By the time you're done reading this you will have gone from young grasshopper to mastahhhhh..or padwan to jedi, or student to teacher-whichever you like. Either way you'll learn some fun, easy tricks on how to meal prep veggies.
Lesson 1: Wash on, wash off.
When washing veggies, you may face some issues. Your first foe will probably be dirt. No problem, nothing a little scrubber can't handle. Rinse under lukewarm water and scrub gently so you don't disturb the skin. You need that. That's where all the fiber is! Later on you may come across a stronger enemy: bugs...or my worst nightmare, worms. If you're me, you take care of the creepy crawlers by screaming, dropping the veggie and having your boyfriend clean them off. That has proven to be the most efficient way in my household. If you're strong enough to face these tiny villains, just check your veggies thoroughly (especially broccoli) as you would a child's head during a lice infestation at an elementary school. All this bit about added protein? Don't believe it. You don't know what these bugs are carrying. (Side note: I once ate a crispy grasshopper at a dive bar. That wasn't too bad. But I was also 3 whiskeys in and even a moldy slice of pizza tastes good at that point.) Extra paranoid? Have a bottle of lemon juice diluted with water and spray on your veggies prior to scrubbing. Lemon is a natural antibacterial and it tastes/smells super good.
Lesson 2: Blend and Freeze
One of the best ways to get in your veggies is to drink them in a smoothie. You're getting the benefits of raw goodness by not cooking away any of the nutrients and if you add a little fruit, it doesn't taste too bad. You can add anything you want too: cayenne, chia, spirulina, flax, even healthy oils and nut butters! Eating veggies with healthy fats helps you absorb nutrients.The other benefit to smoothies is that they are portable. Sometimes when I'm ultra lazy, I put all my fruit and veggie servings for the day in a blender and drink it in one go. Got some sludge left over? Pour the remaining juice in an ice tray, freeze over night then pop a few cubes into the blender the next day. Fill a few trays and you're set for the week! BOOM!!
Lesson 3: Use the fork, Luke.
If I learned anything from my bikini comp days it was how to prep a lot of food in a short amount of time. Any leftover veggies I didn't use in my smoothie get thrown in the oven for a good ol' fashioned roast. (Sometimes when I roast things I pretend I'm on Comedy Central and talk shit about my food like they do about Justin Bieber. But then I feel like an asshole because some people don't have food and Justin Bieber sucks.) I digress!! How to roast quickly and deliciously:
Preheat the oven to 350.
Toss the veggies in a pan with a healthy oil. (I recommend avocado, grapeseed or coconut because they can handle high temperatures without burning. Remember you need those fats!) Sometimes I'll drizzle a little olive oil for flavor...who am I kidding I ALWAYS add olive oil because I'm Arab and that's just what we do. Olive oil can't take high heat as well as the others so maybe drizzle it on after the veggies come out of the oven. Sprinkle a little salt and pepper or any other seasoning you like and pop those babies in!
Take them out after about 10-15 minutes. Overcooked veggies lose their nutrients so don't be like me and burn them every time because I'm watching dog videos on Instagram.
Wait for them to cool and separate them into 5 tupperwares. BOOM! Veggies for lunch M-F!!
Whether it's a morning smoothie while you're stuck in traffic or a Tupperware of broccoli stinking up your purse, you are all set for a solid week of healthy eating! Now go, young grasshopper. You are ready.
The BoomBoomBabe has spoken.