How to Get Started with Meal Prepping, Healthy Make-Ahead Recipes

Oct 21 2020
Question@2x Hi Lisa,

I’ve thought about meal prepping for years, but it’s never happened. How do you get started?

Meal-Prep Procrastinator
Answer@2x Hi MPP,

I get it: All the meticulously arranged pictures on Instagram and Pinterest can make meal prepping seem intimidating and unrealistic... but it doesn’t have to be!

First, let’s define meal prep… It doesn’t necessarily mean having a fridge full of cooked-from-scratch individual meals for every day of the week. Meal prep can also mean preparing FOR your meals. It can be anything you do in advance that makes it easier to have a healthy meal. From pre-chopping veggies to stocking up on ready-to-eat proteins… It all counts.

So what kind of meal prepper are you? Do you need individual meals ready to go in order to be successful? (Is that realistic for you?) Or do you just need meal starters: ready-to-eat basics (some store-bought, some made in advance) so it’s quick and easy to assemble a healthy meal? My approach is to use a little of both methods. I’m a big fan of multi-serving make-ahead recipes that I can cook once and eat throughout the week. I also like to keep my "food friends" close by: precooked chicken breast, frozen veggies, broccoli slaw, etc. This way, I can toss together a few ingredients and have a meal in no time.

Once you figure out an approach that will work for you, PLAN AHEAD…
1. Decide what you want to eat for the week, taking into account how much time you’ll have for prep work.

2. Make a grocery list & stock up. Remember to grab some ready-made basics!

3. Set aside time to make recipes and/or do ingredient prep.
Now that you have some meal-prep advice under your belt, here are more resources for you… YOU GOT THIS!

Hungry for More Meal-Prep Help?

Grab the Fall 2020 issue of Hungry Girl magazine! Flip to page 14 to read up on "Meal-Prep Champions: Time Saving Finds!" for grocery picks, kitchen tools, and more to make your life easier. Plus, you'll find amazing make-ahead recipes...

⭑ Slow Cooker Comfort Foods (page 36)
⭑ 6-Ingredient Casseroles (page 50)
⭑ Souper Simple (page 56)
… and more!


Join Lisa Live TONIGHT on Facebook: New Recipe, Trivia, and Free-Product Coupons!

Tune in to the Hungry Girl Facebook page tonight at 5pm PT/8pm ET to chat with Lisa as she whips up an incredible 15-minute chicken dinner, featuring Green Giant’s Butternut Squash Spirals. Bonus: Our pals at Green Giant are giving away EIGHT highly coveted coupon booklets worth over $150 each! Make sure you have notifications turned on for the Hungry Girl Facebook page... You don't want to miss it!

Chew on this:

Happy National Pumpkin Cheesecake Day, October 21st. A round of Shot-Glass Pumpkin Cheesecakes should be in your future!

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SmartPoints® value* not what you expected? We follow the same method as WW (formerly known as Weight Watchers) when calculating the value of a recipe: We add up the SmartPoints® values* of the individual ingredients using the Recipe Builder, not the calculator. (Many foods have a value of zero and remain zero in recipes.)

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