Meal Prep Hacks that will save you time and money!
Doing a little bit of meal prep can save you a ton of time in the kitchen, hours of clean up and help you eat better!
I am going to show you a few ways to use just a little bit of meal prep to simplify your life and get you making and eating healthy meals …even if you don’t think you have the time. Start out small, and eventually you will be a meal prep whiz!
- Always think beyond your next meal instead of cooking in the moment. If you are cutting lettuce or veggies up for a salad, cut up enough for the entire week so that you have them on hand and ready to go.
- Make extra portions at supper time to pack for lunch the next day.
Use 1 cooked component per meal. A cooked component is an ingredient that you can use that is already cooked and ready to go for use in your meal. This may be an ingredient that you have cooked previously and stored in the freezer for later use.
For example: Cooked shredded chicken can be made in the slow cooker from using chicken breasts. Use some for your recipes for that week and portion and freeze the rest for later use. Shredded chicken can be used in a large variety of recipes! Making a freezer inventory list is a great way to remember what you have in your freezer!
Another cooked component could be your grains or starches. Did you know you can cook quinoa, whole wheat pasta, and brown rice ahead of time and freeze it! This is a great time saver, and less dishes to clean!
Here are two examples of some quick healthy meal ideas that can be made in minutes using cooked components.
- Kale and Quinoa salad: Kale, chicken, tomatoes, feta (salad dressing of choice) In this recipe the chicken is your cooked component and veggies can be cut up and ready to go from a previous meal.
- Chicken and pesto pasta salad: Pasta with pesto sauce and chicken mixed in. Here is a chance to use 2 cooked components! The shredded chicken and pasta can both be made ahead and frozen.
It is a total time saver when you have some of your ingredients prepped in advance. Thinking ahead to your next meal and how you can use leftovers from one meal to carry over to another meal are great ways to get started with meal prep.