Sick of supper time stress? Trying to plan a semi-balanced and satisfying meal on an empty stomach is a recipe for disaster. Save yourself time, and money spent on takeout, by starting a weekend meal prep routine. 

Feeling intimidated by the idea of sitting down to plan and prep seven nights of meals? Don’t be! A successful meal prep routine requires much less work (and organization!) than that. Start thinking of meal prep as meal preparedness and it will feel much more do-able.

Instead of charting out a weeks worth of meals, try just planning one or two new recipes. This will help keep things interesting at dinnertime without turning into a major time investment. Then, make sure your pantry and refrigerator are well stocked with ingredients to prepare familiar dishes you know how to cook without a recipe. Don’t forget to have a few Luvo frozen meals on hand to fill in any gaps during the week, don’t forget that can save even more time by ordering Luvo online.

On meal prep day, spend a little time prepping so weeknight is just throwing things into a pot, skillet or oven to heat. Here’s what to make on the weekend to save time during the week:

Cook a protein

Prepare enough of a protein to make leftovers that can be stretched into another meal or two. Extra herb roasted salmon is perfect over a salad or stuffed into an omelet with tomatoes, greens and cheese. An extra whole roasted chicken can be picked and used to make spicy chicken tacos or used add protein to a simple mix of pasta, sauce and vegetables. Vegetarians, boil up a big batch of beans or bake squares of tofu, which can be used to make stir fries, beans and rice or burritos.

Cook a whole grain

Intact whole grains are nutritious and fiber rich carbohydrate source, but they also take quite a bit of time on the stove! Prepare a big batch of whole grains, like brown rice, farro, quinoa or millet. You can use the grains to make a grain bowl for lunch, whip up a stir fry, or simply toss with fresh herbs and lemon juice for a side dish. Save even more time with a pressure cooker, which cooks grains in less than thirty minutes with minimal fuss.

Chop vegetables

A lot of meal prep time goes to chopping and dicing. Try prepping vegetables ahead of time. You can even store them together in the amounts you’ll need for recipes. While you’re at it, consider roasting or grilling a batch or two of veggies, which can easily be used in pasta dishes, frittatas, or reheated for a side dish.

Cook a make ahead-meal

We all have those days when life throws us a few curve balls and the last thing we want to do is cook. Try to prep one make-ahead meal on the weekend so you can simply heat and eat. Try a slow cooker soup, pasta casserole, 1-pan meal or a bean and vegetable chili. For bonus points, double up the recipe and freeze extra portions for later!

Just a little bit of meal prep can go a long way in saving time during the week. Even if you don’t have time to prep all four of these items, just one might be the difference between a tasty and wholesome homemade meal and greasy takeout that gives you a stomachache. While it is a little bit of time invested on the weekend, you’ll save yourself even more time during the week!

Share your meal hacks with us in the comment section!

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