One of my favorite ways to save time on meal prep is to cook extra.

I love being home and planning, prepping and cooking fresh meals. However, let’s face it, a great life can get full and some days, we simply run out of time.

HANGRY: (When you are so hungry that your lack of food causes you to become angry, frustrated or both.Over the years, I’ve found a couple of tricks that help keep me on task with my healthy lifestyle so that I don’t sabotage my success. This way, a good, healthy, nutritious meal is only minutes away when you are hungry or past your meal time or heading towards HANGRY (When you are so hungry that your lack of food causes you to become angry, frustrated or both.)


Keep your freezer full

Stock your freezer with soups, veggie burgers, and frozen veggiesOn my days at home, I love making soups, stews, and veggie burgers. I always make at least a double batch, and then I freeze them in individual servings to pull out quick for lunch. Most of my soups are plant-based, gluten-free, and so versatile. Other family members can always add lean chicken. The soups pair great with a salad. You can also add potato, rice, or noodles to make them heartier and boost the calories.

Always Make Extra – veggies, soup, salad, chicken, rice, quinoa

Whatever you are cooking, make extra! You can either freeze it, as in the case of soups and veggie burgers or use it later on in the week for lunch or repurpose it for dinner.

  • Are you grilling out tonight? Add some extra chicken to the grill to top off your salad for lunch tomorrow. You could also chop up for chicken salad wrapped in your favorite lettuce leaf.
  • Grilling or sGrill extra veggies for the weekteaming veggies? Make extra! They will go great on top of a bed of greens or over rice or quinoa.




  • Is quinoa or rice on the menu? Make extra! You can always pull out a soup to top it with, or a can of beans and salsa, or even tuna and veganaise!

Pack away your leftovers FIRST

This one comes from a conversation I had recently with my friend Nakia. She said even when she makes extra food, her family (she has growing boys of the teenage variety) scarfs it up at dinner!

My solution is to pack a serving or two for your lunch this week before you sit down to dinner!

Making a dinner salad? While building it in a family-size bowl, have two side containers right next to it and build two smaller salads along with the larger one. One for dinner tonight and two for lunch this week!

Fresh is great, but in a pinch, frozen veggies will do

I love fresh veggies. But some days, you run out of time, and the garden isn’t ready, and you miss the health food store, and it’s two days before the CSA delivers. This is where frozen veggies are handy for a quick soup, side dish, or stir-fry.

And, frozen spinach, broccoli, onions, and peppers all work great in an egg scramble! Great for breakfast or a mid-morning snack!

Dried beans are great, but keep a few canned (BPA-free) on hand.

Burrito bowls with quinoa, millet or rice, black beans and salsaI love dried beans, but you must plan to soak and cook them for most recipes. That’s why having a pantry with a few different varieties of beans is helpful. Chickpeas work great on a salad or roasted for a snack. Lima or black work well with quinoa/rice and salsa!

Meal Replacement Shakes

Perhaps my best tip is to have meal replacement shakes on hand. Nothing good comes when I am away from my food for a long time.

I eat five or six meals a day, and as much as I love to meal plan, prep, and cook, I also love my shakes!

I always have one with me and a shaker bottle, whether going out for a quick errand or on the road for a few hours. I usually have water with me, but if not, that is as close as the nearest gas station.

Here are my standards for a great shake:

  • Substantial enough to be a meal replacement (approx. 240+ calories).
  • Low Glycemic
  • High Fiber
  • Free of gluten
  • Contain vitamins and minerals
  • Contains ACTIVE enzymes to aid digestion
  • No artificial flavoring, coloring, preservatives or chemicals.
  • Taste GREAT!

For meatless Monday, gluten-free, plant-based recipes and more, follow me on Facebook. Visit my photo albums and look for the one titled Meatless Monday (there are a few in there that contain meat as well)

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