Meal planning and prepping is definitely a key component of eating well. The amount of prepping you choose to do is somewhat optional. If you have a busy weekend that doesn’t provide time for meal prepping or if cooking is just not your jam, we have you covered. It’s the planning part that is not optional. We have compiled a list of almost no-cooking required staples and ways to incorporate them into Pounds Plate meals. Fill your grocery cart with these easy simple ingredients and you will have a wide variety of options at your fingertips to put together a tasty meal – even if you don’t feel like cooking.
Chop the meat into chunks when you get home from the store so it’s ready to eat. If you don’t think you will use it all in 3-4 days, store it in the freezer for future use.
· Sprinkle on a salad – try it with lettuce, cheese, salsa, sour cream and guacamole for an easy taco salad.
· Toss with mayo, veggies and herbs for a quick chicken salad.
· Add to stir-fried veggies or soup
Fresh and Frozen Veggies
· Bagged greens or cabbage are the base for any salad, just top with protein and dressing of choice.
· Bibb lettuce or collard greens are an alternative to tortillas or wraps.
· Peppers, carrots, celery, cucumber and broccoli are handy for dipping with ranch, blue cheese, guacamole or sour cream and onion dip, and can be purchased pre-cut.
· Frozen veggies are just as nutritious as fresh veggies and will not go bad, so keep them on hand to add to soup, stew, chili, protein shakes and stir fry.
· Try zoodles or cauliflower rice (fresh or frozen) as a healthy substitute for pasta and rice.
· Eat it by the spoonful to kill a sweet craving.
· Store a few tablespoons in a small container for dipping veggies or apple slices.
· Check out different flavor varieties (watch added sugar).
· Single serve packs are perfect for on the go snacking or to help with portion control.
· Sliced, shredded, whipped or crumbled cheese will provide any meal or snack with a hit of protein and fat.
· Slice it in half, keep the pit intact, close it back up, then put the entire thing in a plastic baggie with a halved lemon or lime. You will always be ready to just scoop a little flesh out as needed on the go.
· Mash it to make guacamole for dipping veggies, topping eggs, enhancing chili or spreading inside deli rollups.
· Whip up a healthy green goddess dressing by blending half an avocado with buttermilk and spices of choice to take any salad up a notch.
· Enhance any combination of protein and veggies with sauce. Try one of the many options for store bought pesto, alfredo sauce, tahini, hot sauce, tapenade, salsa and salad dressing. Just remember to check the labels for added sugar. Sauces can transform the flavor of a dish and take it from bland to fantastic.
Eggs (almost no cook)
· Eggs need to be cooked, but if you can boil water you will have a handy, portable protein filled snack whenever you need one. Boil one dozen eggs at the beginning of the week then use them to top salads, mix with mayo to make egg salad, or eat them with a sprinkle of salt and pepper for a snack anytime.
· How to make hard boiled eggs:
· Place eggs in the bottom of a saucepan. Fill the pan with cold water to 1-inch above the eggs. Bring the water to a rapid boil over high heat. Once boiling, cover the pan with a lid and remove the pan from the heat. Let sit for 8 minutes. Fill a large bowl with ice and water. After 8 minutes remove the lid and use tongs or a spoon to remove the eggs from the hot water and immerse into the ice water to cool for about 10 minutes. Peel and enjoy.
· Buying protein that is already cooked and merely needs to be heated is such a convenient option. Kielbasa or sausage patties/links, meatballs, buffalo wings, and shrimp are great “set and forget” meals that will be ready without much effort. Combine with vegs and one of the listed sauces and voila, dinner is served.