5 Eating Clean Meal Prep Essentials

Jan 24, 2019

Here at Eat Clean, we fully believe that weekend meal prep is the key to eating healthy – and to stay sane in the kitchen during the busy work week! We love a good meal prep, whether it’s making multiple meals and stocking our fridge/freezer or cutting up some veggies and whipping up a simple dish that will make plenty of leftovers. Spending time in the kitchen to prep, even if it’s as little as 30 minutes, can make a huge difference when it comes to healthy eating habits. In honor of that – and to prepare for awesome healthy habits in the new year (hello, 2019!) – we’re getting back to the basics and sharing our five meal prep essentials for eating clean.

Food storage containers

Food containers are essential to a solid meal prep routine, for several reasons: they’re the easiest way to store and seal your pre-prepped meals, and they’ll keep food fresh until you’re ready to eat. They’re also a great way to keep your meal portions in check – you can only eat as much as you can fit in each one!

We love our 24-oz one compartment containers for storing set food groups like meat or veggies, and our slightly larger two-compartment containers for dividing up dishes with an extra side. They’re BPA free, microwaveable, and dishwasher-safe, which makes the whole thing a breeze! Just pop them in the microwave when you’re ready to eat. Investing in a bunch of high-quality containers like these will save you a ton of time, money, and unnecessary headaches when you’re prepping your meals.

Meal management bag/cooler

So, you’ve prepped a bunch of healthy, delicious lunches to take to work for the week – now the only problem is transporting them! Investing in an insulated cooler bag is a super easy way to store your meals and have them ready to go for the day. Our cooler bags are large enough to store a full day’s worth of meals and will keep whatever’s in there hot or cold for hours, so you don’t have to worry about your lunch not tasting as fresh as it should. Whether you’re heading to the gym, the office, or traveling for work, a cooler bag will help you stay on track and eating healthy when you’re on the go. Meal prep is all about taking control of your nutrition, and great food storage habits are a great place to start.

A stocked spice rack

How many times have you gotten back from the grocery store only to realize you’re out of olive oil or spice that you need for your recipe? Don’t let it happen again! Spend some time prepping your fridge, pantry, and freezer before you actually start cooking. Make a list of items you’re running low on, or that you’ll need to add to your inventory once you start meal prepping. Here are a few quick and easy ones to get you started:

  • Olive oil
  • Salt/pepper
  • Spices: the most common ones for cooking are basil, cumin, ginger, oregano, rosemary, paprika, bay leaf, and chili powder. It’s always a good idea to have plenty on hand!
  • Grains (rice, oats, quinoa, etc.)
  • Almond milk/coconut milk
  • Canned items
  • Cheese
  • Eggs
  • Cocoa powder
  • Baking soda

This list is completely customizable, and should be based on what you plan on cooking the most! Think about your favorite dishes and their ingredients, and start listing items from there.

Essential kitchen tools

You can’t meal prep without the right tools! There are certain things that absolutely need to be in your kitchen before you start your meal prep for the week. Here are a few of our most essential kitchen tools:

  • High-quality knives
  • Measuring cups & spoons
  • Sheet Pans
  • Cutting board
  • Saute pans and saucepans (with lid)
  • Meal prep containers

Making sure you have all of these at the ready will make meal prepping so much easier.

A food processor

Food processors do everything that knives do – only better, faster, and more efficiently, especially when it has an optional shredding or slicing blade. Chop up a bunch of onions, carrots, and squash for your next sheet pan dinner, or shred Brussels sprouts or cabbage for the perfect lunchtime salad. Food processors are also great for making your own snacks, like trail mix and hummus, as well as salad dressing and other condiments. It will cut your meal prep time down by half, depending on how much chopping you usually do! A food processor is definitely a must-have for faster meal prep.

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