Now that summer vacations are over, you may be thinking about how to get into a better weekday meal routine. Planning ahead with some time-saving hacks is the best way to make sure you’re prepared for success.
Here are some dinnertime dash tips that will help you put a healthy meal on the table fast:
- Meal Prep: This is the #1 trend in healthy home cooking. It’s really a simple idea, you take one day a week (usually Sunday) and cook a bunch of staple ingredients that you will refrigerate and eat throughout the week. As you decide what to prep think about three categories: Grains, Protein and Vegetables. When dinner time comes you just have to heat everything back up.
- Grains: Quinoa, brown rice, whole wheat pasta, bulgur, farro or whole grain couscous
- Protein: Beans, tofu, ground beef or chicken. While the weather is still nice, it’s super easy to grill protein for the week.
- Vegetables: Choose hearty vegetables that will hold up well after cooking. Seasonal fresh produce will always taste the best so in early autumn I choose potatoes, zucchini, broccoli, green beans, carrots, parsnips, squash, cabbage, spinach, kale, and chard.
- Batch cook and freeze: If you like the idea of meal prep, but don’t want to eat the same food on repeat all week, take a look at this video which will teach you How to Batch Cook and Freeze. This way you will always have nutritious option on hand and ready to go. Each week you can batch cook something new so that you build a variety of frozen meals to choose from.
- Buy some. Make some: Let Whole Foods do some of the work! Mix in some prepared foods from our store so that you have less to do. Grab grilled salmon to have with a fresh salad. Use frozen brown rice for your seasonal veggie stir-fry. Grab some spiralized zucchini noodles to have with home-made pesto. Rely on canned beans for tacos and salads. Buy a rotisserie chicken for burritos, salads, sandwiches, pasta dishes or another inspired rotisserie recipe!
- Kiss the cooker:Learn to cook with a slow cooker, and you’ll return at the end of the day to a dinner that’s ready to serve. Here’s a collection of our favorite slow cooker recipes.
- Pick recipes that freeze well: This is similar to meal prep, except you are making full recipes instead of staple ingredients. Check out this blog post for recipe ideas for big batch cooking.
- Less is more: Choose recipes that have 5 ingredients or less so that shopping is quick and simple. Here are a few recipes that have 5 ingredients or less.