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by Julie Divis August 15, 2018
On Sundays, we do our best to meal-prep. We feel like all-stars when we succeed at roasting all our veggies, grilling chicken or steak, cooking quinoa, and soaking overnight oats. But have you ever wondered how long these prepped ingredients are good for? Should you have made enough for two weeks' worth of meals or only two days? Getting ahead of the game is one thing, but you still want everything to be fresh, tasty, and above all, safe to eat. Let us ease your mind – not only for that amazing meal prep you did but also for that cold pizza from Friday night you couldn't finish and your Chinese takeout from a few days before (hey, you can't meal prep everything).
We like to think of leftovers as meal prep ingredients all their own. Roasted vegetables are great in soups, and sliced steak elevates a simple salad. Whether pre-made or just pre-chopped, prepped ingredients come in handy when your busy life gets in the way of cooking. Here's a good rule of thumb: leftovers from a cooked meal, like meatloaf or frittata, can be kept in your fridge for up to 4 days.
The same goes for freshly-prepped ingredients. If you plan to use either at a later date, freeze in freezer-safe containers or bags and thaw when you are ready to use. When reheating leftovers and cooked ingredients, you want to ensure you reach a temperature of 165F. And don't forget, raw steak lasts anywhere from 2 days to two weeks in your refrigerator. It all depends on its packaging. And cooked steak lasts for about 3-4 days in the fridge!
Remember, when saving food for leftovers, it is crucial not to let them sit out at room temperature for longer than 2 hours! Putting food in the fridge fast helps prevent the growth of bacteria. Definite plus.
So, when thinking about meal prep or saving those leftovers from last night's dinner party, remember you have four days to use them or freeze them. Our recommendation: meal prep Sunday night for breakfast and lunch Monday through Thursday, then treat yourself to lunch on Friday to celebrate the end of a successful and prepped week!
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