01 Oct Top Tips for Meal Prepping
You know meal-prepping will save you time (and money), but you just can’t seem to find time to get it done. I completely understand. Here are my favorite tips for efficient meal-prepping so you don’t have to stress about not having enough time.
- Prepare ingredients, instead of full meals.
Sometimes, packaging ready-to-go meals a week in advance can leave your food looking soggy and a bit unappetizing. Plus, you might change your mind as to which ingredients you want to eat with what. Instead of creating an entire meal for each day of the week, prepare individual components. Pre-wash and chop different vegetables, cook a batch of brown rice or quinoa, and wash and portion your fruits, vegetables and nuts. Then, you can mix up the ingredients and create different meals with the some of the same ingredients for a chance of pace. The washing, cutting, and cooking takes the most time, so if you do it in advance, the rest of the week will be much easier.
- Build your meals around seasonal vegetables
Pick your favorite seasonal vegetables and batch cook them in advance to add to your meals. Roasted vegetables are great as a side with grilled chicken, added to a large colorful salad or alongside eggs. Switch up the protein and starchy carb and build your meals accordingly. Another example are zucchini noodles (zoodles) which are delicious with chicken stir-fry or with tomato sauce and grass-fed ground beef. Cauliflower rice is also yummy with shrimp stir-fry or as an accompaniment to teriyaki salmon filets. Purchase individual wrapped wild fish that is flash frozen to have a variety of protein options that defrost and cook quickly.
- Make extra for leftovers
Leftovers are the key to success in our house. Often you don’t have the time to cook with work, sports games and practices and other commitments, which is where leftovers are perfect. To reduce the amount of time you spend cooking, double the portion sizes so have leftovers for another meal or two. If you don’t want to have same meal twice, double specific ingredients and change it up with herbs, spices or sauces. For example, grilled chicken is great on a big salad, with roasted vegetables or added to a vegetable stir-fry. Brown rice or quinoa can be used in a buddha bowl, in a cold salad, in a breakfast porridge or as a side with curried shrimp and vegetables. As long as you don’t serve it exactly the same way every day, it will keep your palate happy.
- Add different herbs, spices, sauces and dressings
This is the best tip for preventing your meal-prep from becoming boring and bland. If you’ve followed tip #1, you should have your ingredients all ready. Generally, keep your ingredients unseasoned unless you prefer to marinate in advance. The day you are going to eat the foods, quickly warm up them up with the spices or sauces. Sauces are best made from scratch since packaged ones often contain artificial preservatives and sugar to keep them shelf stable. Homemade hummus has a long shelf-life and is so versatile. You can change it up by adding basil or hot pepper flakes to change up the taste. You can also make a jar of different salad dressings or even pasta sauces, which should last you the week in the fridge. Note: if you make your own salad dressing with olive oil, take it out of the fridge 15 minutes before you want to use it as the olive oil tends to harden in the fridge.
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