I get a lot of questions about how I plan my meals and what I do when it comes to cooking, so I thought I would share with you my guide to meal prepping. Personally, eating out of Tupperware doesn’t bother me, as I know what is inside the Tupperware is delicious and tailored to my preferences!
1. Go to the grocery store with a plan. I never go to the supermarket without an idea of what I want to make. If you are a bargain seeker, look up your favorite supermarket online to see what they have on promotion that week so you are not swayed by every ‘BOGO’ sign you see. With that being said, I may change my mind when I am in the supermarket and be swayed by something that is on offer or looks delicious, but I still go with meals in mind.
2. Chop up all your veggies in one go. I hate chopping and although I am meticulous about lots of things, dicing vegetables is not one of them. I chop up all my vegetables in one go and store in ziploc bags or plastic containers. That way, when I go to make a meal, the chopping is already done.
3. Cook your carbohydrates in bulk. If you are as impatient as me when it comes to food, you will appreciate the pain of waiting up to 20 minutes for your rice to cook. Brown and wild rice especially seem to take forever to cook, so with rice, quinoa, pasta and lentils, I cook a big batch in one go. Sometimes, I cook more than I need for the week and freeze the leftovers.
4. Make family sized meals. I always make a family sized meal so that it makes me 5 lunches for the week. I know some people don’t like eating the same lunch 5 days in a row, so you can either make a couple of different large meals, or, you can use the same staple ingredients and ‘accessorize’ differently. For example, you can cook a batch of chicken and pasta, then add chopped tomatoes and herbs to some; feta and spinach to another; turkey bacon, broccoli and cream cheese to the remainder. This will give you three completely different meals without all the hassle of cooking three different meals from scratch.
5. Don’t under-estimate bread as a carbohydrate source. I have been there where I feared bread was a ‘bad’ food and avoided eating it, but bagels and wraps form a staple part of my diet. Making wraps and sandwiches are both really easy and time efficient.
6. Set aside time to meal prep. I normally use about 2 hours on a Sunday morning to prepare for the week ahead. I cook all my snacks (if cooking is required) and lunches and normally prepare a couple of savory dinners too. For the rest of my dinners, I make on the day I eat them. When I do this, I typically opt for oats or bagels followed by Greek yoghurt and peanut butter as these are very simple to prepare and quick to cook.
7. Remember that meal prep can be as simple, or as fancy as you like. I vary the complexity of my meal prep depending on time, motivation and inspiration. Eating simple food and eating fancy food will get you the same results; make meal prep suit YOU.