Tips & Tricks for Healthy Weekday Eating

Happy Friday everyone!

I thought now would be the perfect opportunity to lay out my meals from this week and show how Ravi and I balance healthy eating with two full-time jobs and commuting.  Use these tips and tricks for your grocery run this weekend!  

When speaking about my eating habits and routine, a lot of people are surprised that I cook dinner most nights of the week and prepare lunches for work.  It's definitely taken some fine tuning over the years to see what works best, but honestly, now that we have the method, healthy and satisfying weekday cooking is on auto pilot.  

The key component is not overcomplicating things. Our weeknight meals are relatively simple and often variations on a core recipe from week to week. Eight o'clock on a Wednesday night is not the time to try out that new pasta maker you bought on sale over the holidays. Save the adventurous cooking for the weekend. 

Okay - let's break it down.  Here's how I make eating healthy during the week easy and stress free:

1. Pantry

I love my pantry. I really do. It's so important to keep nonperishable staples on hand.  I can't tell you how many times I've raided our cabinets and freezer to get dinner on the table after coming back from a trip or between grocery runs.  Plus, it keeps your grocery haul quick and concise if you don't have to constantly buy every ingredient every time you need it. Check out what I typically stock here.  

2. Plan

Before I even set foot in the grocery store, I check my pantry and fridge to see what's out of stock, and I plan out our meals for the week. Then, I make my list and try not to deviate from it.  

Here's what was on this week's menu:

Yogurt, kefir, granola (low sugar), pomegranate, frozen fruit, English muffins

Salad fixings (arugula, cucumber, carrots, olives, etc), makings for Bieler's Broth 

Hummus, popcorn, apples, nuts, rice crackers

Monday: red beans & rice
Tuesday: veggie burgers, sautéed kale, roasted kabocha squash
Wednesday: eggs, braised Swiss chard, rice blend
Thursday: antipasti bar pasta
Friday: Garlic Ginger Fried Rice with spinach and green beans

Pantry Restock
Lemons, onions, garlic, eggs, milk, canned beans, frozen brown rice, almond butter, dark chocolate

One thing to note is that I try to utilize the same ingredients multiple ways. For instance, this week, I stocked up at the antipasti bar (olives, capers, marinated artichokes, and sundried tomatoes). We used them in our lunch salads and also for the pasta on Thursday night.

3. Prep

Now that you've restocked your pantry and have a fridge loaded with goodies for the week, give yourself a leg-up and prep some of the ingredients on Sunday afternoon.  I promise you'll be happy you did when dinner is basically done on Monday night.

For my meal prep this week, I made Bieler's broth, roasted the kabocha squash, broke down the pomegranate, prepped two days worth of lunch salads, and washed/dried the kale.

Even if you do one thing on Sunday to make cooking easier during the week, it's a win.


I hope this inspired you to make lists and stock your pantry this weekend!  Over the coming weeks, I'll try to post non-recipes for a lot of the various meals we have.  

Be sure to follow @erinparekh_ on Instagram for daily updates and pics.