Meal Prep Tips from The Mad Table
I know how busy life can get for us all….. And because we love spending quality time with our families after work, we put our Sundays to good use taking care of meal prep for the week. Here are some quick meal prep tips for preparing healthy foods that will keep your family happy and satisfied and allow you to share time with those who matter.
Start Each Week Fresh. Before you head to the market, take a minute to throw away (or compost) old food items in the refrigerator. When you get home, first put away your groceries and then prepare a clean space where you can work.
Peel, Chop and Store in Advance. When shopping at your local farmer’s market or supermarket, pick up what’s fresh and locally in season. Depending on where you live, that means beets, broccoli, butternut squash, cauliflower, carrots, sweet potatoes, celery, onions, garlic, eggplant, celery, peppers, potatoes, leeks and anything else that strikes your fancy. Clean, peel (if necessary), cut/chop and roast (if desired) all veggies in advance. They can be stored in containers in the refrigerator (if they’ll be used in a few days) or the freezer (for a longer life span).
Get Container Savvy. Have glass jars and storage containers washed and ready. Some can quickly be filled with dried fruits, nuts and seeds, rolled oats, dried black beans, pasta, quinoa, and farro. The nuts, seeds and dried fruit are perfect for snacks or put them in salads and hot dishes for added flavor and texture. You can store your chopped veggies (see above) – whether roasted or raw – in containers meant for the refrigerator or freezer.
Pump Up the Flavor. To make simple dishes pop, pickle carrots, red onions or radishes. Or infuse your food with flavor using nutty sauces like romesco or pesto. Your palate will thank you.
Bring on the Protein. Some meats, like beef, chicken or pork, can be roasted or cooked in advance in a slow cooker. If preparing the meat for sandwiches, after cooking, simply pull it apart with 2 forks to shred. Get ready for burger night or Italian night by shaping raw, ground meat into meatballs or patties and store them in the freezer until ready to cook. You can also marinate meats or apply a dry rub to prep them for a mouthwatering grill session later in the week. All proteins make for delicious toppings on salads, quinoa bowls, quesadillas and tacos.
Seafood is better fresh and it cooks quickly. But if you have to prep it beforehand, put onion, tomatoes, and asparagus in foil packets, place the fish on top, seal, and grill for 12-15 minutes. It’ll be moist and delicious the next day.
Eggs can be hard-boiled in advance and stored in the refrigerator for a week. They make for delicious, nutritious snacks and salad toppers.
Ta da! That’s all it takes to get healthy, scrumptious meals ready in advance. For more tips on cooking beautiful meals simply, subscribe to our weekly blog. And be sure to like The Mad Table on Facebook and follow us on Instagram for all the latest news, fabulous recipes and gorgeous entertaining tips and ideas.