I keep hearing over and over again how difficult food prep can be. However, it does not have to be difficult, just keep it consistent. At first it is easy to keep meal prep very simple. Add one new food at a time. Too many people want to add variety of new foods. That means you have to know what to buy, know how to prepare the new foods and know how to eat them and enjoy them.
Below are some simple foods you need to start preparing this week. These foods can be mixed and matched.
Baked Brown rice: Brown rice is a complex carbohydrate. It is an energy food. The problem with brown rice is that it takes forever to cook and it cooks very unevenly. This recipe is amazing. It will give you perfect rice that you can use at one meal for the family or spread out throughout the week.
Baked Brown Rice
- 1 1/2 cups Brown Rice (uncooked)
- 2 1/3 cups Water
- 2 tsp Olive Oil
- 1 tsp Salt
Preheat the oven to 375 F and move a rack to the middle position. Spread the rice into an 8-inch square, glass baking dish. In a covered saucepan on the stove, bring the water and oil to a boil over high heat. Once it begins to boil, stir in the salt and pour over the rice. Cover the baking dish tightly with a double layer of foil. Bake for one hour, until tender. Remove from the oven and uncover. Fluff the rice with a fork, cover with a clean kitchen towel; let rice stand 5 minutes. Uncover for another 5 minutes, then serve.
Slow Cooker Baked potatoes: It is still hot outside, the last thing I want to do is turn my oven on for 60 minutes or more. But, did you know you can cook baked potatoes and sweet potatoes in a slow cooker?
I love baked potatoes and sweet potatoes because they are a complex carbohydrate and they can make a great meal.
Scrub potato clean, dry potato, pierce with fork or knife. Wrap potato in foil. Place 3-5 potatoes (depending on size) in slow cooker. Make sure there is about an inch left at the top of the slow cooker. Place lid on a cook on high for about 2-3 hours.
* Store potatoes in fridge for 3-4 days or freeze the baked potatoes.
Soaked oats: Are you short on time in the morning? Try soaked oats. They are delicious and very easy.
Place 1/2 -1 cup dry oats in a mason jar or other container that has a lid. Cover oats with 1/2 water and 1/2 milk or all water or all milk (any variety) add 1 Tbsp. chia seeds (for extra Omega 3 fatty acids), cinnamon and vanilla extract. You can also add 1/2 -1 scoop protein powder if you like. Place container of oats in fridge and soak overnight. In the morning add fruit or your choice. Or if you would like add 2-3 Tbsp. nuts instead of protein powder.
Make 3-4 containers for the week.
Apple Salad: This recipe is a must.
- 3-4 apples of choice
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/4 cup roasted nuts (I like sliced almonds or walnut pieces)
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
Dice apples into small pieces. Add cinnamon and vanilla. Combine. Add nuts and cranberries. Store in a large glass container in the fridge. You can store for about 4-5 days.
Boiled eggs: Always have these on hand. They are simple to grab in the morning if you need a rushed breakfast. Or use a boiled egg as a snack. I like to make egg salad with mustard and chopped celery in a whole wheat pita for lunch or dinner meal.
The easiest way to boil an egg: Place eggs in cooking pot covered with water. Turn heat to medium heat, bring to a boil. Once water starts to boil, turn heat down a bit and continue to boil, covered for 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat, replace hot water with cold water. I add a few ice cubes to the pot.
Keep eggs for up to 8-10 days boiled in the fridge.
Prepped Vegetables: ALWAYS have vegetables ready to eat.
Clean and cut raw vegetables
Clean, cut and roast vegetables: Clean and cut, toss in a bit of olive oil and roast at 400 for about 10-15 minutes. Allow to cool and store in container.
Clean, cut and steam vegetables: Use a steamer basket and slightly steam your favorite vegetables. Allow to cool and store in container.
Clean, cut and BBQ vegetables: Eggplant, bell peppers, zucchini, onions and several other vegetables can be grilled. Grill vegetables, cool vegetables, and store for easy meal prep.
Turkey Meatballs: This is a great lean protein to keep on hand. You can purchase lean turkey meat (7-10% lean) and add dry oats for extra fiber.
- 1lb 7% lean turkey meat
- ½ cup whole oats
- ½ chopped onion
- 3 TBSP BBQ sauce (low sugar brand) Stubb’s is a great brand
Thoroughly mix all ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Take about 2-3 Tbsp. and roll into meat balls. Bake on a cooking sheet at 350 for about 15 minutes. Store extra in the fridge.