To help me stay on plan – I need things quick and easy. So here is what I keep on hand – prepped and ready for quickly throwing together into a meal or snack.
I find it easier to choose my veggies when they are ready to go–so I prep them ahead of time (or buy the convenience ones already prepped for me) and keep them in the fridge–to keep them from getting icky in the fridge–I always put in folded paper towels inside the bags/containers to absorb any extra moisture–it keeps things fresh and ready for days.
For the bags of spinach and cabbage – I do a paper towel on each side of the bag. For the big containers of lettuce/spring mix – I empty it out – and put 3 layers in – paper towel, lettuce, paper towel, lettuce, paper towel and the last 3rd of lettuce.
Jicama sticks are one of my favorites for a quick snack–they are always in my fridge. (See how to pick and prepare them here)
I also LOVE those little cucumbers – but they aren’t always easy to find.
Other quick non-starchy veggies I keep in my fridge: shredded zucchini, sliced or sticks of zucchini/yellow squash, daikon radish if I can find it (shredded), mushrooms – whole and/or sliced. My husband and mom both like the carrot ‘coins’ – so those are usually there too.
Sweet Potatoes – I cook them up–easiest when I’m already cooking something in the oven.
I peel them, mash them up and put them into my silicone muffin cups–once they are
frozen – I store them in a bag in the freezer.
Each cup holds between 1/3-1/2 C of sweet potato–perfect to add to any E meal.
I cook brown rice in large batches – let it cool completely. I then put it into freezer bags in serving sizes for our meals.
I only need to microwave it for 2-3 minutes on a plate and it’s ready to go.
I also always cook up large batches of ground meats – beef, sausage, pork, turkey – sometimes with specific seasonings but usually ‘plain’ so that I can quickly add to whatever meal I’m cooking–so much faster to have it ready to go.
Also great to add to make a quick taco salad for lunch (only use partial bag for that).
I always have hard boiled eggs, some kind of E muffin, already cooked oatmeal (great for Creamy Grains), and Quiche ready and waiting for me to heat up.
I heat up the muffins for 1 minute in the microwave–wrapped in a paper towel and they are great.
I wrap the quiche in plastic wrap and then put into a bag – and it’s as good as when I made it.
I also have quite a few ‘dehydrated’ or ‘freeze dried’ ingredients that I can quickly prepare or easily add to soups and stews. The Dehydrated Pinto Beans are my favorites to make a quick ‘taco salad’ type dressing–mixing the beans (I use a little less water so they are thick) with greek yogurt and some salsa or pico de gallo is perfect for that taco salad flavor without all the calories and fat of the ones I used to enjoy.
And I like to have ingredients ready as well – Ground Oats (oat flour), Ginger Juice, Ketchup, and other sauces/dressings–favorites from THM include: Peanut Junkie Butter, Sauce for the Big Mac Salad/Reuben in a Bowl, SF Ketchup.