Meal prepping can save time for busy working women.
Story: Dini Klein
There’s never a bad time to start new routines and healthy habits, but New Year’s Day is that quintessential date when we’re all looking to jump into something new. As the founder of a family meal prep subscription service, Prep + Rally, I am obviously all in favor of meal prepping at the start of the week to set yourself up for success. Not only do you save a ton of time and money by implementing a weekly prep, but you’re also making life less stressful and more enjoyable.
I designed Prep + Rally specifically for busy moms who always need to ensure dinner is on the table in time to please every palate every single day of the week. It’s no easy task, and I know most mamas would agree! I had this same struggle working full time and coming home after a long day of work to shop, cook, clean and stress! My solution was meal prep!
Unlike most meal prep plans where you prep two or three dishes and portion them out for each dinner every night of the week, I knew it had to be a different and new dinner each night, otherwise both my family and I would get incredibly bored of looking at the same food each and every day. That’s where my creative background in the arts came into play. For example, one night of dinner may be a simple roasted chicken with roasted root vegetables. Later in the week, that chicken gets shredded, mixed into barbecue sauce and rolled into crispy baked egg rolls.
My meal plans guide you through a full Sunday meal prep consisting of seven to eight staple dishes for the week and prepped in an average of an hour. You store that food in the fridge, and Monday through Thursday you are simply taking those staples and assembling them into completely different and creative dinners. We do the menu planning for you and even prepare a detailed grocery list so all you need to do is Shop, Prep and Rally through the week stress-free!
By prepping on Sunday, you’re freeing up so much time throughout the week, giving you more time to enjoy with your family and friends, and filling your week the way you choose. You also will have loads more patience at the end of the day and allow your kids to help assemble the dinner, making it a fun and interactive experience. When kids get to prepare their own taco from a beautifully displayed toppings bar, it makes for a far more successful and experiential dinner. And we all know kids love that! This leads to healthier, happier and all-around better eaters. You have newfound time to modify the menus slightly to make it work for anyone, such as serving the chili in a taco rather than in a bun, or perhaps allowing the kids to choose to dip their nuggets into ketchup while mom and dad enjoy it dipped in a green goddess dressing. It’s all about having time back in your life, which leads to more patience all around and, ultimately, more happiness in your home. I live by the Prep + Rally and it’s a system that’s truly changing how busy families go about their week. So, this New Year’s, try something new and Prep + Rally!
Check out the sample meal prep plan presented below and try out the Prep + Rally system yourself!
- 6 lemons + 1 for serving
- 24 oz green beans, pretrimmed
- 3 lb baby red potatoes
- 1 bunch parsley
- 1 bunch fresh dill
- 1 head garlic
- 4 English cucumbers
- 8-10 radishes
- 2 pomegranates (or 1 cup pre-seeded)
- 1 bunch fresh mint
- 2 pints cherry tomatoes
- 2 ripe avocados
- 13 eggs
- 2 cups finely grated Parmesan
- 2 cups mozzarella cheese
- 4 10 oz boxes frozen spinach, thawed
and wrung out
- 1/4 cup half-and-half
- 2 whole chickens cut into eighths
- 2 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast
- 2 lb fresh tuna or salmon (center-cut
- garlic powder
- 2 cups quinoa
- 2 cups panko bread crumbs
- 1 cup flour ( or gluten free flour)
- cooking oil spray (Pam)
- 1/4 cup tahini
- maple syrup
- apple cider vinegar
- olive oil
- light mayonnaise
- 1 can chick peas, drained and rinsed
- Optional pita or lafa
- 1 cup pitted Kalamata olives
Sunday Prep Rally!
- Marinate and Bake Chicken
- Boil Green Beans
- Boil Potatoes
- Boil Eggs
- Prep and Store Fish
- Tahini Shawarma Dressing
- Green Goddess Dressing
Before shopping read through all recipes and adjust accordingly to make this week’s plan perfect for YOU!
Here are the items we’ll be prepping this Sunday:
Boiled green beans, potatoes, and eggs
- 24 oz fresh green beans, tops trimmed
- 3 lb baby red potatoes
- 8 eggs
Bring a large (pareve) pot filled 3/4 way full of water to a boil. Add in the green beans and cook for 4 minutes until bright green and somewhat soft but not mushy. Meanwhile prepare a bowl with ice water and set it next to the pot. Using a large slotted spoon remove the green beans from the pot and plunge them into the ice water to stop the cooking process and keep them crisp and green. Let sit for 5 minutes and then strain and store in a container in the fridge.Using the same water, add in the potatoes and cook for 15 minutes or so until potatoes are soft enough to be pierced with a fork. Remove to a bowl with the same slotted spoon. Let cool and store in the fridge. Lastly add the 8 eggs and boil on medium heat for 8-10 minutes. Shock in cold water, peel and store in the fridge.
- 5-6 lb chicken on the bone (I use two whole chickens cut into 8ths)
- 2 lb boneless skinless chicken cutlets ( 6 pieces)
- 2 TB paprika
- 2 TB cumin
- 2 tSP turmeric
- 2 TB garlic powder
- 2 tSP allspice
- 4 tSP salt
- 4 TB honey
- juice of 2 lemons (about 4 TB)
Divide the two chicken varieties among two baking pans. Divide the spices, honey and lemon and massage with olive oil. Let marinate overnight and cook fresh the next day or cook now. Cover the chicken cut in eighths tightly with foil and leave the boneless chicken breast uncovered. Bake at 400°. The chicken cut in eighths will cook for around 45-50 minutes. And the boneless chicken breast will cook in about 30 minutes or so depending on how thick the pieces are. Remove from the oven and let cool. Cut the boneless chicken breast into 1/2 inch cubes and store covered with sauce. This will be served with our Nicoise salad bowls. Shred remainder of chicken (on the bone) and store in sauce to serve with the shawarma bowl.
Salmon or tuna fish sticks
- 2 lb fresh tuna or salmon, skin and bones removed, cut into strips for fish sticks about 1/2 inch thick and 4-5 inches in length
- 2 cups panko bread crumbs (gluten free if you prefer)
- 2 cups finely grated Parmesan cheese
- 3 eggs
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 cup flour (gluten free flour if preferred)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 tSP pepper
- Cooking spray oil
In a large bowl, mix together the panko and cheese. Set aside. In a medium bowl whisk 3 eggs together with water. Set aside. In a third medium bowl mix the flour with salt and pepper. Set aside. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and top with a few layers of paper towels. Place fish sticks on the paper towels and dry. Remove fish from baking sheet with paper towel and set aside. Spray parchment lined sheet with cooking spray. Dip each fish stick in the flour and dust off. Then dip into the egg and then finally the panko mixture. Place all the fish on the baking sheet and spray tops with cooking spray. Cover tightly and store in fridge until ready to cook. Once ready to cook, uncover fish and let come to room temperature. Preheat oven to 450° and cook for 15-20 minutes until golden and crisp.
Green Goddess dressing
- 1 cup parsley, roughly torn
- 1/2 cup fresh dill
- juice of 2 lemons
- 2 TB apple cider vinegar
- 1 clove garlic, peeled
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/2 tSP salt
- 1/4 tSP pepper
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
In a food processor or a cup with immersion blender, combine all ingredients and blend until smooth and store in airtight container.
Tahini Shawarma dressing
- 1/4 cup tahini
- 1/4 cup parsley
- 3 TB maple syrup
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 tSP salt
- 1/2 tSP paprika
- 1/2 tSP cumin
- Juice of 2 lemons
- 1/4-1/3 cup water as needed
Put all ingredients in a food processor or immersion blender with a cup and blend until smooth.
- 2 cups white quinoa
- 3 1/2 cups water
In a medium pot (pareve) mix together quinoa and water. Bring to a boil and then cover and simmer until water is absorbed, about 10 minutes.
Prep time: 5 mins RALLY INGREDIENTS: Fish sticks, green goddess sauce, potatoes, green beans
Salmon Fish Sticks with Green Goddess Dip, Lemony Smashed Potatoes and Green Beans
For serving your fish fresh tonight, uncover the fish and let come to room temperature. Preheat oven to 450° and cook for 15-20 minutes until golden and crisp. Otherwise reheat at 300° for 15 minutes until warm. For lemony smashed potatoes, cover a baking sheet with parchment paper and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Using 3/4 of the prepped boiled potatoes (reserve remaining 1/4 for the Nicoise salad on Wednesday), place potatoes on the baking sheet and press each potato down, smashing it with either your hand or the back of a cup. Top with one additional tablespoon or two of olive oil and season with 2 teaspoons of salt, 1 teaspoon pepper, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, and juice and zest of one lemon. Massage to evenly coat. Bake at 425° for 20-30 minutes until super crisp and golden! Serve warm fish sticks with green goddess dip and green beans (half of the prepped beans reserving the rest for Nicoise bowls) and lemony smashed potatoes.
Prep time: 8 mins. RALLY INGREDIENTS: Shredded chicken, quinoa, Tahini Shawarma dressing
Shawarma Bowls with Tahini Lemon-Shawarma Dressing
If you want to warm the chicken, heat covered in 300° oven for 25-30 minutes until warmed through. Otherwise serve room temperature. In a serving bowl place the chicken, quinoa (be sure to reserve 2 1/2 cups for Thursday’s dinner), chick peas, cucumber (spiralized if possible), thinly shaved radishes, and top with pomegranate seeds, mint, and the tahini shawarma dressing.
*This can also be served in a pita or lafa.
Prep time: 10 mins.RALLY INGREDIENTS: Cubed chicken, potatoes, green beans, green goddess sauce
Loaded Chicken Nicoise Salad with Green Goddess Dressing
In a serving bowl place the chicken, potatoes (cut into quarters), green beans (cut into 1 inch pieces), cherry tomatoes (halved), cucumbers (cut into bite size pieces), avocado slices, egg slices, Kalamata olives, and top with fresh dill for garnish, and green goddess dressing.
Prep time: 10 mins. RALLY INGREDIENTS: Quinoa
Cheesy Quinoa Spinach Bake
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a 9×13 pan, place 2 1/2 cups cooked quinoa, four 10-oz boxes of frozen spinach (thawed and drained well), 2 eggs, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon onion powder, 2 teaspoons salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, 1/4 cup half and half, 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese + 1/2 cup for topping! Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden and bubbly. Broil for the last minute or two to create that golden crust if you haven’t already reached it! Serve immediately.
About the writer→ Dini Klein is a chef and food media personality who has worked with brands such as Walmart, Daisy, Popsugar, Weight Watchers, Pinterest, Mic.com and Feedfeed. Prep + Rally has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Refinery29, Tastemade and South Florida CW. Visit diniklein.com and prepandrally.com.