Meal Planning Hacks to Save Time and Sanity

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These meal prep hacks will make meal planning easy while saving you time and sanity. These tips and tricks are so good you will want to use them all year long!

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The whirlwind of parties, gatherings, errands to run, gifts to buy, and decorating duties this holiday season leaves little time for meal planning!

But don’t fret!

I am giving you the gift of kitchen cooking shortcuts that is sure to ease the overwhelming dinner dilemma that plagues us when we get home after a day of running around.

So put your feet up, relax, and read on how to hack your way through dinner and keep that cheery holiday grin on your face!

Meal Planning Hacks #1 Get Semi-Prepped Foods from the Store

Don’t be afraid of some store-bought food. It can give you a total kitchen win that will result in a quality meal without all the additives you might find in a typical takeout meal. Here are some ideas.

Meal Planning Hacks #2 Get Pre-Cooked Proteins

That rotisserie chicken can be a lifesaver when you have no idea what to eat. Use it to make soup, or chili.

Shred the chicken and take the leftovers to make a tasty taco lunch.

Meal Planning Hacks #3 Frozen Veggies Can Make A Meal In Minutes

Really strapped for time? Just add some frozen veggies and eat! This is the best way to get a good protein source without wasting time cooking.

Get a frozen cauliflower crust or gluten-free pizza crust to make a quick pizza. Add a cup of Pomi Tomato Sauce with a teaspoon of pizza sauce seasoning then sprinkle with your favorite cheese and veggies for an easy and filling meal.

Meal Planning Hacks #4 Decrease Prep Time with Ready-to-Go Veggies

Buy pre-chopped produce, especially those hard-to-manage vegetables (ahem, squash) that are more time-intensive to prepare. Toss with a tablespoon of olive oil and roast for a side dish or add to salads during the week.

Meal Planning Hacks #5 Batch Baby, Batch

Having a healthy, home-cooked meal every night is something that can be feasible. Enter batch cooking!

For those of you not familiar with this term batch cooking is when you make a large portion of food in one period of time and then freeze or refrigerate it to have on hand the rest of the week.

It is a great time saver if you hate cooking dinner every night, but still want to eat well during the week. It is a really efficient way of cooking so you get the most out of your food.

You may be thinking, “but I don’t like leftovers.”

No worries! Batch cooking is actually something entirely different. It actually consists of cooking more food than you need and then repurposing it for another dish later on.

Eggs Can Be Batched Into Many Meals

Like eggs? You can take a bunch and cook them in different ways. One recipe I like to have for the week is Egg in Avocado. 

Want to keep it simple? Just boil a few of them at a time. They will stay fresh in the fridge for up to a week.

The hard-boiled eggs will be ready when you need to make a meal. Add them to salads or just devil them with a little mustard for a quick snack that takes no time at all.

So Many Ways to Batch Veggies

Veggies are my favorite things to batch out. Some of the best are squash and sweet potatoes.

I will cook a big spaghetti squash then let it cool and have it ready to be seasoned with my favorite spices like garlic and dill.

If you are looking for something easy you can just top your squash with olive oil and your seasoning of choice. If I don’t have any fresh spices like to use dried garlic, dill, basil, or cilantro.

Once you batch this squash you can reheat it or top it on your salads.

Sweet potatoes and butternut squash are two other veggies that I like to batch-cook.

Bake a bunch of them at a time so you have them on hand for whatever type of recipe you want to make. Here are some ideas:

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Meal Prep Hack: Make Clean-Up Easy To Save Time

For me, the worst part of cooking is the cleanup. One way I save time is by making one-pot dish meals.

One way to minimize clean-up is to cook your meals in an air fryer, crockpot, or Instant Pot, or use just one pan in the oven, or on the stovetop.

You will be smiling when you see the lack of dishes that need to be washed. Not sure what to make? Try these recipes on for size.

Jonz-ing for some Asian take-out? Unfortunately, these foods are often laced with preservatives, too much sodium, and hidden sugars. Instead, make this one-pot Asian stir fry recipe that utilizes frozen veggies to save time leaving you with a healthier meal that will hit the spot.

Sheet pan dinners are a great way to cook protein and veggies all in one baking pan.

Are you asking yourself, “What the heck is an Instant Pot?”  Have no fear! You can learn how to use it and make some tasty recipes with these cookbooks.

These meal prep hacks should help to save time so you can focus on bigger things this holiday season

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