The Basics of Meal Prep: How to Save Time and Energy in the Kitchen | Carly Paige | Skillshare

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The Basics of Meal Prep: How to Save Time and Energy in the Kitchen

teacher avatar Carly Paige, Culinary Nutrition Expert & Chef

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
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Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

8 Lessons (21m)
    • 1. Welcome

    • 2. How to Menu Plan

    • 3. Menu Planning Put Into Action

    • 4. Cinnabutter Overnight Oats

    • 5. Classic Hummus

    • 6. Southwest Mason Jar Salad

    • 7. Batch Cooking 101

    • 8. Thank You!

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About This Class

Do you get stressed over what to make for breakfast, lunch and dinner? We feel ya.

Join Carly Ferguson, Health Coach and Food Journalist from FitLiving Eats in the kitchen as she shares her secret for healthy success in and out of the kitchen: meal prepping! But don’t worry, if you envision eating the same thing every day for the next week, it doesn’t have to be that way. With a little planning ahead, meal prepping can be a simple solution to making healthier, more nutritious food choices throughout the week.

In this course, you will learn:

  • Key tips to meal prep success, such as menu planning, batch cooking and how to plan for one, or many!
  • You’ll prepare a series of simple and healthy recipes to solve the decision dilemma, whether you struggle with getting a nutritious breakfast, lunch, or dinner in your day.

This class is perfect for anyone who’s looking to save time and money in the kitchen - busy professionals, families and students!

Let’s get prepping!


Image: Southwest Mason Jar Salad Plated

Meet Your Teacher

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Carly Paige

Culinary Nutrition Expert & Chef


Carly Paige is a culinary nutrition expert and chef on a mission to redefine healthy through her Simply Swapped Method to increase confidence and energy from within. She believes that healthy doesn't have to be hard, and it should always taste delicious. It's her mission to inspire you in the kitchen so that you feel confident cooking foods at home.  

Carly is the author of best-selling cookbook, Simply Swapped Everyday, a lifestyle guide that includes over 75 simple, plant-powered recipes that can be customized to any dietary preferences. Carly hosts corporate workshops and regular cooking classes in the Winter Park area, and has been seen on Fox35 and CBS, and partnered with brands such as Westin, Southwest Airlines, and NASA. To learn more about Carly, visit fit... See full profile

Related Skills

Culinary Lifestyle

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1. Welcome: Hi, everyone. Welcome to my kitchen. I'm Carly Ah, health coach and bonus blogger at Fit Living Eat. It's my mission to help busy people like yourself refuel for life through healthy, sustainable changes. I believe that healthy habits starts in the kitchen. When I say meal prepping, What do you think of? Do you think of all these different Tupperware containers laid out on the counter with exactly the same thing in each one? I know I did. Or maybe you think of hours spent in the kitchen slaving away making food for the week. I believe that meal prepping doesn't have to be that way. I think it could be done no matter what lifestyle you have or how much time you have to press and prepared in this lesson, I'm going to set you up for a meal prep six test. I'm going to give you tips to get organized and give you simple solutions in the kitchen to save time and energy throughout the week. So who is this class for? Well, I mean, it's really for everyone in anyone. It's for student lady professionals and even families. So are you ready? Let's get started 2. How to Menu Plan: in this video, I'm going to teach you how to menu plan. This is the first step towards me on prep success. First things first. Look at the week ahead. Figure out which meals you may have a hard time making healthy choices around. For example, For me, I have a really hard time getting a healthy breakfast in A much is already prepared, and I also work late a few times throughout the week, so I like to have dinner already made for you. Maybe you need healthy lunches on hand or maybe even a healthy snack or two. Once you figured out what meals you want to plan and prep for, write it down. Attached to this video is a blank menu plan that you can use as a guide. Now this is just a rough draft. I know that life gets crazy and things get in the way. Trust me, but planning ahead and writing things down will help you make healthier choices throughout the week. Then, once you figured out what you want to eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks, go and find recipes. Maybe you look on Pinterest or in cookbooks, or you just kind of know what you want to eat for dinners. Once he found all of your recipes, make a list. On this list are all of the ingredients you need to make these healthy meals throughout the week. Now that you have your list, it's time to go shopping. Going to the grocery store on the weekend will help prevent all of the unnecessary and mashed minute trips to the grocery store throughout the week. That you probably don't even have the time and energy to dio. Plus, having all of these healthy food on hand will prevent you from letting them go to waste. And ultimately, your money, too. Planning and prepping ahead of time is the first step in meal prep success. 3. Menu Planning Put Into Action: in this video, we're going to talk about menu planning put into action, which is meal prepping. Now I want you to set aside and commit to the time needed to prep. I know I said it could fit any lifestyle, and it can. But in order to prep, you do have to set aside a little bit of time. It can be 30 minutes or three hours. I don't care as long as you get it done for me. I usually spend a few hours on the weekend prepping food for the week ahead. But sometimes if I have a really busy weekend, maybe I only spend 30 minutes to an hour on Sunday, and then I take 15 to 30 minutes a couple days out of the week to prep for the next day. Break it up. However, it fits your lifestyle. Once you start setting aside this time and get into the routine, it will become more of a habit, and it won't seem as cumbersome now that you've committed to the time it takes to meal prep , I want you to remember to start small. They switched the biggest mistake. I made my first attempt at meal prepping, I literally thought I had to do it all. I mean, make breakfast, lunch, dinner all ahead of time. I was spending hours in the kitchen slaving away, and you wouldn't believe how I started to dread these cooking days. So don't make the same mistake I did. Remember when I said to look at your week ahead and figure out which meals you need to prep ahead to make sure you make healthy choices? This is not every single meal. Now there's three ways to prep ahead of time to save time and energy. Throughout the week, you can prove you chop so maybe one of the rest appeared. You don't want to make all at one time ahead of time, but it has a lot of vegetables, so you want to go ahead and chop these things up toe. Have ready for when you do make that recipe, you can also freeze meals. Forager friendly meals include things like soups, sausage and casseroles, and you can also pre make your food, which is what I will be focusing on in the next few videos, showing you simple recipes that can be made ahead of time. 4. Cinnabutter Overnight Oats: in this lesson, I'm going to teach you how to make one of my favorite make ahead breakfast overnight. Oh, I love overnight owed because it can be customized to any type of flavor you like, and it keeps it interesting. So you're not eating the same thing every morning today. We're going to make one of my favorites, said I better put for the base of any overnight a recipe you're going to want to use one mashed banana. You could also use Greek yogurt if you're not a banana fan, but you might want to add a little bit more sweetener because it tends to be tart. Once he had last your banana with her fork, you're just going to add it 1 to 2 tablespoons of almond butter. You can use however much you like, and I like to mash the almond butter into the banana before putting it in the jar. Otherwise, that get a little clumpy and you end up with a spoon fold of nut butter. I mean, don't get me wrong. That's really delicious, but probably better to mix it all in ahead of time. So you're just gonna want to mix these two things together, but I didn't have to be perfect. We're not going for perfection here. They're going to divide the banana mixture into the two jars. Thinks recipe makes two servings, but you can cut it in half to make one serving, or you can double it. That way you have four jarred of overnighted on hand. Next, we're going to add our boat. We're gonna add 1/3 cup coat and each new Sinjar. Now the coach are full of fiber, so it's going to boost your energy and keep you full until your next meal. After the vote, we're going to add 3/4 a cup milk in each jar. I have almond milk that you could use any kind of milk you like. It doesn't matter. Whatever you have on hand will work. All right. Now, it wouldn't be center butter without some cinnamon, right? So you can add just a little bit of sentiment each jar. No need to really measure here. I like a lot of cinnamon show. I add a lot, but you can add however much you want to. Now, what makes overnight oat overnight owed are the Chia seeds they hold up to eight times their weight and liquid creating kind of like a tap yokel like consistency. And it's what makes the mixture really thick. Chia seeds are full as healthy fat fiber and protein and even calcium. They are the ultimate superfood. So once you have everything in the jar, we're just gonna screw on the lid and give it a quick shake. That way you just make sure all of the ingredients are well combined. And then she is. You don't stick to the bottom once you shake it up, placed it in the fridge overnight and in the morning, you're gonna have a delicious, creamy bowl of urban. I dote like this one, and you can top it with anything you like. Fresh fruit, nut, coconut flakes, whatever suits your fancy. And you're gonna have a quick you the delicious breakfast that you can grab and go on the way out the door. 5. Classic Hummus: I'm gonna show you how to make one of the most versatile snacks and one of my favorite toe have on hand throughout the week. Homis You commute it at a depth with veggie sticks like carrot, cucumber or celery. You can put it in a wrap with your favorite vegetables. Chicken that a cheese, and you can even add it on top of a salad for a little boost in protein and healthy fat. To make homis all, you're going to need it. A food processor to the food processor. We're gonna add one can of chickpeas, also known as Ghar Bondo bean that have been drained. And Brenda. So we're just gonna add the right into the food processor. Next, we're gonna add 1/4 the cup olive oil, and this just makes it really creamy and rich tasting. Then we're gonna add 1/4 a cup water, and this helps spinning out a little bit and helps create a really creamy texture. Next, we're gonna add 1/4 cup tahini. Tahini is just ground sesame seeds. That's it. Then we're also going to add a handful of personally. If you don't like personally, you just leave it out. No big deal, but I love the little bit of freshness. That ad Teoh a simple homis. Next, we're gonna season it with just a little bit of lemon juice. No need for a fan to squeeze her here. Just squeaked it over your hand to make sure none of the siege fall into the Hamas. And I like my nice and limit E, but you can play with it. You can just add half a lemon if you like. And don't forget the garlic garlic is what makes a good. So we're gonna add one clove right in there and just a Sprinkle of stock. That's it. It's super symbol. Then we're gonna pop the top on and Theo Any time you make something in the food processor , you're going to want to check it a few times and make sure that none of the ingredients have stuff to the walls of the food processors. So just take a spatula and scrape it down to make sure that everything is evenly mixed. So we'll just post it one more time. Thief, and that's it. It's so simple, and then you can make it a little bit chunky. If you like it chunkier, or you can keep processing it to make it really smooth and creamy. And if you have a hard time staying away from the bowl of Homis, one of my biggest tip is to proportionate. So dip Hamas and too little Tupperware containers. If you're taking it with you to go, or just put it in a small bowl and take it with you to wherever you're going to eat your snack with your chips or veggie sticks, hope you enjoyed the simple Hamas recipe. 6. Southwest Mason Jar Salad: Do you have a hard time fitting in healthy Long Joe's at school or at work? I have the perfect solution for you. I'm going to show you how to make a Mason jar salad. The salads could be customized with any flavors you like and can be stored in the fridge for up to four days. The key to the perfect Mason jar salad is in the layers. So when making a mason jar salad layer one, it always going to be your dressing. Today we're making a Southwest Mason Journal salad that the recipe has been attached to this video course, so you can follow along with me once we've added the dressing, then we're going to add all of our hard vegetables in this recipe is going to be our black beans and corn, so we're just gonna highball about 1/3 of a cup of black beans and then 1/3 cup of corn. See, it's looking pretty already. Next, you're going to add it, your softer vegetables or, if you have a fruit, this would be the time to add that as well. Theater the vegetables that you don't necessarily want swimming in the dressing but it's OK if they're touching. So this recipe were using grape tomatoes. Next, you're going to add in things like your nuts, your recedes or your cheeses in this recipe were using Sunflower Steve's. So we're just gonna add about two tablespoons of Sunfire is huge right to the jar. Now you may be thinking, man, there's a lot of room still in the jar, and that's okay. You're gonna add your lettuce next, and you want to make sure that you feel it pretty much to the brim. Don't be afraid to pack it in there. And don't worry, it's not going to get soggy because we put the dressing on the bottom. Once you've added your lettuce and there you could add proteins like chicken, shrimp, hard boiled egg, whatever you like. Today we're making more of a plant based Stalin, so we're just gonna leave at the latest. Once you have your salad done, you're going to screw on the lid, and then you could stick it in your fridge for up to four days. It's that you d and when you come time Teoh, eat the salad. Don't forget to put it on a plate you would be surprised how many people make Mason jar salad and they ask me, Carly, how do you get to the dressing? I'm gonna show you the secret. Take the flip it over and then just gently shake and swirl the ingredients around so that you have a pretty delicious, yummy salad that you can take with you no matter where you're going and can be stored in the fridge for up to four days. 7. Batch Cooking 101: Do you want to know A secret of mine? One of my biggest shortcuts and meal prepping is batch cooking. I love batch cooking because it doesn't matter whether you're cooking for one, or for many. It's such a help. Hold tool and having healthy, you'd prepared ahead of time. Some of my favorite things to Batch cook include things like protein, which could be something like grilled chicken made ahead of time and even your favorite green. My personal favorite is keen want because it's one of the stupor foods it has. Protein has healthy carbs, has fiber, and they even had other invited vitamins and minerals. And if you don't have a rice cooker, I highly suggest you invest in one. They're so inexpensive and such a great tool toe have on hand. You literally press a button walk away and your green is done in like 20 or 30 minutes. It's awesome. The other thing that I love to batch cook is roasted vegetables. They can be used in so many different ways throughout the week, so let's talk about how to make the perfect roasted vegetable. The first thing you're going to want to Dio is make sure that all of your veggies are chopped and similar sizes, and you're going to want to pair vegetables together that cook in a similar manner. Things like broccoli and cauliflower would make a great pair, or here I have sweet potatoes, onions and bell peppers. Once you have your vegetable all chopped up, you just simply put him on a baking pan and spread them and a thin, even layer. You'll notice that I have a piece of aluminum foil on my pan. You don't have to do that, but I'm lazy. And I don't like Teoh wash dishes unless I have to. Still, having a piece of aluminum foil makes for easy clean up. Once you've chopped your vegetables, you're just gonna want to dribble a little bit of olive oil all over the vegetables. You don't want to douse them. Just gently coat them, and then all you have to do is put a little Sprinkle of salt, pepper or even your favorite herb or spice. You could put human to make a Mexican flair or oregano to give it an Italian flair, whatever you like, so then you're gonna roast them in the oven at about 400 degrees for 20 minutes or so. Harder vegetables. Such a sweet potato or butternut squash may take a little bit longer, and things like broccoli or cauliflower might not even take 20 minutes. All you're looking for is to make sure that their work tender and just lately, golden brown not burnt. So let's talk about how we can use thes roasted vegetables. You can use them at her side to your favorite chicken dish, which you might have already prepped ahead of time. You can use them in a rap with that homemade homis we already made, or you could even use it in a savory breakfast with a fried egg on top. Roasted vegetables are so simple. Take a little time and effort and our great healthy food toe have on hand at the beginning of the week. 8. Thank You!: Alright, guys, I hope you're feeling confident and ready to tackle meal prepping. I believe that one of the biggest key to success in making healthier choices is planning ahead of time. So don't forget to fill out your menu plan, make a list and go shopping, and one chief committed Tim, You'll prepping. Don't forget to carve out the time necessary to make those healthy foods. I think you'll be surprised at how quickly it can become a part of your routine. Having healthy food prepared and on hand. Help save time and energy throughout the week. And it helped boost your energy levels and helps make even healthier choices throughout the week. And don't forget toe. Upload your pictures and share with me your own meal, prep day and healthy recipes. I can't wait to see them. Thanks for joining me in my kitchen and I'll see you next time. No