Everyone meal preps differently. I am not as systematic as some. Certain weeks I am super ON it and others I can barely get Sunday dinner together. But, here are the five things I meal prep almost every week for our family.
I try to think of staples we can eat throughout the week alone, together or perhaps with a protein thrown on top. Then I pick different proteins to make at different times of the week. These are adaptable to most cuisines. So, I can easily make salmon or crispy tofu on Sunday and shrimp and steak fajitas on Thursday – using the same side dishes. I love having fun cooking, but it’s also nice to have some healthy staples in the house. A few ways to help keep it simple and easy.
- Oatmeal – We always have a big pot of apple oatmeal in our fridge (sometimes we sub in strawberries or blueberries). Ellington is completely obsessed with oatmeal and has been since he could eat. I used to make him Pamela Salzman’s overnight steel cut oats as a baby and he’s been hooked since. Another one of my favorite oatmeal recipes is my flavorful and delicious carrot cake oatmeal.
- Roasted Vegetables – I almost always roast a tray (or trays) of vegetables for the week. Most weeks we have cauliflower, brussel sprouts, broccoli, sweet potatoes, and/or carrots.
- Rice – We virtually always have rice in the fridge or on the stove. I virtually always make jasmine brown rice, but I switch it up with white rice for a treat . I often mix it up and make wild rice or quinoa, which is technically a seed, for quick rice bowls. Lateef and I also eat a lot of cauliflower rice, especially when we are trying to be carb conscious.
- Beans – I usually make black beans, pinto beans or lentils, a pot of white bean soup or a vegetable or turkey chili. I primarily buy my beans from the grocery store, but I do splurge and get a few shipments a year from Rancho Gordo – the most amazing heirloom beans around.
- Cut Fruit – I cut an apple every morning for each of Lateef and I. This keeps us eating at least one piece of fruit a day and it’s a healthy snack to have nearby throughout the day. Our kids eat so much fruit there’s no need to precut it!
So that it’s not overwhelming, I also don’t attempt to do all of this in one day. The oatmeal is a revolving door – it just gets made as soon as it runs out. I usually make the roasted veggies and beans and rice on Sunday’s along with a few other items for the week. I hope this helps give you a few helpful ideas.