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Meal Prep 101: Pasta

What do we think about when we think of meal prep?

1. Meal prep is too much effort.

Not at all! We also don't want recipes that are very complicated because that just creates a barrier to making it happen due to it being too much of a challenge to keep up. Meals can be as simple as you would like them to be, you just need to find what works best for you!

2. Meal prep doesn't taste good.

One stereotype is that prepped meals are boring, don't taste good and are often dry. This doesn't have to be the case. If meals don't taste good, they will not be consumed. The idea of meal prep and 'staying on track' is not to force yourself to eat bland meals but to find a way to put flavours and foods you enjoy into a transportable meal to enjoy outside the home.

3. Meal prep will take hours.

It is not realistic to assume that a meal prep will happen if it takes much too long to do. Cooking a few meals in advance doesn't have to take a very long time. In fact once you have some tried and true staple meals you can toss together, meal prep can take a very short amount of time. Depending on how much you would like to put into your meals, you can really shrink this time down to a small percentage of a single day.

So, meal prep doesn't have to be hard, boring or take forever, but what do I make?

The first thing is knowing what you need in your meals to really work towards your goals. They should be balanced, be safe and something that gives you good nutrition to energize you throughout your day. This piece of the meal prep puzzle is a great thing to speak with your Dietitian about.

The second piece, which is finding meals that you enjoy eating and are simple to make, is something that you can get inspiration for right here! This blog spot is where you can find trusted and true recipes that I have made and used myself for me and my family. They are balanced, healthy and tasty and so can be perfect for you to test out as well.

Just look for or use the search feature to find the "Meal Prep" tag and you can find a whole list of new goodies to try!

Now it's time to start cooking with first of the meal prep recipes.

Who doesn't love pasta?

It's cheap, quick and also can be tailored to many different taste preferences and dietary needs.

Many people tend to stray away from pasta because they hear that it's too many carbs and 'not healthy" but that is so not the case! Perhaps if you only had a big bowl of pasta you may find yourself sluggish and lethargic but if you meal is balanced with a good dose of filling protein, micronutrient rich vegetables and a proper serving of a high fibre pasta, you will be feeling much more satisfied, full of energy and ready to take on the rest of your day.

Plus, who wants to live a life without a little noodle dish once and a while?

Want to know how to make this stunning dish in about the time it takes to boil pasta? Well lets find out!

10 Minute Beef and Vegetable Pasta

Makes about 5-6 prepped meals (5 for average male and 6 for a female)

2/3 box Whole Grain Pasta (Like Catelli or Life Smart)

500g of Extra Lean Ground Beef (we like to use Grassfed if possible)

1/2 Large Bag Frozen Vegetables (Can use mixed peppers, stir fry blends, etc)

1/2 Can or Jar of Chunky Vegetable Tomato Sauce of Choice (We like Primo Thick and Zesty)

1.5 tbsp Olive Oil or Coconut Oil

Few large handfuls of Spinach (optional)

1/2 - 1 serving of Part Skim Mozzarella Cheese on top of each serving

1. Boil pasta following directions

2. While pasta cooks, preheat oil in a large pot. Add meat and saute until fully cooked or no longer pink

3. Microwave or steam your vegetables (except spinach if using) in a large bowl. Drain when no longer frozen.

4. When meat is fully cooked, add vegetables, sauce and cooked pasta to the pot and stir. Add spinach if using.

5. Once cooled down, add to 5 or 6 containers and sprinkle with cheese.

*Can be frozen and thawed if you want to keep 1/2 out and put half away to keep for longer.

Now you can enjoy your prepped meals all week long!

Tips for other dietary needs.

Want a plant based version? Legume pasta (like this one) would work wonderfully in this for a great source of plant based protein.

Alternatively, you can try scrambled tofu or use TVP instead of the beef

Lactose sensitive? Try goat or sheep cheese

Gluten free? Rice pasta or the bean pasta mentioned above

Don't like beef? This recipe can be made with poultry, fish or even seafood would work great!