By Zach Shivers, RD, LD

Spring is upon us! Oh how long we’ve waited, especially given how much snow we had during February. (I’ll stop with the white powder talk now, I promise.). However, now is the time that we can go outside, enjoy the outdoors, be more active, and finally take out and uncover our marvelous grills with all their flavor-enhancing splendor. I don’t know about you, but after such a long winter of baking and/or pan frying my meats, I’m looking forward to the added fun of cooking on the grill! Today I’ll discuss the merits of using a grill to meal prep which will save you both time and money all the while adding rich flavor to your lean and green meals.

So, what is meal prepping? Meal prepping is simply a cooking technique where you prepare a larger batch of food ahead of time to reduce your total cooking time. This is due to the simple fact that cooking in a batch uses the same cooking time to yield larger portions, and thereby is a much more efficient cooking method. Furthermore, it reduces the headache of coming home after a long day and knowing that you have to spend the next 30 minutes to an hour cooking a full meal. (There is almost nothing worse!). I know you’re probably thinking, “So how do I start meal prepping to receive all of these benefits?” In truth, it’s quite easy! I should note that most clients who meal prep prefer using two separate days to do their cooking, such as on Sunday and Wednesday. However, you should alter this to fit both your own needs as well as your schedule.

Taking the above example, let’s say on Sunday you grill three chicken breasts with a total cooked weight of 18oz. You would then measure out three servings of 6 oz of chicken breast and place each serving in a separate container. Then you’d have three full lean servings ready to go in the same time it would take to cook a single chicken breast! (Talk about a time savings!). Now that you understand how to meal prep and the associated benefits, I hope you see how it can easily be applied to your favorite protein sources such as chicken breast, steak, hamburger, pork chops, or even kabobs!

Don’t forget to add flavor to your meats with your favorite seasonings! (You’ll be missing out if you don’t!). I highly recommend using Mrs. Dash seasonings as they add all the flavor you want without adding any extra sodium. Throw some veggies on the grill as well and watch how much more flavorful they become! An all-time favorite is grilling asparagus brushed with a little olive oil.  (Just try it, I think you’ll thank me!).

Now that Spring has sprung, you can have more fun, add more flavor, and increase your enjoyment of Fresh and Leans while saving time using meal prepping, “on the barbie”, as they say in Australia! (Please don’t forget to clean your grill afterwards!  Happy grill happy life!). Till next time, grill on!

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