For my first post I’d like to go over some basics.
On Sundays, I prep 5 days worth of breakfasts, lunches, and some times snacks for the upcoming week. For now the plan is to post one entry a week, however I am considering a second weekly post for dinner meals. My meal prep post will be submitted Sunday, and if I decide to include dinners from the week, I would try to submit that post on Friday.
Tupperware is your friend. If you’re just starting out with prepping your meals, take a look at where ever you store all your Tupperware. If the first word that comes to mind when you see your inventory is “nightmare”, I highly suggest ordering a new set of containers and starting over. I do believe that places like Goodwill can accept what ever you don’t need. It’s helpful to have matching lids that fit properly to keep items fresh, and various sizes help with transport and storage.
If you don’t have any Tupperware, Amazon and Walmart are good affordable choices. A 24 piece set should be fine for one person.
- Lunch box!
I carry my breakfast, lunch, and snacks to work every day. My lunch box is a soft shell with a hard, removal lining (great for cleaning). My lunch box is capable of fitting multiple containers, plus my quite large bottle for water. It also has room for an ice pack. It’s not the prettiest but I never have to worry about space.
Currently I don’t use anything too fancy. My every day pan, a few pots, and baking sheets serve me well. I use one chef knife, basic measure cups/spoons, etc. I do suggest having a decent non-stick pan and heavy(er) duty baking sheets. Baking sheets with sides are great- when meal prepping, you’ll often find yourself roasting an oven full of veggies.
- Food scale!
A digital food scale is a life saver when prepping with the intention of losing weight. It’s recommended to go by the actual weight of the serving size on the food package. So if it says a serving is 1/4 cup (28g), we’ll skip the measuring cup and use the scale to weigh out 28 grams. There are so many good and affordable scales out there. I suggest a scale with a “tare” option, this will allow you to add multiple ingredients to the same container. Add an ingredient, hit tare to clear the weight, add next ingredient, and so on. I use a small, glass topped digital scale that tucks nicely away.
- Prep space!
You know that part of your counter that doubles as a mailbox? Or car key holder? Well, it’s finally time to clear the clutter. I live in an apartment with minimal counter space. When it’s prep time, the coffee maker, paper towel holder, martini shaker set (Oh yeah!) get moved to the floor. Notice how I said the floor? Your kitchen table is valuable prep space too. Soon you’ll be standing behind a pile of ingredients with 5 tortillas laying out, or 5 multi-compartment containers ready to be filled- no room for the unnecessary.
- Storage space!
Lastly, you’ll need enough room in the refrigerator to store your meals. If that word “nightmare” comes to mind again, time for some cleaning. My pre-prep routine is to clear out any old leftovers and make room for the new ingredients and prepped items. I also like to dedicate one entire shelf to prepped stuff. I cook for myself and my fiance so we do a his and hers side of the shelf. It gets pretty tight in there some times, so I try to avoid too many ingredients by using up what I have over a couple of weeks.
Ugh. The grocery store, a love hate relationship. I go to a regular ol’ chain, no fancy Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s. Below are some of my staple purchases:
Unsweetened chocolate or vanilla almond milk
Fat Free shredded Cheddar cheese
Reduced Fat shredded Mozzarella cheese
Grated Parmesan cheese
Part skim ricotta
Yellow or white onion
Potato medley (purple, red, and yellow)
Lean ground turkey
Top round sirloin, thinly sliced
That’s all I can think of for now. Enjoy some photos of past meal preps (I’ll try to take more appealing photos) and stay turned for my first Sunday post tomorrow!
- (top left) Top round steak, steamed broccoli w grated Parmesan, baked sweet potato with sauteed red onion and shallots
- (top right) Turkey, bean, and cheese burrito
- (middle right) Mini turkey pepperoni and banana pepper sandwich thin pizzas
- (small middle left) chicken burrito bowls (chicken, green pepper, onion, ricotta cheese, black beans, green chilies, shredded lettuce)
- (small middle left) turkey pepperoni, mozzarella cheese, marinara, egg white breakfast burrito
- (small bottom left) Spicy shrimp salad with black beans and corn, sweet potatoes, roasted zucchini, home made bleu cheese dressing
- (bottom right) roast beef pita with arugala, sun dried tomato and provolone cheese. Side of raw veggies and Bolthouse Bleu Cheese dressing