Don’t let weekly meal prep for easy lunches throughout the week intimidate you! These 4 life hacks take the hassle and worry away. From ordering groceries online, to simple batch cooking and prep, you’ll enjoy satisfying, ready-made lunches all week long!
What do think when you hear the words, “meal prep”?
When you hear the words “meal prep”, you might start to feel overwhelmed, imagining an entire Sunday in the kitchen surrounded by pots, pans, and cutting boards. But the good news is, meal prep can be pretty simple and it can make the rest of the week feel a little less chaotic.
I do a few simple meal prep steps that make weekday lunches come together quickly. Try a few of these simple life hacks to make healthy, ready-made lunches all week long!
1. Prep a batch of quinoa in a rice cooker!
I like to make a batch of quinoa in a rice cooker which is a hands-off method. It’s as simple as putting the quinoa and water into the rice cooker and pressing start. After about 30 minutes, I have a big batch of perfectly fluffy quinoa ready for the week!
If you don’t have a rice cooker, you can also make it in a pressure cooker or on the stovetop. Quinoa is a great make-ahead dish because it keeps well in the fridge and you can easily toss a scoop of quinoa onto a salad or in a cup of soup for extra protein. Or combine it with beans and salsa for an easy burrito bowl-style meal.
2. Chop vegetables as soon as you get them!
I’m a lot more likely to snack on carrots and cucumbers if they’re already washed and sliced. This can mean reaching for healthier options in the fridge rather than packaged snacks. It also helps you use up all your produce before it spoils.
If you know you’ll be making a recipe that involves things like chopped carrots or celery, go ahead and chop those to save time during the week. Dinner can feel a lot easier when the chopping is done!
3. Prep plenty of make-ahead salads for faster lunches.
I like to make a batch of this chickpea salad because it keeps well in the fridge and it’s easy to toss onto a sandwich or a bed of lettuce for a quick lunch. You can also make this with tuna or chicken if you prefer meat.
This black bean and corn salad is another good option that actually tastes better on the second or third day because it gives the flavors more time to meld together! Salads that are primarily made of beans or grains tend to stay fresher longer. For ingredients like avocado, you’ll want to wait until you’re ready to eat to add them in.
4. Order groceries online to save time!
There are tons of online grocery options now from most major grocery stores as well as places like Instacart. While it might cost an extra few dollars, it can be worth it on a busy week. Spending a few bucks to get your grocery shopping done for you can be easier than relying on takeout!
I like ordering online because I’m able to take inventory of my current pantry and plan out my meals before I hit the store. It also means I don’t succumb to impulse purchases so, in the end, I often end up saving money!
I don’t do all of these things every week, but I try to do two to three of them so that the rest of my week is a little bit easier. It’s amazing how a little planning can help the rest of the week feel less chaotic! Do you meal prep? If so, share your tips below!
We hope you find these tips, tricks, and recipes from SoFabFood Home Chef, Liz from I Heart Vegetables, helpful throughout your busy week. For weekly recipe inspiration, subscribe to our newsletter, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Pinterest and Instagram. Enjoy!