Planning and Prepping for Your Meals

Do you want to cook healthy meals from fresh fruits and vegetables but you feel like you just can’t handle it unless somehow a few more hours magically appear to give you the time to get it done?  Don’t worry that is often the feeling that many of us have. 

A few tips that may help you to lose that stressed out feeling and still have a healthy meal for those midweek busy days:

Have a meal plan for the week. I know that this is the plan that would make all of our lives so much easier and I applaud you if you are organized and have this done.  If you are like me you may like to be a little more spontaneous.  You don’t really know exactly what dishes you want for the next week until that morning. To still keep yourself with a little semblance of order have some vegetables and other ingredients purchased that can be incorporated into different dishes.  That gives you some flexibility to have ingredients available that you can use in different recipes.

Once you have purchased your vegetables go ahead and prep them for the week.  Trim your greens removing any blemishes and hard stems that you won’t be using.  Cover them in cool water and pat to move them up and down in the water removing any grit that may be clinging to them.  Remove them from the water and run them through a salad spinner if you have one available.  They do make life so much easier if you prepare many greens.

After the greens are free from excess water go ahead and chop them into pieces that you would usually use in most of your recipes.  One way to store these greens is in a container that seals tight with a paper towel in with them to absorb excess moisture. They should keep easily  in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.

Root vegetable tops should be removed before storing them for several days.  The tops will pull the moisture out of the vegetable.  Don’t necessarily throw that top away.  It is good for you and can be used too, just store them them separately.  Scrub those veggies and peel them if necessary.  They do well to store them covered in water in a sealed container in the refrigerator. This also makes them more convenient for snacking on too.

Soft vegetables such as tomatoes and cucumbers are not going to keep as long but can still be prepped at least 2-3 days before you use them.

Sunday is usually a day that we have available to do our prep work before the busy week starts.  Sometimes it is more practical to plan another day mid-week so that all vegetables stay fresh.

Taking time to plan for meals and prep your vegetables is a time saver that can help you keep your family fed healthy meals and keep you a little less stressed.