A little bit of prep goes a long way. For me, preparing a few components ahead of time that will go into my meals throughout the week makes the whole process of cooking or preparing a meal so much easier. Here are some of my personal prep tricks:
- I designate a weekly “prep day” for myself, so that I can set aside a little time for this purpose (generally not more than a couple hours). Weekend days work for me, but that doesn’t mean that they work for you. Select a day and a time that helps you to feel pressure-free.
- On my weekend prep day, I usually make multiple servings of a grain (mostly quinoa or rice) that I can prepare and store in the fridge in a sealed glass container for use as the week progresses. It certainly takes away all that waiting time during the busy weekdays.
- Also on the weekend, I will wash and chop whatever produce I plan to use that week, and store it in my fridge.
- I frequently roast a sheet pan of chopped vegetables and sometimes even add a few potatoes to bake in the oven at the same time for efficiency. And like all my prep-ahead produce, these items get stored in the fridge for use later in the week.
- I also love to make at least one dressing that can be made ahead, stored and used as needed through the week to instantaneously liven up a healthy lunch or dinner.
This prep work I have described here generally takes me about 1 to 2 hours total and saves me countless hours during the week when I am attending to other needs and interests. And by having so much of the work already done when I want to compose a meal, I get the benefit of making extremely healthy and delicious choices that really fit my time budget.
If you’d like to try meal prep for yourself, this next recipe will be a great place to start…you will see what I mean when you dive into my delicious
I Can’t Wait for Spring Buddha Bowl
- Food processor or blender
- 1/2 cup leafy greens
- 1 small baked sweet potato or 1/2 regular size sweet potato (about 1 cup), cut in rounds, skin on optional
- 1/2 cup shredded purple cabbage
- 3/4 cup cooked quinoa (or other grainof choice)
- 1/4 red pepper, chopped
- 4-5 thin sliced radish rounds (watermelon or daikon if available)
- 1/4 cup edamame, shelled
And here is some salad dressing wisdom:
- The power of a salad dressing is in a drizzle or a dash, not a dollop.
- In addition to adding unnecessary calories to your intake, overdoing the dressing, no matter how tasty, really hides the deliciousness of the food that you are eating.
- A drizzle or a dash of a tasty salad dressing enhances your food, it doesn’t bury it.
And speaking of tasty dressings, either of these dressings below work exceptionally well with this salad…
Lemon Tahini Dressing
- 1/4 cup tahini (sesame paste)
- 1 clove garlic chopped
- 1 lemon juiced
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 pinch sea salt
- 4 tbsp water (more if you like it thinner)
OR try my new:
Nutty Miso Dressing
- 1" ginger root chopped
- 4 tbsp almond butter
- 1 tbsp white miso paste
- 1 lime juiced
- 1 tbsp nama shoyu OR soy sauce
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- 4 tbsp water
- Add all of the above ingredients to a bowl and top with dressing of your choice (see above for optional make yourself dressings!)
To make the dressing:
- Place the ingredients for the dressing of your choice in a food processor (or blender) and process (or blend) until uniformly smooth and creamy.
- Top the bowl with the dressing.