Eating well all week doesn’t have to be complicated. Here are some tips to make your vegetable meal prep easy and successful.
When people ask how I’ve changed my diet and am able to consistently stick to eating fresh, whole food, the answer is always the same: “by meal prepping”. It’s the deciding factor between making it long term and giving up after one or two weeks. I’ve made the decision to change my lifestyle and diet well over 6 months ago and never looked back.
The truth is, you have to be organized and plan accordingly without becoming neurotic about it. It doesn’t have to be overwhelming or extensive but it does have to be consistent. The trap many people fall into is simply saying that it’s too hard and they don’t know where to start or what to do. So here are some very basic guides on how to meal prep vegetables.
On Sundays, I normally set aside an hour or two and plan for the week ahead. I don’t have to organize every detail of every meal but I take care of some basics so I’m covered when the “I don’t know what to eat” thought pops into my head.
Meal prep vegetables are:
- Whole 30
- Easy on digestion
- A good way to eat healthy all week
Tips meal prepping vegetables
You can basically use any vegetables you like for your individual meal prep. Also, if you’ve been sitting on some vegetables in your crisper and they’re a tad soft, they’ll be excellent for roasting and you won’t have any food waste. Win-win!
Cut all vegetables the same size
Cutting all the vegetables the same size will ensure that they roast evenly. If you have varying sizes you may end up with undercooked vegetables and that’s not much of a problem for broccoli, zucchini, and cauliflower, but root vegetables generally taste best when fully roasted.
Best vegetables for meal prepping
This may seem obvious but pairing nonstarchy vegetables with other nonstarchy vegetables will yield the best flavor combination and you can assemble and mix and match later on. Cooking times can vary depending on the vegetables so here is a basic guide to roasting.
How to make them:
– Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
– Line a large roasting sheet with parchment paper or foil.
– Add zucchini, summer squash and peppers or any other nonstarchy vegetable with 2 tbsp avocado or extra virgin olive oil, 1/2 salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper.
– Toss to combine. (Feel free to use more salt and pepper if you’d like).
– Roast for 15-20 minutes, until vegetables are soft. Toss once halfway.
How to make them:
– On a separate sheet, line with parchment paper or foil and add broccoli, 1-2 tbsp avocado or extra virgin olive oil, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 pepper.
– Massage the oil into broccoli, cauliflower and sprouts (or any combination you like) and roast for 10-15 minutes or longer if you wish the vegetables to be softer.
– Toss once halfway.
*Note that broccoli easily goes from roasted to charred so keep an eye on it.
How to make them:
– Line a 3rd roasting sheet with parchment paper or foil and add sweet potatoes and butternut squash.
– Combine with 1-2 tbsp avocado or extra virgin olive oil, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, and roast for 30 minutes, tossing once halfway.
Use an oil that can stand high heat
When roasting vegetables at a higher heat, a good option is avocado oil and make sure you use enough as some vegetables, in particular, require a lot in order to not dry out. If you’re roasting the vegetables at temperatures under 400 degrees, using extra virgin olive oil is perfectly fine too.
Season your vegetables
Salt and pepper are a must when it comes to roasting vegetables but feel free to play around with other herbs and spices too. Some good options are cumin, paprika, thyme, oregano, coriander, or any other herbs and spices you like.
How to use roasted vegetables
Once vegetables are roasted you can use them in a variety of ways. You can drizzle them with additional avocado or olive oil and reheat them, toss them with balsamic vinegar, use them as sides to any meat, add them to any salad. The possibilities are endless.
Store vegetables in air-tight containers for up to a week.
- 1 large summer squash or 2 medium cut into 1″ cubes
- 1 large zucchini or 2 medium cut into 1″ cubes
- 2 red bell peppers cut into 1″ cubes
- 1 head broccoli, florets only
- 3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1” cube
- 1/2 butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1” cubes
- 4-6 tbsp avocado oil or olive oil, divided
- 1 1/2 tsp of salt divided
- 3/4 tsp pepper
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line the largest roasting sheet with parchment paper or foil. Add zucchini, summer squash and peppers with 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil, 1/2 salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Toss to combine. (Feel free to use more salt and pepper if you’d like). Roast for 15-20 minutes, until vegetables are soft. Toss once halfway.
2. On a separate sheet, line with parchment paper or foil and add broccoli, 1-2 tbsp avocado or olive oil, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 pepper. Massage the oil into broccoli and roast for 10-15 minutes or longer if you wish the broccoli to be softer. Toss once halfway.
3. And on the last roasting sheet, line with parchment paper or foil and add sweet potatoes and butternut squash, toss with oil, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, and roast for 30 minutes, tossing once halfway.
*Tip – place the heartiest vegetables on the lowest oven rack. In this case the sweet potatoes and butternut squash.
4. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.