Meal prepping does not need to steal your weekend! Even I, who loves to cook, who sacrificed all her nails to makeover her kitchen, does not want to be slicing and dicing all wkd! H-E-Double hockey stick no!
When you first start prepping it may go slow but the more you do it the faster it will go. Still I do have some shortcuts that I use when I'm crazy busy, like I was this past weekend working on my kitchen backsplash. You may not receive as much fit and beautifying nutrients from some of these shortcuts...but that's why there's multivitamins. Haha. You're still keeping things healthy! Hey, we do what us busy professional women/men (especially those living in small towns with no access to real fast healthy food joints) can do!
1. Frozen vegetables. Improved packaging methods has increased the nutrient level of frozen vegetables and sometimes it's easier to find organic frozen veggies than fresh, like corn. I'm not a fan of the taste of frozen mixed veggies or zucchini and summer squash, but I love string beans, broccoli florets, organic corn, artichokes, and the new "rices" like cauliflower and broccoli. Just make sure they don't have any added sauces to them. Simply steam these guys. Takes a few minutes.
2. Increasingly I've seen pre cut veggies available. Personally I've never tried them, but any amazing sauce you make will make them taste great! If you don't have great knife skills or a spiralizing tool, pre prepared veggies will reduce time and intimidation when you first are starting to prep.
3. Just like frozen vegetables, there are more sophisticated packaging techniques now that have enabled longer shelf life for dressings with little to no preservatives. Eventually you will learn how fast it is to make your own, but these are great for in a time crunch.
Annapolis based Tessemae's is one brand I advocate. Years ago when I developed the concept of NutraCouture, which then was a line of fit and beautifying sauces, I spoke to one of the owners. He was kind enough to give me an hour of his time and he didn't even know me! They didn't want to add preservatives in their dressings, but they were told time and time again they would have to, much like I was told when I contacted copackers. They stayed true to their belief and figured out a way to package themselves! So yeah a MD based business with integrity...HUGE fan!
4. Share meal prep with a friend! It's easier to make a big batch of something, so why not you make one thing, homegirl or homeboy makes another and you just swap!
5. My curveball of the list! Out of all the condiments I have researched, these two have the least amount of preservatives if any. They are a great way to add clean, bold flavor to a lunch or dinner dish quickly. Plus they fit into whatever keto, Whole30, paleo, vegan, etc diet you are following! You could make the blandist of bland chicken or tofu and frozen veggie meal. Throw some coconut oil or ghee on for healthy fat then add one of these. It's not 5 star quality, but it is healthy, tasty and fast! I keep both of them on standby in my fridge. I love the Southwestern Dijon Mustard!
Do you have any meal prep time saving tips to share or brands of salad dressings you love? Feel free to comment below!