Since I’ve been working outside of our home for the past 15 months with a very demanding & crazy schedule – meal prepping has been a saving grace for me.
Meal prepping can be super easy & small or quite elaborate… its simply up to you. We keep ours very basic, but it allows us to throw lunches or dinners together in a snap – especially when you’re starving & can devour everything not nailed down while preparing dinner. Does this sound familiar? Yes, we’ve all done it.
So in this post I’m going to cover quick & easy ideas that will keep you afloat all week long without breaking the budget for time or money. Let’s get started…
The name of the game in our house lately is to use up all of our veggies from our garden that we’ve harvested. This week we’ve been inundated with plenty of tomatoes and green peppers. Being torn between salsa or homemade marinara… Bill voted for sauce. So I roasted all of my tomatoes, peppers, onions and garlic to make a marinara that we could use for dinner one night. Click here for one of my roasted tomato sauce recipes. You can easily go this route as well with a tomato soup. Honestly roasting these veggies and blending them down… it’s such a versatile sauce to use for dipping, atop of a vegan meatball hoagie or over zucchini noodles.
I rarely use salt or oil when roasting. Maybe a slight spritz of olive or avocado oil and tons of fresh herbs from the garden are all you need. In the winter, tap into your spice cabinet and experiment.
While roasting that goodness, I will always roast up in my second oven or use your second rack in you oven, potatoes. ALL the potatoes every single week! I always do yams/sweet potatoes and Japanese sweet potatoes (always organic and unpeeled). If you roast other veggies with it, try to keep the baking sheet separated because veggies will cook at varying times. But feel free to roast as many veggies as you can! Here’s one of my favorite recipes. Cold, cooked potatoes are a wonderful prebiotic fiber source. I normally eat them in my salads cold but feel free to warm before serving if you wish. Also fabulous topped with your favorite nut butter as a snack.
So your oven is working away so let’s turn our attention to your stovetop. I’ve gone back to making my grains, mainly rice on the stove top as I cannot get the perfect texture in my instant pot for my long grain brown rice. So I will normally do one or two grains for the week. Quinoa and brown rice. We also use a ton for the dogs so double or triple the recipe if need be. Both serve as a wonderful base to curries, as a side dish, on a salad… whatever! Use the cooking instructions on the package.
Next up super simple overnight oats with chia. Ohhhhhh these are my favorite. They take NO TIME to prep and will stay perfectly in the fridge all week long. I use these jars and love the size/wide mouth opening.
My super simple recipe can be found here for this easy, healthy and delicious breakfast. Add your favorite nut butter, fresh or dried fruit in the morning.
Now for snacking… I always make a treat for the week. It’s healthy and I normally go for something portable like muffins, cookies, baked oatmeal squares etc. I have a ton of super easy recipes that can be found here. This week I was testing out a oat scone recipe I hope to be sharing in the future. Bill and my dad couldn’t get enough!
Next up… savory proteins.
So if you’re looking for some meat-free protein options great for reheating or eating cold (like me) in a big bowl of greens – I’ve got some recipes for you. I always prep tofu. Bill and I go through a ton! Here is my favorite recipe which I’ve been cooking in my air fryer. More recipes you can prep ahead can be found here, here and here. My tofu scramble makes a great meal any time!
This bbq tempeh is so easy!
Soups or stews are another super easy, one pot meal that will serve you well all week. This one pot lentil stew is so good. I just made these lentil sloppy joe’s again and they are perfect on a bun or I add a big scoop to my salad. Or this double protein vegan chili made in your instant pot for the win!
And then finally, once a month I make my own nut butter combo deal. I’ve found it very hard to find organic nut butters that aren’t super spendy so I make my own. One batch lasts us at least a month and the recipe is super flexible.
Taking the time to food prep one or two dishes at a minimum helps to make your meals easier all week long. I hope this post helps you gain some helpful tips on meal prepping. Again, it can be a small or grand as you desire. Happy weekend friends!
— Knead to Cook