Meal prepping is a great way to stay on track of your healthy lifestyle and ensuring you maintain a balanced diet.
But sometimes life gets in the way and you don’t have time to slave all day in the kitchen, come Monday morning and you’re popping into Pret for a sandwich on your way to work.
We get it.
With our 5 meal prepping hacks you will not only save time and money on your weekly food shop, it will make meal prepping so easy that it will soon become part of your lifestyle.
Planning is key
The easiest way to meal prep is to choose one day a week and dedicate a few hours of that day to prepping.
If you’re a newbie it will take you around 3 hours to make a weeks worth of food but with practice you can shave off over an hour.
The key to meal prepping is planning in advance what it is you want to eat during the week, which dishes you want to prep and which you want to make on the day and which ingredients you will need to buy in order to make your meals. That way you’re not staring at your fridge for the best part of half an hour, trying to decide what to make.
I find the best day to meal prep is on a Sunday morning. I will start by planning my week in food, buy the food from my local grocers and then start meal prepping as I put the items away.
Mix and match your recipes
Look out for recipes that share ingredients, this will save you time when you’re meal prepping as well as cash off your weekly food shop.
Remember you don’t have to meal prep every single meal, I find meal prepping parts of a meal the best option.
For example, you want to eat pasta during the week? Batch cook some marinara sauce and freeze it in a zip lock bag.
Alternatively, batch make your sandwich filling (I love prawn mayo) so that in the morning all you have to do it put it in the bread.
It’s also a great idea to incorporate your dinners with your lunches. You could meal prep chicken and roast potatoes, perfect for lunch or dinner. Leftover chicken? A Caesar salad makes a perfect healthy yet indulgent lunch.
Rice will become your BFF
Remember what I said about mix and matching your ingredients?
Rice is perfect for this as it is so versatile and makes meal prepping so much easier!
I batch cook about 5 bowls worth of rice and store it in the fridge in a large container.
In order to not get bored of the grain, I create completely different dishes out of it. Some of my favourites include: burritos (or it’s equally tasty naked version), rice salad, tabbouleh, risotto, arancini, stir fry, paella, sushi bowl, curries.
The possibilities are endless, so get creative!
Be time efficient
In order to really save time whilst meal prepping, you need to ensure that you’re constantly cooking whilst something else cooks. Make sense?
First pre-heat your oven and whack in whatever takes the longest to cook. For me it’s usually sweet potatoes.
Whilst that is cooking you want to start chopping up your veggies and boiling them, making your sauces and cooking dishes whilst food cooks in the oven.
Never waste time watching the oven!
Keep your food fresh
Blanching your greens keeps them fresh for longer and ensures that they preserve flavour and colour.
Meanwhile storing your sauces and dressings in sperate containers will stop your food turning to mush (as well as leaving you more open for mix and match options). This is especially true if you’re meal prepping salad and want it to keep that crunch.
And although we all love a bit of #avotoast, it’s best made fresh as avocado quickly turns brown once opened.