Nov 29, 2021

Weekly meal planning tips to simplify your weeknights

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beef stew
With the hustle and bustle of daily life, figuring out what’s for dinner can be a lot to handle. But there has never been a better time to prioritize good eating habits. Between work, kids, errands and fitting in a workout, making a nutritious meal can seem like a challenge — but it doesn’t have to be. By creating a weekly meal guide with Open Prairie® Natural* Meats, you can easily incorporate protein into your daily diet to help fuel those hectic days and busy weeknights. Read on for easy meal ideas and tips for meal planning.

Meal planning tips

Meal prep:

Plan for the upcoming week by creating a weekly meal guide and purchasing the groceries you’ll need ahead of time. You can save time on those crazy weeknights when time might be limited by doing some of the prep work in advance — like marinating meats, mixing spices or chopping veggies.

Make a weekly menu:

Ever wondered, “How do I organize my meal planning?” The answer is simpler than you think — create your own menu! Have fun, and be sure to get the whole family involved.

Find meal-spiration:

There are tons of meal planning recipes and ideas online. From blogs to social media to our very own recipes pages using Open Prairie Natural Meats, there is no shortage of flavorful mealtime ideas that will inspire you to cook.

Assign cooking roles:

Get the whole family involved by assigning roles to each person (prep, cooking, cleaning, etc.) and making a game out of it! Younger kids can help with counting out ingredients or pushing appliance buttons, while older kids can use tools like peelers and graters with appropriate adult supervision.

Don’t forget the sides:

Nothing complements a protein-rich meal like healthy, flavorful, fiber-packed sides. Crisp, seasonal veggies and fresh herbs are the perfect wingman to a meaty main dish.

Keep it simple:

Meals don’t have to be super complex! Stick to simple recipes that you can rotate and jazz up.

Repurpose leftovers:

Cook enough to create leftovers the next day, then repurpose them in a new dish. It’s a great way to utilize all your groceries and reduce food waste. Leftover Open Prairie products can be turned into many new dishes such as sandwiches, soups, pastas, tacos, omelets and more.

Make it fun:

Make the experience enjoyable and something that you look forward to. Put on some music, listen to your favorite podcast or get the family involved to make the most of your time (a solo dance break never hurt anyone).

table with cooked pork, veggies and drinks

Dietary tips – How much protein do I need?

Pork and beef are packed with protein. In fact, one 3oz serving of beef or pork provides about 25g of protein — making it a great source for this essential nutrient.1 Additionally, protein found in meat is considered “complete” because it has all the naturally occurring amino acids essential for health, unlike protein alternatives.2

On average, men should have about 56g of protein per day and women should have about 46g.3 If you’re highly active or looking to build muscle, consider upping your protein intake to 20–30g at each meal (on a three meal per day diet) to better achieve your goals.1 Incorporating Open Prairie beef and pork products into your weekly meal planning can give you more control over your protein intake.

Breakfast

breakfast icon
Often referred to as “the most important meal of the day,” breakfast replenishes energy stores and nutrients in your body.4 Incorporating beef or pork in your breakfast can help you fuel up for the long day ahead — eating breakfast can help you maintain a healthy weight, reduce the risk of illness and boost brainpower.4 Try a breakfast wrap or sandwich, steak and eggs, a pork hash or a breakfast stir-fry.
Pro tip: Repurpose leftovers and turn them into breakfast with some simple additions.

Breakfast ideas!

Tweak this go-to recipe into breakfast by simply adding eggs.
Breakfast fajitas

Turn last night’s pork chops into a breakfast sandwich by adding eggs and jam.
Breakfast pork chops

Lunch

Lunch icon

Midday is probably when things are the most hectic. Whatever you do, don’t skip lunch! Help keep your body fueled with nutritious protein to keep your day going strong. Try a wrap, sandwich, soup, protein bowl or chili — and don’t forget some healthy sides like fresh veggies.

Dinner

Dinner icon

Finish the day strong by giving your body the protein it deserves. Try cooking ribs, steaks, roasts, sandwiches, chilis, soups, tacos and more. Incorporate healthy sides to add extra nutrition (and color!) to your plate.

No matter what time or day it is, Open Prairie products and weekly meal planning make it easy to fit beef and pork into your diet to help you stay fueled and reach those nutrition goals.
Getting started is simple!
Visit our store locator to pick up your next week of meals.
weekly meal planning tips

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