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! Cha-ching! Not only does it keep you on track with your fitness goals, but it saves a lot of time and energy. 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 give you some Meal Prep inspo!
Every week, we give you a set of ingredients or theme (including seasonal recommendations!), along with a plethora of creative ways to prep healthy, quick, easy and tasty recipes.
This week, we’re focusing on salads. Warm or cold, these creative and hearty salads won’t get stale in the fridge. In fact, it’s quite easy to prep some amazing superfood salads that will stay fresh in the fridge for a few days.
So let’s get started with the ingredients we’re going to use: Kale, Collards, and Cabbage!
Image Source: Shutterstock
Kale is amazing for so many reasons! It is a highly alkalizing food, and a great source of Vitamin K, C, A, manganese, calcium, fiber, and so much more. When it comes to prepping kale, it’s super important to wash it thoroughly, especially when shopping organic. Chop up the kale finely and rinse it in a bowl of cool water a few times. Don’t waste that water though– you can use it to water your plants! After you rinse the kale, dry it well so you don’t have a watery salad. From here, you can do quite a few things:
One of the basics to a salad meal prep is massaged kale, herbs, lemon, and olive oil. You have to massage these ingredients with the kale with your hands, it’s actually quite fun! A good indicator you can use is if the kale turns a little dark, or more vibrant in color. You’re making it easier to chew and digest. A great and easy recipe idea for this Herb and Garlic Massage Kale Salad. To enjoy ahead of time, massage the kale and add everything but the nutritional yeast/parmesan and nuts. When ready to serve, add the final touches and toss. You can also make this Protein-Packed Chickpea and Kale Caesar Salad. Instead of combing all the ingredients together, it’s recommended that you chop up all the veggies and store them separately, especially high-water-content foods like tomatoes. You can make the dressing ahead and store it in a mason jar, which will keep for about 2 to 3 days.
When it comes to warm salads, this Kale, Sweet Potato, and Tempeh Breakfast Hash is a great way to kick off the day! There are so many sweet plant-based breakfasts, but if you have “savory-tooth” this meal is for you! Breakfast hashes make for a filling breakfast, but they’re often served with eggs. For a plant-based alternative, you can use tempeh, which not only provides a good source of protein but also helps make the dish heartier. And, if you’re short on time, you can always microwave the sweet potato instead of baking it, which will cut down your cooking time by about 15 minutes.
2. Collard Greens
Image Source: Shutterstock
Collard greens are surprisingly versatile when it comes to the meal prep! They are an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Sure you can chop them up, ready for a quick stir-fry, but how about making wraps? Large collard leaves make for an excellent choice when it comes to wraps. Simply remove the stem of the collard leaf by skimming your knife over the stem. Don’t cut the leaf! Stuff all your veggies and protein inside, and wrap them up. Set a delicious dipping sauce on the side and you’re good to go! Need some inspiration?
Collard greens are a nutrient-dense loose leaf that belongs to the cabbage family. They are the ideal leaf to use for wrapping veggies. They are strong and sturdy. Therefore, they don’t fall apart so you can stuff them with a ton of your favorite ingredients. These Raw Hummus Wraps are a great and easy way to get your greens in! These wraps are jam-packed full of veggies. They are fresh, crunchy, nutritious and easy to make. Eat them as a meal yourself or serve them up as an entree between two. These wraps are totally customizable, too.
These Thai Tempeh Collard Greens Wrap are also an excellent way to get in a balanced lunch all within one convenient wrap! In these collard wraps, vibrant veggies and toasted tempeh flavored with ginger, garlic, and soy, are wrapped up in a luscious leaf! They’re crunchy, flavorful, and refreshing! These wraps make a fantastic lunch on a warm and breezy spring day, where the weather is perfect for eating outdoors. Prepping for a nice picnic just became a breeze.
Protein-Packed California Quinoa Collard Wraps With Edamame Pesto are both easy, affordable, and delicious! These easy wraps are super light in texture but filling and packed with plant-based protein. The quinoa salad is an amazing mixture of textures and flavors; tangy red onion, fresh tomato, juicy mango, crisp bell peppers, raisins, and fresh herbs. The edamame pesto brings more protein to the table, so even though these wraps are served in collard leaves, this is an easy and portable lunch that won’t leave you hungry. Great to make for up to 2 days ahead!
Cabbage is a great way to bulk up your salad with a delicious and satisfying crunch. Depending on the kind of cabbage you use, you can add a beautiful pop of color to your meals. Since we’re talking about salads, it’s recommended that you don’t cook the cabbage, but instead finely chop it into bite-sized pieces. Red cabbage is especially good for raw salad dishes. You can mix the cabbage into the kale salad or store separately for easy access.
This Chopped Detox Salad is packed full of nutrients. It’s good to give your body a break from heavy meals sometimes, so this salad is a great way to give your digestive system and stomach a break. It’s filling too – which is important! A huge veggie-packed, plant-protein packed bowl will do the trick. This salad is packed full of cruciferous veggies like cauliflower, broccoli, baby carrots, and kale.
If you want to get more creative with your cabbage, how about you give this Indian Spiced Cabbage and Carrot Salad a try? This warm, crunchy cabbage and carrot salad is traditionally served as a side dish in Gutharathi cuisine. It pairs beautifully with bhakri, a more dense version of roti that is spiced with black pepper. However, it can also be served, hot or cold, with any Indian dinner.
This Sweet Potato Noodle Salad With Peanut Dressing is another way to use up that cabbage, this time for a warm dish. You simply spiralize sweet potato to create beautiful and vibrant noodles! This salad is packed full of savory sweet potato noodles, a tangy peanut dressing, and tenderly sautéed edamame. It’s great to feed a few friends or to make in big a batch and save for lunches throughout the week. You can also scoop some black beans and kale on top of this salad; who says that you can’t? We highly encourage it!
So what are you waiting for? Get to chopping! Meal Prep can actually be a lot of fun, each time you do it, you discover new and creative ways to combine different dishes. Perhaps it inspires you to share your meals with other people! Be sure to tag us on Instagram with your meal prep creations so we can see!
Check out our meal prep archives for more ideas. For further 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: Shutterstock