Meal prep tips
What is meal prep? And why should you meal prep?
Meal preparation or meal prep involves planning, preparing and packaging meals or snacks in batches, so that they're ready to be consumed over a number of days. Meal prep can be helpful for a number of goals, including healthy eating, budgeting and time saving.
Having food prepared beforehand helps many people to make healthy eating choices and stick to them.
Buying food in bulk can be cheaper. Preparing it in batches can also save time. It may only take a couple of hours to prepare up to five days’ worth of food, instead of spending time cooking and cleaning every day.
Are you thinking of preparing your meals ahead of time? Here are some of the best tips and recipes so you can become a meal prep pro in no time.
Make a meal plan
It’s important to plan out your meals so you cook the right amount. It’s also a good idea to cook foods with flavours that you already know you enjoy. It’s not much fun to realise something is not to your taste, and then you have to eat it for a few days. When making your meal plan, consider what will store well, what will reheat well, how many serves of food you need and how large each serving will be.
Double check the crisper
Before you do your grocery shop, check what you already have on hand. This is especially important for fresh produce. An extra package of pasta can sit in the pantry, but that floppy bag of salad can’t wait another week! Meals like frittata and quiche are great for using up extra vegetables, and they're easy to portion out into meals or snacks.
Prepare the right containers
Don’t fall into the trap of cooking a big batch of food then having no containers to put it in! It's a good idea to have enough containers washed and ready before you start cooking. Consider the following when you're choosing containers:
- Is it the right size? Consider how much you'll eat and how you'll carry your food.
- Can you reheat food in it? Containers should be microwave or oven safe so you can heat them safely.
- Is it properly sealed? Skip the part where you spill sauce in your bag, invest in containers with a good lid.
- Can you tell what's inside? Using clear containers will ensure you always take the right meal.
Schedule the packaging of your food into your meal prep plan. Packaging your meals straight away in the right serving size will make your life easier later on.
How to make food prep fun
Food prep doesn’t have to be boring, experiment with what makes it enjoyable for you and it’ll be much easier to make it a habit that sticks. Try the following:
- Put on a podcast or audio book
- Play your favourite music
- Turn a show on
- Pour a glass of wine
- Enlist a friend to help out
- Reward yourself afterwards with something you enjoy
Recipes to try out
Try the recipes below for your food prep meals or snacks. They’re chosen especially because they’re easy to portion and can either be eaten cold or reheated easily.
GET THE RECIPE: Quinoa Pilaf with Broccoli, Black Beans, Corn & Herbs
Cooking the quinoa in stock makes it a super flavourful base to all the vegetables. High in protein and dietary fibre, this recipe will keep you satisfied for hours.