Being an actress, writer, and model in LA who is getting married in less than 2 weeks, my busy, unpredictable schedule can often leave me with limited time for cooking (depending on what each day holds). When I don’t prep and plan my meals for the coming week, I wind up hungry, frustrated, and spending more money on meals and unhealthy snacking out.
Meal prepping and planning doesn’t have to be boring, filled with lists, or complex if you don’t want it to be. You can just learn a few simple tricks and foods that when prepped in advance leave your belly and wallet happy throughout the week! 🙂
First of all, as funny as this might sound, being a creative type, I am far more likely to grab something from my fridge that is pleasing to the eye. One of our loved ones bought us the colorful mixing/storage bowls from the Martha Stewart collection our wedding registry. The bowls come with lids to fit each size and they are amazing! Whether your budget is for Target, the dollar store, Macy’s, or William Sonoma, you can always find fun storage that will make your meal planning easier and cuter 😉
Start with boiling eggs. Why? Eggs are inexpensive, easy, healthy, tasty, and versatile! Boiling eggs takes about 13-15 minutes, so I boil eggs at the beginning of the week, place them in one of my storage bowls, and pull them out for quick snacks with an apple and peanut butter or a Cobb salad for dinner! These protein packed eggs are perfect to have on hand.
Quinoa is one of my favorite things ever. Why? It’s organic, healthy, vegan, gluten free, filling, versatile, and filling! I cool quinoa in my rice cooker which takes about 15-20 minutes. If you do this at the beginning of your week, cook enough quinoa for each day, keeping you from having to cook and clean your rice cooker daily. Just once a week! I use quinoa with honey, bananas and cinnamon for breakfast, mix it with black beans, avocado, and salsa for Mexican lunches, and use it as a side dish with chicken and veggies. Get creative!
Chicken is wonderful. Full of protein and lean meat. In the photo above, you’ll actually see how I used quinoa as a side dish tonight. Cooking chicken breasts is time consuming. Make your chicken in advance and place the rest in your fridge! Pull it out for lunch sandwiches, chicken salads, or dinners like mine with quinoa and baked Brussels sprouts.
Those 3 foods above will only require you to cook once a week, but will give you breakfast, lunch, and dinner options for the entire week. Cooking doesn’t have to be expensive or time consuming. Enjoy the process! 🙂