Meal Prepping 101

Easy Vegetarian Meal Prep

One of my New Year’s resolutions is to start meal prepping. Week one was a fail, but week two I’m on it! I’m also committing to making longer pins (supposedly they are more popular on Pinterest) even though I really hate computers and graphic design.  What are your resolutions? If one of them is meal prepping you’re at the right place!

Meal prepping is not about making perfect looking food. As you can see from the picture above, I dug out random scraps of onion and half eaten brown banana from the depths of my refrigerator. Meal prepping is about being prepared when hunger strikes! The reason so many people find it hard to eat healthy is because they don’t have the time or energy to cook when they get home from a hard day of work. I don’t know about you, but when I’m hungry I can not make a good decision and I just want to eat everything in site. Stale chips on the counter? yes! Leftover Christmas candy? Bring It.

In order to avoid inhaling Doritos one must be prepared with a yummy (yet healthy) snack. If you are new to food prepping I recommend starting out with one healthy snack food, one protein, one whole grain starch, and some type of fruit or veggie (ideally both)! Prepping fruit can be just as simple as washing it ahead of time. Here’s what I made and the order in which I made it.

Sweet Potato Banana Bites from The Lean Green Beansweet-potato-bites-7

Pinto Beans (recipe from the bag )

Homemade Protein Bars from Me!Homemade Protein Bars

Roasted Vegetables (carrots, daikon, broccoli, red and white onion, garlic) See tips from Real Living Nutritionveg

Quick Cooking Brown Rice from Trader Joe’s

Washed and Sliced Strawberries

This whole shebang took me just under two hours! And I will say, almost everything turned out super great! The veggies are slightly over cooked but have the perfect flavor. The protein bars are the bomb! I’m so happy to eat this snack every single time! My only problem is with the beans. They seem kinda hard. Even though I cooked them over 2 hours, whats up? I’ve always been a canned beans type of person so this is new territory for me. So I lied just a little, everything except the beans were done in under two hours.

Here are just a few tips I learned a long the way…

  1. Please put your hair in a pony tail before you start, or a man bun, whatever suits your fancy. I think years (okay weeks) of wearing a hairnet in commercial kitchens really scared me of stray hairs in my food.
  2. Wear an apron, I know it’s old-school and seem’s kind of Beaver Cleaver (not sure sure if this is the correct reference) but it makes things so much easier! You can wipe your hands on it, you can carry a spoon, all while keeping your shirt clean!
  3. You’re going to need at least 3 timers. Don’t forget to use them! Because burnt food is the pits!
  4. Put on some sweet jams and rock out while you cook/prep.

Vegetarian Meal Prep

If you are one of those people that just really needs meat in your life, here are some more animal protein ideas for meal prep!

Hard Boil Eggs

Simple Shredded Chicken by Mom to Mom Nutrition (Uses a Slow Cooker)

Teriyaki Turkey Meatballs by Your Choice Nutrition

Slow-Cooker Hawaiian BBQ Pulled Pork By Chocolate Slopes

Tell me, do you meal prep? Would you like to see more meal prepping posts? Do you know how to cook beans better than I do? How are your resolutions going so far? I would love to hear from you!



3 thoughts on “Meal Prepping 101

  1. I meal prep every Sunday! I plan my weekly menu and I shop. I grill some chicken (and/or salmon) and use my scale to separate it into 3 oz portions. Then, I roast vegetables for the week. I make a couple of sweet potatoes for myself and some for Jimmy to eat, because they are so soft. I boil some eggs. Hard boiled eggs are my easy grab for a snack or part of my lunch. I love them with raw spinach and tomato. Sometimes, I make brown rice in the slow cooker. I prep a can of black beans into lunch portions if I am having them.Keep salsa ready too. I also chop tons of different fruit and raw veggies and put them in an easy to grab bowl or bag in fridge. Keep some lemons and limes sliced up in the fridge to grab instead of salad dressing. If you want, just add a little olive oil, garlic (also keep chopped in fridge) and s&p. I also make sure that I plan for a dessert or a sweet snack in the house that is a better choice than just whatever I find. Lately, it is frozen pineapple chunks and frozen berries. I put them in a bowl and eat them when the are still mostly frozen. Seems to keep me from going for junk. Soup is another great thing. I make a ton of it and then we all can have it during the week and you can make it as healthy as you want. I love good bread. I keep really good, yummy bread on hand and have that with my soup. I am going to be happy if I have made an allowance for good bread! Sorry for the long response. This is just my best change I made in the last year. It is healthy, cost effective and keeps me motivated for the week ahead. Oh yeah, one more thing, I like to go out to lunch once a week. When are we going?!

    1. Haha wow! Sounds like you are on it! Maybe you should be blogging about food prep?? Or you can guest post, haha. I can go any day this week!

  2. Love those bars, so good for a fast breakfast. The veggies I could eat like candy and so much more filling and better for you!

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