My "meal-prep" staples
Hi friends! Happy Thursday. Today I wanted to share my fridge and pantry staples, and how I meal-prep for the week. First things first, let's set the stage - I don't LOVE cooking enough to want to spend a whole day of my weekend cooking for the week ahead. SO, I've developed some strategies within the past year that really save me time in the kitchen that I wanted to share! Let's get into it!
Shop on Friday // Don't be afraid of ordering: My first tip is that my husband and I have switched to 1) shopping on Friday night (if we don't have any other obligations) or 2) using Insta-cart for grocery delivery. I've actually always LOVED grocery shopping, but I've come to terms in the past couple of months that some weeks, it just isn't an efficient use of my time (I have a lot of other things I'd much rather be working on than battling my way through Whole Foods). So, if we have a lot of weekend plans/or are out of town for the weekend, often I'll do a grocery order from Insta-cart on our trip home. If we go shopping on Friday instead, it's always less crowded and there is still a great selection.
Must-haves: I also wanted to share my absolute meal-prep must-haves each week that reduce my cooking time. This doesn't include my pantry staples that we always have on hand such as flours, sugars, spices, almond milks, etc. but I always keep these items in my freezer/fridge and can easily make a quick meal at any point during the week. Keeping these items in the fridge makes for an efficient meal-prep!
- Frozen sweet potatoes (I pick these up at Whole Foods)
- Frozen peas, spinach, and carrots
- Baby potatoes
- Organic broccoli or brussel sprouts
- Shredded broccoli slaw & shredded carrots
- Pre-cut peppers from the chop shop at Whole Foods
- Organic eggs
- One protein for the week (we usually do either organic chicken, organic pork, or salmon), a lot of times we will freeze and de-thaw when needed
- One sauce (typically tahini or hummus)
- In-season fruit - we always pick up bananas and clementines, but have been subbing in strawberries in recent weeks
- Organic brown rice
Spend a couple hours to set yourself up: In all honesty, my meal prep for the week is NEVER more than a couple of hours, and I find that allocating this time pays dividends during the week. In those couple of hours I roast veggies (usually sweet potatoes, broccoli, and brussel sprouts), make a quick broccoli slaw, prep a quick sauce (tahini or hummus), throw rice in the rice-maker, and roast or cook the protein for the week. I never look forward to prepping food by any means, but I find that if I put on a good podcast and zone out, I'm actually really efficient and have food ready to go for the week. My husband also loves to cook, so between the two of us we divide and conquer.
If you're feeling really crazy, plan for a mid-week meal: One area that I really struggle in is planning far enough ahead so that when I shop for groceries on Friday, I'm picking up ingredients for a mid-week dinner. One tip that's helped me out is to buy some frozen meats on Thrive. That way, the only additional items I need to pick up are veggies/starches.
Is this always a perfect formula for every week? Of course not. There's a lot of weeks where I'm not prepared, or not super excited by the food I'm eating. But that's ok - it's all a learning process!
Do you have any meal-prep tips that save the day for you? Would love to hear!