Welcome back to “Healthy eating for busy moms series”
It is alphabet “U”, and as “U”, I am sharing “Ultimate meal preparation ideas for busy moms”, in this post. Hoping you would like it.
But before sharing the meal prep ideas, I would like to share a honest confession with you all regarding this subject.
My honest confession
You know when I was in India, “meal preparation” was not an exhaustive subject or important aspect of my everyday cooking. Like all other Indian families, we also had all kinds of household help in our family and I had only one major household responsibility that is “Cooking”. Because I love to cook, I used to make so many different varieties of different cuisine as per choice and taste preferences of my family members.
5 years ago, when I moved from India to USA…things got changed drastically. And I had understood the true breadth and depth of this aspect (meal preparation) in detail. Here in USA, there is no household help for domestic work and you have to manage all our duties and responsibilities on your own. Of course, it is not as easy as seems. and You have to plan so many things in advance and organize your different aspects of life for smooth functioning.
In this scenario, “meal preparation” becomes an integral part of our everyday routine and you have to take extra efforts for eating healthy with hectic and busy schedule. I had learnt a lot about “meal preparation” from different web sources and various YouTube channels and I have to say that this is a great way to reduce our everyday tension and pressure of routine meal and cooking.
Though meal preparation includes lots of advance methods (like batch cooking and frozen meal)..but I am a typical desi and despite having no household help, I cook everyday fresh meals for me and my family. Somehow, I do not feel comfortable with concept of batch cooking and frozen meals.
(Batch cooking is a method to cook a large quantity of food in a single time and then store them in freeze for use in upcoming days. Some people do “batch cooking” for a week and some do for a month)
I used some simple meal preparation methods, and sharing with you all. Hoping you will find it informative.
Meal preparation ideas for busy moms
Be organize and get ready with your stuffs for busy weekdays
Yes, this one is basic, simple and most important step. Try to check your pantry at least once in a week, and make your grocery and food list accordingly. Shop smartly and buy more healthy stuff and get them ready ahead, for upcoming week. Here are some simple steps to do meal preparation effectively.
Wash-clean-chop vegetables in advance
It might sound little exhausting but this small step will help a lot in reducing your cooking time and work load during busy weekdays. Wash-clean and chop some of your vegetables and keep them organize in your vegetable box. You make may chopped veggie salad in large container or can prepare veggie sticks for kids in advance and can enjoy this during busy weekdays.
Knead large quantity of routine chapati flour
Though I usually avoid doing it, but if you had really tight schedule and get limited time for cooking during weekdays, you may knead chapati flour in large quantity and can store this in an air-tight container. This small meal preparation will help you a lot in making fresh, and homemade chapati in less time.
Prepare some healthy dips, chutney during weekends
This one is another simple and easy meal preparation for enjoy tasty food during weekdays. Prepare green chutney, coconut chutney, hummus, salsa, guacamole or any other dip of your choice during weekends. And you can use this with dosa, pancakes and parathas. This simple thing will enhance taste of everyday meal, and helps you in avoiding using readymade sauces that may contain preservatives.
Boil and pre-prepare lentil and other things like (chickpea and Chana)
This one is another simple thing that is a major part of easy meal preparation. If you are planning to make chole-rice or rajma rice in upcoming week, you can soak and boil it during weekends. And can store in freeze (put in freeze for 1 week use and use deep freezer method for long duration storage)
Also, you can boil Arhar (split pigeon pea) or moong dal (green gram lentil) in advance and store this in an air-tight container. And you can make a tasty dal fry (with this) during busy weekdays, by adding a simple tadka.
Use leftover creatively
Yes, this one is another simple and creative way to cook healthy meal with little variations.
- Like use leftover rice and make different kinds of rice (veg fried, Mexican, lemon rice, so many others)
- Make lentil and veg paratha with leftover vegetables and lentils (I had already shared the recipe of this in previous posts)
- You can also make interesting recipe puskara (crush the leftover chapati and stir fry them with onion and vegetables)
Make healthy soup in advance
I had started this thing recently and now; I am loving it. You can make any healthy soup of your choice (lentil, or vegetable) in advance and can store this in a large container, re heat this during busy weekdays and your cooking load will reduce to half with this prepare meal.
So, these are some simple meal preparation ideas that helps me in stay on healthy eating track during busy weekdays and even with super hectic schedule.
What are your thoughts? Please share!
If you had missed previous posts of this series. Click here!
read the first post ( if you had missed) Amaranth Paratha
Read the second post Barnyard millet khichdi
Read third post Chickpea salad with carrot soup
Read fourth post Dal Dhokli
Read fifth post Energy Buddha Bowl
Read sixth post Fenugreek (Methi) Thepla
Seventh post Green (Spinach) chapati with bottle gourd curry
Read 8th post Handvo
Read 9th post Idli with a healthy twist
Read the 10th post Jaggery paratha
Read 11 post Khichdi with multigrain nutrition
Read 12th post Leftover laziz paratha
Read 13th post Moong bean sandwich with tomato soup
Read 14th post Mixed grain pancakes
Read 15th post – Oats with curd
Read 16th post Paneer-Veg roll
Read 17 th post Quinoa pulav
Read 18th post Rava dhokla
Read 19th post Sprouted moong recipes
Read 20th post Top 10 healthy eating tips for busy moms
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