5 tips to help you get dinner on the table quick and easy
Take a drive through your neighborhood and you’ll most likely come across five different fast food joints with-in 2 miles of each other. Access to quick meals is crazy impressive. We live in a world with easy access to fast and cheap.
We also live in a world where heart disease, cancer, and obesity are rising. While food is not the sole cause of this epidemic, it is certainly a huge factor and something we should think about every day because food is just one of those silly things that can be both a problem and solution.
Not that long ago I was hitting up those fast food joints because I too wanted something fast, easy, and cheap to feed my family. I was a tired young Mom with a husband in the Navy who was gone often. I didn’t have time to think about what I was eating nor did I really care. However, the day came when all those bad habits caught up. It came in the form of acne, back pain, knee pain (thanks inflammation), and absolutely zero energy. After multiple doctor visits and chiropractic sessions, I still couldn’t figure out what to do and was beyond frustrated. Then I asked myself a very important question, probably the most important in my life. Is food the problem? That simple thought led to a whole new way of eating and thinking about food.
I hear you, “Leah, that sounds great and all but I still need my meals to be easy and fast. How can you eat well and live a busy life?”
The best solution is meal planning, BUT more importantly and something easier is what I call ‘food prepping’.
We often hear about meal prepping but even that alone sounds like a chore and time-consuming activity. It doesn’t necessarily have to be. Below are five tips I follow when it comes to ‘food prepping’ to help make sure I can get healthy and nutritious meals on the table quickly!
1. Wash and cut your veggies as soon as you get home from the store.
To keep them from drying out, wet a paper towel and put it in the container with the produce.
Side note in case you are wondering: yes, you do lose nutritional value when you precut veggies, BUT if precutting your produce ahead of time means you will eat more, then PRE-CUT YOUR PRODUCE. I prefer this to a handful of potato chips. OK, moving on…
2. Have some roasted veggies on hand for the week.
During Sunday night dinners, I cut extra veggies and get them ready to roast. As soon as we are ready to eat, in goes the tray of veggies into the oven. They cook while we eat. As soon as dinner is over, they are just about done. That means for lunches that week ahead, I can add roasted veggies to my salads or rice/quinoa bowls very easily. Which brings me to #3.
3. Cook one large batch of rice or quinoa, or both if you prefer.
Both warm up very easily and having these prepared is a huge time saver. You can do just about anything with them.
4. Have a simple plan.
Plan out your meals ahead with a menu planning sheet and know what veggies you will want cut ahead of time. No sense in prepping your Brussels sprouts if you are not eating them until next week.
5. Get pretty containers to store stuff in.
I don’t know about you, but if my fridge looks well organized and ‘presentable’, I am going to find stuff easier and actually USE IT.
Do you have a meal prep tip you would like to share? Please leave a comment below, I’d love to hear what works for you.