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HEALTHY MEAL PREP FOR THE HECTIC WEEK AHEAD IN 30 MINUTES OR LESS

Nina Caron, MS/HUMAN NUTRITION, ACSM-CERTIFIED PERSONAL TRAINER

It is often overwhelming to think about meal preparation when an intensely busy week looms ahead.  However, strategic, efficient food prep on a weekend day will help ensure “clean eating” for the week and save you lots of time and money. No more overly frequent visits to the grocery store or rides to pick up “takeout”.  Instead, carve out a 30-minute chunk of your Sunday to prep for a week of tasty, healthy snacks and meals!

  1. ESTABLISH AN “EAT CLEAN” GROCERY LIST.  Make sure to keep certain essentials on hand.  The truth is that healthy meal prep starts in with an “essentials” list.   It is about “smart” shopping and stocking.  I have provided The “EAT-CLEAN” grocery list for your review.
  2. SHOP WITH SHORTCUTS IN MIND.  Let’s face it…..some weeks are crazier than others.  Try and look for already-prepped convenience items like microwaveable brown rice, sliced veggies, prepared salad or cut-up fruit or sliced chicken.  FYI….BUTCHER BOY has a great variety of these items.  The quality is great.
  3. BE RECIPE SAVVY.  Try to find recipes you can prep once and use several times over the course of the week ahead.  For example, try making an easy clean-up sheet pan meal or cook a batch of roasted vegetables that can be used in several different wrap or taco recipes or over a baked potato.
  4. WRITE DOWN A QUICK PREP TO-DO LIST in order to stay focused and organized. 

EXAMPLES OF WHAT YOU CAN PREP IN 5 MINUTES:

  • Chop up veggies for snack or for recipes (onions, peppers, sweet potatoes)
  • Rinse and store your lettuce, fresh herbs, etc
  • Make a vinaigrette or light dressings for salads
  • Assemble grab & go bags for snacks (nuts, trail mix, homemade bars)

EXAMPLES OF WHAT YOU CAN PREP IN 15 MINUTES:

  • Prepare a salad or a dip for the week
  • Prepare smoothie freezer packs
  • Cook a bunch of hard-boiled eggs
  • Cook a batch of overnight oats and divide into containers

EXAMPLES OF 30-MINUTE MEAL PREP:

  • Prepare a batch of quinoa or brown rice
  • Chop/steam/roast green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, etc. Broccoli and Balsamic Mushrooms recipe.
  • Cook quality sources of protein like chicken, fish, grass-fed beef, tofu
  • Cook a large batch of oatmeal over the stove or in a slow cooker.
Meal Prep

SHEET PAN COOKING can be a huge time saver.  The following are a few tips to ensure that your “sheet pan” meal turns out as delectable as possible!

7 TIPS FOR PERFECT SHEET PAN

Add in stages.  Foods of varying sizes and densities will take different lengths of time to cook.   Cook meats first, then add hearty veggies and then the greener veggies last.

Position Wisely.  Place whole proteins in the center of the sheet pan and scatter the veggies on the sides.

Aim for Uniform Sizes.  Cut veggies to the same size/shape.  Find precut meats of same thickness.

Preheat the pan.  Place the baking sheet in the oven as it preheats to create a sizzling surface for the food; this will create a browned crust.

Keep Moisture Out.  Excess water makes it harder to brown and cook the food.  Pat meat and rinsed veggies dry before cooking.

Don’t Overcrowd.  Allow room on the pan for air to circulate around the food.

Test Meats.  It is difficult to tell when meats are done on a sheet pan.  If possible, take their temp with a meat thermometer.

PORTION PERFECT MEAL PREP CONTAINERS.  These containers make meal prep so easy and help to reinforce portion control.

Here is the link:  https://www.amazon.com/PORTION-Containers-Portion-WARRANTY…/B01DBATDL2