We live busier lives and as cliche as it is, meal planning and prepping will save you so much time and energy mid-week. Social media has made it a thing, but in reality, it's not new, it has been done for years! Don't know where to start? Below are my top tips for meal prep beginners.
Planning ahead will mean you have already answered that dreaded qu....what's for dinner tonight? We live really busy lives and having a clear plan, means we don't have to think about it every few hours! You are in control of what you eat and can make sure you are getting enough fruit & veg each day. It doesn't have to be complicated.
DINNER BECOMES LUNCH
Make extra of dinner, put it in a container ready to go for tomorrow. Simple & easy.
MAKE ONCE, EAT THRICE
Using the oven, why not roast up a stack of veg and use them throughout the week. You can have a meal ready to go in minutes! Here is some good ideas with roast veg:
Add protein for a complete meal
Roast Veg Pizza
Roast Veg & Cheese Pasta
Roast Veg Tart
You get the idea-there is a lot you can do!
The same goes for cooking a batch of protein & grains to cover you for a few meals.
PRE-CUT YOUR FRUIT & VEG
Put it in a container or individual containers. If it's fruit which may turn brown, squeeze some lemon or lime juice over it! Guarantee, having pre-cut fruit in your fridge will nudge you to eat more of the nutritious stuff and less of the ultra-processed foods, without your knowing (food environment 101). Having pre-cut veg also means that stir-fry your having for dinner can be thrown together in 5 mins-win!
LOVE YOUR LEFTOVERS
Turn your pot of spaghetti bol into lasagne, making homemade burger patties-make extra into rissoles/meat balls/kofte, potato mash into fish cakes.
WORK WITH YOUR TOOLS
Utilise your freezer-making spaghetti bol? Make a huge pot and freeze extra containers for quick meals in two or three weeks time (so you don't get bored with repetitive meals).
Slow-cooker? Make extra, mix up what you are having it with. Curry-have with rice one night and Naan two nights later.
If it goes pear-shaped, that's a-okay. Don't have the exact ingredients-be flexible...mix it up & be creative. Try different herbs & spices-or go without. BTW when it comes to veg, carrot can be substituted for almost any veg! Switch meals if you have too. It's not going to matter, it's about your overall diet, not a specific ingredient or meal.
It's not there just for your latest dress purchase, it's also useful for food shopping. Either get it delivered or click & collect-this also reduces the amount of undesirable food choices made while aimlessly wondering the supermarket aisle at 6pm-you know what I'm talking about. Honestly, this will save you so much time-do it on your lunch break, while you're waiting in the car at sports.
There you go, my top tips to meal prep & planning! Have you got some great tips you would like to share? I would love to hear from you,