I like to keep my meals simple. Sure, it's fun every once in a while to find a complex recipe to make. But during a busy work week, I don't have time for that. I don't have time for a lot of things. So when it comes to my meals, I prep them mainly on Sundays and keep them rather simple. Most people I know don't have hours to spend in the kitchen each day. Prepping meals in advance frees up time for something else. Plus it ensures that something healthy is ready to go when it's needed.
I make sure to dedicate a few hours each Sunday to meal prepping. I also set aside some time on Wednesdays after work to stock up on groceries and do a small prep if needed. This isn't so bad for me since I'm not feeding a large family. But I imagine it gets more challenging with the more mouths you have to feed.
Meal prepping is great because it lets me spend way less time in the kitchen each week. It also helps me to eat healthier and stay on track with health goals. The best part is that I save money. I have food prepped to take to work each day, so I'm not going out for lunch and spending money on take out. It's great that I work so close to quite a few decent food options, like Chipotle for example. But if I were to spend around $7.00-10.00 each day, my bank account would surely take a hit.
Here are some tips to help you prep healthier meals each week:
1. Plan out what you'll make. Like I said, I keep it really simple. I plan to have a protein, vegetable (or a few), some healthy fat, and a healthy carb at each meal. I make a grocery list as I plan, and then I head to the store on Sunday mornings and stick to my list.
2. Batch cook. I have no idea how I survived meal prep without my Instant Pot. I've been using this thing for nearly 5 years and I get so much use out of it. There are a few cookbooks I use for inspiration with simple meal prep recipes perfect for batch cooking. They're Cook Once, Eat All Week by Cassy Joy Garcia and The Healthy Meal Prep Instant Pot Cookbook by Carrie Forrest.
3. Have the right tools. I love Pyrex dishes. They're great to have around when I'm prepping meals. I cook my food and then fill a bunch of Pyrex dishes. It's also important to have good knifes, cutting boards, and bakeware as well. Having a Vitamix has really helped me prep meals quickly also.
Some of my favorite meals are easy to prep. For example, I go to the farmer's market most Saturdays and buy meat from a local farmer who raises grass-fed cattle. I love cooking brisket in my Instant Pot. It takes about 90 minutes with a little bit of broth and some spices. While it's pressure-cooking, I steam some cauliflower and roast some garlic for roasted garlic cauliflower mash. Then I'll chop up some veggies and sauté them in ghee. I make at least enough for three meals. I may also chop up some sweet potatoes and bake them in the oven while the other stuff is being prepped. Stir fry is another easy prep meal. So are lettuce wraps. After a while, you'll discover what you like and what can save you the most money and time in the kitchen. And you'll wonder why you didn't start planning and prepping your meals in advance sooner.