This is a sponsored post for SheSpeaks/Rubbermaid®. All opinions are my own.
I have recently returned to the idea of meal prepping. For some reason, I always think about making full meals during meal prep, such as making a full lasagna or an entire casserole, and so on. However, why not just prep a bunch of individual healthy foods that you can mix and match instead? That’s exactly what I did last weekend, and I want to share some meal prep ideas for healthy eating with you.
Bonus: I have a giveaway for some Rubbermaid FreshWorks Produce Saver containers for long-lasting produce freshness at the bottom of this post!
Meal Prep Ideas for Healthy Eating
Start with FRESH Ingredients
If you get into meal prepping with gross, limp veggies or meats on the verge of expiration, you won’t be inclined to eat the final product. I’m all for using up ingredients, but try to do a big shopping trip fairly close to the date and time you’ll be preparing the foods. Let’s face it, we all like to eat pretty food!
See below for some ideas on how to keep your produce fresher for much longer.
Save Time by Prepping and Cooking Multiple Things at Once
During my recent meal prepping session, I decided to bake (really roast) many things at once. My oven will hold 4 small to medium cookie sheets or one large one and two smaller ones at a time.
I set my oven to 400 degrees, decided what cooked the slowest and fastest and set some times. I sprayed my pans with a little olive oil, placed my prepped meat and veggies on the cookie sheets, sprayed them with cooking spray again, and lightly seasoned them.
I baked my boneless, skinless chicken breasts with parchment paper over them to mimic having skin. I baked my sweet potatoes in chunks, my zucchinis in little coin slices, and my asparagus whole. I looked up each ingredient to see how long to cook each thing, and as my quicker items finished (like the asparagus), I would stick another tray of one of my longer cooking items in there (like sweet potatoes) to keep the cycle going.
While I was baking everything in the oven, I used a skillet to cook up some ground turkey to use for the week. This was awesome because I was able to use it for multiple meals throughout the next several days.
This entire process took about an hour. That’s it! SO simple. Then, I had several individual ingredients to mix and match throughout the week. I made “chicken parm” with my chicken breasts, with veggies on the side, I had ground turkey with sweet potatoes, I made a quick chili with the precooked ground turkey, and enjoyed vegetables as a snack without having to dirty up a pan multiple times during the week.
Clean as You Go
As I noted above, I did my cooking in batches. I cleaned as I went! Cutting boards, knives, cookie sheets, and the skillet all got cleaned as I went along. This made sense, because I did have time between tasks and it made everything seem so much more orderly and enjoyable.
Utilize the Fridge and Freezer for Storing Cooked Foods
Don’t just limit yourself to storing everything in the refrigerator. I did separate all of my foods into different containers so I could mix and match from the refrigerator, but I also threw together a few containers full of actual lunch-sized portions to freeze as well. These will come in handy during times when I don’t have time to cook later on in the month. It also means that my family didn’t have to eat ALL of the food that I prepped during just those initial few days after meal prep.
More Info on the Rubbermaid FreshWorks Container
Prior to receiving my set of these containers, I had no idea there was a storage product out there with a filter to help prevent food waste. I hate when my produce spoils quickly, and these extend the life of pretty much any type of produce! There are several sizes available, with room for anything from little berries to large lettuce leaves.
Sizes available now are:
Lare Square (11.1 Cups): Perfect for Tomatoes
Long Rectangle (8.4 Cups): Great for asparagus or zucchini
Small (2.5 Cups): Ideal for small berries.
Medium (6.3 Cups): Perfect for strawberries.
Large (17.3 Cups): Optimal for leafy greens.
So, how does it work?
It really is simple. Simply remove your fresh produce from their original packaging, such as the cellophane wrappers around a multipack of bell peppers, plastic cartons surrounding berries, or the produce bag you put your lettuce in, and place them directly into the Rubbermaid FreshWorks container. That’s it! Do not slice, dice, peel, or wash the produce prior to placing them in the containers.
There is a CrispTrayTM at the bottom (the green piece inside) that keeps produce elevated slightly so it doesn’t get soggy and ruin quickly.
On the lid, there is a patented FreshVentTM Lid which actually regulates the flow of oxygen and CO2 in and out of the container. This creates an environment so that produce stays fresher, longer. In fact, it might help your produce to stay fresh up to 80% longer*. (*Based on strawberries in FreshWorks™ containers vs. store packaging. Results may vary depending upon produce and use.) Oh, and did I mention that there are no filters to replace? The filter on the container will last a lifetime!
I love that the lid is actually raised. This makes it easy to throw in produce that might be lumpy, like my berries, and not worry about squishing them when the lid goes on. This creates an even larger storage space on the container.
The containers are made in the USA from global components. They are BPA free and can be cleaned in the dishwasher.
My Rubbermaid FreshWorks Review
I haven’t had my containers long enough to really test them over the long-term. Short term, however, I have loved them! We buy a lot of produce, and it doesn’t all fit in our fruit and veggie crisper drawers. I end up storing over half of it on the shelves of my fridge and carefully decide where to place them, how to store them, and whether or not to cook them or chop them first.
Frankly, I get nervous storing my vegetables outside of the crisper drawer. These containers have helped a lot with that fear. I’ve not had the soggy, moldy zucchini or the limp asparagus bunches since using these containers. I’m pleased so far, and am already thinking about getting a few more. I am excited about not having to worry about replacing filters or doing anything weird or complicated to save my produce from going bad. It’s seriously just as simple as dumping them in the FreshWorks container and snapping on the lid. Simple and DONE!
***GIVEAWAY is now OVER*** Thanks for entering!!
Are you ready to win your very own set of Rubbermaid FreshWorks containers? According to the USDA, Americans waste over $24 billion on produce EVERY year. These containers could change all of that for your family!
The winner will receive 2-3 products from the Rubbermaid FreshWorks line. The prize will be fulfilled by the sponsor and will arrive by mid-December.
To enter, you MUST be 18+ and live in the United States. You MUST respond to your “winner” email with your mailing information within 24 hours or a new winner will be drawn.
How to Enter:
- Comment below with your favorite fruit and favorite vegetable.
- Click the Tweet button below to tweet this message. Reply to this blog post again with your Twitter handle or a link to your tweet to let me know you did.