Me too! If you ate a piece of key lime pie for breakfast [yep…I’ll admit it] or you’re fed up with mac and cheese for lunch and the half-hearted-last-minute-dinner-making-scramble let’s change that.
It’s time to spend an hour in your kitchen whipping up 15 meals [healthy meals nonetheless].
Whatttt?! Yes, it’s possible!
We’ll start with a few of your favorite ingredients and build meals around them.
For instance – let’s say you like tofu. What can you make with it? Tofu egg scramble, tofu blueberry smoothies, tofu and veggie quiche, tofu veggie soup, french toast, tofu and veggie stir fry, etc. You get the idea.
Brainstorm a list of every meal you can make with certain provisions then pick a few to build your meal prep around.
Take stock of the ingredients in your fridge in pantry. Have a bunch of veggies on hand that could be used in main dishes, side dishes, or snacks? What can you prep in advanced?
How about meats, beans, and grains? Could any of those be cooked ahead of time?
Could breakfast smoothie ingredients be stored in jars in the fridge and then be combined with milk/yogurt and honey before blending?
These are the ingredients I prepped for meals in one hour:
- Sweet Potatoes
Washed, Sliced or Chopped:
- Bananas [sliced, placed flat on a tray, froze, transferred to freezer bag]
- Turkey Kielbasa
- Cheese [shredded it]
- Ground Beef
- Cannellini Beans
- Grits [combined with onions + cheese + spices then spread in glass dish and refrigerated]
Other ingredients already on hand:
- Tortillas [corn and flour]
- Salsa [jar]
- Spaghetti Sauce [jar]
- Peanut Butter
- Frozen Fruits
- Flax Meal
- Unsweetened Coconut
- Cocoa Powder
The best thing about this process is that you’re never locked into certain meals on certain days. You can mix and match ingredients and even swap meal ideas at the last minute.
And since most things are already prepped or pre-cooked whipping a meal together will only take about 5 to 10 minutes. Yes, there still might be some baking or ‘crockpot’ time involved for certain meals but this process will streamline your cooking flow!
Here’s what I can make from the ingredients I prepped:
- Fried Grit Cakes [sauté a slice of cold grits in a little butter] Scrambled Eggs
- Egg and Spinach Omelet
- Kielbasa, Egg, and Veggie Breakfast Burrito
- Smoothies [1– oats, cocoa powder, flax meal, coconut, pecans, honey, bananas, milk.
2– oranges, canned pineapple, frozen peaches, spinach, yogurt. 3– beets, spinach, pistachios, flax meal, cinnamon, frozen berries, honey, milk.]
- Sautéed Beans and Veggies
- Sweet Potato Quesadilla
- Beans and Rice with Salsa
- Fried Grit Cakes and Spinach Salad with Nuts
- Beet Grilled Cheese
- Spaghetti [or baked spaghetti] and Veggie
- Tacos and Veggie
- Kielbasa Rice with Salsa
- Chili and Veggie
- Spinach Stuffed Shells
- Celery and Peanut Butter
- Frozen Bananas
- Start some dish water before you begin prepping.
- Make room in the fridge for prepped ingredients.
- Set out all utensils, storage containers, and ingredients you’d like to prep on the counter.
- Use all your stovetop burners, if needed.
- Chop/slice veggies and fruit in a sensible order. Meaning — cut your non messy bananas first, juicy watermelon second. Chop all veggies and save the onion for last [that way the rest of your veggies won’t taste like onions].
- Cook ingredients in a sensible order too. Can you use a pan twice? Sauté onions for the grit cakes then use the same pan for the ground beef. Ta-dah!
- Prep the ingredients that need to be cooked, first. That way they can cook/bake while you’re chopping and slicing other items.
- Place your healthy snack ingredients at eye level in the fridge. When you’re looking for a snack they’ll be the first thing you set eyes on.
- Feeling burnt out on a certain ingredient? Pop it in the freezer (if it’s freezable) and use it later in the month.
- If you have a huge family it might take a little longer to prep larger quantities of ingredients.
- Kitchen Fellowshiper, Laura, recommends Amazon Grocery for certain hard to find healthy ingredients.