Many of us have good intentions to meal-prep regularly, only to fall apart weeks later. Here are our top tips to help you stick with it!
Make a Realistic Plan and Stick to it
One of the most popular reasons people meal-prep is to save money. Instead of spending $30 each day on café’s and takeaways, we think how much we could save if we were just a little more organised.
Often though, we make plans to catch up with friends, or don’t quite get around to cooking after a long day at work – paying twice for meals out and for wasted groceries.
To conquer the waste:
- Think about the week ahead – perhaps you have dinner plans? or a work lunch? how many meals do you really need to cook this week?
- Have a set routine – schedule a specific time to shop and cook for the week ahead (while your produce is still fresh).
Prepare your Ingredients. Chop Chop!
Before you start your meal prep, make sure all your ingredients are measured out, washed and prepped. With multiple meals on-the-go it’s easy to become distracted, overcooking one meal while preparing the next.
Look for short cuts everywhere you can. For example, when you’re cooking you might consider:
- Using pre-prepared cuts of meat and vegetables, rather than spending time prepping.
- Using tinned legumes, rather than the dry variety.
Cleaning can also take time, so consider:
- Finding your favourite “one-pot wonders”, using single pots or roasting trays to make an entire meal.
- Finding easy to clean appliances, such as a pyrolytic oven.
Invest in Good Quality Containers
You’ll be relying on your containers a lot, so look for something easy to store, easy to care for and easy to carry to work.
We recommend looking for containers that:
- Fit inside each other – containers that can be nested take up less space when not in use.
- Can be stacked – containers that stack steadily on top of each other make the best use of vertical space in your fridge and freezer.
- Are dishwasher and microwave safe – containers that fit your existing lifestyle will make heating and cleaning a cinch.
- Are leak-proof – look for a screw top or use a “lock” system to ensure you can pop them in your bag, without making a mess.
Variety is the Spice Of Life
Meal-Prep doesn’t have to mean five consecutive days of chicken risotto. Change your repertoire every week to keep your meals interesting.
Even similar sets of ingredients can be transformed into different meals with a few tweaks, so look for ingredients that can be repurposed and stock up on a few herbs and spice blends to shake things up. With a little imagination Wednesday’s roast can easily become Friday’s Jamaican jerk chicken with the right spice mix.
Multitasking for the Win
When planning your meals, consider how you can use every square inch of your kitchen. Using all of your cooking appliances lets you make the most of your time in the kitchen.
Larger appliances like our 90cm Freestanding Cooker are perfect for meal prep – with a massive cooktop that has room for five pots or pans, and a huge oven with room for everything.
Some ingredients only stay fresh for a couple of days. Instead, look for meals that will re-heat well from the freezer.
Most meats, non-creamy soups & sauces, starchy vegetables freeze well – while creamy soups & sauces, watery vegetables (e.g.: cucumbers, tomatoes), eggs, and leafy greens may not freeze well.
Many dishes can be elevated with a “fresh element”, so consider keeping fresh herbs or leafy greens in the fridge to add after reheating.
Try Plant-Based Meals
Even if you’re not ready to go vegan just yet, plant-based meals often cook faster than meat-based meals. As an added bonus, they are often better for the environment (and your wallet).
Learn more about our 90cm Freestanding Cookers.