Meal prep tips and tricks for the new year
While the start of another year is a great time to ring in new changes and healthy habits, after a week or two of complicated, ingredient-heavy meals it can get overwhelming fast. The good news is that we have a tip when it comes to making healthy weeknight meals that much easier: meal prep.
Set yourself up for a new year filled with nutritious, family-friendly meals with these meal prep tricks:
Tip 1: Plan your menu ahead of time
One of the trickiest parts of cooking dinner is figuring out what everyone is craving. Sitting down and planning your week of meals in advance is not only a core part of meal prep, but it can make the nightly decision a bit easier. Plus, it can also be a great way to introduce the basics of cooking to little ones.
The goal of meal prepping is to create a nutritious main entree that will last three to four days. The fun part is mixing and matching different sides, making it feel like a new dish every night.
For example, a lean pork tenderloin, hearty potatoes and sweet baby carrots can come together to create a high-protein meal that keeps you full and happy. For your second or third round, you can swap your sides for a fresh salad or any greens of your choice.
Plus, when it comes to cooking, all you have to do is cut up your vegetables and season to taste, place everything on a sheet pan and wait for it to bake.
Tip 2: Commit some time to the kitchen
Rather than spending 30 to 40 minutes cooking every night, meal prepping condenses it all into one or two days. That means once it’s actually time to eat, the main event is spending the night with your family rather than chasing down ingredients.
With that in mind, you should plan to block out some time on Sunday or any day of the week that everyone has room in their schedule.
The best thing about meal prepping is it doesn’t have to be a cooking marathon, making it an easier option if you’re just starting out in the kitchen. If your family is interested in trying meal prep for the first time, your slow cooker is about to become your best friend.
Pick up a Texas Smokehouse Pork Roast, place it in your slow cooker and wait! From there, all you have to do is pull your pork and you’re left with a delicious batch of meat to use throughout the week. The bold flavor is sure to make dinner exciting all week long, and you can use the shredded pork as the base for a delicious burrito bowl, on sandwiches, salads, soup and even nachos — or eat it as is with your favorite sides. We like to pair with a homemade jicama slaw to give it that extra “something.”
Tip 3: Explore new recipes
The easiest way to make a change to your routine stick is to make it fun. Experiment with different dishes and sides to find your family’s new favorites as you come together and enjoy nutritious, no-fuss dinners that work for you all week long.
If you’re in need of some inspiration for your next week of meal prepping, we’ve got you covered with some delicious recipes and ideas for dinner.
As you try out new foods and explore more recipes during the year ahead, just remember: The adventure starts at home!