Let’s taco bout meal prep….I’m going to let you take a pico de gallo at my tips and tricks.
Ahhahah, are you laughing or cringing? That pun was my favorite part of a comedy sketch (Dog and Pony Show) that my friend Kate and I stumbled upon last weekend. Pretty sure I will never say “peek” again, only “pico de gallo.”
The weekend also included a nice long walk around Raccoon River Park on a gorgeous Saturday.
On Sunday we had a mostly lazy day, but I decided to use the afternoon for meal prep.
It took some motivating to get going. I accepted the fact that I had no more lives left on Candy Crush, shed my cozy Colts blanket, got off the couch, and headed to the kitchen.
By the way, official “after” kitchen pics are still coming. You may see new colors and counter top in the pictures. As soon as I get my finishing touch installed (cheery yellow curtains!), I will be sure to share.
Once I get into meal prep mode, I follow these steps.
- Find background entertainment (Pandora or TV show)
- Gather all the fruits and veggies I want to chop.
- Consult my meal list for any grains to cook.
- Decide what kind of breakfast I want that week.
- Check for any food that needs to be used right away.
- Set up a chopping station with cutting board, garbage bowl or trash can, and zip-loc bags or tupperware containers.
I like prepping lots of food at once for many reasons. It saves time for busy (or lazy) weekdays. Also, I tend to prep healthier items like salads, fruit, and roasted vegetables. This makes it easier to eat healthy throughout the week. Lastly, it is makes me feel so accomplished and ready to conquer the week. Sunday night blues are a very real, people.
Here are the things I like to prep, broken down by meal.
This is by no means a comprehensive meal prep guide, just some of the tips that work for me!
You could easily make one or two breakfast cookies to make your Monday and Tuesday breakfast easy-breezy.
You can use the pancakes for the next week’s breakfasts or freeze them (click here for a stunningly simple tutorial)
- Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Muffins
I made these for the first time on Sunday after pinning this recipe. I added steel cut oats and flax seed which resulted in pretty dense and chewy muffins. There’s no flour to make these fluffy but I have been loving them as a midday snack. They are pretty filling and the chocolate chips are a sweet touch.
Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Muffins
- 3 ripe, mashed bananas
- 1 cup milk
- 2 eggs
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 2 cups Old Fashioned Oats
- 1/2 steel cut oats
- 1/4 cup flax seeds
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Pinch salt
- 1/3 cup chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Mix all ingredients except the chocolate chips together. Fold in chocolate chips.
Spray a muffin pan generously with non-stick spray or add liners.
Divide batter into 12 muffin cups.
Bake 20-30 minutes, until edges start to brown and muffins are firm to the touch.
- Smoothie components
If I have spinach that is wilting or fruit that is quite ripe, I freeze them for future smoothies. For the fruit, just chop and freeze on cookie sheet, then transfer to zip-loc bag.
The spinach can be easily made into spinach cubes for green smoothies. Just dump spinach into blender, add a little water (1/4 cup for every 3 handfuls of spinach), then blend until well-mixed. Pour into ice cube tray and then remove when frozen.
We keep it pretty simple for our workday lunches. David gets a sandwich+apple+pretzel combo and I usually eat leftovers or a salad+apple+other snack. Here’s what I prep for lunches.
Chop apples or other fruit.
Portion pretzels into snack bags
Chop lettuce, carrots, and any other veggies for salads
If I plan on making stir-fry or something like coconut curry chicken, I’ll set my rice cooker to cook a big batch. Rice also freezes really well!
- Sweet potatoes
I peel and chop two sweet potatoes, toss with a drizzle of olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, then roast on a cookie sheet for 30 minutes, shaking halfway through.
This is my favorite side dish for suppers. Just reheated and topped with a little barbecue sauce.
Every once in a while, I’ll cook chicken to use later in the week. I like to use meal prep time to at least look at my meal plan and take meat out of the freezer to defrost.
I hope that was helpful! All these tips boil down to this advice: give your weekday-self the gift of meal prepping — it will be much appreciated!
Do you meal prep? Any tips to share?