Meal prep made easy: Streamline your week with batch cooking
Say goodbye to stressful weeknight dinners and hello to more time and delicious meals
Imagine having all your meals sorted for the week, with minimal effort and maximum flavour. From batch-cooking hearty stews and soups to freezing individual portions of your favourite dishes, we'll share tips and techniques for making meal prep a breeze.
Take some time at the beginning of the week to plan what you'll be having for each meal. This will make it easier when it comes to actually cooking. Start prepping all dry ingredients (such as rice or quinoa) ahead of time so they're ready when needed.
Keep the tools ready
You'll need a large pot or slow cooker, sturdy mixing bowls and spoons, measuring cups and spoons, cutting boards and knives — really anything else that comes in handy when preparing food. Set yourself up with all the equipment you need so that you don't waste time running around looking for things while trying to cook all those meals at once.
Shop once, cook twice (or more)
Buy all the ingredients you'll need for your meals at once so you can cook once and enjoy the leftovers another day (or freeze them). Ensure plenty of spices are in your pantry so that nothing gets bland. You'll save time and money by not having to shop again!
Batch cook with staples
Staples are items that you can use to create multiple meals. For example, if you cook a whole chicken, you can use it in salads, soups or casseroles throughout the week. You could also roast vegetables in bulk on Sundays and use them throughout the week as snacks or side dishes. Or cook pasta in large batches and use it for lunches or dinners throughout the week.
Cook multiple meals at once
Cooking multiple servings of a single recipe at once can save both time and money — especially if you use ingredients like meat and veggies that won't spoil quickly after being cooked! Try making double batches of rice or quinoa, too; this will give you more grain options throughout the week without requiring much extra effort from you!
Use leftovers creatively
If there are certain ingredients that don't get used up right away, use them creatively in other dishes later in the week (i.e., stir-fried veggies from Monday night's dinner make a great topping for breakfast tacos on Wednesday). You can also freeze leftovers in portions so that they're ready when you need them later on down the line (like when your schedule gets crazy).
Find something that inspires you
If you need motivation to get started with meal prep, try picking one day each month when you'll do an extra-special batch cooking session. Pick a theme like ‘Seafood’ ‘Potato ’ or just pick a cuisine that sounds fun! Then gather recipes that fit the theme and make sure they're ones that your family will enjoy eating again.
Use containers easy to stack and store
Invest in some reusable containers (like glass ones) so that you're able to cook your food without having to use disposable items like aluminium foil or plastic wrap. This will also allow you to see exactly what's in each container without having to open them!
Do you have any other tips to streamline your week with batch cooking? Let us know in the comments.