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4/8/19 5:03 P

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Honestly, my favorite tip for meal prepping is to invest in some good containers (I like the glass Pyrex lidded containers), and to "cook ahead" - make whatever you're going to make for dinner, but keep things relatively separate, then package as a "meal" right after dinner.

For example, Saturday night I had meal-planned to make Greek chicken, with a follow-up to make Chicken Tikka Masala on Sunday.

On Saturday, I fired up the grill, and cracked open a family pack of chicken breasts. I pounded them all flat, marinated half of them with the Greek Chicken marinade, and just seasoned the other half with regular season salt. I grilled all of them, then set each batch to rest on separate plates. We had some of the Greek chicken for dinner, but I had made enough tzatziki (yogurt sauce), pita, and sliced veggies to match the excess Greek Chicken.

When dinner was over, I packed up two single servings of the Greek chicken, veggies, and tzatziki, including putting the pita in bags. Two lunches down.

I put the regular grilled chicken in the fridge over night. The next morning, I assembled the Masala sauce in the morning so it could simmer all day. When it was time for dinner, I thawed out some brown rice (for me), made some white rice (for DH - the kids don't like rice), cut up all of the chicken, put some of it in the sauce (one kid doesn't like masala sauce), and steamed a bunch of broccoli.

After that dinner, I packed up two individual servings of chicken tikka masala over rice and broccoli. Two more lunches down.

Tonight we'll have leftovers - I'll probably choose the chicken tikka since I had Greek chicken for lunch, though I might decide to throw some of the regular grilled chicken on a pita with some goat cheese and olives, toast it, and top with tomatoes and lettuce.

Tomorrow night I'm making tacos, and I always make more lettuce than we'll need, and then pack up a taco salad.

Wednesday is usually breakfast for dinner at our house to give the more picky members of our family at least one night a week besides Friday pizzas when they know for sure they'll get something they like (typically omelettes or eggs with toast and fruit). The kids can make their own eggs and toast, and I just buy pre-cut fruit, so I don't really count this as a "cooking" night when I'm just making myself something quick.

Thursday we'll be having leftovers again, which could mean literally just the same thing reheated, but more typically means something like nachos with leftover taco meat and cheese, or a fajitas with leftover chicken and some freshly-cooked peppers and onions, or fried rice with leftover rice, veggies, and a protein.

Five lunches and dinners for the week from three nights of cooking completely from scratch, just cooking ahead a little by making extra chicken, rice, etc. It doesn't actually take any more time (my main issue with meal prepping in the past has been the need to set aside a big chunk of time on a precious weekend), and since I'm packing meals when I'm not hungry, right after dinner, I tend to make better choices.

Take life one day at a time - enjoy today before you worry about tomorrow.

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4/3/19 9:00 A

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Real Simple magazine usually has a section where they give you a grocery list and then a menu of all the different dinners you make during a week with the items. They mix and match the proteins and sides and add sauces to some. Try your library for back issues.

~fit in my forties~


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4/2/19 10:15 P

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Meal prep can really be anything you want! It could totally be those soups, stews and casseroles.

The advantage to doing separate components (i.e. proteins, carbs, veggies) is that you can mix and match the different components to make all sorts of different meals throughout the week.

Pinterest is great. Do you use Instagram? There are multiple pages available there dedicated to meal prep as well. One good one I can think of is @workweeklunch, but there are plenty of others.

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4/2/19 7:18 A

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I think meal prep can be as easy or difficult as you want. I refer to SP recipes often. I have prepped ingredients for smoothies, casseroles, etc. I eat breakfast and lunch at work and evening meals three to four days per week. I tend to prep veggies and snacks first to make sure I get my 5 in a day and build from there. I've never used a resource outside of that, so I am interested to try the ones listed here. Thank you!


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MLAN613 Posts: 23,964
4/2/19 6:10 A

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I agree with Pinterest. Here are some ideas:

Meghan in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

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4/1/19 11:13 P

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I get a lot of ideas off pinterest. If you search "meal prep" you'll get a bunch of links to cooking sites and blogs, with photos of the food so it's easy to see what's on offer. Sometimes I don't bother with the links, I just make a list of foods that look appealing, or are in season right now.

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URBANREDNEK Posts: 12,672
4/1/19 6:45 P

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A personal favourite site for ideas is:

While I generally don't mind repeating things during the week, I do like at least some variety from day to day. For me, I find that batch prepping works best when I do a few pans of mixed roasted veggies (turnips, rutabaga, radishes, potatoes, squash, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, etc.); a massive pan of sauteed mixed mushrooms, onions, and celery; a few different grains (quinoa, teff, wild rice); and a few different meats (a pork loin roast, an eye of round beef roast, and a whole chicken for instance). I'll also prep a couple of different sauces (maybe an almond butter hoisin and a citrus balsamic). With everything cooked, I can then toss together completely different meals based on my mood and nutritional needs for the day - but each meal containing an assortment of veggies, protein, starch and a different sauce if I want. I also freeze everything over what we'll use in a couple of days - putting them in to individual portions, so that I have the same range of choices pulling stuff out of the freezer as I do out of the fridge.

Sir Terry Pratchett: "Science is not about building a body of known 'facts'. It is a method for asking awkward questions and subjecting them to a reality-check, thus avoiding the human tendency to believe whatever makes us feel good."

"The Inuit Paradox" (
): "...there are no essential foods—only essential nutrients. And humans can get those nutrients from diverse and eye-opening sources. "

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4/1/19 1:34 P

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Here's an article you might find helpful:

Coach Jen

"You may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing that we call "failure" is not the falling down but the staying down." Mary Pickford

"No matter how slow you go, you are still lapping everyone on the couch."
4/1/19 12:02 P

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I regularly volume cook: big pots of vegetable soup; casseroles; stews and chili. But I am interested in trying some so-called "meal prep" cooking/assembling, where portioned meals, often including a protein, vegetable and starch (for example) are assembled ahead of time to be eaten throughout the coming week.

I am going to check my library for books but I'd love to know if anyone has a favorite website (or book!) for meal prep.


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