Making meals for the week is one of those things that’s easier said than done. You want it to be healthy, easy, and delicious but you also don’t want to spend a ton of time in the kitchen. And let’s be honest: If you’re eating the same side dishes over and over again, it can get old fast.
That’s why I’m going to show you how to master big-batch meal prep so you can make several days’ worth of healthy eats at once. It’s not only a great way to save time (and therefore money), but also a great way to ensure that your meals are always interesting and exciting. Even better? These tips will help eliminate waste and ensure that nothing goes bad before it’s appointed time on your plate.
Don’t Be Afraid of Good Fat
Don’t be afraid of good fat. The idea that fat is bad, but your bodies must function. Good fats can be found in nuts, avocados, and olive oil like these premium olive oil brands. They are essential for heart health and brain function; they even help keep you looking young! Many studies show that people who eat more healthy fats lose more weight than those who don’t eat them. So next time you’re making your meal prep list as part of your big-batch cooking week, make sure there are some delicious avocado toast or nut butter sandwiches on there.
Replace Rice with Quinoa
Quinoa is a good source of protein and fiber. It’s also high in magnesium, which helps with sleep. Many people are gluten-sensitive and can’t eat rice or other grains that contain it. Quinoa is easy to find, you can buy it for quinoa wholesale at your local store and quinoa is one of the best substitutes for rice because it’s gluten-free. It has more iron than any other grain, so it’s great for building red blood cells and keeping you feeling energized all day long.
Choose Grass-fFd Beef and Butter
Natural grass fed beef is higher in omega-3 fatty acids, CLA, and other nutrients and also contains a higher amount of beta-carotene (30% more than conventional grain-fed). It also contains vitamin E, selenium, zinc, and B vitamins. These nutrients are essential for healthy brain function and development, as well as fighting off free radicals that can cause cancer.
Grass-fed beef is lower in fat and cholesterol than grain-fed meat because it has less saturated fat (5%), more monounsaturated fat (29%) and less polyunsaturated fats overall compared to conventional grain-fed meat which has around 28% total fat content compared to only 5% saturated fat levels found in grass-fed beef! Eating too much-saturated fat can increase your risk of heart disease but this isn’t an issue when you eat moderate amounts of lean meats like grass-fed cuts like flank steak or sirloin steaks once per week at most.
Use the cauliflower love trick
- Use cauliflower to replace rice or potatoes in any meal. Cauliflower has a similar texture to rice, but it’s lower in calories and carbs. Try this recipe for Cauliflower Fried Rice that uses cauliflower instead of white rice!
- Try adding a few tablespoons of coconut oil when you’re cooking your veggies as an alternative to olive oil. Coconut oil is high in lauric acid which has been shown to help reduce cholesterol levels, boost immune function and fight infections such as colds and flu.
- Use ghee instead of butter when making mashed potatoes or if you’re sautéing broccoli or carrots in the oven (it won’t burn!). Ghee tastes delicious over steamed veggies too!
Eat your steak medium rare instead of well done.
- Eat your steak medium rare instead of well done.
- If you’re cooking a large piece of meat, then cook it for about two to three minutes per side. If the meat is thin, like chicken breast or fish fillets, then cook them for about one minute on each side. You should also test the doneness by cutting off a small corner and slicing it open before serving (be sure not to overcook).
- Rare: Pink in the center with a raw red layer visible just beneath the surface and very little give when pressed with tongs or fork.
- Medium rare: Light pink throughout with the surface being bright red and soft but still firm or semi-firm.
- Medium: Appears brownish throughout but slightly pink around edges where juices haven’t yet penetrated; juices will run clear when cut into.
If you don’t eat meat, focus on other protein sources.
If you don’t eat meat, focus on other protein sources. It’s important to get enough protein in your diet, and it’s also good to know that vegetarian and vegan options are available for most of these recipes. For example:
- Make a big batch of quinoa (or other whole grains) with lentils or beans.
- Make a big batch of roasted vegetables with tofu or tempeh (vegan).
- Use peas as a salad base instead of lettuce; toss them with sunflower seeds!
Avoid coconut oil when stir-frying vegetables.
Coconut oil is a great choice for cooking, but avoid it when stir-frying vegetables. The oil is high in saturated fat and calories. Because of its strong flavor, coconut oil works well as an ingredient in baked goods or other recipes where you want to get the full coconut taste.
Instead of using coconut oil for stir-frying your veggies, opt for olive or canola oil instead. Both are healthy fats that won’t make your dish too greasy and will add great flavor to your veggies!
Have an arsenal of easy salad combos on hand
When preparing salads, keep it simple. The more ingredients you have to work with, the more likely you are to get overwhelmed and give up.
For example, start by choosing one type of lettuce (romaine has fewer calories than spinach and other greens) and then add some veggies like bell peppers or cucumbers. Then add some protein like hard-boiled eggs or canned tuna fish. Finally, dress your salad with regular olive oil vinaigrette made from scratch or store-bought dressing if necessary. You can also add crunchy elements such as nuts and seeds which will help create a better mouth feel as well as fresh herbs such as basil or parsle.
Hope these tips have helped you feel more confident about meal prepping. I know how daunting it can be to start a new lifestyle change, but with some practice and planning, you’ll be an expert in no time! Remember that while meal prep might sound intimidating at first, the process doesn’t have to take up much of your time. After all, clean eating is supposed to make life easier not harder. So get out there and start cooking up some delicious recipes that will make all your hard work worth every bite.