Laura Prepon Says This Plant-Based Protein is Her Go-To For Quick and Easy Family Meals

The actress and star of upcoming reboot That '90s Show sits down with EatingWell to talk about her favorite family-friendly meals, her cookware line and her philosophy on healthy eating.

a photo of Laura Prepon
Photo: Getty Images

As an actress, author, business owner and full-time mom, Laura Prepon is busier than ever. While you may know her from Orange is the New Black and That '70s Show (we can't wait for the reboot coming to Netflix soon!) Prepon is also the face of her innovative kitchenware line, PrepOn Kitchen. She also regularly posts cooking demonstrations on her YouTube channel.

We were especially excited to sit down with Prepon through her recent sponsorship with Vitalite to discover more about her meal-prep techniques and philosophies. Read on for her go-to weeknight meal, her favorite kitchen tools and her definition of what it means to eat well.

EatingWell: What's a go-to weeknight meal when you need a quick dinner that the whole family will love?

Prepon: I prep ahead a bunch of basic ingredients. I always have chicken in my fridge, rice or some kind of grain and vegetables so I can throw together something quickly. I'm more of a flexitarian, there's time where we're fully plant-based and there's other times where we're meat eaters. It depends on the season and what's at the farmer's market. Now that we're going into winter, we have a lot of heavier ingredients like squashes and more protein whereas in the summer we're more plant-based. Finding really great plant-based cheese is not easy, so when I come across it, I'm very happy about it. I recently found out that my daughter is sensitive to dairy, and not being able to use cheese in toddler's meals is not easy. So using something like Vitalite is great.

EatingWell: What's your favorite source of plant-based protein, and how do you like to prepare it?

Prepon: Chickpeas. When we're doing more plant-based meals, chickpeas are a really nice grounding center for a meal. You can do so many things with them; you can make them into a spread, you can eat them whole, you can mash and mix them for texture, they're super versatile. And they're hearty, so when we're not having regular meats, I always like having something that's hearty mixed with vegetables and grains to melt cheese on.

EatingWell: What's your favorite kitchen appliance or tool that you use every day?

Prepon: It's hard to say because my go-tos are what I made, like my 4-Piece Tool Set and my Santoku Knife, they're my staples. Having a really incredible knife is key. I tend toward the Santoku blade, I like it better than a basic chef knife because I feel like they're more versatile. My cutting board is also a staple, which includes my patent. I designed my cutting board with an arm that holds a bag in place, so that way you can scrape all the scraps right into it, and you can prep really easily. They're sold out right now, but hopefully people can get them again soon. In general, if you have a really great cutting board that's all-purpose, a wider-blade knife and some reusable glass containers, I think you're good to get started in the kitchen.

EatingWell: What does eating well mean to you?

Prepon: I prepare as much as I can in advance because I'm a working mom. When I need something to eat, I need something at-the-ready so that I can make delicious homemade meals in minutes. The most important thing is getting delicious homemade food on the table quicker so that I have more time to spend with my family. And that to me is eating well, it's about getting the food on the table, sitting down to eat with my family and enjoying it. My mom was a gourmet chef, and I never saw her because she was always at the stove. She would make all of this food, but I don't have a single memory of spending time with her over this incredible meal that she made. Eating well is incorporating your loved ones, and by prepping ahead, that's something that helps me do that.

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