Meal prep is a great way to have all of your food ready for the week, enabling you to make healthy choices, and save money while you’re at it! Not only does it keep you on track with your fitness goals, but it saves a lot of time. Imagine coming home after a long day of work, your meal already planned and ready to assemble in mere minutes. Does it sound too good to be true? Don’t worry, that’s why we’re here to send you Weekly Meal Prep inspo every week to get you in the kitchen!
We’ll give you a set of ingredients to work with every week and include seasonal recommendations, when possible. The primary goal with our weekly meal prep guide below is to help you focus your meals predominately around a new set of ingredients or theme every week. We’ll give you a plethora of creative ways to prep these ingredients to create healthy, quick, easy and tasty recipes, so you’ll never be bored.
This week, we’re prepping lentils, spaghetti squash, beets, and polenta!
1. Lentils[caption id="attachment_1481265648" align="aligncenter" width="1600"] Image Source: Lentil Quinoa Hemp Seed Meatballs[/caption]
Lentils are a popular legume for good reason – they are high in fiber and a complex carbohydrate. They’re also high in fiber and naturally gluten-free, which makes them a great nutritional asset in vegan and gluten-free meals. Also including potassium, folate, iron and magnesium, don’t overlook these little powerhouses. Not only that, but it’s super easy to prep a whole batch of lentils for a week of recipe! Rinse your dried lentils and cook in a pot on the stove, similarly to rice. Also similarly to rice, cooked lentils yield more than when they’re dried! Make up a big batch with seasonings or not, depending on your preference, and store in the fridge for an easy addition to a wide variety of meals.
2. Spaghetti Squash[caption id="attachment_1481294960" align="aligncenter" width="1600"] Image Source: Jambalaya Stuffed Spaghetti Squash[/caption]
Spaghetti squash is low in calories and fat, and is also a popular alternative to pasta for those that are gluten-free or simply trying to eat less carbohydrates, as it is also low carb. With plenty of vitamins and minerals to keep you going, like vitamins C and B6, this squash is a great choice to include in your weekly meal prep. It also yields a lot more than you might expect from one average sized squash! Just roast it in the oven, drizzled with some olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic if you want a little added flavor, and shred with a fork. Now you’re ready to go and make an abundance of great meals!
3. Beets[caption id="attachment_1481106226" align="aligncenter" width="1600"] Image Source: Roasted Beet Noodles With Pesto and Baby Kale[/caption]
Beets are another low-calorie food that pack a great amount of vitamins, minerals and fiber. Raw beets have a large number of folates, and beet greens back a good deal of vitamin C. You can cook beets in a variety of ways, or even eat them raw. They can be steamed, roasted, juiced, pickled, boiled, you name it. Prep your beets by cleaning them, cooking them to your liking or cutting them up to be eaten raw, and storing in the fridge!
4. Polenta[caption id="attachment_1481289776" align="aligncenter" width="1600"] Image Source: Polenta Fries Made With Aquafaba [Vegan, Gluten-Free][/caption]
Polenta contains both fiber and protein to fill you up on busy fall days. It is gluten-free, rich in complex carbohydrates, high in vitamin A and many other important minerals. Polenta is also extremely versatile – you can serve it cold or warm, bake or fry it, or just stick to having it cooked in water and served as a soft base for a wide variety of ingredients. You can even cook it into Polenta Fries Made With Aquafaba, like Rebecca Coleman! The possibilities you open yourself up to by prepping some polenta and keeping it in the fridge for the week are amazing.
So how to we combine all these ingredients together to make some amazingly easy and delicious meals for the week? Read on!
Polenta and spaghetti squash are both star ingredients on their own, but they also work really well as bases for a large number of different ingredient combinations and recipes. Use your lentils as the basis of a sauce that you can then serve over spaghetti squash for a hearty and nutritious meal, like in Susan Edelman‘s Spaghetti Squash With Lentil Marinara or Denisse Salinas‘s Lentil Ragu With Spaghetti Squash. You could also take a different spin and go with a greek style “pasta” dish in this Greek Style Spaghetti Squash Pasta by Nikki and Zuzana. You can get as creative as you like with what you top your spaghetti squash with: check out Kathryn Pfeffer-Scanlan‘s Jambalaya Stuffed Spaghetti Squash or Paris Marash‘s Sabich Spaghetti Squash for even more ideas!
Polenta can also be served with any of these toppings and more of its own! Your lentils can compliment a polenta base in Jenny Mustard‘s Creamy Polenta With Lentil Salsa. You don’t have to use polenta as a creamy base if you don’t want to, though – you can keep it more combined and solid like in these Quick Polenta Cakes With Lentils and Veggies from Christin McKamey.
Beets can create a great variety of textures and lend their beautifully sweet yet nutritious flavor to many dishes. You can get creative with them, like using them as “pepperoni” in this Beet ‘Pepperoni’ Pizza from Alicja Rokicka or as a soup base in a classic Easy Borscht from Nikki and Zuzana. Even use them as noodles, and top them with some meal-prepped lentil meatballs in Alissandra Maffucci‘s Roasted Beet Noodles With Pesto and Baby Kale! Speaking of lentil meatballs…
Try out these lentil meatball recipes to serve over any of the above ingredients! You can even make them out of beets too in these Lentil and Beet Meatballs With Pasta by Jyothi Rajesh! Or, you can stick to lentils with Larice Feuerstein‘s Lentil Quinoa Hemp Seed Meatballs. Or, you could serve your spaghetti squash, polenta or beets alongside a Lentil Loaf With Tomato Glaze from Alison Edmund! Even make a side dish to accompany your other ingredients with a quick Lentil Paté from Florian Nouh.
Hopefully, with all of these ideas, you’re all set for your weekly meal prep this week! If you still need ideas or want to try other ingredients, check out our Meal Prep Archives for a variety of ingredients and awesome ways to utilize them for delicious and nutritious meals. For more meal inspiration, check out our Food Monster App. With over 10,000 recipes right in the palm of your hand, you’ll always have something delicious and new to try. It’s available for both Android and iPhone, and can also be found on Instagram and Facebook. Full of allergy-friendly recipes, subscribers gain access to new recipes every day. Check it out!
Lead Image Source: Quick Polenta Cakes With Lentils and Veggies