Do you ever resort to picking up takeout on your way home from work because there’s nothing to eat in the house? Or find yourself eating cereal for dinner, and maybe snacking on cheese all night long because you’re too tired to cook? The struggle is definitely real.
Most of us want to eat healthier but with work, kids, and life getting in the way, it can be a real challenge! That’s why I recommend meal prepping to almost all of my clients.
Preparing your food ahead of time can save money — no more on-the-fly takeout! And with a bit of organization, you end up wasting a lot less food. It’s also a time-saver because meals are done and ready to eat when you want them. The best part? You can reap health benefit because — unlike the food you buy already prepared (I’m talking about delivery and take-out) — making your own meals means that you can control what’s in them!
Flipp should always be a part of your meal prep routine. Use the app to find what’s on sale that week, and build your meals around those foods. It's simple!
Here are my best tips for turning yourself into a meal-prep pro:
1. Build your meal around a store-bought flavor-booster.
Choose a healthy-ish flavor-booster like a sauce and build your simple meal around it so you already have the seasoning to base the meal on. Check your local ads on Flipp to see which ones are on sale this week to get started. For example, take a store-bought pesto, toss cherry tomatoes and chicken breasts in it, and roast in the oven. One pan, three ingredients. Done. Another idea is to use miso (a savory, salty Asian soybean paste found in the Asian section of the grocery store) as a quick marinade for flank steak - then broil with scallions and bok choy, or Thai curry paste on a piece of fish before you oven roast it with vegetables.
2. Think simple, buy better.
Buy fewer ingredients, but buy good ones - and keep them to less than 5 per recipe. Take a staple like a beautiful fresh pasta, (or a really good dried one) for example. Pair it with freshly chopped heirloom tomatoes, dollops of fresh ricotta or burrata cheese, and fresh basil.
3. Shop in arm's reach.
Step into the produce section and select three items - for example, eggplant, garlic, and tomatoes or broccoli and bell peppers. Use these ingredients together with olive oil and salt in one pan, to make a quick meal. Throw some rotisserie chicken or organic tofu in for protein.
4. Take a pre-made item from the store and make it your own.
This little 'cheat' allows you to skip cooking steps and get dinner together a lot quicker! The best (and most commonly used) example is rotisserie chicken. I make a 40-minute chicken pot pie with it, but you can pull the meat off and use it in basically any dish that calls for chicken. Another example is store-bought pizza dough brushed with garlic and olive oil, layered with fresh yellow and red tomatoes, mozzarella or any combination of cheeses, and fresh basil leaves. Dinner is done.
5. Make more than you need so you have lunch (or dinner) the next day.
Don’t be afraid to double a recipe. You can throw the leftovers into the freezer, and/or bring some for lunch the next day! Successful meal preppers know that dinner leftovers make great, effortless lunches.