Meal Prep 101 Using Leftovers

 

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Meal Prep 101: How to Use Leftovers. When you think about it, meal prep is really just a fancy way to say “make a bunch of leftovers.”. You cook once, and essentially eat leftovers all week, which saves time, money and can help you reach your weight-loss goals. The difference is, meal prep usually yields well thought-out leftovers, purposely cooked in specific amounts to be combined into.

Leftovers are an inevitable part of life. Easy, big-batch recipes exist for a reason (convenience!) but there’s no shame in wanting to switch things up on the second or third day you’re eating on that pork shoulder or pot roast. Whether you’ve got meat for days or just need to use up some vegetables, these recipes will make sure you don’t waste any of your bounty of leftovers.

Use them to. Meal prepping is the hottest food trend lately, and frankly, I couldn’t be happier! I’ve been meal prepping for years simply because it’s a great way to save time, money, and reduce waste in the kitchen, so I’m happy to see so many people getting wise to this method. Add the leftover London broil and cook until warmed through, about 2 minutes.

2. SET out the jalapeno and onion slices, cilantro, carrot, and lettuce, along with the lime wedges and sauce. For many of us, our efforts when it comes to trying to eat healthily is often hampered by a lack of time – or simply not having what we need at hand when hunger strikes. Enter a little bit of. We’ve rounded up 27 delicious ways to use your leftover steak to make everything from tostadas to dinner salads. Skip the steak-cooking step, or add steak to a previously-meatless recipe.

You’re set with a steak dinner, reimagined.Start with our crowd. By batch cooking, you can prep the ingredients for multiple family-friendly meals at once, ultimately saving time and money. In Prep-Ahead Meals From Scratch, I set out to redefine “convenience food” by sharing 100 quick and easy recipes, offer speedy food prep techniques, and share money saving shopping strategies and meal planning tips. You’ll be mighty impressed by the miracles that can be worked with just a few cups of leftover shredded chicken. (If only we could be as efficient as that Costco rotisserie.) Check out these 35 easy leftover chicken recipes, and prepare to be blown away by.

Cuban Sliders. These wonderful little rolls are baked until lightly toasted and the cheese melts. The leftover King’s Hawaiian ham sliders keep really well in the fridge, and they make a lovely cold snack. Recipes Using Planned Leftovers Save time & money with planned leftover recipes.

Planned leftovers are an integral part of our meal plans for busy cooks, and they are the second tier in the Busy Cook’s Pyramid.. When you cook more food at one time, you eliminating that prep.

List of related literature:

Store the leftover broth in clean glass jars or containers, and freeze the leftovers: most soup/casserole recipes use 3 cups of broth so measure portions of 3 cups each and write the volume on the container before freezing, and freeze 1 tablespoon portions in ice-cube trays for use in pasta dishes or children’s meals.

“The Eczema Diet: Eczema-safe food to stop the itch and prevent eczema for life” by Karen Fischer
from The Eczema Diet: Eczema-safe food to stop the itch and prevent eczema for life
by Karen Fischer
Exisle Publishing Limited, 2014

Whenever you cook something that will store well, double or triple the recipe then save a portion for breakfast or lunch the next day and freeze the leftovers.

“The Keystone Approach: Healing Arthritis and Psoriasis by Restoring the Microbiome” by Rebecca Fett
from The Keystone Approach: Healing Arthritis and Psoriasis by Restoring the Microbiome
by Rebecca Fett
Franklin Fox Publishing LLC, 2017

For example, you can take your roast chicken leftovers and make homemade chicken enchiladas, or mix your leftover grain with a rinsed can of beans and tuna the next day for a lunch salad.

“DASH Diet For Dummies” by Sarah Samaan, Rosanne Rust, Cynthia Kleckner
from DASH Diet For Dummies
by Sarah Samaan, Rosanne Rust, Cynthia Kleckner
Wiley, 2014

For example, if your sink, refrigerator, and pantry are not close to the prep area, then your plan could be to wash all the vegetables and place them in the prep area by the stove, then gather everything from the pantry and refrigerator and put them in the prep area.

“Plant-Based Sports Nutrition: Expert Fueling Strategies for Training, Recovery, and Performance” by D. Enette Larson-Meyer, Matt Ruscigno
from Plant-Based Sports Nutrition: Expert Fueling Strategies for Training, Recovery, and Performance
by D. Enette Larson-Meyer, Matt Ruscigno
Human Kinetics, 2019

Leftovers not used in the plan can be frozen to eat later or eaten as snacks.

“Made Whole: More Than 145 Anti-lnflammatory Keto-Paleo Recipes to Nourish You from the Inside Out” by Cristina Curp
from Made Whole: More Than 145 Anti-lnflammatory Keto-Paleo Recipes to Nourish You from the Inside Out
by Cristina Curp
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Or bake a full casserole and then divide it into portions and freeze them individually.

“The Forks Over Knives Plan: How to Transition to the Life-Saving, Whole-Food, Plant-Based Diet” by Alona Pulde, Matthew Lederman, Marah Stets, Brian Wendel, Darshana Thacker
from The Forks Over Knives Plan: How to Transition to the Life-Saving, Whole-Food, Plant-Based Diet
by Alona Pulde, Matthew Lederman, et. al.
Atria Books, 2017

do not add until the soup is almost ready—heat entire ■ Quickly chill or separate food into smaller portions before product to at least 165°F. refrigerating (check Food Code for various methods).

“Foodservice Manual for Health Care Institutions” by Ruby Parker Puckett
from Foodservice Manual for Health Care Institutions
by Ruby Parker Puckett
Wiley, 2012

Just keep some basic low­glycemic standbys on hand and double your dinner recipes so you have a few nights of leftovers.

“The Glycemic Index Diet For Dummies” by Meri Raffetto, RD, LDN
from The Glycemic Index Diet For Dummies
by Meri Raffetto, RD, LDN
John Wiley & Sons, 2010

I am talking about cooking with common sense so that you plan ahead and freeze and stash ingredients that will save you valuable preparation time later.

“The Dinner Doctor” by Anne Byrn
from The Dinner Doctor
by Anne Byrn
Rodale, 2004

To make a meal, choose one food from each of groups A and B, and a half serving from C. Add an extra serving of nonstarchy veggies to two or more of those meals.

“Body for Life for Women: A Woman's Plan for Physical and Mental Transformation” by Pamela Peeke
from Body for Life for Women: A Woman’s Plan for Physical and Mental Transformation
by Pamela Peeke
Rodale Books, 2009

Alexia Lewis RD

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Heath Coach who believes life is better with science, humor, and beautiful, delicious, healthy food.

[email protected]

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67 comments

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  • I appreciated all of the tips in this video; juggling as many things as I do I can see the value of making freezer meals ahead of time-it’ll save so much time and not just money (BUT not to say that THAT isn’t important, too, ROFL).

  • Hey! I just started watching your videos and I’ve got to try preparing everything in advance, because I’m suuuuper lazy when it comes to chopping everything up before cooking. Once I chop and it gets going it’s okay, but otherwise I just don’t cook and buy myself some fast food.

    I have one question, though. How long do you keep the chicken in the fridge? It’s an amazing idea, but I am going to be cooking for myself and don’t know, whether I can eat it up before it spoils.

  • This is disgusting.. first it’s unhealthy! second unrealistic for most folks! due to the fact that might not fit someones budget. and doing the labour of cutting and chopping might be cheaper. This is your life, but most of us have to live two lives

  • I love the idea of putting the salad in the mason jar but I worry that the veggies will get mushy. I make your fresh pico recipe about 4 times per week because my son can’t eat his eggs without it. Also do you pre cut your tomatoes or do you cut them up as you need them? Thank you so much.

  • Have you used aquafaba (liquid in a can of chickpeas)? It makes some mean oven baked/air fryer potatoes. Soak the pots in the liquid for 30 min then season and bake/air fry. We like low sodium taco seasoning on them too. Amazing crust on the outside and soft inside!!

  • I found this really great and helpful! My only concern/question is how long will the salad jars keep for? When I buy lettuce usually it goes bad in a few days! Any pointers on how to keep things fresh?

  • Looking forward to more videos! I have the round containers for the IP cooking! Got a big Zaycon fresh order coming so am going to need to get my freezer organized!

  • Great tips indeed! But what I have noticed is you are using so much one time usage plastic:(. Please try to avoid it or use re-usable meal boxes. We waist so much plastic these days. And also those folie baking plates..
    You only use them once and then throw them away. It is not sustainable ❤ but other tips were great, thank you!

  • I love meal prepping. But the food keeps turning bad. I like to use sectioned plastic containers so it’s easy for the kids to take to school. But I get discouraged when food turns bad within 3 days or so. Any suggestions?

  • I’ve seen whole rotisserie chickens on sale for $2.50 (in refridgerated shelf)! ones that are on last day to sell but are just fine.

  • Hi I am a new subscriber Thank you for the meal prep tips. I do the boiled eggs in advance too. I usually draw faces on them afterwards before placing them in the fridge so that my family knows which ones are not boiled ( I have a husband and two adult sons The faces are necessary)

  • So, I made an account. If I understood correctly you guys are showcasing some of the meals correct? It doesn’t necessarily mean I can specifically find you all
    s recipes?

  • Oatmeal for morning is prepped with freeze dried fruit and just add 1/2 cup boiling almond milk when I get up and 20 min later, it’s ready to eat.

  • I would add some ingredients that are found in pasta dishes to the grocery shopping list. Ricotta cheese, a block of parm for grating, a ball of mozzarella, some quality organic marinara, and large shells or manicotti OR zucchini that I can slice with my mandolin and roll up like lasagne noodles.I also always keep a jar of minced garlic on hand, and some frozen shrimp. Those ingredients are fantastic together. Quick and easy to mix and match with the green peppers she already mentioned pre-slicing.

  • Something that helped me when I started meal prepping was using a digital thermometer for the chicken. Made me so much more confident in knowing when they chicken was done and no second guessing if it was done or not which sometimes would cause me to over cook the chicken. Can get one on amazon for like $15

  • Danni, I love your videos. I would love to see what amounts of food you buy at the store to make this prep for the week!! thank you!!

  • Loved the video! I’m a young single dental resident with just a few hours on Sunday to meal prep, so this really helped! Do you have any videos on options for people who don’t have a family to feed? I find that I’m discouraged from meal prepping or cooking because I end up with WAY too much food. Thanks again!

  • How long until the chicken goes bad after you cook it and put it in the fridge? I want to start meal prepping but want to avoid getting sick:(

  • Hi, Dani.  I love these ideas; and I’d really like to try the meal prep and salad jars.  I know some other subbies asked, but I can’t find the answer:  How long do the salad jars keep in the fridge?  Thanks for the great videos and info!!

  • I NEED THAT BOOK! Just a quick question, if you are freezing in quart jars, how much “head space” should you leave? I’m concerned about too much and getting the freezer burn issue or not enough and breaking the jar or something. Perhaps freezer bags are easier in the end LOL

  • Dani, I draw little faces on our hardboiled eggs before I put them in the fridge. This allows my family to know hard vs uncooked eggs. Skinny sharpies are gems.

  • Hi Dani!  I just stumbled onto your YouTube channel today and must say…”Wow! You are awesome!”:)  Quick question:  Can you tell me where you got those clear, square containers that you store your go-to veggies in?  I’m actually looking around for something that will keep my veggies fresh all week and those look perfect!  Thanks so much for your posts!  I’m an official subscriber!

  • I have been doing the clean eating and meal prep for 3 weeks now and I feel so much better! I swear my thinking is so much clearer too. I think the fast food industry is poisoning America. I love your channel, keep up the good work!!

  • I’d like to see an episode about anti-inflammatory foods and eating in general. I’ve got pretty bad arthritis, with a lot of pain, & would appreciate that kind of video. Thank you so much. I’m really enjoying your channel (and I’m a subscriber. So, again, thanks.

  • Hi Sam! What’s your opinion on reheating fish? And also do you have any tips for filming CrossFit WODS? I was thinking of documenting my first open!

  • Hi Dani, can you please share recipes with spirulina and maca I find these two superfoods to be the worst tasting ones so it would be great to learn how to combine them:)

  • Your videos have been life changing for me! The concept of nourishing and taking care of myself using food never crossed my mind!

    Where did you get the containers that you keep your crudite in, please?

  • Welcome to (Jurassic Park) my first cooking video! I tried to include as much as possible, but I put the full steps and ingredients in a blog post http://katelavie.co/2coU1Av.
    I hope you enjoy! I tried to include a mix of vegetables, but you can pretty much use whatever you have in your fridge/cupboard:)

  • Lovely! I’do this too! It has helped me to drop alot of weight and keept it off! Only that I don’t eat meat! Or eggs! But vegetables, fruits, are always ready set go!

  • Lovely! I’do this too! It has helped me to drop alot of weight and keept it off! Only that I don’t eat meat! Or eggs! But vegetables, fruits, are always ready set go!

  • I like the ideas you had for using your chopped veggies:). Of coarse that strawberry stuck out to me Lol. my favorite thing about your chanel is that you demonstrate for a family and I find its hard to find a chanel That’s clean, healthy, and involves the family!!

  • Dani Spies?!! I thought you were off of youtube? I followed you many years ago! God I loved your “quick bites”! You look great, I’m so glad I found you again! ����

  • I am so glad you did this video! I am a homeschooling mother of 6 children and am going to start freezer cooking to make things a lot easier for me. I literally took notes while watching this video and I just subscribed! Thank you for sharing!

  • I prep our meals on Sundays. Takes me about 4 hours (family of 6), but it saves me a ton more time (& reduces stress!!!) throughout the week. My husband BBQ’s 12 lbs of chicken. I add different sauces/seasonings & slice/cube/shred before putting it into Tupperware. Half goes in the fridge & half goes in the freezer. I also brown up ground turkey for a quick spaghetti night & make a casserole dish of enchiladas. I use the crockpot to make a big batch of bean soup, cook our rice & steam our veggies for the week. I portion out all my husband’s meals so he can grab & go his lunches & dinners. When the kids & I sit down to eat I usually just have to heat something up or throw it on our countertop grill for a minute. I’d never make it through all the games, practices, homework, projects, youth group meetings & babysitting jobs without ordering pizza if I didn’t meal prep. As busy as we are, I’ve been able to lose & keep off about 50 lbs. Love your videos! Love, love, love meal prepping!!!

  • Hi Dani,
    Do you froze the vegetables,meals etc? Well, I normally try to prep food but I put in the normal fridge and after 2 days they’re not very good to eat. I think If I froze them so that can prepare at anytime would be nice and look like it’s fresh.:)

  • Great and helpful tips, Dani.  Your FB link doesn’t lead to an active page.  Thank you for looking into this.  Love the salad in a jar idea!

  • I”m glad I saw and decided to watch your vlog.. Wonderful.. I loved it..Subscribing to your site….. It looked so easy… That is how I need to have it…

  • I made my first ever chicken thighs following this recipe (I know you posted this a couple times because it’s such a good recipe!) and they turned out so well! I’m love ��

  • Can you do a price range on how much this cost to. I know ill need this come the holiday season when im back to working 15hr days.

  • Kate, loved it! But how do you eat it after it is prepared? I mean do you microwave it? Put it in an oven again? Or have it cold? I hate cold food. I love when it is warm and satisfying.

  • Great recipes! I think that they all looked delicious and simple to prepare. I love that style of eating with a little bit of everything on one plate. I will be using these recipes in the future. Thanks Kate!

  • I always make sure I have bread, peanut butter, and jelly available for sandwiches. (My go-to bread is Dave’s Killer Breadthe Powerseed variety, though there’s a sprouted grain bread at Trader Joe’s that’s also good). I also like keeping frozen broccoli, green beans, and California blend veggies in the freezer. When I can, a box of Annie’s Whole Wheat Shells and White Cheddar is also a good pantry staple.

    One of my favorite ways to meal prepwhen I have a little extra cashis to order a meal subscription box like one from HelloFresh. Since it’s just me, I can get at least two meals out of each recipe. The recipes are usually pretty clean, though I do make occasional substitutes when it comes to grains. If the box comes with white flour pasta, I swap it out for whole wheat. If it has white tortillas, I’ll either look for whole wheat tortillas or opt for butter letuce. It helps me find new recipes and keeps me from getting bored. I also go through phases where I eat the same few things over and over. (Right now, I’m addicted to Fage 5% with fruit, honey, and sliced almonds. A few months ago, all I wanted was mashed avocado on lightly salted brown rice cakes).

  • Love love LOVE this! All meal prep videos are so boring and this has so much variety. Yum! Please do more foodie videos in future x

  • I love your recipes for batch cooking! Have you seen http://www.FantasticFreezer.com and how it instantly doubles usable freezer storage space? It just launched at the Fort Lauderdale Home Show https://youtu.be/8R-jlF22k2o

  • I prefer freshly cooked food over meal prepping, but love these videos for the amazing recipes! Everything looks so good and healthy. It’s also refreshing to see someone else cook without measuring every single ingredients! What are you sprinkling at 1:35?:D

  • oo this is definitely going in my favourites for when i go to uni! i just found your blog post on the crispy chicken wraps in my saved posts on bloglovin and i think i might give them a go later, you always have such inventive, healthy but tasty looking meals! i screenshotted your stirfry from snapchat the other day to recreate too, think im obsessed!

  • I love this! I saw you cooking these up in a vlog or on snapchat the other week and I remember thinking that I want to be this organised when I’m back at uni. Those roasted veggies looked legit.

  • This is great! Everything looks sooooo yummy! �� I have a question about logging the food you prepared using the air fryer: do you weight them (to log in MyFitnessPal) before (raw) or after they are prepared? The volume of the food cooked in the air fryer is so much lower and that’s why I don’t use mine very often but this potatoes look soooooo good! ��

  • Did anyone else think of Friends every time Manders referred to the Umami seasoning?? I know he says Unagi but it’s still funny as hell.

  • WSLF. Whole STARCH Low Fat. Brilliant! I’d never heard that one before. Makes sense. I’ve been a starchivore (McDougall follower) for decades. Wonderful video! Adorable baby! I wish you were my neighbors! ��

  • Are the Wslf meals safe and okay for diabetes? I eat very healthy but I love fruits. My Dr told me to cut out starches like potatoes.. I love potatos..

  • Now it seems like you guys are constantly trying to make money out of your subscribers as opposed to making quality content. I love you guys but I hate that you guys aren’t being genuine.

  • I like that you put the veggies in the jars, I’m a beginner I want to learn how you do everything:) cause subway and fastfood is getting old

  • I loved this video, the food looks amazing and soooo savory. It is nice to hear Tate is taking the Vegan lifestyle so well. You guys are doing such a great job with your child and I like his smile sooo sweet. Thanks for the great tips! I already have your cookbook and that’s a good thing!: )

  • This sounds and looks amazing, thank you guys for all the work you’ve put into helping others live a healthier lifestyle! You totally changed my life around a couple of years ago when I was struggling with 17lbs I had gained from a too fruity diet when I first went vegan. I’m forever grateful for your advice and information!

  • I’ve never planned my meals but those look insanely good! That dal with the chickpeas especially, mmmm. Yes, get Tate cooking asap haha.:)

  • When we see the blood, an innocent pain,
    We must face the truth, we must use the brain.
    We must heat these hearts, we must find the way.
    Go, and change this shit. Vegans breaks the chain!

  • Im sure they are truly a lovely family, but I also feel like they would purge the fuck out of people smiling and laughing like they are.

  • I’m a Sarcastatarian. It turns out animals and plants also have feeling in one form or another, and both are lifeforms. So i eat neither. instead i eat compost, soil, and various scraps left in trash bins just like nature intended. i figure, if its good enough for bears, dogs, raccoons, and various rodents, its okay for me:) Its been 14 days since i started this diet, and even though i have passed blood four times, i’ve lost 6 pounds already. Wish me luck as i continue to pioneer this new way of living.

  • You guys! Cutest vegan fam ever! Thank you for all the amazing resources you provide. Look at Tate already pulling his own weight! #rhymenotintended

  • I am a fan of Food Saver vacuum packaging or like. Another thing is to pull a vacuum on refrigerated foods that you use a lot of. I buy dry black beans, soybeans, lentils, peas, pressure cook them and then store them in mason jars that I pull a vacuum on AND pack them still while hot so to increase the shelf life. But for regular used items, you can pull a vacuum with your Food Saver on your foods you keep in jars with special “vacuum seal” universal lids and food will not spoil nearly as fast.

  • This must have taken you some time to do all of these meals. It looks so colorful and delicious. I ended up connecting to Forks Over Knives for their free meal plan. I think you stated I would be getting an email from you with all the recipes that you made in this video. I never received that. Would love to try your recipes, and don’t know which recipes you chose.

  • This video was exactly what I needed!!! I have been so so busy the last month or two with school and I have barely been eating because I don’t have time or when I do have time I don’t have the ingredients or an idea of what to make!! This is perfect! Im all signed up and excited to be eating good meals again:)

  • so, I signed up through forks over knives for the sample plan through your links, but it doesn’t give me access to YOUR recipes in this video. (???)

  • I found your channel recently, and loveeee how easy, simple and realistic your recipes are. Learning a lot from watching your videos. I watched your Target Grocery haul and was inspired to go grocery shopping but at Aldis with more of a “healthy “ and “clean” mindset. Thanks

  • Another tip to AVOID freezer burn…the rule I learned is cook, completely cool, and then freeze…any heat in the food while covered will cause condensation inside the dish which then turns to ice when frozen!

  • Love ur food videos, just bought some of the spices u mentioned. Also bought one of ur recipe books. Can’t wait to try all of the breakfastezzzz! �� ��