#momhacks - Meal Prepping & Planning
Updated: Nov 18, 2020
There are many benefits to meal planning like saving time and money, promoting portion control and healthy eating, while also minimizing food waste. However, the best part is the peace of mind in not having to think about meal planning all day every day.
Incorporating meal plans and prep does not have to be a daunting task. A couple of hours on a Sunday and you will have your whole week covered. Here are some tips, tricks, and recipes to get you started:
It’s said to be the most important meal of the day but is probably the meal most likely to be skipped. Here are some tricks you can include in your plan:
- Make a batch of pancakes ahead of time and freeze. Pop them in the toaster in the morning. Breakfast is served!
- Muffins are also great for freezing. Take one out the night before to defrost. Grab it with your coffee or tea and go.
- Like a savory a.m. option? Try egg muffins or omelets. Whisk some eggs with your favorite veggies, cheese, or meat and either divide into a muffin tin and bake or make 2-3 omelets and cut into halves. Add a piece of toast for a warm, comforting start to your day.
Salad in a Jar
Make your salads up to a week ahead following these steps using the salad in a jar method:
-Get a few mason jars and start with your dressing of choice and add your remaining ingredients in layers.
-Next, add vegetables such as tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers, and onions.
-Once those are in the jar, add the ingredients you don’t want to absorb the dressing and moisture like beans, chickpeas, corn, or broccoli.
-Then drop in some hardboiled egg and/or cheese. If you like a little girth to your salad, now would also a good time to add rice, quinoa, or pasta.
-Finally, add your salad greens and seal.
Try this Turkey Cobb Salad for a fresh and portable lunch option.
Yes, prep those too! It will help control the urge to binge if you are changing your eating habits. Try making your own trail mix with your favorite nuts, dried fruit, granola, pretzels, etc. Get snack-sized zip-lock bags and fill them up. Grab one and toss it in your bag to take the edge off when you're ready to abandon the healthy eating ship. Another option is pre-cut vegetables or pita chips with this Roasted Red Pepper and Garlic Hummus.
So, we have all heard of the one-pot meal, but how about a sheet pan meal? For instance, place seasoned chicken breasts, vegetables, and potatoes (cut into wedges on a cookie sheet and roast in the oven. Divide between containers for a healthy dinner ready to heat and eat.
Soups and Stews
Fall is here and Winter is approaching. Soups, stews, and chili are making their appearances. They provide another option for meal prep plans. Try making this Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili and add a cup with your Salad in a Jar for lunch or dinner. Another tip is to prepare your favorite crockpot recipes ahead of time. Put all the ingredients into a freezer-safe bag. When you're ready, dump the ingredients into the crockpot, turn it on, and let it do the work.
If the idea of meal prepping seems overwhelming, start with the one meal that jams up your day. If the time and cost of eating lunch out every day have become a burden, make that the first meal you try. If you stay consistent before you know it, you'll have formed a new healthy, budget-friendly, time-saving habit.
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