Preparing your meals for the day or week is an easy way to eat healthy without spending too much time in the kitchen. If you think that pre-prepared meals aren’t as enjoyable as fresh-cooked meals, maybe you’re just not doing them right! Here are some cool ideas to help you do your healthy, easy meal prep the right way:
Marinade Your Meat
Throw your meat into a vinegar and oil-based marinade for a few hours before heading out the door for the day. When you get home, your meat will be super tender, juicy, and flavorful, and it will cook much faster. You’ll find that a marinade takes two minutes to throw together, but can turn any meal into a total feast.
Make Salad Dressing for the Week
Instead of having to buy salad dressing, simply make your own using vinegar, olive oil, mustard, and a bit of honey with salt and black pepper for flavor. You can try it with soy sauce-based dressings, vinaigrettes, or pretty much any other flavor combinations you want. Put the salad dressing in a mason jar, shake it around, and store it in the fridge all week long. All you have to do is shake it up again and it’s ready to eat!
Soft Boil Eggs
If you want a quick and easy protein that should last you all week long, spend a few minutes on Sunday night soft-boiling eggs. Wait until the water boils, then place them in that boiling water for exactly 7 minutes before draining them and running them under cold water. Not only will this cook them to the perfect doneness, but it will make them easy to peel. Leave the eggs in their shells and enjoy them all week long.
Chop All Your Ingredients
If you want to make meal prep easy during the week, take the time to chop your hard vegetables—onions, bell peppers, carrots, celery, garlic, and ginger—in advance. These veggies will last a long time in airtight containers, and you can easily pull them out of the fridge to cook them up quickly for a healthy meal. For leafy greens, you’re better off cutting them when you need them.
Cook Your Sausages
Instead of having to cook sausages on the day you want to eat them, spend a few minutes on the weekend searing an entire pack of your favorite smokeys, franks, or brats. Store them in a container in the fridge and have them ready to pull out if you need something quick to add to a sandwich or a bit of protein to suppress your appetite during the day. They’re easy to re-heat or you can eat them cold—either way, they’re absolutely delicious!
Use Your Slow Cooker
You’d be amazed by how little effort goes into making a meal in the slow cooker. You can literally throw your entire portion of meat into the cooker, add the spices of your choice, throw in some diced onions and garlic, and press “Cook”. Once the meat is soft and juicy, you can eat it as is, chop it up for tacos, or mix in some veggies. A slow cooker is your best friend if you want a ready-made meal to come home to.
Soak Your Legumes
Soaking legumes overnight will make them cook much faster, especially beans! You can even soak them in the same pot or slow cooker you’re going to cook them in, then switch them on in the morning while you get ready for work. With an hour or two of cook time after a night of soaking, they’ll be soft and ready to eat.