March is National Nutrition Month®, an education and information campaign created annually by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. This year’s theme is “Go Further with Food“, which could not come at a better time and represents all the things I care about. Choosing nutritious foods to fuel us through our day, whether, at school, work, or training, preparing more meals at home, and reducing our food waste are all ways we can Go Further with Food. The foods we eat make a difference to our health and to the planet.
Planning and preparing some meals in advance is one way participate in this year’s theme. Think about what meals you want to have for the week, take inventory of what foods you have already at home, and add the items you need to your grocery shopping list. A grocery shopping list is key, whether you are using a pen & paper or an app on your phone, a list helps ensure you get all the items necessary to make the meals you want and can help prevent too many impulse purchases. Batching cooking is a huge time saver in that you only have to wash/chop/cook and clean once versus several times throughout the week.
– Make a big batch of soup or chili on Sunday and have leftovers for the week.
- To switch things up during the week, serve the soup in a bread bowl or chili over roasted sweet potatoes one night
- These items also freeze well and make for a healthy heat-and-eat option when your too tired to cook or out of groceries
– Cook several servings of rice and/or quinoa which can be used in various ways such as grain bowls, stir fries, salads, etc.
- A favorite weeknight dinner of ours is a Build Your Own Burritos or Tacos. Ex: Tortillas or shells, rice, black beans, tempeh &/or refried beans + toppings: avocado, salsa, lettuce, tomatoes, cilantro, jalapenos, Better than sour cream by Tofutti
– Roast several vegetables such as sweet potatoes, potatoes, brussels, and/or squash on a sheet pan with olive oil or melted Earth Balance, herbs, salt and pepper.
- Can be added to salads, wraps, or enjoyed along side any meal
– Cook extra any time you are making a meal.
- Making an awesome dinner?? Well then, make a little more and bring some for lunch the next day. Doing this keeps me from dining out in the cafeteria at work and saves $$$
I definitely don’t prepare all of my meals for the week ahead of time but I do try to implement several of the above tips into my week to save some time. To reduce food waste I typically plan my meals around what foods I already have at home and freeze any produce I am not going to use before it spoils.
Let me know what you do to save time in the kitchen! Are you a fan of meal prepping or do you prefer to cook most days of the week?
Cheers to a great month and going further together with food!