Y’all. Meal prepping has been such a huge help the past few weeks and I’m honestly confused why I ever stopped. If you’re not meal prepping, you’re missing out BIG.
When I lived in New York, I meal prepped because I was short on time and money. My schedule was downright rough some days between trains, walking between stations, and trying to squeeze in work/gym/food/commuting/sleep. I commuted for about 3 hours a day between the train ride into/out of the city and the 2-mile round trip walk between Penn and Grand Central. It did not leave a ton of time to make any meals for the day.
The first time I embarked on a meal prep journey it was super easy because I lived alone, still ate meat, and just made things like chili, egg muffin cups, and mini meatloaves. They were portable and easy to heat up and take to go. Who knows what the nutritional content looked like but I remember there was a lot of cheese in the egg cups and definitely some sour cream and chips to go with the chili. Fast forward to this journey of meal prep in this season of life and it looks a little different.
I decided to do a vegan/mostly vegan meal prep the past few weeks for us because in general, we are trying to make more vegan choices. While some options aren’t completely vegan, you could EASILY take things out and you’d be golden.
I have found the easiest way to build the meal prep menu is to start with a few plain basics and mix and match throughout the week. This includes quinoa or rice, black beans, sweet potatoes, and chickpeas. I change these up week to week with onions/garlic/bell peppers and whatever seasonings are nearby and make enough to mix everything up or leave in separate batches and mix throughout the week.
- Avocado toast with cucumber slices, radish slices, or an egg (if you aren’t vegan).
- Oatmeal with almond or cashew milk, walnuts, blackberries, or any fruit you see fit.
- Sweet potato, black bean, onions, bell pepper, and garlic mixture. Sauté and serve in a burrito, on some toast, or over some sautéed kale!
- Chickpeas, tomatoes, onion, paprika, red pepper flakes, and garlic – serve plain or on top of avocado toast for some extra YUM.
LUNCH AND DINNER IDEAS
- Black beans, bell pepper, sweet potatoes, garlic, onion, and taco seasoning. Bam. You can throw this in a taco, on some kale, by itself, or on some quinoa and top with diced avocados!
- Plant-based sausage – throw in a pan with some kale or spinach and black beans for an easy and filling meal.
- Any of the breakfast ideas on repeat.
- Protein shake with avocado slices, cashew or almond milk, frozen berries, and flax meal.
We have stuck to trail mix for our snacks the past few weeks. Literally pouring a few different ingredients into a bag, shake until everything looks like it made new friends, and then scoop 1/3 of a cup into snack bags for the week. These include walnuts, almonds, papaya pieces, unsweetened banana chips, dried pineapple pieces, raisins, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds. Not all ingredients all the time, but some of the ingredients all the time.
I tend to mix the breakfast/lunch/dinner ideas for any meal of the day. I keep things SUPER SIMPLE. It is much easier to meal prep a few things that can be mixed and matched throughout the week or turned into dishes for the following week than trying to plan out new and intricate menu items when you’re already short on time. I’m not saying one of us won’t whip up some fancy meal every couple of days, but it’s much easier than trying to come up with a menu and cook every night of the week.
I try to pre-portion out as much of the meals/ingredients as possible to further make sure we actually eat the meal prepped items and don’t just get lazy and waste all the food. So far, this has helped us tremendously!
Are you a meal prep pro?! What are some of your go-to, EASY, few ingredient veggie recipes that you make?
Thanks for stopping by!