Ordering takeout is so easy, but it gets expensive and occasionally (probably more often than not) lands in the not-so-healthy category. This year we swear we're going to cook more! And it all starts with meal prep. With just a bit of forward thinking, you can come home to a warm bowl of carnitas Monday night, and grab a breakfast burrito Tuesday morning while filling your work bag with peanut butter bites. OK, want to know how? Let's let this week's featured foodie, Lee Hersh of Fit Foodie Finds, show you how it's done.
So you love a hearty breakfast but have less than no time in the morning? We got you. Over the weekend, sauté ground pork and veg, then scoop into a hollowed-out pepper. Crack an egg over each, then bake until brown. Cool, then freeze. Boom, instant breakfast that is not at all puny.
Overnight oats are a meal-prep classic, and there’s good reason for it: You can’t go wrong with the flavoring. This version is extra creamy, thanks to the mashed banana and peanut butter in the batter. As for toppings, we’re pretty sure a few chocolate chips never hurt anyone.
A good breakfast burrito is totally doable for those who meal prep. Scramble the eggs and fry the bacon as per usual, then wrap and freeze individually. Just imagine the looks on your instant oatmeal-eating coworkers' faces as you heat up one of these tomorrow morning.
We love a good energy bite, and these nutty ones are no exception. Mix dates, oats, honey, and peanut butter for a treat every bit as tasty as a peanut butter cup, without fear of a sugar crash. Drizzle with chocolate, freeze, and defrost as needed (ahem, daily.)
The easiest way to meal-prep your daily smoothie is to portion off ingredients in a sandwich bag, then freeze until you’re ready to blend. Dump that baggie of frozen spinach, strawberries, and banana into the blender. Then add a scoop of protein powder and a glug of almond milk. Thirty seconds and you’re off to work!
Think carnitas are way too time-consuming for weeknight dinner? Think again. Plug in your slow cooker and roast that hunk of pork loin all day. Come home to 1. a kitchen that smells amazing and 2. super-tender meat just waiting to become a burrito bowl.
Potato fritters are those deep-fried appetizers we dream about, but to avoid the kitchen smelling like a diner, we like baking them at home. Mix up a big batch of the sweet potato cakes on a Sunday afternoon, then throw them in the freezer until you’re in the mood for something a little fancier than fries.
A slow cooker is a meal-prepper’s best friend. Take this tortilla soup for example: Just dump all the ingredients into the pot, plug it in, and walk away. After you’re back from the gym and grocery shopping, dinner has finished cooking itself. Isn’t that the dream?
Is there a dinner cozier than casserole? We think not, especially when it’s cheesy (yet better for you) and enchilada-inspired. Throw everything into the casserole dish uncooked, then bake that bad boy for dinner—seriously, even scrambled eggs are more work.
Lee Hersh is the founder of the food and lifestyle website Fit Foodie Finds and a co-founder of the new wellness community The Healthy Glow Collective. She is based in Minneapolis, MN and is a lover of all things outdoors, peanut butter, and travel! Follow her on social media @FitFoodieFinds and @HealthyGlow.co.