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7 Meal Prep Tricks To Try This Week

Making food ahead of time means you can spend more time frolicking in the summer twilight all week.

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1. Cook once and eat three times with these dinner recipes from Cooking Light.

Here, you'll find basic dinner recipes that make enough leftovers to be repurposed into two entirely new meals! Get the recipes here.
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Here, you'll find basic dinner recipes that make enough leftovers to be repurposed into two entirely new meals! Get the recipes here.

2. Make a big batch of "roasted" vegetables in your slow cooker.

Roasted vegetables are delicious, even in months when it feels too hot to turn on your oven. Make a big batch of 'em in the slow cooker, then add a serving to lunches and dinners all week long. Recipe here.
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Roasted vegetables are delicious, even in months when it feels too hot to turn on your oven. Make a big batch of 'em in the slow cooker, then add a serving to lunches and dinners all week long. Recipe here.

3. Make your own peanut or almond butter with just nuts and a food processor.

It's cheaper to buy nuts in bulk and grind them yourself than it is to buy pre-made peanut or almond butter. To make peanut or almond butter: Add 3 cups of your nut of choice to a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Process until the nuts are totally ground and starting to form a paste at the bottom, about 3 to 5 minutes. Take the lid off, scrape the bottom and sides of the food processor, then process again, scraping the bottom and sides down every 2 to 3 minutes, until the nut butter is smooth and very spreadable, about 6 to 8 minutes after the first time you scrape down the bowl. If you want, you can add salt or sweetener (I like honey), at the end, then process for another minute to combine. A teaspoon of salt and 3 tablespoons of honey will be enough for 3 cups of nuts. I also like to coarsely chop extra nuts and stir them in at the end!
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It's cheaper to buy nuts in bulk and grind them yourself than it is to buy pre-made peanut or almond butter. To make peanut or almond butter: Add 3 cups of your nut of choice to a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Process until the nuts are totally ground and starting to form a paste at the bottom, about 3 to 5 minutes. Take the lid off, scrape the bottom and sides of the food processor, then process again, scraping the bottom and sides down every 2 to 3 minutes, until the nut butter is smooth and very spreadable, about 6 to 8 minutes after the first time you scrape down the bowl.

If you want, you can add salt or sweetener (I like honey), at the end, then process for another minute to combine. A teaspoon of salt and 3 tablespoons of honey will be enough for 3 cups of nuts. I also like to coarsely chop extra nuts and stir them in at the end!

4. Protein bars are a super convenient on-the-go breakfast or snack, but sometimes they're filled with tons of weird ingredients. Make your own instead!

Here are 17 DIY Protein Bar Recipes.

5. Make a packed lunch feel special by investing in a grown-up lunch box.

Here are 17 awesome lunch boxes to choose from.
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Here are 17 awesome lunch boxes to choose from.

6. Or, if lunch boxes aren't your thing, pack your lunch salads in a mason jar!

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Jars are great for making salad ahead of time because you can put the dressing at the bottom and any ingredients that might get soggy (like lettuce) at the top. Then you can tip your salad onto a plate and everything will still be fresh and crisp. Plus, mason jars are cheap and available pretty much everywhere. Here are 18 mason jar salads to get you started.

7. Whip up a batch of gluten-free blender muffins! They're healthy, filling, and require very little clean-up.

Pack one or two for breakfast or a snack, and you're good to go for the morning. Recipe here.
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Pack one or two for breakfast or a snack, and you're good to go for the morning. Recipe here.

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