be complicated. Please don’t think that all recipes need to have a ton of ingredients or be complicated. Eating Clean is NOT a diet- it is a way of living.
Chia Jam– Fruit, Chia Seeds, Honey or Maple Syrup
Chia Pudding– Chia Seeds, Nut or Dairy Milk, Cinnamon or Cocoa Powder
Coconut Whip– Canned Coconut and Honey (adding Cocoa Powder and Vanilla)
Salmon– with Olive Oil, Rosemary & Lemon
Steak Bites– with Grass-Fed Butter & Salt
Pan Cooked Chicken with EVOO, Balsamic & Cherries
These are a few examples of clean eating recipes with minimal ingredients.
Snacks can be just as simple- a handful of nuts, diced veggies with dip, scoop of nut-butter or a quick smoothie (make smoothie packs on prep day)
Weekly Food Prep
I pick a day that I can dedicate to making my week that much easier! I aim for Mondays- but if I need to change that no problem. The house is quiet and I can get A LOT done when I am alone in my house or while the little ones are doing a craft, working on lessons or playing.
Portion out proteins
Here is an example of a week I can usually prep all 5 of these proteins within 1 hour and 15 minutes.
I use my Glasslock Storage Containers (They are freezer, oven and microwave safe). I do have Ziploc Plastic Bags in my house- but they are not my go-to product…. Glasslock Containers are a cleaner option.
Glasslock is made of silica, soda ash, limestone and other natural components, making it BPA free and recyclable. It does not contain any harmful environmental hormones.
Grass-Fed Lamb: Clean, Rinse and Pat Dry, Sprinkle with a little Sea Salt, Dried Rosemary and a marinade of (EVOO, Molasses and Oregano).
Salmon (For Day of Use): Put packets in a bowl of cold water and put in refrigerator to thaw. When ready to cook, brush with EVOO, Rosemary, Sea Salt and Citrus Juice. Cooking time 15 minutes.
Steak: Dice into bite sized cubes, rub with Sea Salt and Black Pepper
Chicken Wings: Mix Orange Juice with a little honey (microwave to incorporate honey so it will coat evenly) Pour over chicken wings and Cover.
Roasted Chicken: Rinse and Pat Dry, Coat with Ghee, Dried Rosemary & Salt, Stuff with Lemons and Roast.
Side Dish Prep:
Clean Cut Cabbage into Wedges and put back into bag.
Cut Broccolini and store properly
Rinse Lettuce Greens: Chop, Leave some leafs whole for wraps
Green Beans: Wash, Cut off Tips, squeeze Fresh Lemon, Salt & Pepper and Toss. Place in glass container and refrigerate.
Spaghetti Squash: Rinse, Cut and De-Seed. Add Salt, Pepper & Paprika and place wrapped or covered in refrigerator.
Snacks & Treats:
Coconut Whip: Open a can of refrigerated Coconut Milk, Beat until fluffy (10 minutes)- add honey, cocoa or cinnamon to flavor.
Chia Jam: Place Fruit, Chia Seeds, Liquid (Water or Juice) in blender and refrigerate (can add essential oils, sweetener and extracts)
Dice Fruits and make fruit cups
Smoothies: Freeze Ripened Bananas for Smoothies in individual packs with additional fruits for smoothies. Add in Chia Seeds, Flaxmeal, Powders).
Cookies: Make Clean Eating Cookie Dough (needs to refrigerate 1 hour). Prep time 15 minutes.
This all sounds a little easier than you thought by now!
Go to the store with a plan! There will be some items that you buy every week and some things you rotate with. Try to shop for fresh food for 5 days- to get you well into the workweek. You will begin to have some meals on stand-by in the freezer for those days that just don’t go according to plan.
Time Saving Tips:
Having clean counter space helps!
Go to the same stores- you know the layout!
Organize and be prepared- have your favorite appliances out- Crock Pot, Instapot, Air Fryer, Counter Oven etc.
Stock your storage items! Go ahead and invest in a couple of sets of Glasslock Storage Containers- they will really help you stay on track too!
How to Organize your Fridge & Freezer:
You want to keep as much in the kitchen as possible- and not use pantry items. I keep any baking items (nut flours, oats, sweeteners in the bottom drawer of the refrigerator if possible).
Use the same containers for all homemade products- Glass Mason Jars and Jelly Jars work great for homemade condiments- dressings, sauces, dips, fermented veggies and jams! They make them easy identifiable and inviting.
Keep all beverages on the same shelf- have flavored and infused water in pitchers and pre-made water bottles for on the go.
Put food to be cooked first in the front on a designated shelf.
For prepped meals- label with masking tape the day of the week if you are taking them to work.
Freezer- put all frozen fruits in one drawer
Put all frozen Vegies in another drawer. Keep treats on the top shelf pushed back.. out of sight 🙂
Inspect your fridge at the end of each week. Wipe down all shelves- if it is clean it will make you happier I promise!
Inspect your freezer no less than once a month- even if you are organized… things just get lost!
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