What makes cooking healthy meals easier? Meal prep, of course. Yet, what makes meal preparations easier? That precious commodity, time. It’s hard sometimes, however, to set aside a couple hours to prep your next few meals, but it is definitely helpful in maintaining good nutrition and promoting weight loss. So, here are a few Easy Meal Prep Shortcuts that can cut down on your time in the kitchen.
Let Your Local Grocer Do Some of the Work
Most likely there is a fully stocked selection of vegetables prepared in various ways: pre-sliced fruits, steamed beets, spiralized zucchini, pre-chopped mirepoix (onions, celery, and carrots), and more. These items are usually more expensive than doing the legwork yourself, but can really cut down on prep time.
Like many of us, you probably head straight to the pre-portioned packages of meat. Yet the butcher counter at your local grocery store can help you out in other ways. For instance, they can give you the exact amount that you need so that there’s no need for you to spend time adjusting recipes. They can also help you prep your meat sometimes, like removing bones or cutting the meat into cubes or strips.
This is where you will find rotisserie chicken. It can be a lifesaver! It’s healthy and very versatile. Typically yielding 3-5 cups of chicken that can be used in salads, soups, wraps and more. A rotisserie chicken can also be a handy fall back meal on those nights when you get home late or are just too tired. Pair it with a simple bagged salad, whole grain bread, and you’ve got yourself a meal.
Frozen foods have gotten a bad rap, and while this may be the case for some selections, there are also many healthy options that will make your cooking easier. Frozen veggies and fruit can be a great value and even come in a variety of ways such as, diced and riced. Veggies and fruits are frozen at the peak of ripeness with no hidden salt or sugar that are in many canned alternatives.
In the Kitchen
Invest in good food/meal containers. Not only can these storage units be handy with different sizes and sections, but they will help make your food stay fresher longer, meaning less time and money wasted shopping for more. Look for BPA free containers.
Lettuce, celery, and carrots can be prepped ahead of time (as with most veggies that’ll be used within the week). Just wash, dry, chop and store in a zip bag or container. It’s important that the items are dry and sealed up airtight.
If you buy fresh berries, then wash them with 1 part apple cider vinegar and three parts water, then refrigerate. Not only do prepping these ahead of time leave you prepared for meals, but it also helps your produce to keep fresher, longer.
Repurpose Leftovers. Tired of looking at those same leftovers? Find new ways to utilize them. For instance, a frittata is a healthy way to use up all of the leftover veggies and odd bits in the fridge. See what’s in there and get creative.
Get friendly with your slow cooker or Instant Pot. These gadgets can significantly cut down on your “hands-on” cook time. You can make things even easier by prepping and combining all of the ingredients ahead of time in a bowl, covering, refrigerating and then throwing it all into your slow cooker the next day.
Try a buffet-style prep. Buffet meal preps consist of preparing each ingredient of a meal separately and then combining them in new ways during the week. This type of prep gives you the time-saving benefits of meal prep, without committing upfront to what those components will build.
For example, you could prepare two different proteins, a few roasted veggies, a sauce or dressing, and some rice. These can be put together in different combinations like a rice bowl, salad, or wrap, very quickly during the week.
Make a big batch of sauce. Whether its a pesto, marinara, chimichurri, sofrito, or olive tapenade, make 1 – 2 sauces over the weekend to mix in with different proteins and/or veggies throughout the week to add a new flavor profile.
Prepping your meals for the week can seem overwhelming, but just taking a little time to make a plan with your nutritionist, writing a grocery list and implementing a few Easy Meal Prep Shortcuts can help you succeed.
Are you looking for help with weight loss in the Charlotte area? Not sure if you need the help of a nutritionist? Contact us today for your Free Consultation to learn how you could live a healthier lifestyle, lose weight, gain energy and so much more.
We have 4 locations in the Charlotte area to help meet your nutritional needs and we also offer convenient remote services. Total Nutrition Technology has been recognized as one of the top Charlotte Dietetics practices and is verified by Opencare.com.
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TNT’s comprehensive approach addresses the entire individual and their needs. We start with an extensive interview, evaluation and assessment. This is followed by a custom-built nutrition plan and exercise guidelines ensuring it fits both their lifestyle and dietary objectives.
Total Nutrition Technology has been recognized as one of the top Charlotte Dietetics practices. Verified by Opencare.com