Meal prepping doesn’t have to be for that Instagram mom who “does it all” or that bikini competitor. Meal prepping can be for you and your family. It doesn’t have to be overwhelming, take numerous hour in the kitchen, or fancy. My aim when I meal prep once a week is to have healthy balanced meals that don’t get boring. It’s simple, I can crank it out during nap time, and works for us. Here is what I do to meal prep as a busy mom.
To keep your family meals simple and nutritious, focus on balanced meals. I break down our family meals to proteins, fats, and carbs. Once I make a batch of each PF&C then the rest of the week can be a mix and match. Here is an example of the types of food I prep.
I pick 3-4 from each category. The following list is tailored to what foods we like and can easily be added to with your family’s favorites.
Carbs: Brown Rice, Sourdough bread, Sweet Potatoes, Potatoes, Asparagus, Zucchini, Broccoli, Green Beans, Peas, Protein Pasta, Quinoa, Chickpeas/beans of any type
Fats: Avocado, Tahini, Olives, Nuts, Seeds, Olive/Coconut Oil
You don’t need to prep fats necessarily but can come into play when deciding recipes. i.e tahini roasted chickpeas, tahini sauce for salad or protein, olives on top of protein pasta, etc.
Protein: Tempeh, Tofu, Beans, Lentils, Seitan, Hummus. For Shane, I will sometimes make him an oily fish of some sort or something else that sounds good to him. Otherwise, these protein options are what we all eat.
From here I mix and match my chosen 3-4 from each category. i.e. Let’s say for our carbs I chose: Brown Rice, Sweet Potatoes, Chickpeas, and Asparagus. For fats: tahini, coconut oil, and avocado. And for Protein: Tofu, Tempeh, and a halibut for Shane.
Here is an example of five meals you can make from these prepped foods:
Buddha Bowl ( tahini roasted chickpeas, baked tempeh, sweet potatoes, brown rice, and avocado on top of greens)
Open face Tofu sandwich (sourdough, balsamic glazed tofu, sprouts, and avocado)
For Shane: Asparagus and Halibut cooked in Coconut Oil + brown rice
For Grant and I – Same Asparagus and Brown Rice with leftover chickpeas mixed with scrambled tofu
Loaded Sweet potatoes: (packed with chickpeas, marinara, rice, vegan sour cream, chives, and avocado)
Clean meal of Sweet potatoes, asparagus, tofu, and a side salad
AN INSTAPOT IS YOUR BEST FRIEND
The instapot can make bulk meals quickly while you chop, saute, or bake. Ways I use the instapot weekly: Oatmeal, Brown Rice, Vegan Chili, to cook sweet potatoes, make seitan, soups, cook mashed potatoes, steam brussel sprouts, vegan mac & cheese, making dried legumes or grains.
UTILIZE SHEET MEALS
You would be surprised how many things bake so well together. Check out this Pinterest board for inspiration.
MAKE THE SAME THING IN DIFFERENT WAYS
It’s most fun to do this with your veggies and proteins. i.e Tofu can be sauteed in balsamic, crusted and baked, or smashed to make a scramble for the morning. Potatoes can be stuffed, baked, used in soups, or made into patties.
PRECHOP VEGGIES AND FRUITS FOR EASY SNACKING
I always make sure to have chopped fruits and veggies prepped in the fridge. This allows your family to have healthy options for snacking. Some of my favorites include chopped watermelon, grapes, strawberries, cherries, chopped celery, peppers, cucumbers, zucchini, jicama.
PLAN TO HAVE ONE “TREAT NIGHT”
I don’t know about your family but as delicous as meals are at home, we get a little stir-crazy and need to get out. I always plan to have about 6 dinners and lunches prepped one day where we can eat out.
WHAT TO DO WITH LEFTOVER MEAL PREP FOOD ITEMS?
At the end of the week when you want to use up whatever is left in the fridge, you can make
- tacos/ burritos
- messy nachos
I hope you enjoyed these meal prepping tips. If you have any comments or questions, I would love to hear them. Don’t forget to follow me or reach out on IG!!- plantingseedsmamma.
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