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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 tempeh, sweet potato, kale, pasta, and cashews!

This week’s ingredients will help you get into the spirit of fall foods. With full flavors and a variety of combination options, you’ll have a fridge stocked with everything you need to make plenty of meals to get you through to the weekend. But before you can start putting everything together into some awesome dishes, let’s get all your ingredients prepped!

1. Cashews

Cashew Mozzarella Cheese Sauce
Image source: Cashew Mozzarella Cheese Sauce [Vegan, Gluten-Free]

Cashews are a great snack to have on hand at any time – they’re an awesome source of protein, minerals (like magnesium!), and unsaturated fats. They can keep your midday hunger at bay until you can sit down for a meal, and they’re also super tasty! However, while cashews are great to eat on their own, they’re also great at complimenting other flavors in many of these dishes, and adding a creamy richness when blended with other ingredients, which is why they make such an incredible plant-based cheese. You can make a quick Cashew Cheese, by Molly Patrick , to put on pizza, pasta, salads or sandwiches, or make a Talida Voinea’s Cashew Mozzarella Cheese Sauce to keep in your fridge and have on hand to drizzle over pretty much anything. Read on to find some recipes that have killer cashew cheese sauces!

2. Tempeh

Creamy Sweet Potato Noodles With Ginger Tempeh 3
Image source: Creamy Sweet Potato Noodles With Ginger Tempeh [Vegan]

Tempeh is great to have to add a boost of protein as well as some hearty texture to all of your dishes. A popular replacement for meat in many classically meat-based dishes, tempeh provides a filling source of protein while also being low in carbs, and its slightly nutty taste adds a depth to the flavor of recipes. It’s super easy to prep – you can just slice it and store it in the fridge to add into recipes later, you can marinade it to add even more flavor, or you can cook it up in any variety of ways (sauteed, baked, you name it) and have leftovers stored away!

Tempeh can also bulk up your pasta, making it more filling and adding some great protein, like in Vanessa Croessmann‘s Tempeh and Pasta Casserole or Julie Van den Kerchove‘s Spaghetti with Cauliflower Carbonara and Tempeh Bacon. It acts as a great plant-based version of a classic meat sauce, as Kelly Fielding shows us in this recipe for Pasta with Tempeh Bolognese.

3. Sweet Potatoes 

Image source: Sweet Potato ‘Rice’ Casserole

Sweet potatoes are rich in beta-carotene and a great source of fiber! Not only that, but they are also extremely versatile. They can be baked, steamed, boiled, even fried. They can be turned into sauces, used as noodles, toppings for salads, or just enjoyed by themselves for their sweet flavor. Dice them up and store in the fridge for easy additions to meals – cook them ahead of time for super-fast prep, or leave them raw so you can change up the cooking method every time you eat them.

4. Pasta

Image source: Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Pasta 

Pasta may not be the absolute healthiest food you can have, but it certainly has its benefits. Carbohydrates provide glucose, which is a source of energy to keep you going, and enriched pasta is a good source of folic acid! You can eat whole wheat or vegetable-based pastas, and pairing it with nutrient-dense foods is an awesome way to have energy all day long. Cook up a big batch at the start of the week, put it in the fridge (with a drizzle of olive oil to keep it from sticking together!), and top it with any variety of other ingredients to keep each meal interesting.

5. Kale

source: Cheesy Pizza Kale Chips 

Kale is an ingredient that many enjoy as an awesome source of dietary fiber, iron, and magnesium, as well as many other key vitamins and minerals. Adding this to your weekly meals is a good perk for your health! Kale can be washed, dried, cut into pieces and stored in the fridge, as long as you avoid excess moisture by doing your best to keep it dry. It can also be blanched, dried, and frozen for use later! You could even make some kale chips to snack on during the week in between your amazing meals: just check out Charlie Rioux‘s recipe for Raw Lemon Tahini Kale Chips!

All of these ingredients work so well together in terms of flavor and texture, so you can combine them in any number of ways once you’ve prepped them to your liking! However, we wanted to provide you with some ideas to get you started. Beginning with your pasta base, you can use cashew sauces as a way to dress up simple noodles into an indulgently creamy dish, like in this Creamy Baked Penne With Kale and Fennel by Nancy Partington, which also features your ready-to-go kale. Stuff your mashed sweet potatoes into pasta shells and cover in a delicious cashew sauce in these Sweet Potato Stuffed Shells With Cashew Alfredo brought to us by Amanda Nicole Smith. Or, you could make Kirsten Kaminski‘s Butternut Cashew Mac ‘n Cheese, and replace the butternut squash with your sweet potato if you’re feeling experimental.

If you’re gluten-free or like to eat fewer carbs, you can still have pasta dishes with the ingredients in this meal prep: just make noodles out of your sweet potato, like Christine Zulkosky‘s Sweet Potato Noodles with Garlic Cashew Cream or Jess Hoffman‘s Creamy Sweet Potato Noodles with Ginger Tempeh, which adds even more delicious flavor to your tempeh.

There are a crazy number of different combinations you can make with these ingredients, creating a wide variety of dishes. Sweet potato and kale together can make a Sweet Potato Kale Curry, like Charanya Ramakrishnan shows us, or Vaishali Honawar‘s Sweet Potato and Kale Patties that you can top and serve however you like. We’ve even got breakfast covered: Steph McKercher can show you how to make a Spicy Tempeh-Bacon Sweet Potato Hash, or you can try this Kale, Sweet Potato and Tempeh Breakfast Hash from Plant Protein Recipes That You’ll Love.

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: Sweet Potato Kale Curry