Every well-rounded meal has a foundation. It’s not always a good foundation, but it is the ingredient that seems to tie it all together. For example, curries are grounded with rice. Tabbouleh finds a base in quinoa. Pad Thai finds homogeny with rice noodles. Pizza is held together with bread, but even that can be tweaked for healthier options. Keep reading to find out how!
Great food has great foundations. This concept is not left behind in meal prep. So often people want to rush meal prep by opting for a container of granola or a bag of prewashed greens. Meal prep is exactly that; preparing a meal. Would you feed your momma six almonds and a rice cake for lunch?
Each week choose a base or two that you would like to build real, whole food meals upon: quinoa, brown rice, sweet potatoes, rice noodles, cauliflower, barley, oats, nut and seed loaf, be creative! By selecting a foundation for your week, you can then find or invent several recipes that use the same ingredient.
This doesn’t have to be complicated. If you make a simple nut and seed loaf, there are many easy recipes out there; you can then use it for breakfast toast with nut butter and a boiled egg or a hearty sandwich at lunch with a leftover slice of roast.
Make a big pot of quinoa and then mix up a few portions of easy Tabbouleh, a couple portions of roasted veggies and balsamic dressing salad or even mix up a couple quinoa patties for a quick veggie burger.
Got rice? Make the whole bag. Now you can whip up an easy veggie curry or take all your leftover veggies and whatever meat you have at the end of the week and toss it all together for a quick stir-fry.
Sweet potatoes for breakfast? Absolutely! Bake a few in the oven for ready now meals. Peel, cube and store. When you’re hungry, pan sauté just to crisp the outside and heat through, add a couple eggs and some pre-roasted red bell pepper and onions for a breakfast that sticks with you. Other pre-baked potatoes are great for a quick mash under a roasted chicken breast or mixed with the quinoa above for a potato cake and a side of greens.
Cauliflower may have been the hot topic last year, but that only means the best recipes have been created and are now easy to find. Cauliflower is one of the most versatile meal bases we have. It can be a whole, cruciferous veggie on the side. Spiced and roasted to trick your taste buds with some Buffalo wing flavor. Pulse ground to imitate rice and then tossed with pesto for a pasta alternative. And a personal favorite, made into delicious pizza dough! There are so many recipes out there to suit whatever dietary needs you may have. Make several little pizzas for a super tasty and enviable lunch at the office!