Batch It All: Quinoa Super Salad

One of the best areas for batching is food preparation. By preparing several meals in advance you save yourself time and money and by preparing the meals at home, you should end up with healthier food overall. If it helps you to pick a day each week that becomes meal prep day, that's great, it can become an activity that you share with friends or family. Food preparation stresses many people out but if you approach it the right way it can become very enjoyable and even work as a form of meditation. You want to plan meals that will keep well in the fridge or the freezer for the week and will require little preparation at meal time. If you can make the processes or preparing the food easier, that's an added bonus. You can make this as simple as taking a bag of grapes and putting a couple dozen grapes in individual plastic bags for an easy snack, or as complicated as a full meal, frozen in containers to be reheated later. I'm going to share with you my recipe for a super food dish that I love, The Quinoa Super Salad.

Keep It Simple With One Pot Cooking

I can't say enough how useful a rice cooker is when preparing meals at home. I use one made by Panasonic. Rice cookers are great because through some indescribable magic they always seem to cook everything perfectly. Plus you can put all the ingredients in and walk away because when they are done keeping, most cookers will keep the food warm for up to 16 hours. I have often put food in before bed, and then I take out a nice hot meal for lunch the next day.

For this particular recipe, I take the Quinoa, frozen brussels sprouts, and three bean salad from Trader Joe's and put it all in the cooker. It should only take about an hour to cook, and when you take it out, you add dried fruit, mozzarella, pumpkin seeds and olive oil. Voila! You've got a meal with enormous health benefits. I like this meal in general but if you are working out or training for an endurance event, this meal is guaranteed to fuel your fire. I'm a big fan of SnapWare containers. They seal very well and are made of glass so they are easy to clean. I can get at least six meals out of this recipe and will often eat it cold right out of the fridge because I find it so delicious.

If You Only Walk Away With One Thing

BUY A RICE COOKER. Pick a day when you can take a little bit of time and enjoy the process of making your own food. Save it for the week for a quick, nutritious meal any time.