Life is hectic. I don’t know anyone who has all the time in the world to meal prep without sacrificing something, like weekend downtime. With a family that includes 2 kids under 10, and one of them a fussy eater, things can get complicated.
With this in mind, I try to keep things as simple as possible when I’m prepping for a week of healthy eating. Here are a few tips to keeping it simple:
- Stick to the basic meals that are quick to prepare.
- Make those meals amazing with some herbs – with a great sauce or dressing, or just some delicious spices added to the pan as you cook.
- Go for the local, seasonal veg wherever possible.
- Don’t force yourself to eat veg you hate. You want healthy eating to be sustainable.
- When you’re prepping veg, do a little extra for the fridge for when you need to throw something together quickly.
- Start with a clean and cleared out fridge so that you know immediately what is available and fresh.
This is a quick list of the veggies that I have in my fridge any given time. The basics listed are what I use for making most of my stews, and includes snack veggies (maybe not the onions 🙂 ) I also have Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, Coconut Milk and a whole range of spices (my go-to spices are cumin, turmeric, coriander and onion and garlic powder, and I have dried thyme and oregano over fresh usually because I find prepping those two herbs tedious). I also have dates, tapioca flour, seeds and eggs on hand always, and a range of probiotic cultured foods (Kombucha, Water Kefir, Sauerkraut, Kimchi, etc).
The Usual Veg list are the things I try to include. If I were a better person, I’d have beetroot there too.. but honestly, I don’t like preparing it, so I’ll buy it with a sense of “I really should eat more red veg” and then it just stares at me accusingly for a couple of weeks before I compost it. The same with kale. SO, don’t be pressured into buying veg you don’t like. Start with what you do like, and as you get into the swing of things, try include new veg slowly, or as it comes into season.
Then we have the aromatics.. These are ingredients that I use to make a simple meal awesome. A quick pesto or an avo, basil and lemon dressing, or herb sauce with olive oil, fresh herbs and lemon juice are incredibly quick to make, and will transform a bland meal of chicken and broccoli into something brilliant. You can also get away with a very limited range of veggies and protein if you have a few sauces on hand.
Ultimately, if you keep your proteins simple, it wont’ matter what your side veggies are – all you have to do is make it a little bit more interesting so that you don’t face the same meal day in and day out. You can dress up a basic protein with a nice sauce or go meat free by choosing protein-rich veggies (they’re a real thing!), and making meals that have a variety of tastes, textures, flavour profiles and colours!