I am a massive fan of meal prep or meal preparation. I like to be organised but I also don't want to spend an hour plus in the kitchen daily no matter how much I love cooking!
We also have a pretty inconsistent schedule; I have night consultations, we play sport and exercise after work and some days I get home after 7pm so we need to have some meals that are prepared or partially prepared to ensure we are eating at a decent hour.
I don't prepare every meal but I try and have a couple of things ready to go in case our week turns a little crazy.
This is a pic from one of my meal preps. It only took an hour to get all of this organised.
I have cooked up some brown rice for my breakfast and lunches, baked some chickpeas coated in spices which have been added to most meals this week, sautéed some greens with herbs and lemon, grilled some tempeh for my breakfasts and lunches and roasted some potatoes and sweet potatoes for a salad later in the week.
If you want to eat well throughout the week plus save some $$, then meal prepping is something you may be interested in or give it a try!
What does my Meal Prep involve?
Well every week is different to add variety however there are some regulars that I can prepare:
1. Preparing lunch from dinner leftovers.
Yes, this is a form of meal prep! If you too cook more than you need at dinner than you have already made the first steps to meal prepping! I make enough food to serve 4 so we always have enough for lunch for each of us the following day!
2. Hard boiling eggs
I hard boil eggs to have during the week as a snack, for breakfast or even chopped into salads or to add a protein hit to any meal. You can boil multiple eggs at a time and store in the fridge. They can be stored for up to 1 week.
3. Roast veggies
I like to roast up a range of veggies on the weekend to eat throughout the week. They are great to add to lunches, they get thrown in dinners, and if there are any left I pop them into a frittata or even in with eggs for breakfast. Roast veggies can add extra veggies to your meals so you don't need to worry so much about your veggie content!
The veggies we roast include: pumpkin, asparagus, onion, sweet potato, potato, beetroot, carrot, broccoli, cauliflower and zucchini.
Mixing up the spices and herbs used in the roasting process adds variety also.
4. Veggie Slices/Frittatas
These are great ways to use up excess veggies and can be consumed at any meal - breakfast, lunch or dinner.
I sometimes make the frittata into muffin pans so I even have bite size, easy to grab snacks to take on the run.
I like to make zucchini and carrot slice or there are many recipes on the web for Vegetable Frittatas.
5. Veggie or lentil patties
These again are great options for any meal, can be stored in the fridge and are easy to make. Just mix your veggies, eggs and/or lentils together and form into hamburger shapes and fry in frypan. They are a great way to get veggies in, use up some veggies that are starting to not look so great and can be topped with avocado or dip to add a different flavour.
I make our own dips on occasions which are added as salad dressings, used as a snack with veggie sticks or top some veggie patties or a slice of toast. Dips are handy for using up herbs, any beans or pulses leftover and taste delicious.
7. Roast meat
When we have a roast, we have a big roast and then the leftover meat is used for lunches for the following days. It can be combined with salads, thrown in a sandwich or even chopped up and added to stews.
8. Boiling up pulses
Most weekends, I have some beans and pulses soaking and they will be boiled up whilst I am cooking something else as they can take up to a few hours.
Once strained and cooled, these can be frozen or used within a couple of days.
I add beans and pulses to salads, Mexican bowls, to curries, stews and soups.
9. Cook up grains
Grains take a little bit of time to cook so I like to organise these the day before so we can get home and have the most consuming part of our meal already complete.
They are easy to cook, they just take some time so getting ahead on this speeds up any meal!
Rice has high bacteria levels if left for more than a few days so I try and cook the day before we are going to consume.
10. Overnight oats or chia puddings
Soaking oats or chia seeds and storing overnight in the fridge is a great breakfast option. The next day you can top with nuts and seeds and some fruit to make a delicious meal.
The key to meal prep is to have variety, I never do the same thing every week and it depends on what our plans for meals are that week and what meals we re making as to how much or how little I prepare!
We find this prevents any mid-week takeaway and ensures we eat a good amount of veggies throughout the week and encourages me to be inventive with our meals.
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