With family, work and hobbies taking up most of our time, it can be really hard to want to set time aside to prep our meals for the week. But just think about how much time you can save by not having to cook up a hot meal each night! The amount of prep you do, depends on how many meals you want to prep and how many days ahead you’d like prepared.
Kitchen items you’ll want to have when meal prepping:
- A scale
- Pan for sauteing vegetables
- Baking pan for meat and potatoes
- Foil to line pan
- Pan spray
- Herbs and seasonings
Protein options to cook in a batch:
- Chicken or turkey breast
- Ground beef (meatballs or burger patties)
- Boiled eggs
Things like fish and steak I’d personally recommend cooking on the spot or when you know you will eat them within 3 days.
Starch options to cook in batches:
- Overnight oats
- Sweet potatoes
- Whole wheat pasta
Typically these items take 15 minutes to cook, but if prepped ahead of time they can be ready in 1 minute!
Vegetable options to cook in batches:
- Green beans
- Brussels sprouts
- Zucchini and squash
- Sugar snap peas
Things like spinach, kale, romaine lettuce and cucumbers I recommend prepping on the spot for freshness.
Fruits don’t typically need prepped, you can just grab and go!
My favorite easy, healthy snack options include:
- Cottage cheese
- Greek yogurt
- Almonds, walnuts, etc.
- Protein bars (Pure Protein is my favorite)
- Protein shakes
- Boiled eggs
- Hummus with vegetables
- Peanut or almond butter
- Brown rice cakes
- Poultry needs to be at 165 degrees for 3 minutes to kill off bacteria
- Fish needs to be at 145 degrees or until flesh is opaque and separates easily
- Eggs should be cooked until yolks and whites are firm
- Fresh steaks, veal, lamb needs to be at 145 degrees for 3 minutes
- Always wash fruits and vegetables before cutting so that any germs on the skin don’t seep into the meat of the fruit or vegetable.
- Hamburger and other ground meats – 1 to 2 days in the fridge, 3 to 4 months in the freezer
- Fresh poultry – 1 to 2 days in the fridge, 1 year in the freezer
- Fish – 1 to 2 days in the fridge, 3 to 8 months in the freezer
- Cooked meat or poultry – 3 to 4 days in the fridge, 2 to 6 months in the freezer
I hope this post gave you some ideas, and makes prepping meals a little easier. The key to meal prepping is knowing what you’re going to be eating 3-7 days ahead of time. If you’re someone who likes variety I suggest switching up your seasonings or making things semi-plain so that you can add them to different recipe ideas.