I started Loveleaf Co. with the mission to help people eat real food (easily and every day). Because how we eat influences our daily happiness, relationships, energy, mood, and health (aka your entire life).
Turns out making healthy food is actually pretty simple. It just takes a little thought. To eat more healthfully – and just #win at life – planning is EVERYTHING. Seriously, if there’s one thing that will change the game in terms of avoiding weeknight stress it’s planning a (simple) menu on Sunday.
But let’s be real. Meal prep sucks.
If meal prep makes you think of black plastic containers, the infamous chicken and broccoli combo, counting macros, and spending a FULL DAY in the kitchen, I’m here to show you a better way.
One of the biggest downfalls of meal prep (aka why I used to routinely #fail at it) is overwhelm; trying to make too many recipes each week, spending too much money on groceries, and spending wayyyy too much time in the kitchen. So I did what I love to do most; I simplified the process.
After years of experimenting, I’ve created a simple formula that you can rinse and repeat, week after week. Let me introduce you to my signature Meal Method.
The Loveleaf Co. Meal Method
In my experience, the secret number of meal planning is four. Planning four (super simple) meals will give your week structure but enough flexibility to be spontaneous (hello, mid-week tacos and margs). It’s realistic for #reallife and you won’t end up overbuying ingredients.
Instead of a full meal prep session (where you make entire meals), the Meal Method focuses on prepping components. On Sunday (or Monday) night, you’ll make four basic components from the Loveleaf Co. plate – like a protein, a carb, a healthy fat (usually a sauce), and a non-starchy vegetable.
You’ll use one or more of those components to throw together Meal One, which you’ll enjoy for dinner that same night (Sunday dinner = done ✔️) and save the extra components for later in the week. These components will turn into three additional (completely different!) weeknight meals. It’s a streamlined approach that will save you a lot of time both on Sunday and on busy weeknights. I’m kind of obsessed.
How it Works: A Sample Week
Here’s how it works. The sample week below is super coordinated, but it doesn’t have to be! You can simply plan 3-4 meals early in the week and cook some of the more time-consuming components ahead of time. Use The Weekly Meal Plan for weekly recipe inspiration and the meal planner to organize your week before you start cooking.
The Simple Cooking Session
On Sunday or Monday night, make a few staple components in 45 minutes or less. One or more of these components will combine together to become Meal One (aka dinner tonight!) and provide you with the components you need to easily throw together three other meals later in the week. Here’s what we’re making in this example:
✔️ Baked chicken
✔️ Tahini dressing
✔️ Shredded kale
Weeknight Meal One: Kale Tahini Caesar Salad
Uses: the cooked quinoa, baked chicken, tahini dressing, and shredded kale.
Tonight’s dinner is pretty much done since it’s a combination of the components you made during The Simple Cooking Session. #winning
Weeknight Meal Two: Everything Bagel Salmon with Asparagus
Uses: the cooked quinoa.
Tonight’s dinner will take you 15 minutes or less. You’ll roast some salmon and serve with asparagus and the (already) cooked quinoa.
Weeknight Meal Three: Lemony Pasta with Chickpeas and Capers
Uses: the baked chicken.
Tonight’s dinner is everyone’s favorite: (healthy) pasta night! You’ll quickly cook up some lentil pasta and then serve with the baked chicken, lots of lemon, capers, asparagus, and chickpeas.
Weeknight Meal Four: Greek Quinoa Salad
Uses: the cooked quinoa and the tahini sauce.
Tonight’s dinner is a simple one-bowl meal. You’ll quickly chop up some Greek salad vegetables and add the remaining cooked quinoa and tahini sauce. Give a good toss and voilá: dinner is served.
With the Loveleaf Co. Meal Method, one simple prep session makes it easy to cook four super simple (totally different) meals. And gives you a roadmap for the week so the “what’s for dinner?” question becomes a thing of the past. No full meal prep days and no overbuying at the grocery store. It’s a strategic, intentional, and – most importantly – easy method that’s #reallife ready.
To learn more about the Loveleaf Co. Meal Method and get five weeks of perfectly coordinated meal method menus, shopping lists, and recipes, join The Kitchen Reset Program!