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Easy Beginner’s Guide to Meal Prepping and Easy Recipe Ideas

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Guys, there’s a secret to eating healthy, home-cooked meals that won’t waste hours after work — and no, it’s not investing in a personal chef. It’s meal prepping, or creating a few meals or dishes and portioning them out throughout the week. This can be as easy as stocking up on cottage cheese for breakfast, or as complicated as making a bunch of meals on Sunday and saving them for the rest of the week. Either way, it will save you time and money — and it’ll ensure that you stick to a healthy diet.

Need help getting started? We’ve outlined the basics and provided some tips to make it a bit less overwhelming.

1) Calculate how many meals you need.

Think about how many breakfasts, lunches, snacks and dinners you’ll need throughout the week. Technically, if you want enough breakfast, lunches and dinners for the workweek, you would need 15 meals, but you don’t have to cook 15 separate dishes. Instead, prepare a few large batches of meat and vegetables that can be used in various ways throughout the week.

Check out this downloadable template from The Kitchn to plan for the week. Or try one of our easy protein-packed recipes. And one additional tip: be sure to factor in things like dates and meals with clients. That way, you can plan more efficiently and avoid wasting food.

Grilled Salmon Salad Meal Prepping

Burcu Atalay Tankut

2) Keep it simple.

If you’re new to cooking, Registered Dietitian and health coach at StrongerU, Jessica Bachman, PhD, MS-MPH, recommends staying away from recipes that require too many ingredients. Instead, “think of a meal as a veggie, a protein and a starch,” she says. So for instance, a quick dinner could be roasted pork loin, broccoli, and sweet potato.

3) Utilize leftovers.

Bachman’s clients often struggle with planning both lunch and dinner. “Just choose one meal to start with. Then once you get a handle on that, start adding in more,” she says. Plus, you can make extra for dinner and eat the leftovers for lunch. “That’s so much easier than trying to take a different meal for lunch every day,” she explains.

Use leftovers for meal prepping

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4) Opt for easy cooking methods.

Sure, you may love the grill marks on that chicken, but cooking on the grill or stove requires more attention. Bachman recommends using an oven or slow cooker, since you can throw food in for a designated amount of time and simply monitor its progress. Plus, it’s easier to cook large batches of food with both of these methods.

5) Rely on frozen foods.

There’s no need to prepare every single item on your plate. Instead of washing, cutting and steaming that side of broccoli, buy frozen vegetables instead. Additionally, many frozen fruits and vegetables, like broccoli, have just as many vitamins and minerals as their fresh counterparts.

6) Keep breakfast simple.

Mornings can be hectic, which is why Bachman recommends having the same breakfast every day. Just chop up some fruit so it can be thrown in the blender for smoothies, or pair it with Greek yogurt for a change of pace.

Yogurt is an easy meal prep breakfast

istetiana

7) Have a go-to snack.

Similarly, Bachman advises choosing one snack, like pre-portioned nuts or a batch of hard-boiled eggs, that you can eat every day. That way, you won’t have to hit up the vending machine when you’re hit with the munchies.

8) Get creative.

Eating chicken every night doesn’t have to be boring. Bachman says she makes a big batch of shredded chicken every week and uses it for a variety of dishes, like salads or fajitas. She recommends having a variety of sauces and seasonings on-hand, such as barbeque, buffalo, etc., to make each meal feel unique.

9) Buy budget-friendly staples.

There’s no need to spend money on organic, grass-fed beef if you can’t afford it. There are plenty of affordable, filling and nutrient-dense foods like eggs, quinoa and sweet potatoes, according to Bachman. For example, one large egg has 6.3 grams of protein, is loaded with vitamins A, D, E, and K and will only set you back $2 for one dozen (on average). Bachman recommends whipping up a veggie-loaded cauliflower fried rice with eggs for a budget-conscious and well-balanced meal.

Other economical picks that have plenty of protein include canned tuna, beans and salmon. Keep them on-hand to pair with meal-prepped salads, veggies or whole wheat pasta dishes.

Bachman also recommends buying seasonally. Opt for brussels sprouts and broccoli when they’re in season during the fall because prices will be lower. In winter, switch them out for turnips and winter squash.

Check out this list of seasonal produce from the United States Department of Agriculture before hitting up the grocery store.

10) Write out your list and go shopping.

With your meals lined up, it’s time to make a grocery list and head to the store. Try to do your big weekly shop on Saturday or early Sunday, so you have time to prep your ingredients before the work week begins. To get in and out as fast as possible, organize your grocery list by section (produce, meat, dairy, etc.).

good containers for meal prepping

BRETT STEVENS

11) Keep track of how long your items are in the fridge.

Cooked meat can safely be stored for three to four days in your fridge. After that, it’s time to freeze.

12) Choose the best products to prep and pack your food.

It’s worth blocking out time on the weekend to get your ingredients ready for weekday meal assembly. “Once the week starts, there’s a greater chance that the prep just won’t happen,” Roussell says. Invest in a good set of clear glass or plastic containers so you know exactly how much you have. Here are some of the products we love:

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Most Extreme Animals | Coolest Things Animals Can Do

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5. Stonefish are the most poisonous fish in the world.

The stonefish produces intense vasoconstriction. If you’re stung by one, it can cause shock, paralysis, malaise, nausea and vomiting, sweating, delirium, pyrexia, cardiogenic shock, respiratory distress, and even death if it’s not treated within a few hours by anti-venom. If you do survive, the symptoms can last a long time, from days to weeks, and full recovery may take many months.

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Joe Pesci’s Net Worth — What Is Joe Pesci’s Net Worth Now?

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Premiere Of Netflix's "The Irishman" - Arrivals

Frazer HarrisonGetty Images

The Irishman is making headlines for its great performances, incredible score, and creative retelling of one of the most mysterious disappearances in U.S. history. And, of course, the Netflix movie is also creating a lot of chatter because it’s the film that finally brought Joe Pesci out of retirement.

Even though Pesci reportedly had to be asked 40 times (!) to join the film, his scenes in The Irishman make it seem like he’s never left the big screen. Fans are now curious about what Pesci has been up to since his last voice role in 2015—they’re also wondering about just how much money he has in the bank. Here’s what we know about Pesci’s net worth.

Joe Pesci’s net worth is $50 million.

Pesci made a name for himself in movies like Raging Bull, Goodfellas, Home Alone, and My Cousin Vinny, but many people don’t know that Pesci actually got his start as a child actor. He started starring in plays in New York at 5, and when he was 10, he made appearances on a television variety show called Startime Kids.

He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in 1981 for Raging Bull, and he ended up winning the award in 1991 for his role as the violent and hot-tempered mobster Tommy DeVito in Goodfellas.

The New Jersey native’s most profitable role is his turn as burglar Harry Lyme in 1990’s Home Alone, as the movie grossed nearly half a billion dollars worldwide. Pesci reprised the role in 1992’s Home Alone 2: Lost in New York. He later announced that he was retiring from acting in 1999, although he’s been in four movies since then, including The Good Shepherd and The Irishman.

Music is another one of Pesci’s talents, and before he became an actor he released an album called Little Joe Sure Can Sing!, where he sang covers of contemporary hits. Growing up, Pesci was friends with The Four Seasons‘ Tommy DeVito and Frankie Valli, and its rumored that Pesci is the one that connected the band with singer and songwriter Bob Gaudio. Actor Joseph Russo portrayed Pesci in the Jersey Boys movie.

Pesci’s second album, Vincent LaGuardia Gambini Sings Just for You, was released in 1998, and the album’s name is a nod to his character from My Cousin Vinny. Still Singing, his latest album, was released in 2019, and it includes a song that features Maroon 5’s Adam Levine.

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Who Was Tony Pro? The True Story of The Irishman Character.

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While Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, and Al Pacino lead The Irishman in their roles of Frank Sheeran, Russell Bufalino, and Jimmy Hoffa, respectively, it’s the movie’s supporting characters that managed, at times, to steal the show. Bobby Cannavale shined as gangster Felix “Skinny Razor” DiTullio, and Sebastian Maniscalco was brilliant as “Crazy” Joe Gallo, but it’s Stephen Graham’s turn as Anthony “Tony Pro” Provenzano that really has fans talking.

Pro is a key part of most of The Irishman‘s second and third acts, but the movie doesn’t delve into his later life, leading fans to wonder what happened to the New Jersey mobster. Here’s what we know about Tony Pro’s true-life story.

    Who was Tony Pro?

    Tony Pro’s real name was Anthony Provenzano, and he was born in New York City in 1917. Not much is known about his early life, but by the 1950s, he was president of the Teamsters Local 560 in Union City, New Jersey, and vice-president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. He was also a made member of the Genovese crime family.

    While The Irishman portrays Pro and Teamsters president Jimmy Hoffa as enemies pretty much from the beginning, the two were actually friendly for many years. It was later revealed that the two men were using union funds for their own personal use. Pro went to prison in 1963 for extortion, and Hoffa went to prison in 1967 for bribery and fraud, and they both ended up serving time at the Lewisburg Federal Penitentiary in Pennsylvania.

    James R. Hoffa, Gen. Pres. of International Brotherhood of T

    Jimmy Hoffa and Anthony Provenzano with two other Teamsters leaders during happier times.

    New York Daily News ArchiveGetty Images

    Their relationship soured while in prison, as Pro learned that he wasn’t going to be eligible to get his Teamsters pension anymore. “Jimmy refused to help Pro go around the federal law and get his $1.2 million pension when he went to jail, while Jimmy got his $1.7 million pension even though he went to jail, too,” Sheeran claimed in the I Heard You Paint Houses book. Hoffa further angered Pro when he allegedly told him, “It’s because of people like you that I got into trouble in the first place.”

    After they both were released from prison in the ’70s, Pro and Hoffa’s relationship continued to worsen. They reportedly came across each other during a chance meeting at an airport, and Hoffa is said to have broken a bottle over Pro’s head, while the mobster told the union boss that he would “rip his guts out with his bare hands and kill his grandchildren.”

    In 1975, Hoffa disappeared. He had been in Detroit for a meeting with Pro and mobster Anthony Giacalone, but they never showed up. Hoffa was last seen getting into a maroon Mercury in the parking lot of the Machus Red Fox restaurant in Bloomfield Township, Michigan, but no one knows what happened to him after that.

    And while Sheeran later said he was the one that killed Hoffa, the case is still unsolved. However, most experts believe that Pro had something to do with it—he had an infamous grudge against Hoffa, and while some say he was in New Jersey the day of Hoffa’s disappearance, other reports place him in Detroit. Pro was named as a suspect on the FBI’s report about the case, called the Hoffex Memo, along with Giacalone and Russell Bufalino.

    Portrait of Anthony Provenzano with Newsmen

    Tony Pro talks with journalists in Florida in 1975. Pro reportedly explained that he was a friend of Jimmy Hoffa and he had nothing to do with his disappearance.

    BettmannGetty Images

    And in an interesting twist, Nixon’s first public appearance after resigning as President was with Pro and some other Teamsters leaders at a golf course, just ten weeks after Hoffa’s disappearance.

    Where is Tony Pro today?

    In 1978, Pro was convicted of ordering the 1961 murder of Anthony Castellito, the Local Teamsters 560’s secretary-treasurer. He was sentenced to 25 years to life for the murder. A month after getting that sentence, Pro was also sentenced to four years for arranging kickbacks on a $2.3 million pension-fund loan. A year after that, he was also convicted on labor racketeering charges, which landed him another 20-year prison term.

    Teamster Anthony Provenzano Arriving for His Trial

    Anthony “Tony Pro” Provenzano arrives for his trial on labor racketeering charges in 1979.

    BettmannGetty Images

    Pro died in prison in 1988 at the age of 71. He’s buried at St. Joseph’s Cemetery in Hackensack, New Jersey.

    Which actor played Tony Pro in The Irishman?

    English actor Stephen Graham plays Tony Pro in The Irishman. And while it’s unclear if Pro ever showed up to meetings in shorts like he did in the movie, the mobster was once described as a “short, stocky and ham-fisted man who bore the scars of his young years as an amateur boxer.”

    Before the movie’s release, Graham talked to Esquire UK about how he got cast for the film. He recounted speaking with De Niro and director Martin Scorsese in Scorsese’s house, and the legendary duo spent some time talking amongst each other. “They’re gonna say I’m not Italian-looking enough, my accent,” Graham recalls thinking. “They don’t understand what I’m saying anyway, so how can I pull it off?”

    Graham and Scorsese had actually worked together on HBO’s Boardwalk Empire before reuniting for The Irishman. In that series, Graham played another notorious and hot-headed crime figure: Chicago gangster Al Capone. Scorsese directed him in the pilot, and was an executive producer for the remainder of the show’s run.

    After Scorsese told him that he had gotten the Irishman role, Graham said that he “felt like I’ve just been made, do you know what I mean? Like I’d been accepted into the family.”

    image

    Stephen Graham as Anthony “Tony Pro” Provenzano in The Irishman

    Netflix

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