My previous post was about finding support during the exam season, but it wont be complete without mentioning MEAL PREP! I have done several posts about the meal prep and its importance and some of my favourite recipes over the years. And I would like to add on to that collection!
Any type of meal prep requires planning, there is no one correct method, as it can differ based on food preferences, cooking ability, schedules, and personal goals. Here are some examples:
- If you now eat fast food or takeout several nights of the week, your goal may be to choose a specific day of the week to create a food shopping list and hit the grocery store.
- If you already food shop once a week and have basic cooking skills, your goal may be to choose one day a week to do most of the cooking or try a new recipe.
- If you already cook some weekday meals for yourself, you might decide to create a schedule so that you are not deciding last minute what to make and to ensure you have the needed ingredients on hand.
Here is how you can get yourself started on meal prep:
- Choose a specific day of the week to: 1) plan the menu, whether week by week or for the whole month, and write out your grocery list 2) food shop, 3) do meal prep, or most of your cooking. Some of these days may overlap if you choose but breaking up these tasks may help keep meal planning manageable.
- On your meal prep day, focus first on foods that take the longest to cook: proteins like chicken and fish; whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, and farro; dried beans and legumes; and, roasted vegetables.
- Also consider preparing staple foods that everyone in the family enjoys and which you can easily add to a weekday meal or grab for a snack: washed greens for a salad, hardboiled eggs, a bowl of chopped fruit, cooked beans.
- If you prefer not to pre-cook proteins, consider marinating poultry, fish, or even tofu on your prep day so that you can quickly pop them into the oven or stir-fry later in the week.
- Storage: Meal prep can save time and money if you are preparing just enough for what is needed the following week. Refrigeration and freezing are an important step to successful meal planning. However, forgotten food such as produce hiding in a drawer or a stew stored on a back shelf in an opaque container for too long can spoil and lead to food waste. Label all prepped items with a date so that you can track when to use them by. Rotate stored items so that the oldest foods/meals are kept up front. Store highly perishable items like greens, herbs, and chopped fruits front-and-center at eye-level so you remember to use them.
If this has convinced you that you should start mealprepping, I would strongly recommend my favourite mealprep recipe website: https://inspiredentertainment.com/inspired-eats/
Hope the recipes help you as much as for me!