The Easy, Breezy Meal Strategy to Simplify Your Life

When you’re thinking about your week, you don’t have to make a wildly difficult master plan for your meals. Figure out what you like and use the same strategy over and over to make everything easier. Plan out your week with these easy, breezy meal prep strategies.  Here are the meals you need to add to your repertoire: 

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The Easy Meal

We always keep basics for our easy meal on hand.  It’s easy to buy, easy to prep and everyone likes it. If we can’t think of any thing else to eat, our easy meal saves us a trip for take out.  You need to pick an easy meal that works for you. Here are some ideas:

  • Spaghetti with whole wheat or yellow-squash “noodles”
  • Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
  • Scrambled Eggs & Bacon

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The Slow-Cooker Meal

I love my slow cooker, I use it every week to plan one meal for our family.  It’s so easy – just throw your stuff into it in the morning, forget about it and when you come home at night, you have a delicious dinner nearly ready to go.  We keep ours set to low and instead of turning it off, I always unplug it – then I never come home to a cold pot of uncooked food.  I mix it up with soups, shredded chicken and even baked potatoes! Here are some ideas:

  • Chicken Noodle Soup (add chicken, chicken stock, veggies and cook on low for 8 hours)
  • Chicken Tacos (add chicken, homemade taco seasoning, chicken bone broth (about 1/4 cup per chicken) and cook on low for 8 hours)
  • BBQ Pulled Chicken (add chicken and homemade BBQ sauce, cook on low for 8 hours)
  • Baked Potatoes (poke holes in potatoes, brush with olive oil, wrap in foil and cook on low for 8 hours)

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The Meal-Prepped Meal

Now make sure you hear me on this one, don’t buy a frozen dinner at the store – too much sodium and you don’t really know what you’re getting.  The Pre-Made I’m suggesting is a you make on the weekend and refrigerate or freeze until you need it for dinner.  I meal-prep family meals all of the time, this weekend it was Lasagna, Homemade Mac & Cheese and Banana/Pumpkin Applesauce Muffins with Avocado instead of oil.  The best part is, my oldest son pops them in the oven when he comes home from school and dinner is ready when the rest of us get home! (All. The. Praise. Hands.)

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The Salad with Healthy Protein

We eat salad weekly.  This means we need to switch up our options regularly.  To always have salad on hand, buy the lettuce and veggies for only what you need that week.  Keep cheese in the freezer until you’re going to use it.  For the protein – here is the genius tip I got from a friend a few years ago – buy your protein, marinade it in a ziploc bag and freeze it with the marinade.  When you’re ready to use it, just thaw and cook!  I also slow grill big batches of chicken on the weekends and then slice it after it’s cooled, freeze it in single serving containers and we can take these salads in our lunches easily. Here is my favorite “recipe” for the perfect salad:

  • Greens – our favorites are Romaine and Spinach.  I also love cabbage for crunch.
  • Flavor – berries, tomatoes, carrots, apples, onions, olives, artichokes (if you can dream it, you can do it)
  • Fat – avocado, almonds, walnuts,pecans, pepitas, sunflower seeds
    • Remember – fat keeps you full, fat doesn’t make you fat
    • My husband also adds cheese – blue, feta, mozzarella or parmesan – I eat Paleo/Whole 30, so I omit
  • Protein – Hard-Boiled Eggs, Bacon, Chicken, Turkey – you have tons of options
  • Dressing – we make ours from scratch – make your own with –  2/3 c oil, 1/3 c vinegar and seasonings for a simple dressing with extras (my husband also adds parmesan cheese to his)

Try at least one of these meals this week – it will make your life so much easier! And it’s nice to do all the meal prep and thinking on one day, so you can spend your evenings (and lunches – these meals make great leftovers!) focusing on what really needs your attention.  You have the time to do this.  Devote one hour today to planning your meals for the week – you’ll thank yourself soon!

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