Meal prep is a cooking technique which can save you a huge amount of time during the week when you are trying to balance work, social life, and home life at the same time. If you always seem to grab whatever is handy in the kitchen when you get home from work, you are likely not hitting your fitness and health goals the way you might want to.
Meal prep is really simple and one of the most inventive kitchen cooking hacks. It can make your life a hell of a lot easier during the week, and here are some tips to get you started
Stick to your shopping list
The first thing you will need to do when creating a meal prep plan is deciding the meals you are going to have for the week. In general, you will be able to prep meals for four days ahead, so you can have your food for Monday to Thursday sorted from the get-go. Friday can always be a day where you have a cheat meal or treat yourself to something different. When making a plan make sure you have a source of protein, carbs, and fat in every meal. You can make lunches for work and dinner at home with ease. Make sure that you stick to your shopping list and don’t buy anything extra!
Keep it simple
When creating meal prep plans you will likely not want to be making 8 different dishes for four days of eating. A lot of the time people will make the same thing for lunches (a salad or a wrap) and then they will make one or two options for dinner at home. For example, you could do something like this:
Monday- Thursday: Chicken Caesar Salad
Monday and Wednesday: Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry
Tuesday and Thursday: Chicken Fajita Bowl
As you can see, planning yourself just a few options will make like much easier for you during the week and it will make your Sunday prep much quicker.
Cook it all at once
If you want to make meal prep as efficient as you can, you need to cook all of your meals at once. A Sunday afternoon or evening is the perfect time to do this and it will usually only take an hour or so to come up with your meals for the week. Let’s say we are following the plan from the previous point. We would be able to write our ingredients down for each meal, decide what needs to be prepped and cook it all within an hour. You would start off with the chicken and the beef by placing them on a baking tray, seasoning them and popping them into the oven. The beef will do best in a foil packet to keep the moisture in. Cook for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, you would move onto the rice for your stir fry and for the fajita bowls. Measure out 4 portions into a pan and cook for around 20 minutes. At this point, you will be ready to check on the meat, turn it over and place it back in the oven for 10 minutes.
Once the rice is cooked place it into your containers. Cut up your broccoli for the stir fry and boil for 10 minutes or so. Grill some bacon for your Caesar salad if you want it. Take the meat out of the oven, cut up the chicken and divide it between the fajita and the salad tubs. Place the beef and broccoli in a pan and add your favorite stir-fry sauce. Stir and then divide into your tubs once coated.
Take the bacon out of the grill, cut it up and place to one side for the salad prep. Make your guacamole for the fajita bowls with avocado, lime, coriander, and chili. Assemble fajita bowl with chicken, salsa, sour cream, cheese, guacamole and some black beans.
Assemble your salad with romaine lettuce, chicken, bacon, Parmesan, and dressing.
Invest in good containers
Make sure when you are meal prepping that you buy good containers for the good. These air tight OXO containers keep food fresh for days and it will mean that your food is perfect for the whole week.
Hopefully, these tips helped you to be a master in the kitchen and meal prep like a pro.