Weeknight dinner planning can be a challenge. With long hours and long commutes, it’s sometimes impossible to find enough time available for preparing a healthy, delicious meal.
Luckily fall is finally here and so are some amazing in-season vegetables!
One of my favorite meal prep techniques is spending Sunday morning roasting every vegetable I can get my hands on. Brussels sprouts, various squash including acorn and butternut, cauliflower, broccoli, potatoes, I could go on forever. The beauty of roasting vegetables is that they retain their flavor in the days to come after being cooked. They also tend to hold their texture where sometimes frozen vegetables end up soggy. I don’t know about you, but frozen broccoli is probably one of my least favorite quick foods. I’m much happier when I’ve roasted a head of broccoli in advance for the week instead of settling for heating up frozen broccoli.
Another tip for meal prep is to have canned beans in your cupboard. I have an instant pot and prefer to cook dried beans whenever possible, but sometimes life gets the best of me and I need food now. Whenever this happens I’m always glad that my pantry is stocked with backup canned beans. Simply drain, rinse, heat and portion out your serving to add plant protein to your meal.
Not really into beans? Try roasting a block of tofu, pre-make a batch of lentils instead of beans, or even heat and cut-up your favorite veggie burger patty to add!
Speaking of my instant pot, other great food items you can prep in advance for weeknight dinners are quinoa, sorghum, rice, or bulgur. I personally love to cook these in my instant pot simply because I don’t like to stand over a hot stove, especially for 30min or more. Cooking extra servings of my grains to have throughout the week makes this food hack a no brainer.
You could also pre-make a pot of high protein pasta to store for portioning out during the week. Just make sure to mix with some olive oil if you plan to refrigerate it sans sauce. This will help to minimize the pasta sticking together.
Putting it all together
Using my roasted vegetables, beans, and grain of choice I find an easy weekday dinner or lunch is to portion that out into a bowl and top with my favorite fixings. Depending on the variety, I might add some fresh avocado, sprinkle on some hemp hearts, or even add a sauce or peanut dressing. Another way to add flavor is to add fresh herbs and some lemon juice to keep it low sodium friendly. Experiment with different combinations to find what you and your family prefer.
Stay tuned for more meal prep ideas and tips!