I’m happy to say that I’m partnering with Babbleboxx and sharing some of my simple meal solutions and prep tips for all of our busy schedules. They generously sent me a box full of amazing foodie goods that I couldn’t wait to dig into and use in my family meals. Our days can tend to keep us running from one to-do, to the next and it’s easy to get sidetracked from getting good food on the table. Carving out the time and making an effort to prepare some food items ahead of time that your family eats often and even when busy, is the first step to success. Enlisting the help of products and companies that assist us in less steps to meal prep is another way to win with simple meal solutions.
So, let’s get this meal solutions party started shall we? And since we’re having a party, want to know what one of my all-time fave party foods are? Guacamole!
While I’m whipping up an AMAZING flavor combo on a base of avocado, let’s talk meal prep for a second.
Why meal prep? You might be wondering…
I’m the first to admit that I’m not the best at planning out and meal prepping for the entire week, but I usually do plan ahead on a couple of big meals, with a handful of simple family favorites ready to jump in the mix… and then we always have a backup or two in the pantry for those days where getting something made is mad dash to just get bellies fed before the hangry kicks in. Meal prep helps because:
- You won’t have to think about what to eat or if you have the ingredients because you have options.
- You’re more likely to have a variety of flavorful, healthy meals.
- You’ll be more productive and less stressed.
Now let’s learn how to make simple meal solutions happen for a busy family…
When in doubt, dip it.
You may have been wondering why I’m sharing a guacamole recipe; well one, it’s because I had some avocados that needed to be used up! Aria is a master avocado eater, but every once in awhile she’ll take a break and those babies go brown quick, so a quick guac is a great solution. Second, in a house full of little people, setting out a dip is a sure way to stop the, “Mom, I’m hungry. When is dinner? What are you making? I’m huuuuungry,” diatribe that tends to happen just before dinnertime. And sometimes? A couple of great dips and enough sides make a great dinner in itself! Whip up some guacamole (serve with plantain chips for a delicious, and KETO friendly option), or try your hand at hummus, or a white bean dip.
Prep a salad (bar) ahead of time.
When you’re prepping, just decide what kind of veggies you want to have on hand for the week. The great thing about having your vegetables washed, chopped and ready, is that you’ve got everything you need for dipping (see number 1) or just add lettuce and you’ve got a great salad.
Here are a few top choices that stay fresh longer:
- red onions
- cabbage (red or green)
- bell peppers
- sugar snap peas
- grape tomatoes
- dried fruit
- hard boiled eggs
A great tip for not having to keep a wide range of fresh herbs and flavors on hand, cause we all know they can get expensive and we never usually use them all up, is to use Simply Beyond® Spray-on Herbs & Organic Fruit Vinegar. With just two ingredients in each of the Spray-On Herbs®, concentrated herb essential
oil, mixed with just a little Non-GMO organic canola oil, the herb extract’s natural aroma and flavor shines. Since the spray is so flavor-packed, you can start with just a little, and add more later for extra intensity. The same goes for the organic fruit vinegars; they are so versatile, and can be easily added to savory foods like pork chops or Brussels sprouts, and our vinegars will enhance their natural sweetness. Just a spritz of vinegar spray makes a great salad dressing, and one of my favorite uses is to top berries and ice cream!
I used both a small dash of the garlic and a couple spritzes of the pomegranate vinegar to my guacamole to elevate the flavor. Since we’re also talking a little bit about food prep ahead of time, want to know a foolproof way to keep guac fresh? All you do is cover with a thin layer of water (about half an inch) over the top before you cover an refrigerate… it creates a perfect barrier against oxygen, and since guacamole is dense, a little liquid won’t water it down. Refrigerate it for up to three days and when you’re ready to eat just pour off the water, stir and the texture and color is just as fresh as when you made it!
Speaking of storing, that brings me to my next tip in simple meal solutions…
Think about storage.
Between prepping ahead of time and saving leftovers for another quick meal, twist on a meal or grab n go option, having great storage containers on hand is key! We love our different Rubbermaid containers, glass jars for make ahead dressings and sauces and the Rubbermaid Take Alongs in our Babbleboxx package is great for boxing up leftovers for guests on their way out as well (yep, I clearly always have entertaining on the mind as well)!
Don’t skip breakfast.
With all this planning, it’s easy to skip breakfast; but that’s just it, breakfast is already an easy meal to skip. Mornings get hectic and we can tend to run out without the right nourishment to start our day. Whether you start with a batch of overnight oats, have eggs prepped ahead of time or have bags of fruits and veggies ready to dump in the blender for a morning smoothie, plan for those busy mornings with prepped breakfast ideas.
Don’t freak over the messes.
Yep, messes happen. In meals, in the kitchen, in meal prep and in life there will be moments of chaos. Just take a breath and go with it. I know that keeping a busy family schedule means there will pretty much always be a spill or a sticky mess to wipe up. Wet Ones® Antibacterial Hand Wipes are a convenient 2-in-1 way to wipe out dirt and messes and kill 99.99% of germs without soap and water. I like to keep them in my bag when we’re on the go, but they’re also great for just about any surface and hypoallergenic making them perfect for everyone in the family, even the littlest of hands. In fact, I like to hand out wipes and an assignment for everyone to pitch in and help clean up!
No matter what it is you’re prepping, a little advance planning will free up time to kick but in other areas of your life.
Ready for that amazingly flavorful Pomegranate Guacamole recipe?
The combination of the sweet and slightly sour pomegranate, smooth avocado, salty cheese and cilantro flavors mix together to create a really amazing guacamole. Serve with any kind of “dipper”, chips, tortillas and veggies are great options. I really loved the taste of plantain chips with it AND it’s a perfect option for my KETO friends too!
- 2-3 ripe avocados
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/3 cup fresh cilantro chopped (or more to your liking)
- 1 jalapeño seeded + chopped (optional)
- arils from 1 pomegranate (optional)
- spritz of Simply Beyond pomegranate fruit vinegar and garlic spray on herbs
- salt to taste
- 4 ounces crumbled feta cheese
- Cut avocados in half, seed and add the peeled avocado halves to a mixing bowl.
- Squeeze the lime juice over the avocados and add the cumin.
- With a fork and lightly mash the avocados.
- Fold in the the chopped jalapeño, cilantro, pomegranate arils and a pinch of salt. Stir in the feta cheese (if using).
- Grab some chips, plantain chips are SO good with this recipe, and enjoy!
- To store guacamole, place in an airtight container and cover with 1/2 inch of water. Seal and store for up to 3 days. When ready to eat, pour off water and stir for fresh guacamole!
Want to try Simply Beyond products with a discount? Click here to see the full range of products and use code babblebox10 to receive 10% off on all orders through 11/30/2017!
So friends, get to prepping! What are your favorite tips and tricks when prepping and planning? Share them in the comments below ?
This post is sponsored by BabbleBoxx.com. All tips and opinions are my own.