Just cooking and cooking a bunch of stuff! That’s all meal-prep really is. Even though it can seem a little overwhelming at first, it can be a great help and peace of mind during the week. I normally get home after an exhausting day and not at all ready to cook dinner, so if it wasn’t for meal-prep I’d end up buying a slice of pizza and going to bed. But if you can plan ahead, it can be just as simple as heating up your food and having a nice home-cooked meal that will definitely be more nutritious than the slice of pizza. Just follow these easy tricks to make it a little less overwhelming!
1. Find your preferred way of prepping
There are different kind of meals and cooking styles. For example, some people like to make the building blocks of meals—like sauces, grains, cooked vegetables, and protein—and mix and match them during the week. Other people prefer to make fully cooked meals they can just reheat later.
2. Double the recipe when you have the chance
If you’re already boiling a can of beans, you might as well boil two of them. Same for any kind of food: roasting potatoes or a chicken, go double. That way you have double the meals with the same effort!
3. Put a plan to paper
Before going to the grocery store, make a menu for the week. Then make a list of what you need for each meal. That way you can be efficient when shopping and avoid forgetting an important ingredient that messes up your star recipe. You’ll also avoid buying things that you don’t really need, which will save you money. With your recipes on paper, it will also be easier to visualize a cooking plan and make the prep easier overall.
4. Get the boring work out of the way
Focus on the boring tasks first. You can do that on the same day just before you start with all the cooking, or you can do it another night when you have a little free time. Peel garlic, clean and cut your greens, chop your onions, and break down hefty veg like squash. Put on a good podcast and get this out of the way. You will thank yourself later.
5. Maximize multitasking
Why do only one thing when you can run around the kitchen doing three! For example, instead of having to preheat the oven more than once, use it while it’s still hot and put in more than one dish at a time. That way you’ll have potatoes and chicken roasting at the same time.
What tips do you have to make cooking easier? Leave them in the comments below.