If you don't have a ton of time to cook meals during the week - consider doing a little meal prep on Sunday to make your week easier. I promise it doesn't have to all be baked chicken and hard boiled eggs.
  1. First things first: Grab yourself a snack.
    This will keep the hanger away during prep time. This evening I chose snap pea crisps - strange but satisfying. Wine is also encouraged. 🍷
  2. Think about the week ahead and the meals you'll actually be eating at home or taking to work.
    I know that in any given work week, I'll probably get 1-2 free meals (perks of working with college students) and likely go out for a meal. So I'll prepare 7-8 portions of food for the week.
  3. Pick your menu - and make it food you'll want to eat.
    If you look at #mealprep on Instagram you'll see stacks of takeout containers with the same boring (and bland) meal. I like to pick a couple of things that I can mix up throughout the week - like this buffalo chicken quinoa bowl!
  4. Here's what I'll be mixing and matching throughout the week: honey sriracha chicken, pulled buffalo chicken, taco beef, fluffy tricolor quinoa, sweet potatoes, roasted broccoli, and cornbread. I also made cookies for a sweet treat! 🍪
  5. Start with a clean kitchen.
    You'll want to maximize your space and the number of clean tools you'll have accessible. I'm also a person that cleans as I go so I don't have an overflowing sink after three hours of cooking.
  6. Set yourself up for success and maximize your kitchen time when possible.
    For example, I made the marinade for my chicken while the oven was pre-heating for my cornbread. I chopped up veggies while the cornbread was in the oven. I made my quinoa and taco beef while my sweet potatoes and broccoli were roasting. I started my cookie dough while my buffalo chicken was baking. I call this strategic thinking "prep pairs."
  7. Know the approximate cook times of the things you're making. Then you can think through what foods would be a good "prep pair."
    Sweet potatoes and broccoli can roast for about the same time in the oven. Or I do things like saving the cookies for last because I can bake them as I eat my dinner. Plus they're still warm when it's time for dessert!
  8. Have storage containers ready to go - major 🔑 if you don't want your food to get icky.
    I use Pyrex containers for proteins and veggies and occasionally Ball jars for things like quinoa.
  9. You don't have to make everything for the week in one day.
    In fact, I don't recommend it. I look at meal prep as a way to make things easier for later in the week. I made taco beef tonight but I'll stuff it into pie crust (for non-authentic empanadas) later this week.
  10. ...And empanadas are at their most delicious and peak flakiness straight out of the oven.
  11. Experiment with new recipes to keep things interesting.
    No one wants to eat the same meal 10x a week. I love to cook so when I have the time, I like to try new recipes to incorporate. Plus having something yummy like cornbread makes me look forward to eating my prepped meals!
  12. And, after a few hours in the kitchen be sure to treat yo self!
    Preferably with warm peanut butter chocolate chip cookies and milk.
  13. Meal Prep Complete!
    Now go conquer the week!