More and more people these days are jumping on the latest trend in food: meal prep! It’s simple really, just spend some of your Sunday (or any given day in the week) preparing some ready-to-go or ready-to-warm-up meals to maximize your time and keep you from relying on fast food too much. Here’s the thing though… it’s not always that simple! And it takes some real commitment.
But we’re here to help. There’s plenty of tips and tricks to make meal prep as easy as possible. And here are some of our favorites! I know I’ve started using at least half of these and I’m very glad I did.
MINI OMLETES IN A MUFFIN PAN
How delicious do these look?! Everybody loves a good omelet, but they can be time-consuming to make and we rarely let ourselves enjoy one at home. But you can make a bunch of mini omelets for the week ahead by cooking them in a muffin pan. Put whatever cheeses and veggies you want in them and store them in the fridge. They still taste fantastic after a quick thirty seconds in the microwave.
READY-TO-BLEND SMOOTHIE PACKS
Smoothies are always delicious and are crazy healthy to boot. But getting all those delicious ingredients and cutting them up in the right proportions takes time. So why not prepare all those proportions for your daily smoothie in advance! Just use some basic ziplock bags to measure out your proportions and then keep the smoothie packs in your freezer. Then, when you’re ready for a delicious smoothie, all you have to do is grab one of the packs and blend away! Easy peasy.
FRUIT CUPS FOR SNACKTIME ANYTIME
Who doesn’t love fruit?! It’s delicious and always makes a great snack. But it’s easy to forget to keep your fridge stocked with fruit or leave the fruit at home when you go to work. But you know what else is easy? Making little to-go fruit cups that you can take with you anywhere you go! It’s also a great way to make sure the fruit you do have in the fridge doesn’t go bad because you forgot about it.
MAKE YOUR OWN FROZEN BURRITOS
Frozen burritos are as dangerous as they come. They’re technically delicious, but they’re terrible for you. But we have good news for you: you can just make your own frozen burritos! Now you can enjoy that microwaved deliciousness without feeling like you’re destroying your body.
PREMADE SALAD IN A MASON JAR
How adorable is this?! Salads are, of course, great for us, but can sometimes be a pain to make. At least with all the ingredients you really want in them. But pre-making a bunch of salads in mason jars and storing them in the fridge is a great way to make sure you enjoy the most delicious salad possible without having to make a new one every day. Just make sure you don’t forget to layer them properly to ensure they stay as fresh as possible for as long as possible!
VARIOUS MICROWAVEABLE MEALS
This is what meal prep is all about right here. There are all kinds of full meals that you can prep on a Sunday, throw in a Tupperware container or two, and reheat as you please without losing any bit of deliciousness they had when you first made them. Throw anything you want in there! Chicken, rice, vegetables… the list goes on and on.
FREEZER BAGS OF MARINATED CHICKEN
All too often we settle for bland, flavorless chicken. Why? Because it takes to much time to make any kind of glaze or rub and actually apply it to the chicken! Well… meal prep to the rescue! Just put a bunch of chicken breasts in ziplock bags along with whatever herbs, spices, and sauces you like and keep them in the freezer. Then, whenever you’re in the mood for delicious chicken, just pull one out, cook, and enjoy!
Tabitha Brown and Other Black Personalities Focus On Joy Despite Crisis
Happiness is an essential aspect of survival. For many Black influencers, promoting positivity among fans and followers, mainly during crises, is a must—that so-called reminder that there is still light at the end of the darkest tunnel.
Amid the ill effects of the present COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing debates regarding equality and racism, numerous Black celebrities and creators are offering the community a chance to laugh, reconnect, and heal. Tabitha Brown delights her audience with cooking expertise; Kerry Washington showcases yoga as a calming and reflective activity, and Rickey Thompson entrances followers with his dancing moves.
Brown and Her Cooking
The vegan actress provides both her Instagram and TikTok fans with motivational clips. She combines her southern cooking with inspirational narratives. She guides her millions of followers as she demonstrates how to cook a variety of dishes as she simultaneously calms her audience with her trademark expressions, including “’cause that’s our business” and “like so, like that.”
After her 2-year battle with chronic fatigue and pain, the actress turned to the web, posting motivational videos for fans. “I want to help people,” Brown shares in a recent interview. “I think my content has a responsibility to bring light every day, whether it’s in laughter, whether it’s in inspiration, whether it’s through food,” she adds.
Thompson and His Dancing Moves
Like Brown, Thompson has millions of followers on social media. He dazzles his fans with various dance clips coupled with relatable rants regarding relevant issues. His videos are bursts of color and gaiety, encouraging everyone to believe that things will soon be okay.
He shares that, after the terrible losses that he and his family encountered, he realized that he could use his voice to influence others. Nowadays, he provides his fans with comic relief through dancing, walking, and self-expression. “As a Black person, our whole journey is trying to keep all our emotions within because we’re supposed to be strong, we’re supposed to be these tough people,” Thompson explains. “But we’re also human… What’s important is letting other people know you’re not in this alone,” he continues.
Staying Positive amid Problems
Despite the current difficulties encountered by various Black and colored communities in the country, it is highly important to remain calm and steady. Laughter helps relieve the accumulated stress and pain brought on by the pandemic and increased racism, while motivational talks provide positive guidance on how to make the best of the situation.
Numerous Black influencers and personalities offer various stress relief options online, encouraging others in the community to hold on to each other, although virtually, as we all await the eventual cure to this present pandemic. “So that even if it’s for one minute, it’s an escape for whatever they have going on in life. They can laugh a little bit or cry if they need to, but they just feel like they have somebody at that moment,” Brown asserts.
Indeed, we may all be grappling with various issues at the moment, but hope must spring eternal as survival can only be possible for those who remain steadfast, strong, and happy.
How To Determine A Food-Friendly Wine
The language of wine can be romantic, mystifying, or nonsensical — sometimes all at once. Experts share their experience and research for some wines and winery in answering the question: “What makes a wine food-friendly?”. Some people are dependent on wine names and might seem self-evident, but frequently, they get deceived.
“Food-friendly” is a common description that should seem obvious, but what does it mean?
Most people would say that wine is meant to be consumed with food. However, we usually drink wines as cocktails, or on their own, without thinking about what we eat to match the wine mood. Sometimes, people also enjoy them as trophies, for the experience of tasting a rare, expensive wine. In these contexts, food doesn’t matter. Wine is the highlight.
The concept of a “food wine” became a derogatory — a wine that didn’t taste good on its own and needed food as a counterbalance for its flaws. That’s not what we mean today by describing a wine as “food-friendly.”
- Every good wine will be friendly with at least some food. A positively food-friendly wine plays nicely with a broad category of foods, from sweet to savory to spicy, from meat to fish to veggies.
“I’ve had A-plus perfect pairings, where every note in the wine and dish sync and amplify each other, but those are rare experiences, and I don’t think they are the point most of the time,” says Matt Stamp, a master sommelier who used to try to orchestrate such pairings at the French Laundry in Yountville, in Napa Valley.
- Along with Rosé, Riesling, Pinot Noir, and Barbera are wines noted for their acidity and versatility with food. This can result in surprising pairings. Beef braised in Riesling is a traditional German dish, and pinot noir makes an exciting partner to sushi, roast chicken, pork, or grilled salmon.
- When in doubt at home or in a restaurant, look for these types of wines for challenging food pairings or find some bubbles, the second characteristic that defines food-friendly wines. Bubbles go with everything. The sparkling wine’s enthusiasm effectively cleanses your mouth and prepares you for the next bite of food or a sip of wine. Sparkling wines also manage to be refreshingly acidic. We do ourselves an offense by relegating champagne and other bubblies drinks, such as Italian prosecco or Spanish cava.
“Champagne can be had throughout a meal, even with the right steak,” says Nadine Brown, former sommelier at Charlie Palmer Steak in D.C. “Fried chicken and potato chips with grower champagne is hot right now,” Brown says, pointing to the ultimate combo of extravagant wine and poor vittles.
I usually don’t agree with the “drink the wine you like with the food you like” school of view because it can be lazy. But if you pay attention to the wines you drink and the foods you pair them with, you’ll develop your group of wine styles to draw on when wondering, “What on earth should I drink with this?”
And as Brown advises, “Stay curious.” You might find something unique and surprising.
Turn Your Extra Rice Into Something More
Rice is best paired with any of the viands you can think of, whether it’s vegetables or meat. It goes so well with anything. Without rice, sometimes, we feel unsatisfied; thus, we still feel hungry. However, you can turn rice into something you want it to be! Fried rice, for example, yet, it is not the basic ones; you can add something into it to make it more delicious and mouth-watering.
Depending on your position, leftover takeout rice can be the bane of your existence or a blessing. For most of us, it’s the latter. Extras such as these are the foundation for a superb reinvented supper, namely fried rice.
Fried rice is an excellent weeknight feed, whether you want to extemporize with what’s already in your kitchen or have a specific project. Here are some recipes from our archives, which are great as written and easy enough to achieve. They’re so great; you might find yourself ending up ordering more rice just to make them.
Fried rice with broccoli and mustard greens
A vegetable-loaded version uses a sharp technique that has you cook the ingredients in steps, which is especially helpful if you don’t have a wok or large skillet.
Better than takeout fried rice
Sometimes, there are similarities between what you might get if you ordered fried rice, but we prefer the freshness and crunch of homemade. The ginger and red pepper flakes are making it sound, too.
Sesame fried rice with spring vegetables and egg
Brown rice binds more nourishment into the stir-fry, and fried eggs mean you can mix in a runny yolk for an extra-luxurious texture.
Garlic fried rice (Chahan)
This is for garlic lovers; celebrate because you’ll fry a few cloves for this recipe. It calls for short-grain Japanese rice, so here’s an ideal recipe for making a cut in any sushi rice you may get.
Vegetable fried rice
This recipe helps you with extra brown rice. Other than that, it will also get you to reinvent those broccoli stems instead of throwing them away or doing the same recipe over and over again.
Quick ham-fried rice with lavender
This is clearly off the hidden path, but the floral flavor plays well with the pork, ginger, and raisins.
Spicy basil tofu fried rice
A stir-fry for one that recommends making a baked marinated tofu for extra flavor and thick texture. You can also swap in plain extra-firm tofu.
African soul fried rice.
Food writer and culinary historian Michael Twitty is the source of this vivid dish that includes traditional or indigenous ingredients to West and Central Africa.
Those are just some of the recipes you may use for converting your plain rice into something more tasty. Avoid food waste, get what you can consume. If we can’t avoid leftover foods, let’s not leave it. Let’s transform it.
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