Easier to Eat Well: Food Prep Ideas

If you find yourself with some extra time on your hands, either after work or over the weekend, how about spending a little time on food preparation for the following week?

It’s amazing how just a little preparation can make your life so much easier!

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

1. Wash and bag your produce for juicing for the week!

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My friend, Sarah, brilliantly washes and bags her produce for the week, so all you have to do is open it up and juice each morning! Doesn’t get much easier than that. (Be sure to rinse and reuse your bags!)

Or, you could simply prepare all of your juices ahead of time, and store your prepared juices in the freezer (leave room for expansion)! You can thaw one juice at a time overnight in the fridge, or allow it to thaw during your morning commute!

2. Prepare your salad ingredients ahead of time.

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You could essentially have a salad bar waiting for you in your fridge! By washing and chopping up your salad toppings ahead of time, you can have a quick and easy meal ready in a matter of minutes. Make sure you dry those veggies well, for longer shelf-life.

Note: This would be a fun way to get kids involved in making their own meals, too! Give them colorful options like cherry tomatoes, chopped peaches, fresh blueberries, diced cucumbers, etc. and encourage them to eat the colors of the rainbow!

3. Prepare one or two delicious salad dressings to keep in your fridge!

Bottled salad dressings may be convenient, but they’re usually loaded with preservatives and thickeners that you’d probably never knowingly choose to feed to your family. Luckily, preparing your own salad dressing is quick and easy, and will keep in your fridge for a whole week!

A few of my favorites:

4. Prepare a big batch of Sweet Potato Noodles and/or Cauliflower Rice, and store individual portions in your freezer.

No need to cook these before freezing–> they will automatically be tender when heated from their frozen state.

I’m too impatient to let either of these thaw, so I usually throw the frozen noodles or rice directly into the hot skillet when it’s time for dinner. They work great, even without thawing, for a quick meal!

5. While you’re at it, prepare a big batch (or two) of sauces for your noodles and rice!

Freezing sauces, like Vegan Pesto or Sweet Potato Curry Sauce, in an ice cube tray leaves you with easily portioned cubes that are easy to store, and that will melt quickly in a hot pan. Simply grab 4-5 cubes, and toss them into a pan with the rest of your meal–> they’ll melt in minutes! Combine with chopped frozen veggies and your choice of frozen rice or noodles, for a quick and easy meal.

Who says you can’t enjoy a healthy frozen dinner?

Reader Feedback: What do you do to make healthy living easier? Please share your tips below!

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Meet Megan Gilmore

Hi, I’m Megan. A former fast food junkie turned certified nutritionist consultant, trying to make healthy living as easy as possible. I believe in eating delicious whole foods on a regular basis to help naturally support the body’s detox organsβ€” no juice fasting required. (Unless you want to!) If you make one of my healthy recipes, tag @detoxinista on Instagram or Facebook so I can see!

30 thoughts on “Easier to Eat Well: Food Prep Ideas

  1. Marlena

    Megan, I LOVE the idea of freezing sauces in the ice cube trays. That is totally genius. I have been looking for ways to make meal prep quicker and easier since the baby has been born, so this post is timely for me. Thank you!

    Reply
  2. Joanna

    I love this post. Thanks for writing it. I often get overwhelmed every Sunday with food prep and this really simplifies it.

    Reply
  3. Carrie

    I love the idea of pre-bagging the juicing veggies! That is a little time consuming to wash and juice, and clean the juicer when I’m always running a few minutes behind! πŸ™‚ Thanks!! Also, I have used your goat yogurt idea and created yummy new dressing yesterday! I didn’t have any fresh herbs on hand, so, i used about a cup of goat yogurt, a tablespoon of dried dill, about half teaspoon of onion powder, teaspoon of dijon, and a few dashes of paprika for a beautiful color. It sat in the fridge until lunch and was delicious. Same as the ranch, except without the fresh chive and dill! A VERY quick and easy to throw together dressing or dip!! (THANKS AGAIN for the inspiration!!!)

    Reply
  4. Cadie

    These are some great ideas! I love the idea of washing all of your produce in advance for juicing. That’s the part that always takes me the longest! πŸ™‚ Thanks for sharing your great ideas. I love your blog.

    Reply
  5. Keri

    I love the pre-bagging juice veggies idea! I am definitely going to do that! We have fallen off of the juice train lately mainly because it can be such a big process especially if we already have a sink full of dishes and this tip will totally help with that!

    Reply
  6. jeanne

    Great ideas! I know a lot of people don’t do grains anymore, but I like to make a vat of brown rice to have at the ready in the fridge.

    I also like to steam a bunch of kale, broccoli, brussels sprouts or asparagus ahead of time then just throw them on salads or whatever…I don’t like them raw, but steamed they are delicious πŸ™‚

    Reply
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  8. Amber

    I love this idea. I’m totally going to get a salad bar going in my fridge and try the sweet potato noodles.

    Reply
  9. carrie

    Most of my problem is not having anything prepped or planned to eat so when mealtimes come around, I’m too hungry to wait for dinner to be ready or I have nothing to take into work for lunch and I eat anything that’s around or end up eating out! I’m definitely going to use these tips to prep for next week’s meals. Thanks Meg!

    Reply
  10. Gabby @ the veggie nook

    This is seriously an amazing post- so many good tips! I make dressings at the beginning of the week too to make salads easy, but I never thought to pre-chop produce! And I love the sauces in ice cube trays. Thanks so much for all these tips!

    Reply
  11. Penny O

    I’m going to be making the grain-free stuffing this week, and now I am inspired to chop up me veggies this weekend when I actually have time! Great post. Many thanks!!

    Reply
  12. Holly

    Such great tips! Sometimes after a long working day, the last thing I feel like doing is taking the time to chop a bunch of veggies for a salad and am put off by the mess made my “ricing” cauliflower in a food processor. Making large batches of healthy dressing for salads is also a great idea. I also remember reading on a different post of yours, to cook spaghetti squash earlier in the week and keeping the squash intact in the fridge until you’re ready to use it… how did that never occur to me before?!

    Reply
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  15. Heather P.

    What great ideas! I am totally going to make your salad dressing recipes and have the salad ingredients already chopped up and ready to go!

    Reply
  16. tayler

    i love the idea of simplifying the process of juicing & salad preps-

    however im concerned with your use of plastic- I just got this big set of glass containers at cost co ! its amazing. i use it to store all of my washed produce. its called glassware snap lock-

    Reply
    1. Megan Post author

      Most of the pictures of the plastic bags above aren’t mine– they are ideas shared from the internet. I actually do use glass containers and mason jars in my home, and I love them!

      Reply
  17. Shenell

    I just found this site today. The things you post seem totally doable, unlike a lot of the things I’ve come across online. Kudos!!

    Reply
  18. Cindy

    Hello Megan,
    How do you feel about fruit and vegetable smoothies? I like to start the day with a spinach/apple/blueberry/banana smoothie. Is this ok?

    Reply
  19. jessica press

    Hello Megan,

    Can you tell me some tips on storing produce to last longer? So salad veggie toppings should be dry… so should I pat them with paper towels before storing? Then for the greens I heard it is best to put them with a WET paper towel.. can you clarify? Thanks!

    Reply
      1. Dr. Deborah @ PeriodCrampsRelief.com

        Maybe you did end up writing about this in a later post, but since I’m just finding this today πŸ™‚ I wondered if you’ve seen/read Eating on the Wild Side? The main point of the book is discussion of which vegetable varieties are most nutritious (like say, among lettuces, which has the higher-powered nutrition), but she does also discuss storage techniques that preserve nutrition (along with which things are probably so depleted by the time you get them into your fridge, that if you’re a gardener at all, it’s worth growing them!).

        And also, these are really great food-prep tips, that I will absolutely share with my patients!

        Reply
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