Food Prep is a key tool for helping you and your family eat healthier during the week. Here are 10 foods that are great for prepping ahead of time.
This post was originally published in Feb 2014.
Republishing now with updated linksto help you kick off the new year on the right foot!
You guys know I’m crazy about Sunday Food Prep, right? I’ve written several posts about how to prep food in the past, and every Sunday I post my prep from the week before, along with inspiration from some of my readers! It seems like more and more people are hopping on board the food prep train and I couldn’t be more thrilled about it!
I thought it would be helpful to round up some of my favorite foods to prep all in one place! So here are my Top 10 Foods For Sunday Food Prep. These are things you’ll notice over and over again if you look at my food prep pictures:
Top 10 Foods For Sunday Food Prep
1) Snacking veggies– Raw veggies make a great snack. They’re easy to prep ahead of time and you can throw them in your lunch box, the kids from munch on them after school or you can enjoy some while making dinner!
- Try carrots, broccolis, peppers, snap peas and cucumbers. They’re great with hummus, yogurt ranch dip, etc
- I peel and cut my carrots and store them in a Tupperware with some water. Every day I run cold water over the remaining carrots and change the water.
2) Breakfast Foods– There are tons of great breakfast options that you can make ahead of time so you don’t have to spend time cooking in the morning. This also gives you no excuse to skip breakfast!
- Make a batch of Quinoa Breakfast Bars or GF Pumpkin Yogurt Bars and pre-portion them into Ziploc bags so you can just grab one on the way to work.
- These Sweet Potato Protein Cookies are made without protein powder and make breakfast on the run.
- Pancakes and waffles can be made ahead of time and easily reheated. Try these Whole Wheat Oatmeal Pancakes or Whole Wheat Yogurt Waffles.
- If you like eggs, try making some Egg Wraps, or Egg Waffles that are easy to customize or make a casserole that you can slice and reheat like this Paleo Breakfast Casserole.
- If you like baked goods, make a batch of these Peanut Butter Banana Oat Muffins or Healthy Blueberry Muffins.
- For other breakfast ideas, check out these posts: 5 Quick, Healthy Breakfast Ideas & 10 More Quick, Healthy Breakfast Ideas.
3) Whole Grains – It’s easy to cook up a big batch of your favorite grain to have on hand. Cook it on Sunday and add to meals during the week.
- Try brown rice, quinoa, farro, amaranth, wheatberries, etc
- Also, don’t be afraid to make your own bread and tortillas. It’s easy to do and you know exactly what’s going into them. Try these Homemade Whole Wheat Tortillas or some Dutch Oven Bread!
- If you’re looking for more homemade bread recipes, I highly recommend the Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes Per Day cookbooks (aff link).
4) Snacks – It’s important to have healthy snacks on hand that you can turn to during the week. There are tons of snacks that can be made ahead of time to help keep you from reaching for unhealthy choices.
- Some of my son’s favorites include Sweet Potato Bites, Lemon Energy Balls and Peanut Butter Chia Pudding.
- Some of my favorites include: Sweet Potato Protein Cookies, Wild Blueberry Energy Bars, No Bake Protein Bars and Roasted Chickpeas.
- For more ideas check out 25 Healthy After Work Snacks and 10 Healthy Toddler Snacks.
5) Greens for Salad– I’ve found that having salad greens washed and ready to go exponentially increases the chances that we’ll eat a salad every night with dinner. You can use leaf lettuce, spinach, kale etc.
- To prepare my greens, I cut them, wash them well, spin them dry and store in a Ziploc bag with a paper towel. Make sure to press out as much air as possible each time you open the bag.
- If you’re prepping kale, wash and dry it, then rub it with some lemon juice and olive oil and store in an airtight container, then you can quickly make this Kale Panzanella Salad to enjoy for several days.
6) Baked/Roasted Veggies – If you’re using the oven anyway during your food prep time, you might as well wrap a few potatoes in foil and throw them in the oven! If you’re not a fan of potatoes, chop up some of your favorite veggies and roast up a big pan.
- You can use the potatoes for side dishes or a quick dinner like these Mexican Loaded Sweet Potatoes.
- Try roasting your veggies with a little bacon for extra flavor! Add them to main dishes, salads, etc during the week!
- Or try these Maple Bacon Roasted Carrots or Roasted Green Beans with Ginger and Cranberries.
7) Lean Proteins – If you’re a meat-eater, why not cook some of your meat head of time for less weeknight cooking.
- Choose your favorites like chicken, salmon, meatloaf, burgers (meat or veggie) and try baking, roasted or grilling them.
- Try making a batch of burgers/cakes like these Avocado Chicken Burgers or some Thai Chicken Meatballs or Paleo Turkey Sweet Potato Meatballs.
- Put your crockpot to good use and make some shredded chicken or try a Crockpot Rotisserie Chicken or Beer Braised Pulled Pork.
- Use these cooked proteins during the week in sandwich wraps, on salads, in casseroles, etc! Try this Salsa Verde Chicken Casserole or Salsa Verde Pork Enchilada Casserole. You could also make those casseroles ahead of time and reheat during the week.
- Grill some steak and use the leftovers to make a Steak Cobb Salad.
8) Beans & Legumes – Even if you’re not a completely plant-based eater, it’s still a great idea to add some plant-based proteins to your diet. I buy dried beans, cook a whole bag at a time and freeze the extras. (Learn How To Cook & Freeze Beans here). You can do the same thing with lentils! Then just pull them out when you need them and add them to whatever you’re cooking.
- You can add beans and legumes to casseroles and salads or use them to replace meat in your favorite dishes like this Lentil Veggie Mac and Cheese.
- Try these Asian Black Bean Burgers for an easy weeknight dinner that you can make ahead of time or learn how to add beans to breakfast.
9) Soup – Soup is a great way to pack tons of nutrients into one easy meal.
- Choose low-sodium broth, or better yet- make your own. You can always make extra and freeze. Just defrost when needed!
- Add tons of veggies! Frozen veggies work great in soup and are packed with nutrients.
- Add some protein- choose your favorite meat or opt for some high-fiber beans or lentils
- Add some whole grains if you’d like!
- This White Chicken Chili and Instant Pot Beef Stew are some of our favs!
10) Hard Boiled Eggs – These are great for almost any meal. Cook them on the stove or use this tip to cook them in the oven. I like to cook mine in my pressure cooker!
- Eat them for breakfast with some peanut butter toast.
- Grab a couple for an afternoon snack.
- Slice them up and add to salads for lunch or dinner!
Of course, there are tons of other foods that can be prepped ahead of time for a healthy week…these are just some of my staples that I turn to week after week!
If you liked this post, you’ll love my ebook – The Ultimate Guide To Food Prep. It dives into even more detail about how to food prep, troubleshoots common problems and provides tons of tips to make it easier! Click the image below for more details.
Looking for more food prep posts? Check out these as well:
Let’s chat: What are your favorite foods to prep?