5 Meal Prepping Hacks That Save You Time in the Kitchen

 

meal preppingOne of the most common excuses for not eating healthy is lack of time. With people busy between work and their families, the easiest thing to do is to pick up dinner instead of cookie. Active families like mine need to eat healthy, so it’s important to do everything you can to eat at home as often as possible (we eat at home at least five to six nights a week). Meal prepping is the best way to make meals at home when you have a hectic schedule. Here are meal prep hacks that will keep your family eating healthy.

1. Meal Plan

Meal planning is an extremely important part of prep. Create a calendar that has every meal planned out until your next grocery shopping trip. While some people like to plan out breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks, that can be planning overkill for some families. Planning dinners is the most important part, so at least plan those, and then wing the rest if you don’t feel the need to plan every small detail. Once you have planned each meal, add all of the ingredients that you need to your grocery list to make each dinner.

food prepping

2. Cook in Advance

Cooked meals stay fresh in the fridge for several days, so you can cook several meals to reheat during the week. Choose items that won’t try out when they’re reheated. For example, you can cook spaghetti, enchiladas, a casserole, and a few other meals all in one day. Let them cool at room temperature, label them, and then place them in the refrigerator until the day you plan to eat them.

crock pot meals

3. Crock Pot Meals

Prepping crock pot meals is another great way to prep in advance. You can take all the ingredients to make one crock pot meal and store it in a one-gallon Ziploc freezer bag.  Placer bag in the freezer, uncooked, and pour it in the crock pot the morning of the day that you want to eat it for dinner. Having about five to six crock pot meals prepped will give you more options and allow you to have something easy in the freezer that will make very little time to prepare. Put everything in your slow cooker during breakfast and it will be ready after work. If you don’t know many recipes, you can dress up the same ones with different sauces and dressings. Hampton Creek is popular for creating the Hampton Creek mayo. They also have healthy ranch, chipotle, and other delicious sauces and dressings that you can add to your dishes.

healthy snacks4. Prep Snacks

Prepping snacks is just as important as prepping dinners. Do you find yourself running to the gas station to grab snacks on the go? Instead of getting stopping or trying to figure out what type of snacks to eat, prep some snacks. Fill Ziploc bags with an apple and a handful of strawberries. Fill other bags with some crackers and some sliced cheese. As you get some meal prepping practice, you’ll find yourself coming up with more combinations. When it’s time to run to to tennis tournaments or dance practice, everyone can grab a bag full of the snacks that they enjoy.

5. Re-Organize Your Fridge
 
Fridge organization is one of the biggest problems when it comes to prepping foods. Most people have a row of yogurt, a drawer of apples, and so on. Basically, all of your foods are grouped together. What’s wrong with that? It makes it more difficult to prep for the week. Dedicate different areas of your fridge for each week. Many people use baskets to organize their shelves around their home. Using them for your fridge can help too. Put all of your Ziploc bags full of snacks for Monday in one basket. Put the snacks for Tuesday in another basket and so on.

Meal prepping is the best way to make sure your family eats healthy every day. You’ll save money and time.

5 Yummy Easter Recipes

this is not seafood (lamb rack)

It’s hard to grasp that Easter is this weekend! If you’re looking for an Easy Rack of Lamb recipe see on of my creations on SC Johnson. I used to be intimidated to make a rack of lamb, but it is honestly so very easy, and everyone loves it! Below are 4 of my other yummy Easter recipes for to make for this weekend’s Easter hunt and celebration with your family and friends.

Tulip TomatoesTulip Tomatoes via Surviving a Teachers Salary

Pink Mint Chip Chocolate Bark

Pink Mint Chocolate Bark via I Spy DIY

peeps-smores-I-howsweeteats.com-10

Chocolate Peanut Butter Peeps Skillet S’mores via How Sweet It Is

Pastel-Easter-Egg-Oreo-Truffles-2

Easter Egg Truffles via Gimme Some Oven

World’s Largest Cooking Lesson

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Be sure to tune in Sunday, March 15th HSN will present the World’s Largest Cooking Lesson which will run for 24-hours on the network hosted by HSN’s Celebrity Chefs Curtis Stone, Lorena Garcia, Ingrid Hoffman, Eduardo Garcia, Robert Irvine, and more. You’ll get to see Curtis Stone making this recipe for Seared Pepper Steak with Caramelized Brussels Sprouts so be sure to follow along with the recipe provided here.

Don’t miss:

  • Curtis Stone will be the anchor of the HSN Cooks event this Sunday, and this cookware set (below) will be his “Today’s Special” for that day so be sure to tune in!
  • Exclusive Sales on Kitchenware – HSN Cooks will give viewers a one-stop shop for all of the cooking needs with compelling special offers on kitchen and food products
  • Chat LIVE with the Chefs – Viewers will have exclusive access to celebrity chef personalities and the creators behind the products with the ability to call in and discuss products while on-the-air
  • Cook Alongside the Chefs – Make recipes with each chef as they give you insider tips and their favorite recipes.

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Curtis Stone 4-piece 12″ Forged-Aluminum Frying Pan Set
Your guests may seem a little excited when you bring out the good stuff, and we ain’t talking about the 30-year-old Scotch. This set of two 12″ frying pans is when it’s time to whip up the stuff, in the form of a fabulous breakfast or dinner. They feature forged aluminum bodies for durability and painted exteriors for stovetop-to-oven-to-table versatility.

Signature Beef and Mushroom Burger

Signature Mushroom Beef Burger

If you like mushrooms and burgers, read on. The Seasons 52 Restaurant and Mushroom Council have just introduced the Signature Beef and Mushroom Burger (Signature Burger), which is Angus beef blended with mushroom duxelle, butter lettuce, roasted tomatoes, house made pickles. This mouthwatering burger is new to their summer menu, and it’s made from 100% Angus beef and blended with mushroom duxelle (finely diced, sautéed mushrooms). I love finely chopping mushrooms so that they’re the consistency of ground meat, and then combining the two and using them together to create new recipes that are nutritious (this is also a great way to get your kids eating mushrooms). Mushrooms are so versatile and can be used in so many ways, while bringing flavor and nutrition your meals.  They’re naturally low in calories, fat-free and cholesterol-free and provide important nutrients like vitamin D, B vitamins, antioxidants and potassium. I took my two boys to Season 52 for the first time, and they LOVED it! We almost fought over this burger when we tasted it. Now the question is: How soon can we go back?

 

Easy Tacos: Weeknight Dinner Idea

Two weeks down, and our school is in full swing. Can you believe it? We are up to our ears in homework, dance, football and soccer, so dinner is always a challenge. These Easy Tacos are an ideal super quick weeknight dinner recipe. Instead of using a store-bought taco mix, use this homemade spice mixture which will have a lot less sodium. You can even make the meat ahead of time to simplify the dinner process. If you are gluten-free or eating Paleo, spoon the meat over the salad or use gluten-free tortillas (that’s what I do). Enjoy and have a great week ahead!

Fun and Creative Memorial Day Recipe Ideas

Flag Cupcakes Via Martha Stewart

 Superfoods Salad by Ingredients, Inc.

Memorial Day Party Ideas via Pizzazzerie

Strawberry Peach Vodka Collins Popsicles via Endless Simmer

Strawberry Watermelon Mojito via Baking with Basil

Melon with Mint and Feta via Anja’s Food 4 Thought

Tomato, Fresh Herbs and Feta Crostini via Ingredients, Inc.

Sweet-Hot Baby Back Ribs via My Recipes

S’mores on a Stick via Dinner with Julie

Labor Day Favorites and Beef Kebob recipe

Happy Labor Day everyone! I am sharing my Beef-Vegetable Kebob recipe that I’m cooking up for Labor Day as well as some of my other favorites that would be perfect for this weekend from some great bloggers you should check out.

Loving these:

Blueberry Lemon Corn Muffins Dash of East

Homemade Baked Beans from Chez Us

Summer Pulled Chicken on Pita Bread Reluctant Entertainer

Chicken Apple Salad with Candied Walnuts Barbara Bakes

Pineapple Limeade Cooler Good Life Eats

S’mores Bars from Bakers Royale

Watermelon Frozen Yogurt Popsicles Family Fresh Cooking

Almond Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies Chocolate and Carrots

Grilled Steak with Mushrooms

School may have started back, but grilling season is far from over. This recipe for Grilled Steak and Mushrooms makes a great weekend or weeknight dinner recipe idea. I used baby Bella, shiitake and bottom mushrooms in this dish, but feel free to use what you like and have on hand. The simple marinade creates a tender and flavorful steak. My kids even ate the mushrooms (so yea). Serve on a bed of watercress for a pretty presentation, or serve as a sandwich for a casual sunday night dinner. This one is a winner.

Easy Grilling: Jamaican Spiced Flank Steak

I do a lot of grilling in the summer, but honestly, I am grilling year-round. Every year, I work on so many grilling recipe projects for food clients, magazines and cookbooks, and my kids love almost anything that is cooked on the grill. Flank steak is always on the top of my list, and I love this Jamaican Flank Steak recipe. The marinade is really fabulous, made with orange juice, lime juice, fresh ginger, brown sugar, pepper and cinnamon. One of my friends tried it, and she told me she only cooks flank steak this way now. Serve this with a tossed salad, fresh fruit or grilled asparagus, and dinner is fresh, healthy and simple.

Turkey Burgers Featuring Belle Chevre Goat Cheese

I am so excited about sharing this favorite Burger recipe: Turkey Burgers with Belle Chevre, a recipe by Chef Marvin Woods, Emmy Award Winner Nominee, Cookbook Author, and one of the first chefs to join the “Obama’s Let’s Move Campaign”. He has teamed up with Belle Chevre Creamery to create a new E-Cookbook filled with fabulous summer recipes. I am honored that Belle Chevre has featured me on their blog this week. These Turkey Burgers are so easy to prepare, and my kids loved them too. Using Vidalia onion and panko breadcrumbs adds wonderful flavor and crunch. Enjoy these this summer on the grill or anytime of the year using a grill pan. Sliced Belle Chevre Artisan Goat Cheese makes these a winner.