We live in a society that makes eating healthy difficult and expensive while it’s very easy to stuff yourself full of cheap junk food. It’s no secret that eating fresh, healthy, veggie heavy food takes commitment and a little bit of work. There is planning, shopping, chopping, cooking, and cleaning involved.
But if you’re like most of us and your days are filled with non-stop activities and obligations, finding an hour a day to cook a fresh meal can be a serious challenge. And if you don’t want to eat out every day and you’re not down for being at the mercy of the drive thru or vending machine, then mastering meal prep is your best line of defense!
Whether your meal prep strategy involves making it yourself or ordering from a company like the Clean & Colorful Kitchen, here are a few things to consider as you get started.
What is Meal Prep?
The idea of Meal Prep is essentially batch cooking or cooking in bulk. Instead of cooking a different (or the same) meal every day, you can maximize your time in the kitchen and cook about three times as many meals with the same time investment. Over half of the work involved in cooking is the shopping, set up and clean up and when you only have to do that once, you’ve automatically saved yourself at least 3 hours per week.
After you cook your meals, you portion them out into single containers and store them for up to a week in your refrigerator or months in your freezer. The idea is simple, and it works! Whether it’s lunches or dinner you struggle with, an meal prep strategy is the best way to support your busy, healthy lifestyle.
How To Meal Prep For Yourself
It’s simple really, and if you have the time and/or love to cook, this can be an awesome weekend activity! All you need is a plan for what you’re going to eat all week, great recipes, a trip to the market, a few hours in your kitchen, meal prep storage containers and some good music and you’re set! Here is a great recipe to meal prep in bulk. It is one of our most popular recipes!
Great Meal Prep Recipe: Sexy Orange Chicken
- Servings: 6 individual portions
- Nutrition: 398 Calories, 29g Protein, 15g Fat, 11g Fiber, 17g Sugar
- Cost: $33.44 ($5.57 per serving with tray)
- Time: 2 hours 40 min (includes shopping and cleaning!)
Ingredients (and cost):
- 1 lb organic chicken breast ($8.99)
- 3 lbs broccoli – ($6.57)
- 2 lbs cauliflower ($3.98)
- 2 cloves garlic ($.79)
- .75 oz sesame oil ($.84)
- 1 tsp sea salt ($.05)
- 2 tbsp black sesame seeds ($.94)
- 3 tbsp corn starch ($.21)
- 8 oz oranges ($.95)
- 6 24-oz meal prep containers ($6)
Note: all ingredient cost is price per portion used, not for the portion you may have to purchase.
Orange Chicken Sauce
- 2 oz tamari ($1.12)
- 1 oz fresh ginger ($.28
- 1.5 oz sesame oil ($1.68
- 6 oz orange juice ($.48)
- 1 oz honey ($.51)
- 1 tsp sea salt ($.05)
- 2 cloves garlic (free)
Directions (and expected time):
- Shop: 30 min
- Preheat oven to 375 + set up: 5 min
- Prepare the orange chicken sauce by adding all ingredients to a blender for 60 seconds: 15 min
- Dice the garlic and ginger: 7 min
- Core and shred the cauliflower: 15 min
- Hand chop the broccoli into florets: 15 min
- Slice chicken into 1/2 x 2″ strips and add to a bowl and coat with corn starch and salt then bake for 20-25 minutes, until reaches internal temperature of 165: 10 min
- Slice the oranges into wheels (optional): 3 min
- Pan fry the cauliflower in 1 tbsp sesame oil: 10 min
- Steam the broccoli until soft, but still crunchy: 7 min
- Toss cooked chicken in Orange Sauce: 3 min
- Fill each plate with 3/4 cup cauliflower rice to left then 1 cup broccoli to the right then top with chicken and orange slice. Drizzle with remaining sauce: 15 min
- Clean up: 25 min
For about a 2.5 hour investment over the weekend, you can easily have lunch or dinner on hand all week long and less than $6 per entree. You can hardly leave your office to grab a junky meal through the drive through every day of the week for that price and time commitment. When you look at it this way, meal prep is a no-brainer!
Ordering Meal Prep San Diego Style
Now that you are sold on investing in Meal Prep, it’s time to consider if that is a sustainable, realistic strategy for you. Here is what you need to consider:
- Do you enjoy cooking? Or is it something you consider to be work?
- Do you have time on the weekend to spare? Or are you weekends just as busy?
- Do you cook good food? Or have you struggle even when you follow the recipe?
- Do you have an archive of healthy recipes? Or do you tend to cook the same ones over and over?
- Do you mind eating the same entree every day of the week? Or do you need more variety?
If you answered YES to the first question in each of the scenarios above: Get your your recipe guide, create a shopping list, block some time and get cooking!
If you answers YES to the second question one or more times in the scenarios above: Consider ordering meal prep from our Clean & Colorful Kitchen. Our goal is to make sustainable healthy eating, easy. We cook tasty, healthy and convenient meals for you over the weekend and you can have them on hand all week long. It’s as simple as 1. 2. 3…
- Pick your food: You can order as little as 3 entrees per week from our kitchen or you can order enough breakfasts, lunches, dinners, soups, salads, snacks, and smoothies so that you never have to step foot in your kitchen.
- Get your order: You can pick up for free in our kitchen in in Mission Hills or we can deliver it to you Sunday or Monday depending on where you live for just $10.
- Heat, eat and enjoy: All week long. No shopping, no chopping, no cooking, no cleaning. Easy peasy.
Isn’t Ordering Prepared Meals Expensive?
Just in case you’re wondering, let’s get this out there right now. Ordering prepared meals from our kitchen is more expensive than doing it yourself. As is any professional job vs DIY. But if you consider the ease, variety and simple pleasure of having all your food prepared for you, it’s more than worth it.
The bottom line: Let’s be real, if you don’t absolutely love the process of cooking, you have to consider the cost of your time. If you make more than $15 per hour, you should definitely consider outsourcing your meal prep.
Meal Prep San Diego Summary
Whether you cook for yourself or you order from our kitchen, getting cracking on a realistic meal prep strategy can be life changing. What we do everyday is 110% more important than what we do only when we’re highly motivated. I’ve seen too many clients start their meal prep strategy and find great success for a few weeks. Only to fall victim to their life’s inevitable challenges and old habits sneak back in.
Why not let this be the time you make sustainable change that supports your ultimate health and happiness. Order now! If you’re new to our kitchen, be sure to use discount code CCK15new to take 15% off your entire first order!