Looking for ways to quickly meal prep for the week ahead? Sandy Wolner, RDN, shares her simple approach to meal planning. The key is to find common ingredients in the different meals you’ll make throughout the week. Then, prep and store those ingredients until you’re ready to cook dinner, and your nightly prep time can easily be cut in half!
Watch the Episode
In this episode of “In the Kitchen With Pampered Chef,” Sandy shows you how to make your weeknights easier by prepping for three different meals at the beginning of the week: General Tso Chicken Stir-Fry, 7-Layer Tex-Mex Salad, and Barbecue Chicken & Coleslaw Wraps. She slices and grates onions, cabbage, and carrots in large batches using the Quick Prep Food Grater, then shows how you can store them in the Leakproof Glass Containers so they’ll stay fresh until you’re ready to use them. Finally, she shows us how to quickly and easily whip up the Barbecue Chicken & Coleslaw Wraps.
Sandy’s Top Tips
- Planning for just three meals during the week can save you time, but also allows for flexibility and spontaneity.
- Find recipes with common ingredients that you can prep at the beginning of the week, so you can cut your weeknight prep time in half.
- Preparing your produce in advance is great because it makes it easy to ensure you and your family are getting the fruits and vegetables you need throughout the week.
- Buying your own whole produce and prepping it yourself not only saves time, it saves money. You’ll pay up to three times as much for store-bought shredded carrots than you will for a pound of organic carrots that you grate yourself.
- A dry paper towel placed in a storage container helps absorb the extra moisture from produce like onions, while a damp paper towel keeps produce like carrots from drying. Both of these methods will help your produce stay fresher, longer!
- If your recipes call for produce that browns easily, like apples or avocados, don’t prep those in advance. They’ll be better saved for the day-of.
- Start cooking your proteins at the beginning of your meal prep, since they usually take the longest to cook. If you’re making multiple recipes with the same protein, you can batch prep that at the beginning of the week as well, to save even more time.
Here’s the link to the full recipe Sandy made in the video.
In this episode of In the Kitchen, Sandy preps the cabbage for 7-Layer Tex-Mex Salad. You could also prep the cheese ahead if you wanted to save even more time.
The last recipe that Sandy prepped ahead for in this episode of In the Kitchen is General Tso Chicken Stir-Fry.
Shop the Video
If you want to learn more about the products Sandy used while making this video, check out these links:
- Quick Prep Food Grater
- Wood Cutting Board
- 8" Chef’s Knife
- 5¼-Cup Leakproof Glass Container
- 8¼-Cup Leakproof Glass Container
- Classic Scraper
- Mix ‘N Scraper®
- Classic Batter Bowl
- Nonstick Double Burner Grill & Press Set
- Large Chef’s Tongs
- Micowave Grip Set
- Veggie Strip Maker
- Scoop & Spread
- Flexible Cutting Mats
- 2-Cup Prep Bowl Set