3 Meal Prep Hacks Chef Daphne Oz Swears By
Meal prepping doesn't have to take forever. These healthy cook tips from the celeb chef and save you a ton of time without sacrificing nutrition.
The weekend only lasts two days, which leaves little time for meal prep. But Daphne Oz has some simple shortcuts to share that can help busy people make tasty, big-batch meals for the upcoming week while spending less time in the kitchen. (Related: This 30-Day Challenge Is the Essential Guide to Meal Prep for Beginners)
For a protein-packed staple, Oz reveals to Health her all-time favorite meal hack: meatballs. She usually makes hers with turkey or chicken, and she also adds sauteed and mashed beans and veggies for extra nutrition. For extra flavor in the meatballs, "throw in a little pork," she says. (Related: 9 Meal Prep Ideas for the Week That Are Super Popular On Pinterest)
Oz also cooks up large amounts of quinoa, lentils, and brown rice during her meal prep time. "I'll put it in a Tupperware container so I have it to add to sides, soups, salads throughout the week."
When it comes to boosting flavor, she brings out her ice cube tray. "Any time I have a ton of fresh herbs, I'll blend them together with a little bit of olive oil and some garlic and salt, and freeze them in ice cube trays," she says. "Then, I pop them out and throw them in a Ziploc bag, so then I have those to add into soups and sauces to add a big boost of bright, fresh flavor."
As a mother of three, Oz is committed to balancing healthy eating with occasional indulgences, and she's come up with a way to do that which works for her. (Related: 7 Secrets of People Who Meal Prep Every Single Week)
"One thing that's been super effective for me is trying to eat really clean during the weekdays so that I can indulge and go to town on the weekends, which is when we're making a lot of our big family meals and celebrating," she says. "Food should always be celebration."
Since giving birth to her daughter Domenica in December, Oz is also focused on being gentle with herself and her postpartum body. She understands the pressure many new moms face to look the same as they did before having a baby. (Related: Peta Murgatroyd Reveals How Post-Baby Bodies Don't Just 'Shrink Right Back')
"I have found it harder and harder to get back in shape after each [pregnancy]. There is no bounce back-I'm just gonna put it out there," she says. "There is so much pressure put on this ‘expected timeline,' like when it's appropriate to be back in shape or back in your own clothes … That shouldn't be what we are holding ourselves up against."
As she works on her balancing act, Oz also enjoys self-care to squeeze in a little R&R. "One of my all-time favorite things is a late-night bath after the kids have gone to bed, and I make what I call ‘bath soup,'" she says. "I'll add magnesium Epsom salts, oils, a little fresh fragrance, and it makes me feel so good to soak in that."
This story originally appeared on Health.com by Blake Bakkila.