Does the idea of meal prepping appeal to you, as you can see how it would make your week easier – however if you crave variety during the week and don’t know if it will work? Well then, buffet meal prepping may be for you! 


What is Buffet Meal Prepping? 

Well, simply picture yourself at your favourite buffet restaurant – that’s what we are trying to emulate (on a smaller scale of course!)

Buffet meal prepping is also known as a “partial” meal prep – as you create the parts of meals, ie cutting veg, boiling rice, roasting tofu. As the week goes on, you can put together new combinations of foods to create a meal, depending on what you are wanting to eat at that time!

Why Buffet Meal Prep?

Simply put, it always for you to be flexible with meals but also allows for you to plan ahead as well!

How Do I Get Started?

Pick at least 3 foods under each of the categories (Protein, Veg, Starch and Flavour Enhancers) to get started. You can see my examples below.

Veggies:

  • Spinach 
  • Roasted broccoli 
  • Roasted Brussels 
  • Raw cauliflower 
  • Raw carrots, julienned
  • Raw peppers 

Proteins:

  • Falafels
  • Lentil pasta sauce 
  • Cubed and roasted tofu 
  • Edamame 

Starches:

  • Pasta 
  • Roasted mini potatoes 
  • Brown rice 
  • Mary’s crackers 

Flavour Enhancers:

  • Tzatziki
  • Green onions
  • Red onions
  • Pomegranate
  • Orange hummus   

How To Create a Meal From a Buffet Meal Pre

My simple formula for buffet meal prepping is: 1-2VEG+ 1 PROTEIN + 1 STARCH + FLAVOUR ENHANCERS

A few examples from the above meal prep:

  1. BROCCOLI EDAMAME PASTA


2. TOFU TZATZIKI BOWL


3. LENTIL PASTA

4. FALAFEL SNACK BOX

Extra Tips

  • Add a variety of veggies, that are prepared different ways – ie raw, roasted, roasted with different flavours, etc. This will help you add variety and interest to your meals!
  • Put thought into your flavour enhancers – these can transform your meals!
  • Chose some pre-made/pre-chopped starches/veg/protein – simply to cut down on the work! In this example I chose baby spinach, crackers and edamame – all I had to do is pour them into a container!
  • Have meals envisioned that you want to create with these foods that you buffet meal prep with. 

Written by Nicole Osinga, RD, MAN, BASc

I'm a Registered Dietitian who works with clients in the Durham Region! I use evidence-based recommendations to help you achieve your nutrition goals. I have many hearty and delicious recipes to share! My office is in Courtice, ON. I regularly work with clients from Oshawa, Whitby, Ajax, Pickering, Newcastle, Bowmanville and Courtice.

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