The holidays can be stressful for a lot of reasons, but food doesn’t have to be one of them. Meal prepping is a great way to stay on track and avoid anxious feelings when surrounded by huge portions and piles of sweets this season.
At Gills Onions, we’re passionate about onions and what they bring to the table. That’s why we want to share some tips and tricks that will turn your meal prepping from blasé to bursting with flavor. These breakfast, lunch, and dinner ideas are nutritious, delicious, and will make your holiday season more enjoyable. Make space in your fridge and freezer, and give these meal prep ideas a whirl.
Add Onions to the Most Important Meal of the Day
Caramelized onions add nutrition and flavor to any dish—especially breakfast. The easiest way to incorporate them is to prepare a large batch at the start of the week, then add them to several different dishes. Onions take about an hour to caramelize properly, but the payoff is well worth it. Plus, you’ll have time to prepare some other breakfast items while they’re cooking. Store your excess caramelized onions in the fridge (if you’ll be eating them within a few days), or in the freezer for up to three months.
Here are some breakfast options that will start your day off on the right track with caramelized onions.
- Breakfast burritos — The great thing about breakfast burritos is how versatile they can be. Depending on your preferences, start with whole wheat, low carb, or flour tortillas, and add whatever sounds appetizing to you. We love to scramble a large batch of eggs (or liquid egg whites), then mix in veggies like peppers, spinach, and caramelized onions. Potatoes, cheese, and breakfast sausage are tasty mix-ins as well. Once you have all of your ingredients prepared, wrap up your burritos and freeze them for an easy on-the-go breakfast option. Simply microwave frozen burritos for a few minutes, and head out the door.
- Savory overnight oats — Savory oatmeal and overnight oats have both become quite popular over the last few years, and for good reason. By combining the two, you’ll have another quick and easy meal-prepped breakfast option in your arsenal. To prepare your overnight oats, combine dry oats, greek yogurt, milk (or a milk alternative), and a dash of salt in a mason jar and place in the fridge overnight. Enjoy either hot or cold, with caramelized onions, a soft boiled egg (which can also be prepared and stored beforehand), and some fresh tomatoes.
Lunch Time Made Easy
Another great way to meal prep with onions is by pickling a large batch of red onions to add to lunches. To prepare your pickled red onions, simply add sliced onions to a sealable container with salt, sugar, apple cider vinegar, and warm water. Let them cool to room temperature, and store them in the fridge.
- Simple Salad — Salads are another meal prep item that can be as complex, or as simple as you like. We love the simplicity of dividing fresh lettuce, protein (like grilled chicken or chickpeas), and other chopped veggies like carrots, Brussels sprouts, and cucumbers into separate containers. Having everything pre-portioned and planned out makes eating vegetables so much more inviting. When you’re ready for lunch, simply grab a container, add pickled onions and your favorite dressing, and enjoy.
- Vegan sweet potato rice bowls — To prepare delicious, filling rice bowls, cook a large batch of rice, black beans, corn, and cubed sweet potatoes and divide into containers. When you’re ready to enjoy, heat up your portion and add pickled onions and avocado for a flavor explosion.
End your Day with Fresh Onions
Lastly, pre-cut onions make meal prep for dinner time a breeze. At Gills Onions, we specialized in packaging peeled, sliced, and diced onions, but if you’re buying onions whole, simply cut them beforehand, and store them in your freezer for easy access.
- Veggie-Heavy Pasta Sauce — An easy way to meal-prep pasta is by preparing a large batch of sauce beforehand. Cook your pre-cut onions in a tomato-based sauce with other vegetables like zucchini (be careful not to overcook), green pepper, olives, mushrooms, and garlic. Once it’s cooled, store it in the fridge for easy access at dinnertime. Tip: When making pasta as a meal-prep item, make sure to slightly undercook the noodles to prevent a mushy mess when reheating.
- Grand Slam Chili — This Grand Slam Chili recipe with shredded beef is delicious and can be easily stored and reheated for dinner, and Gills Diced Celery and Onions make this recipe even easier. Mix things up by using this recipe for chili cheese dogs, over nachos, or with rice.
However you like to meal prep, there’s no need to sacrifice flavor in the process. Make your holiday season less stressful by planning ahead with onions.
Ready to try onions the Gills Way? For more information, contact our sales department.