Today I’m teaching you how to meal prep. But before your brain goes all “steamed broccoli & grilled chicken” on repeat, let’s be very clear: this is not your average meal prep. Instead, it’s a way to rethink the way you plan, pick, and prepare your week’s meals to create some serious variety and awesome nutrition with very little work.
The problem with meal prep in the traditional sense is that it requires way too much work to pick recipes, compile an organized grocery list, cook, portion, and clean. And then after all of that, you’re left eating the same meal over and over again… Or at least until your cravings for freshness & variety are such that you ditch your tupperware container, opting for a greasy meal with your coworkers. Yeah, we’ve all had a Thursday like that.
So my meal prep methodology is less meal prep and more component prep. Basically, you’ll pick several ingredients from several different categories (this will all make sense soon), season & cook each one super simply, and then combine them throughout the week in various bowls, salads, wraps, stews, stuffed potatoes, etc. It’ll look a little something like this:
Let me break it down for you.
First, start with the veggies. Choose the following:
- 1 raw, leafy green (I usually get a big box of baby greens)
- 1 leafy green to cook (kale, collard greens, etc.)
- 1 cruciferous veg (cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts)
- 1 starchy veg (sweet potato, butternut squash)
- 2-3 other colorful veggies (eggplant, bell peppers, carrots)
You’re going to cook all these super, super simply. Toss in olive oil, season with salt, pepper and your spice of choice, usually 1-2 per veg, and then roast or sauté. Each one of these will go into an individual container in your fridge.
You’ll also want to pick your protein. One rotisserie chicken will last me Monday-Friday, but choose your own adventure here. Maybe it’s salmon fillets, steak, ground beef, or a bean & grain mix if you’re vegetarian or vegan.
For fats, I go for avocado all. day. long. But you could also do eggs, nuts, seeds, or your favorite salad dressing. Speaking of salad dressing, you can pick a few other “accessories” here to complement your week of mix-and-match meals. I’ll get a pack of Siete tortillas and a fresh pico de gallo ’cause you can never go wrong with tacos. You might want grab some extra condiments, fresh herbs, or Everything Bagel seasoning to jazz things up.
And that’s it. Seriously y’all. It’s so easy and so delicious. Each day, you’ll pull out your containers from the fridge and throw together whatever you’re in the mood for. You’ll get umpteen different meals from one cooking sesh, and they’ll all be veggie forward, nutrient dense, and never boring. Taco Tuesday? Say no more. Freezing cold outside? Simmer your components in a pot of bone broth and call it soup. Get it, girl
And just to make it one eensy bit easier, here’s my go-to meal prep template + grocery list ** organized by section** so you can do it like a real pro.
Click here to download & print.
And, just for fun, here are my top 5 essential tools for meal prep:
- glass storage containers
- cast iron skillet for sautéing or roasting
- my favorite cooking utensils
- silicone baking mats for easy clean up
- freezable lunch bag to bring your meal prep to work or school
If you adopt this new meal prep methodology into your weekly routine, be sure to take a picture and tag me on Instagram– @thepetiteprofessional. Happy prepping, y’all!