Time slips away from all of us at one point or another. You get home from work, you’re hungry, you need to make a quick meal right away and forget about the veggies. Having your veggies prepped and ready to serve is the best way to save time and to fill half your plate with veggies at every meal! Here are five recipes that you can prepare ahead of time which will help you during those busy weeks!
1. Prepared soup or stew
What a great way to start your meal and to add veggies!
Try this veggie and barley soup
In the summer why not try serving a cold soup? This refreshing cucumber and avocado gazpacho would make a delicious dinner appetizer!
2. Prepare a big salad
Nothing is easier than putting together a salad : all you need to do is toss the veggies you have in the fridge and add a dressing. No cooking necessary and only a few steps. To mix it up, you can vary the type of lettuce you use (mesclun, Boston, arugula, baby spinach…) and add grated veggies or even fruits. The only limit is your creativity!
If you don’t add your dressing right away you can store the salad in the fridge for a few days. You’ll realize how easy this is when all you have to do is serve yourself the perfect portion and add the dressing. Salads don’t always have to have a lettuce base, check out this Greek Salad.
3. Grilling Veggies
To keep yourself ahead of meal prepping, you can grill lots of veggies on the same cooking sheet. Spread your veggies (for example asparagus, potatoes, carrots, broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, zucchini…) on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper, drizzle with olive oil and add your favourite herbs (like herbs de Provence, salt, pepper) and bake in the oven at 375F for 25 to 30 minutes.
Grilled veggies have a great texture and more flavour than veggies that have been steamed or boiled. Have you ever tried grilling or baking an entire cauliflower head? Brush the whole cauliflower in oil, curry powder and brown sugar and put it in the oven for 30 minutes and you’ll have a perfectly caramelized, crunchy delicious cauliflower!
4. Cut up raw veggies
Cutting up raw veggies in advance is a great trick that works every time. If there are always veggies ready to grab from the fridge you’re more likely to eat them. As soon as you get back from the grocery store, wash and cut up your veggies so that you’ve got them ready to go through the week with no extra effort. You can even bag them in individual portions to take to work.
5. Make your own homemade salsa
Making your own homemade salsa is an easy way to add flavour and colour to any meal. Here are a few easy recipes to try and some ideas for how to use them in your meal. Salsas will hold in the fridge for 5 days. Make extra to be able to throw on your salads, in your sandwiches, on your meat or grilled fish, or even to just serve with tortilla chips.
What are some of your veggie meal prep ideas to make sure you’ve got some through the week ? Share your ideas on our Facebook page.
Written by Marie-Ève Caplette, Registered Dietitian and Half Your Plate Campus ambassador