This article was originally published in November 2013
It’s easy to get so focused on the impending holiday feast that you forget to prepare for regular mealtimes. With a little advance planning, your weekday efforts can be kept to a minimum without sacrificing taste or nutrition.
Whether your dietary preference runs to black bean patties or meatballs, make sure your freezer is stocked with prepared proteins that heat up quickly. For the pantry, cans of tuna or salmon and a supply of nuts all offer a speedy supply of the energy you’ll need for the season.
The concept of batch cooking can also be applied just to prepping. Peel and dice an assortment of favorite vegetables ahead of time. Having completely prepped broccoli, braising greens, onions and carrots in the fridge will come in handy for soups or stir-fries, and you can add your favorite salad greens and dressing for a healthy lunch.
When you attend to your weeknight cooking, prepare double batches of a few storable meals. Having ready-made pans of lasagna, red beans and sausage or enchiladas in the freezer will be a welcome relief on a night when you’re short on time.
Take a few minutes to check that you’re happy with the supply levels of your pantry staples. Healthy shelf-stable soups and boxed meals can be a more satisfying meal than something grabbed on the run, while an array of flavorful vinegars will inspire you to include a salad with every meal.