Meal Prep 101 with Registered Dietician Abby Langer

As a mom and a business owner, I’m always busy, just like many of you! My days are full of shuttling the kids to hockey practice or school, writing nutrition content and managing my other work obligations. When it comes to groceries and meal prep, I want to make food that’s quick and easy, but that my family is excited to eat as well!

A recipe can be healthy, easy and quick to prepare, but if nobody wants to eat it, then what’s the point? The best thing about meal prepping is that everyone in the family can get involved in the discussion and share which meals they’d like to eat in the upcoming week.

In our house, we sit down together and plan our meals. This keeps mid-week stress to a minimum and gets kids invested in buying, making and eating what they’ve chosen. It also saves money since there’s less ordering in and we only buy what we need for our predetermined dishes.

To avoid the mad rush of ticking all the nutrition and food preference boxes, I always plan ahead. That means making sure my fridge and freezer are stocked with foods that help me feed my family – and that’s where Butterball comes in. Butterball has a wide range of turkey products that integrate easily into almost any meal I make.

Some of my favourite meal preps use Butterball Easy Fresh, including my Turkey Tacos with Cilantro Lime Sauce, Turkey Lettuce Wraps, and Turkey BLT Salad with Buttermilk Chipotle Dressing. Butterball Easy Fresh turkey is my favourite protein to keep in my freezer! Their airtight packaging ensures they stay fresh until I need them, and they defrost.

Butterball Turkey Burgers are another great option for last-minute meals. I take however many I need out of the freezer and toss the rest back in. They cook up juicy and delicious on the stovetop in just a few minutes, and even in the dead of winter, we can enjoy burgers for dinner.

Here are my best tips for meal prepping!

  • For a family of four, this is the minimum prep I recommend: 2-3 different proteins, a pot or pan of starch (think grain or roasted potatoes), and 3-4 vegetables, cooked or raw.
  • Think about how you’ll repurpose your prepped ingredients into different dishes. For example, my Turkey BLT salad uses plain roasted Butterball Easy Fresh turkey breast that I roast in advance.
    • Although the recipe uses one whole turkey breast, if I only need one salad, I can repurpose the rest for sandwiches, pasta, or even a meal like Indian butter turkey. You can also use Butterball Turkey Breast Roast as one of your meal prep proteins – it’s easy to cook and can be used for any recipe that you’d use turkey breast for.
  • Balance is important. Plan your meals to include a protein, grain or starch, and two handfuls of vegetables for each person. It’s all about maximizing nutrition and creating meals that have a variety of nutrients.
  • Batch cook for freezer meals. I can’t count how many times I’ve been thankful to have meals in my freezer that I batch-cooked in advance. My favourite freezable batch-cooked meals are chili, turkey pot pie made with Butterball Turkey Breast Roast or leftover whole turkey, pea soup, and turkey noodle soup with tons of vegetables.
  • Have the right containers. Freezing and storing prepped food is safest in glass containers since they wash easily, are freezer safe and have no BPA. Remember to cool slightly before placing it into the freezer.