Meal Prep Must Haves

5:43 AM

It's been awhile since we've had a Friday Favorites, so here's a special edition for today covering meal prep & kitchen favorites. I've been talking about doing this post for awhile, but I wanted to make sure it was narrowed it down to things I consider an important part of any kitchen and they are things we use daily/weekly.

My new and most favorite thing on here is the Instant Pot. When I posted about it recently on my facebook page I received quite a few puzzled responses.. leading me to believe that word has not gotten out about these time-saving machines. We've only had ours a few weeks but I've used it almost everyday - just experimenting with what it can do. I have yet to try bone broth and yogurt, but those are on my list. The fact that I can cook a whole chicken in less than half an hour and end up with the juiciest chicken ever kinda blows my mind.

Aeropress. You've seen it mentioned before, only because you need this mini espresso machine in your life. We don't own an coffee pot. Just this little guy for the past five years - and I drink coffee every single day.  You'll also notice the multi-tasking coffee & herb grinder and electric, wireless kettle - both versatile kitchen staples and they make the aeropress even easier to use.

When we ventured to Sonoma wine-country a couple summers ago, Aria was still drinking bottles, but no longer nursing. We Airbnb'd our trip and figured we would just microwave bottles  - but didn't happen to notice that one of our houses we booked for a few nights did NOT have a microwave. To heat anything my options were stove-top or a little electric kettle. I opted for the electric kettle after it brought water to a boil in less than 2 minutes and made warming a bottle a breeze. We Amazoned (that is a word right?) one before we even got back home.


Okay, back to food. Meal Prep. I have finally invested in some good bowls to use in the kitchen and as simple as that may seem, it makes meal prep life so much easier. So treat yourself to some mixing bowls and dance in the kitchen..

Any sort of food prep requires lots of storage containers - and if I can portion out that food ahead of time, I'm less likely to overeat, skip a meal, snack on cookies.. or waste my time making lunch on Tuesday.

For more automatic food miracles - get yourself a rice cooker. If you get an Instant Pot, you can make your rice or oatmeal in that. This sweet little thing also steams veggies.. and can do large portions of steel cut oatmeal really easily.

Spiralizer - We don't eat much pasta, but I do love pesto, and zucchini noodles are a low carb, versatile way to prep some veggies to mix things up. Toss in some shrimp or chicken and your favorite sauce and you have a meal.

My parents used to use the phrase "We didn't have a pot to piss in.." to describe how broke they were when they got married. Seth and I have been married 8 years and we finally got some good pots & pans ourselves in the past few years.. and that in itself made cooking together a whole lot easier.. less meals were burnt to the crusty cheap pans, cleanup isn't so time consuming and food is actually cooked evenly. So get a good pan..

Lastly.. that nutrition scale has made weighing and measuring food a breeze.. it comes with a handy little booklet (in which we've highlighted our frequent foods) where you can plug in the corresponding code for whatever you are eating.. throw it on the scale and you have all your macros laid out.. fat, carbs, protein.. even sodium, fiber.. anything that you find in a nutrition facts chart. So when you shove a bunch of food in a container and ditch the packaging.. you can still find out how much is in your next serving.

Hopefully there is a few things here that can make your kitchen life a bit easier, and cut down on the time you spend there, so you can do other more important things. My meal prep used to take me 4-5 hours for a weeks worth of food.. but now I'm down to about two hours. The fact that I can cook 12lbs of chicken in 15 minutes still has me in awe of that Instant Pot.

Feel free to drop your kitchen suggestions and any questions you have in the comments below!

xoxo, McKenzie

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