I eat a lot of the same foods. I consume different variations of the same thing for breakfast, lunch is usually protein and veggies and dinner is usually something similar. Until recently, I never found the need to meal prep, but lately, I’ve figured out how handy having things ready to eat truly is. Besides having food already in the fridge, I also make sure to keep a fully stocked cabinet of foods for snacks, condiments and additions to every meal.
My Top 5 Staples:
1. An Orange Carb Source: Butternut Squash/Sweet Potatoes/Kabocha Squash (when I can find it)
Even though it’s a little more expensive, I always buy the pre-cut butternut squash at the store. Peeling a butternut squash is more hassle than it’s worth and makes my meal prep a lot more difficult. I simply buy a package of squash, throw it on a baking sheet and roast it in the oven for about 40 minutes or until it’s soft. Sometimes I sprinkle half with cinnamon for something different. Having plain roasted squash is perfect for adding to salads, lunches, dinners or even mashing for something like pancakes.
As for sweet potatoes, I buy a few and cut each one into differently so I can identify one potato. Usually I’ll do fries, wedges, rounds and chunks. I usually peel the chunks but not anything else. Like the squash, I simply throw them on a baking sheet and cook until soft. I LOVE cold sweet potatoes but they are also easy to just warm up.
2. Lean Ground Turkey (or chicken)
I usually buy a package of 99% (or 97%) lean ground turkey and put the whole thing in a pan right when I get home. I add a little water, a ton of chili powder, cayenne and paprika and cook it through like taco meat. Having ground meat in the fridge is an easy way to throw protein into stir-frys, wraps, omelette’s or anything else.
I might be weird, but I love mustard on everything. In my opinion, it’s the perfect condiment. I put mustard on my salad as a dressing, put it on meat and dip my sweet potato fries in it. I use it like this because I simply love mustard but a plus is that it’s essentially a “free” food–only about 5 calories per serving.
4. Peanut Butter
I have so many jars of peanut butter that it’s a little ridiculous although I personally believe you can never have too much. Peanut butter is an easy way to add satiating fat to any meal. Peanut butter goes great on oatmeal and tastes delicious drizzled over squash or sweet potatoes. Not only that it’s easy to find little squeeze packets of PB to keep in your bag in case you’re starving with nothing around.
5. Rice Cakes
I eat rice cakes as my pre-workout snack almost everyday. They also go hand in hand with the peanut butter. When you need a quick breakfast before a workout, a couple rice cakes with peanut butter and a banana works great. They are perfect as a snack and as a post workout meal, I’ll occasionally break one up with almond milk and eat it like cereal. Although I usually buy plain ones, I love the apple caramel ones for something sweet and cheddar for something more savory.
Of course I always have other things in my pantry but these are all constant and they make grabbing something to eat a lot easier when time is tight or when I don’t feel like making anything.
What are your staples?