Ideas for Cooking Ahead for the Week

Do you get too busy during the week to eat healthy? Try cooking ahead for the week so that you always have healthy food ready to eat when you are hungry.

One of the biggest excuses people who say they want to eat healthy offer for not doing so, is that they don’t have time. But a little bit of time prepping some basic items will set you up for an entire week of healthy eating and diet success.

Rather than making one thing that you will then have to eat everyday until you are sick of it, make items that you can mix and match into different meals. You can make one easy thing fresh every night and incorporate a couple of things you just need to reheat.

Remember, your health, your weight loss success, your follow through, all depend on being able to eat food that is nourishing, delicious, and in keeping with your health goals.

Set yourself up for success and try making 3 items at the beginning of every week that you can incorporate throughout the week.

Watch the video for some ideas for great winter meals to cook ahead for the week.

Vegetable soup recipe:

  • 2 lbs carrots
  • 2 lbs celery
  • 1 lb onion
  • 2 cups split peas
  • water to cover plus 2 inches above
  • 1 ham hock (optional)
  • Salt, pepper, red pepper flakes (to taste)

Chop vegetables and sweat over a medium heat until tender. Add peas, water, spices, and ham hock. Simmer gently for 2-3 hours. Add water as needed. Store in air tight container. (May want to freeze half or make a smaller batch if your are just 1 person)

Sweet potatoes:

For this I love Trader Joe’s bags of little sweet potatoes. They come in 2, 3, and 5 lb bags. Start with a 2 lb bag and see how far into the week it will get you. It sounds like a lot, but its not once they are done.

Give the sweet potatoes a good scrubbing with a vegetable brush. Do NOT peel them! (the peel is full of nutrients and lowers the glycemic index.) Remove any blemishes with a knife.

Place a sheet of aluminum foil on the bottom of the oven before preheating it to 375 degrees. Place the cleaned potatoes directly on the middle rack of the oven (crosswise so they don’t fall through the rack). Bake for 45 minutes or until tender. Leave them in the oven to cool. Once cool stack them on a plate. They can be stored uncovered in the refrigerator all week. (and they are delicious as a cold snack!)

Spaghetti squash:

Cut spaghetti squash into quarters. Scoop out seeds and pulp. Steam chunks in a pot with a wire rack in the bottom to keep the squash out of the water, for 20 min or until strands pull away easily. Once cooked and cooled scoop out flesh of the squash and store in an air-tight container. This is a great with chili and cheese, scrambled with eggs, or just about any way you would use pasta, polenta, rice, or other starchy dish.


Bon Appétit!


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