Steal Joanna Gaines' Meal Prep Tip to Combat Weeknight Dinner Woes

Chip and Joanna Gaines have created a lifestyle empire from Waco, Texas by making spaces look effortlessly bright, open, and farmhouse chic. The Gaines' interior design style, spearheaded by superhero Joanna, features open shelving, concrete countertops, restored shiplap walls, and subway tile, among other things. However, as "Fixer Upper" has only one season left to premiere, the Gaines' have turned their attention to the home base in Waco. Between restoring the Elite Cafe (now known as Magnolia Table), launching Hearth & Hand at Target, and slowly debuting recipes from her cookbook, it's amazing to find out where the pregnant mom of four (soon it'll be five!) finds the energy!

On Instagram, she revealed one of her tricks to getting ahead of the week before it even begins. We're huge fans of meal prep around here, and catching a glimpse into Jojo's routine, it seems that she is, too.

Here's her advice,

The hardest part to eating healthy is the prep work. I like to set aside thirty minutes at the beginning of the week to clean and chop my veggies and fruits. My kids aren't big fans of raw or steamed veggies but they love the taste and texture of vegetables when I oven roast them.

It's simple- line your pan with foil and drizzle your veggies with olive oil (I like to stir around to make sure it's all coated) and then sprinkle with sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Bake at 425 degrees for 20-25 minutes. (I love adding sweet potatoes to the mix bc they curb my sweet tooth. Oven roasted kale chips are a favorite too!).

This simple tip is a huge time-saver during the week, and though you might think it leaves you with fewer options for weeknight dinners, it actually does the opposite.

How often have you wanted to make a recipe, only to reconsider after calculating how much prep work it will take? When you're cooking things like butternut squash or acorn squash, the prep work can almost take as long as the meal to cook. However, if you set aside of block of time to do it all, you'll shave at least 20 minutes off your weeknight dinners and prep work.

What can you do with the vegetables once they're roasted? Pack them up in portions according to your weekly meal plan. Here are three recipes that you can add pre-roasted veggies to so you can get dinner on the table quickly when it matters most.

1. Tuna Noodle Casserole with Roasted Vegetables

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Recipes-Plus

This recipe relies on cooked pasta, canned tuna, and roasted vegetables to create a hearty and healthy dish that's ready in about 30 minutes.

2. Roasted Vegetable Pizza with Par-Baked Crust

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Lemon in Ginger

Grab some pizza dough and mozzarella cheese when you're at the store and with those roasted vegetables, you have a simple pizza. This recipe calls for a crust prepped an hour in advance, but you can always just build your pie on the pizza dough if you don't have time do the steps beforehand.

3. Easy Turkey Pot Pie

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Rock Recipes

While this recipe relies on leftover roasted carrot and parsnip pieces, the specific vegetables don't matter at all. Have roasted Brussels sprouts and butternut squash? Toss them in! Did you roast green beans and asparagus this time around? Use those, instead. Frozen puff pastry means you don't have to worry about dough, either.

What are your favorite meal prep tricks for the week ahead?

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