On hectic days, meal prep can be a life saver! Below are some tips for how to stay on track.
1. Season meat three ways with just one pan. Save time without boring your taste buds by preparing two or three variations of chicken at once, using aluminum foil dividers in your pan. (ex: lemon dill chicken, garlic rosemary chicken, ginger/soy sauce chicken) 2. Hard boil eggs at the start of your week It’s important that no meals are missed. If you’re rushing out the door, Hard boiled eggs and an Ideal Protein drink are a perfect grab-and-go option. 3. Chop or spiralize raw vegetables in advance. An option for those pasta lovers- Zucchini noodles! They will stay fresh in the fridge for 3-5 days while chopped vegetables like carrots, onion and pepper will last a week when refrigerated in a sealed plastic bag or container. *Tip* Put a paper towel in with washed lettuce to soak up excess moisture and keep it fresh longer. Change the paper towel every few days. 4. Skewer meats for quick portions. Weighing your chicken (or fish, beef, ect.) and putting it on skewers can help you control how much you’re eating in one sitting. Cook up a batch and save some skewers for the rest of the week. If you’re using wooden skewers, remember to soak them in water so they won’t catch fire in your grill or oven. This is perfect for the people who can’t eat all 8 OZ of meat in one meal, make each skewer 4 OZ so you can have one for lunch and another for dinner. 5. Pre-assemble Mason Jar Salads.
Salad dressing: Pour 1 to 4 tablespoons of your favorite salad dressing in the bottom of the jar. Adjust the amount of dressing depending on the size of the salad you are making and your personal preference.
Hard vegetables: Next, add any hard chopped vegetables you're including in your salad, like cucumbers, red and green peppers, etc.
Proteins (optional): If you'll be eating the salad within a day, add proteins like tuna fish, diced (cooked) chicken, hard-boiled eggs, or cubed tofu. If you're making salads ahead to eat throughout the week, wait to add these ingredients until the day you're planning to eat the salad and add them on top of the jar.
Softer vegetables (optional): Next, add any soft vegetables like tomatoes. If you're making salads ahead to eat throughout the week, wait to add these ingredients until the day you're planning to eat the salad and add them to the top of the jar.
Salad greens: Last but not least, fill the rest of the jar with salad greens. Use your hands to tear them into bite-sized pieces. It's fine to pack them into the jar fairly compactly.
Storing the salad: place a folder paper towel on top to absorb moisture and screw the lid on the jar. refrigerate for up to 5 days. If you're including any proteins or soft vegetables, add these to the top of the jar the morning you plan to eat your salad.
Tossing and eating the salad: When ready to eat, unscrew the lid and shake the salad into the bowl. The action of shaking the salad into the bowl is usually enough to mix the salad with the dressing. If not, toss gently with a fork until coated.