Americans today clock in the longest hours among all the labor forces in the world. A 47-hour work-week is now the new normal. It is no wonder preparing healthy meals have become a struggle as families juggle career, school, and community work.
But with the advent of meal prep delivery services, parents can heave a collective sigh of relief because they can still prepare and eat healthy, delicious meals. The meal prep delivery service allows working parents to still add a personal touch to their dishes without going through the rudiments of peeling, slicing, and chopping.
Here are some basics that you need to know to make meal prepping more enjoyable:
1. Subscribe to a meal prep delivery service
Choose a delivery service that can provide you with fresh components for your meals. These components have already been peeled, chopped, mashed or sliced for you. You may opt to have them delivered daily or weekly. Make sure that your source provides products that are free from artificial preservatives, added sugar, hormones, or antibiotics.
2. Follow the basic meal prep formula.
Nobody wants to browse through Pinterest for recipes when they are just a few minutes away from a hunger meltdown. Keep in mind the following formula so you can confidently whip out meals in a flash.
- Choose a starch: Mashed sweet potatoes, mac and cheese, coconut rice, quinoa, bulgur, and brown rice are healthy carb options.
- Pick your vegetables: Serve roasted or sautéed asparagus, zucchini, eggplant, Brussel sprouts, broccolini, green beans, or carrots to get your daily dose of essential vitamins and minerals.
- Select your protein: Grass-fed beef, grilled chicken breasts, chopped almond -crusted chicken, or poached salmon will complete your healthy meal.
- Adjust serving sizes and your component options bases on your family’s dietary needs and preferences. You can create hundreds of combinations using these three basic components.
3. Add variety to your meals by incorporating different cooking methods
If you have a few more minutes (and patience to spare), you may bring your meal prepping up a notch by using different cooking methods. Instead of just setting the components on a plate, you may prepare them as a:
Just add whisked eggs to a pan with the prepared protein and veggies, and you have a complete meal in no time.
- The One-Pan Bake
- Arrange veggies and protein on a baking pan — season with salt, pepper, and herbs. Then drizzle with olive or coconut oil. Let it bake at 40 degrees while you do other chores. In 20 minutes, your family will be saying “yum” to a healthy meal.
- You can also prepare a burrito, a buddha bowl, a soup, or a stir-fry using the components that you ordered.
4. Stock up on condiments and basic ingredients
Make sure that your pantry has the following essential ingredients so you can prepare dishes with different flavor profiles.
- Olive oil
- Coconut oil
- Kosher salt
- Whole peppercorns
- Different dried herbs such as oregano, thyme, basil, and rosemary.
- Various spices such as allspice, cinnamon, cumin, and chili powder.
Healthy meals may be challenging to pull off on a busy workday. But by keeping these basics in mind, you will be able to breeze through dinner with a few more hours to spare for much-needed family time.