17 efficient ways of creating meal prep options without the hassle of starting afresh each time.
Written by: betterbreakfast.org
Clean eating is often associated with a lot of work. However, this isn't necessarily the case. Here are 17 efficient ways of preparing meals or prepping meals for fast food when you're ready to eat. We'll reduce or eliminate your need to cook without forcing you to give up healthy eating.
Tip 1: Stirfry
Stirfry has a number of points in its favor. You can throw in handfuls of fresh vegetables and the protein of your choice and be done. It is a great way to use up leftover fruits and vegetables. You can simplify meal prep by buying frozen vegetable mixes you can just toss in a wok and cook.
Tip 2: Use slow cookers
Slow cookers are often associated with unhealthy meals like high fat sauces or gravies layered over starchy foods. However, they can make healthy meals that are ready whenever you are. One option is using the slowcooker to make healthier meal options. One option is adding potatoes, carrots, tomatoes and onions followed by lean cuts of meat. Another option is making meat or bean based chili without high fat cuts of meat.
Tip 3: Overnight oats
Overnight oats refers to an oatmeal recipe where you let the oats soak in milk, cream, fruit juice and other ingredients. You can make healthier versions of this recipe by putting skim milk, low sugar vegetarian milk alternatives and fresh fruit into the mix when you put it in the fridge.
Tip 4: Fajitas / tacos
Fajitas are simply tortillas wrapped around a filler. What you may not realize is that you can use almost anything as filling. You could put leftover rice and beans in the tortillas topped with shredded cheese. Or you could add leftover fish, shrimp, beef and chicken in the tortillas along with sliced vegetables. It can be equal parts peppers, onions and corn.
Tip 5: Make soup
Modern society has forgotten that soup was often based on whatever people had on hand, not the mix you have in the fridge or pantry. All you need is boiling water and whatever you'd like to throw in. Get a balanced meal, you could throw in fish, potatoes, vegetable and seasoning or add canned beans to an assortment of vegetables. Boil water, toss in ingredients, stir and serve can even be a flexible form of meal prep if you let the soup simmer in a slow cooker instead of on the stove.
Tip 6: Healthy skillets
Healthy skillets are recipes that let you cook everything in one skillet with a minimum of ingredients. You may add a little healthy oil to the skillet, but you don't want to add too much oil or calorie-laden sauce. These recipes may even be based on traditional skillet meals but have fewer calories.
Tip 7: Veggie pasta
Spaghetti is a popular meal, because it is fast and easy to make in a single pot. Make it healthier by making it with vegetable-based pasta. This could be frozen vegetable pasta or shelf-stable vegetable based pasta. Add crushed tomatoes or low sugar tomato sauce.
Tip 8: Meatloaf
Meatloaf is another quick single pan meal that is often associated with unhealthy eating. Yet you can make it healthy. Use low fat ground beef or healthier options like turkey. You can sneak in diced vegetables or beans. Top with peppers or tomato sauce instead of high fat gravy.
Tip 9: Baked chicken
We often say that everything without flavor tastes like chicken. In reality, you can capture the flavor of chicken by covering it with foil while baking it. You could add to the flavor and prevent it from drying out by baking it along with whole grain couscous with extra chicken broth.
Tip 10: Smoothies
Here's one of the popular clean eating choices. Add fresh or frozen fruit to the blender. You might add greens, milk, yogurt, nut butter or other ingredients. Turn on the blender until it is thoroughly blended. Then serve. That's why smoothies are a centerpiece of fit eating.
Tip 11: Parfait
This recipe is mostly made in Mason jars but it doesn't have to be. All you need is a proper container. Add layers of yogurt and fruit. You can add other ingredients to taste like quinoa, nuts and granola. When done, dive in. This type of fit eating is a great way to cool off on a hot day instead of sitting down with ice cream.
Tip 12: Jar meals
Jar meals are meals placed in the Mason jar and reheated. Consider adding leftover bacon and eggs to a mason jar. Heat it up in the morning for a quick and easy meal. And you don't have to put it on bread to eat it. You can add spinach, beans or other ingredients to fill it out, too.
Tip 13: Granola in a jar
Add granola to the jar. Add milk or fruit juice. You can either let it steep overnight like oats or eat it immediately.
Tip 14: Pasta salad in a jar
A fast and healthy way to make pasta salad is to throw zucchini noodles and vegetables like peppers, tomatoes, celery and edamame into a jar. Drizzle with yogurt and avocado.
Tip 15: Cobb salad the right way
Cobb salad is a mix of diced meats, cheese, lettuce, and other vegetables. You can make a healthier version by adding shrimp or lean diced meat in place of the standard cubed ham. You can add leftover diced chees and eggs, too. Add other vegetables you have on hand like peppers and beans. Throw in chickpeas or corn to fill in the bowl without adding a lot of calories.
Tip 16: Toast Plus
Toast plus refers to any meal based on toast. You could put a poached egg on toast and eat it. Try adding additional, healthy layers to make it even better. This could be a slice of sweet potatoes, avocado, hummus or spinach.
Tip 17: Juice
We can't leave juice off a list of clean eating options. First, fruit juice that contains pulp and no sugar is far healthier than soda and most energy drinks. Second, it provides a serving of one or more fruits and vegetables at once.