One morning this month, a winter wonderland stretched out outside my window. Trees were silhouetted in the ice and everything was glowing. I would have enjoyed the beauty of it, except for the power outages, my kids’ school closures, and the freezing inside of my house.one thing i felt TRUE What I appreciated in that moment was that I had spent the previous few hours filling up my refrigerator with the components of a delicious meal. There was a lot of chicken and rice soup, lots of fresh and chopped vegetables, creamy hummus and buttered morning glory muffins.
A friend of mine recently told me that for him, “happiness is a refrigerator full of food.” Of course, the hectic pace of modern life means that most of us can’t spend hours preparing complex meals. I would like to have a choice. I promise that if you stock your own kitchen, you’ll be able to whip up a nutritious meal faster than ordering takeout. is to prepare in advance.
That’s where my easy meal prep strategy comes in. Every weekend, I make a handful of easy “building block” recipes that can be used as starting points for countless nutritious meals. Roasted vegetables can be used as salad toppings or sandwich fillings. A pot of quinoa can form the base of a grain bowl or become a cozy breakfast porridge. , is to come up with different ways to use it.
Watch the video above to see exactly how I knocked out these five meal prep tasks in about an hour, then read on for the exact steps. But first, here are some tips for successful meal prep.
Preparing for the season
How do I decide which ingredients to use in each of these basic recipes? For me, it’s all about getting inspired What’s in season — If you have fresh lettuce, dark orange sweet potatoes, or perfectly ripe strawberries, it doesn’t take a lot of preparation to turn them into a delicious meal. You’ll also get the maximum amount of nutrition from these whole, unprocessed foods, so you can look and feel your best.
practice mindful cooking
If you think you don’t have time to prepare meals on Sunday, think of it as a self-care moment. It is something that you can take your time and enjoy the process.i love pouring into glasses Make kombucha, wine, or hot tea, turn on the music, and make meal prep a ritual. Is there? The ultimate reward.
keep it simple
It doesn’t take long (an hour or two is enough!) and doesn’t require any special equipment. Most of the time, all you need is a knife, a cutting board, and a baking sheet. I try to be productive and make the most of my time. Make dressings and crunchy seed mixes while you roast vegetables and cook grains on the stove. You can get into your own rhythm and eventually you won’t even need to look at the instructions. Do these a few times and you’ll find the flow.
- Clean as you go.
- Write down a to-do list in advance and create an action plan.
- Remember, just making a few of these can make a big difference over the course of a week. Please do what you can.
Here’s the meal preparation plan:
cook the grain
Cooked grain containers are one of the most versatile items in your refrigerator. Cooked grains like farro and quinoa make great side dishes for any protein. Alternatively, it can be used as a base for grain bowls, topped with eggs, or warmed up with nut milk and cinnamon. Porridge for breakfast.
Today I am using quinoa. We love the crunchiness and vegetable protein of quinoa, but you can use farro, buckwheat, rice, amaranth, or anything else.
- Rinse 1 cup of quinoa through a mesh strainer and place in a small saucepan.
- Add 1 cup of water and a pinch of salt and bring to a boil.
- As soon as it boils, reduce the heat to low and cover. Simmer for 20 minutes, loosening the quinoa with a fork to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
- After the rice is cooked, place a dishcloth between the pot and the dishcloth to cool and remove excess moisture.
Cooked quinoa can be stored in the refrigerator for 5 days.To freeze the cooked grains, spread in a single layer on a baking sheet and transfer to the freezer for at least 2 hours. After the grain is frozen, it can be stored in a freezer-safe container.
Most vegetables taste better when roasted—Cooking over high heat concentrates the flavor and creates caramel, which I love.
Here are some of my favorite vegetables to roast.
- sweet potato
- butternut squash
- baby red potato
- Brussels sprouts
Add spices and herbs to make it always taste different and interesting. Sometimes I add taco seasoning, a drizzle of harissa or infused vinegar, or even a touch of Italian seasoning to keep it simple. Once made, it’s a great addition to salads, grain bowls, tacos, and sandwiches.
Here’s the perfect way to roast almost any type of vegetable.
- Preheat oven to 400.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment, spread the vegetables in one layer, leave space around them, and roast, not steam.
- Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper (and any other spices you’re using) and toss them.
make dressings and sauces
This is the step that gets me excited about using prepared vegetables throughout the week. can Without the flavor-packed sauce, you can get a little bored, drizzle everything, and devour. Having mason jars full of dressing means you have salad dressing and sauces for sides for bowls, tacos and veggies. . It really is your best friend when it comes to making easy and delicious meals in a jiffy.
This week I will create one of my favourites. turmeric vinaigretteIt’s very easy to make, just put all the ingredients below in a blender.
- 1 shallot (peeled and cut in half)
- 1 clove of garlic
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons lukewarm water
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- squeezing of honey
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- a pinch of salt and pepper
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
Mix it all up, then store it in a mason jar for a week.
Prepare Salad and Raw Vegetables
Are you 10 times more likely to eat vegetables if you already eat them? Ready to wash in the fridge? same. And so are my children. I keep some chopped carrots, cucumbers, and peppers in the fridge, and when I come to the kitchen for a snack just before dinner, I point to Crudité’s bowl. And we always have guacamole, hummus, or our weekly salad dressing (above) available to pair with veggies and dip.
Plus, once fresh lettuce and other chopped vegetables are ready, you can easily accompany any dinner with a salad. I much prefer doing all the prep at once rather than pulling out the salad spinner and cutting board over and over again. After a weekend of grocery shopping, I do the following:
- Wash and dry the lettuce in a salad spinner, wrap it in paper towels to absorb moisture, and store it in the refrigerator’s produce drawer.
- Peel and slice carrots, cucumbers, celery, bell peppers, and other raw vegetables so they can easily be included in your school lunch during the week.
make a spicy seed mix
I love adding crunch to almost everything. Sometimes it’s just a handful of chopped nuts and seeds, but I love having his mix of spicy seeds in my fridge that I can sprinkle on everything from salads to bowls to vegetables. side. It just gives a little something, right?
This recipe is very adaptable with whatever seeds, nuts, or spices you have on hand. Sometimes I add maple or orange zest to make it a little sweeter, but today I will add sea salt and cilantro to make it savory. Here’s what I do:
- Add pumpkin seeds, sliced almonds, and sunflower seeds to a small sauté pan. Toast on low heat until fragrant, add sesame seeds, a pinch of sugar and salt, and coriander.
- Toast until slightly golden, then transfer to mason jars and store in the refrigerator.