Hi guys ! You probably noticed that I have done a complete restyle of the blog and that’s because I’m finally done with of all the stressful things I went through since 2019 started and the holidays are over so I’m back here and I have some great things prepared for you ! Today’s article is 100% dedicated to “How to back to school meal prep”. I will be sharing my best tips and some recipe ideas you can use!
What is meal prep, anyway?
So, most people will know what “meal prep” is but just to say it in a few words it’s about planning ahead and having meals ready for the week. There are tons of different ways to meal prep: those who meal prep all meals: breakfast, lunch, snack and dinner for a week, those who just do a couple of meals and those who meal prep in big big batches and freeze tuppers. Learning how to back to school meal prep is a challenge because 1) you are starting a new year and 2) you are busy. But doing this will really help you out during the week and you will eat healthy meals!
I don’t have the benefit of having a huge fridge/freezer, and I’m currently a bit low on containers so until I manage to get ahold of more of those (containers, not freezers), my meal prepping articles will mainly consist in: how I organize myself, the grocery shopping and the recipes I have planned for either past or coming week.
How to organize meal prep?
For this first meal prep article ever and to celebrate the back to school/rentrée season, I will be sharing the way I come up with recipes/meals for the week. I usually come up with at least 3 meals for the week (lunches) and potentially 2-3 simple breakfasts to go. However, if your week requires you to meal prep for more days than that, worry not, cause you can adapt my system to as many meals you require !
From here onwards, I will show you how I do it if I was planning for a 3 lunch and 3 breakfast meal prep session.
Choosing which meals to meal prep
I have a masterlist of ideas excel sheet with Breakfast, Snacks and Lunches/Dinners options. This is my dumpster of literally any food combo I have come up with in the past : When I have no idea what to cook, I just go there and I have at least 50 good ideas for either meal. This excel sheet is not only my key to meal prep, it also allows me to plan for groceries much easier. What I do then is choose 3 meals from there (usually according to what I had eaten the previous week, what vegetables are in season, what I feel like eating, the weather, …) and 3 breakfasts according to the workouts I have planned (they are post-workout breakfasts). This week, these were my meal choices :
|Day #1||Day #2||Day #3|
|Lunches||Pasta with protein veggie balls and ratatouille||Spicy couscous with chickpeas, roasted onion, green asparagus and peas||Spinach salad with carrots, cucumber, olives, red bell pepper, feta cheese & nuts|
|Breakfast||Quick version english breakfast||High protein banana (coated in peanut butter, oats and flax seed)||Apple with peanut butter and oat biscuits|
Preparing the grocery list
Most of my meals include stuff that I always end up buying anyway, but some of them include more specific ingredients. Before going grocery shopping, I take a look at the choices for my meals, and write down everything I will need. This is the key to any how to back to school meal prep tip. Without a grocery list, you will just end up buying anything without directions.
Protein veggie balls (I buy some specific french brand and use either half a package or an entire one)
For the ratatouille : 2 tomatoes, 1 zuchinni, 1 eggplant, half a red bell pepper, 2 onions, 3 garlic cloves and ratatouille spices
1 tbsp of peanut butter
1/4 cup of oats
1 tbsp of flax seed
1 cup of chickpeas
5-6 green asparagus
1/2 cup of peas
My couscous spice mix
1 tbsp peanut butter
2 homemade oat biscuits (I will upload the recipe!)
Handful of raw spinach
Handful of olives (i love olives)
1/2 red bell pepper
Desired amount of feta cheese
*Out of this grocery list, my out-of-the-ordinary items were green peas and the feta cheese.
Which day to meal prep?
Sunday is my go-to date for meal prepping. I do the groceries over the weekend and go to a vegetable/fruit market on sunday morning so I know I will have everything ready for sunday afternoon/evening. However, you can choose any date that suits you best ! My work week starts on monday so sunday is the best for me.
Prepare the containers before you cook
Having all the tuppers ready to serve the food before you cook it is really helpful.
Cook the meals you’ve chosen
It’s the last step to the meal prep (besides closing your containers and putting them in the fridge). It’s the most satisfying one because you can 1) smell the yummy food you just prepped and 2) know that you won’t have to worry about meals during the rest of the week !
Tip : Cook in batches as much as you can ! If your 3 recipes include “roasted onions”, cook all of them at once and then divide in the tuppers. Same goes for everything, if you are planning “hummus” on monday and roasted chickpeas on wednesday, use the same roasted chickpeas for both even if the end result won’t be the same. This really speeds up the process and reduces the amount of time you’ll spend meal prepping.
This is the entire process I go through when meal prepping. I know my method might be a bit longer than others because I choose to have different meals every day, but I really enjoy cooking and food and it makes me really happy to see that I have a different meal to look forward every day.
P.S: I haven’t been able to take some of my own pictures, but I will make sure to take some next time ! Or to share the ones I have previously taken.
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