Make-Ahead Meals Save Time and Stress

Let’s face it, between work and school it’s easy to fall out of your healthy eating routine. When calendars get filled with everything from hockey to errands, sometimes we turn to quick solutions, but needing something in a hurry doesn’t mean you have to turn to fast food. Becel margarine has recipes and tips to help make meal prep for the week both heart healthy and easy.

It can take less than 20 minutes to prep meals for the whole week, not including cooking or baking time. Keep these three useful tips in mind:

Know your fridge: When it comes to meal prepping, you don’t need to have all meals perfectly mapped out — simply take 10 minutes prior to a grocery run to make note of what’s missing from your fridge that you need for the coming week. Don’t forget staple items like margarine with simpler ingredients. Did you know it can replace butter 1:1 in any recipe? And it’s versatile for cooking, baking, grilling and more.

Sunday packing: After a weekend grocery run, take time to pack weekly lunches on Sunday —you can even use leftovers for weeknight dinners.

Stock the freezer: If you’re slow-cooking chicken or pot roast, try making a bit extra and toss the leftovers in the freezer for future meals. You can even “upcycle” leftovers to create delicious sandwiches for lunches.

Try this quick, easy and delicious recipe as your first step in make-ahead meal prep, as well as to make the most of fall’s harvest vegetables:

Gluten-Free Turkey Quinoa Meatloaf

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Makes: 8 servings


  • 3 tbsp (45 mL) Becel Buttery Taste margarine with simpler ingredients – no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives – made from blends of plant and seed oils
  • 10 ounces (300 g) cremini mushrooms or white mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 1 medium zucchini, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) sweet onion, finely chopped
  • 1 lb (500 g) lean ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) quinoa, cooked according to package directions (about 1 cup cooked)
  • 4 slices gluten-free sandwich bread, processed into crumbs
  • 1 cup (250 mL) no-salt-added tomato sauce, divided
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F (176°C).
  2. Melt margarine in large nonstick skillet and cook mushrooms, zucchini and onion, stirring occasionally until vegetables are starting to brown and tender, about 8 minutes. Let cool.
  3. Combine mushroom mixture with ground turkey, cooked quinoa, bread crumbs, 1/2 cup (125 mL) tomato sauce, egg and pepper.
  4. Form mixture into loaf and arrange in shallow roasting pan. Bake 40 minutes.
  5. Blend remaining tomato sauce, brown sugar and salt in small bowl.
  6. Brush top of loaf with tomato mixture and return to oven until meatloaf is thoroughly cooked, about 8 minutes.

Recipe tip: Cut the meatloaf into single-portion servings and store in plastic bags or containers to pack for lunch or prepare in a hurry.


COURTESY: News Canada