5 meal prep tips for the week ahead
As schools restart and we return to the office, settling into a post-holiday routine can be tricky. Here are some tips to help with meal preparation for the week ahead.
1. Create a meal plan
Get the family involved and ask your partner or the kids to give you ideas on what they would like to have for supper and in their lunchboxes. This way, you get more ideas and minimise waste from half-eaten lunchboxes and meals. Once you have brainstormed your weekly menu, create a shopping list and use a food delivery app to have your ingredients delivered to you for ease of convenience.
2. Buy or make pre-prepped ingredients
Save on time and effort and buy already prepared ingredients like peeled and cut butternut or ready-to-roast vegetables. If you’d rather buy your vegetables whole, set aside some time to do a once-off bulk peeling and chopping of the veggies. Store the vegetables in freezer bags in the freezer so that you have homemade packs of ready-to-cook assorted vegetables.
3. Portion precooked meals
For smaller families or even individuals who appreciate the convenience of a homemade heat-and-eat meal, individually packed meals are a game-changer for living life on the go. These meals are especially ideal for those who are focused on achieving their healthy eating food goals. They are also great for those who don’t mind eating the same delicious meal a couple of times during the week. Protein like a whole roasted chicken is ideal for spreading out through several packed meals. The roast can be accompanied by a bulk homemade quinoa salad, for example, complete with all your favourite seasonal veggies tossed into it. Dish out the meal in reusable, airtight food storage containers that will make your prepared meals stay fresh for longer.
4. Cook in bulk
Cooking in bulk has never been more crucial than now in the times of two- to four-hour power cuts. Set aside a slot on the weekend to bulk cook a meal or two. Something like a one-pot meal, a stew or a meat sauce for pasta keeps extremely well. These meals are ideal for either keeping in the fridge for a day or two or freezing and then reheating during the week, saving you plenty of time and effort. These can be served with freshly made quick-meal bases like rice, pasta, couscous or mash.
5. Be wise with your cooking breaks
Takeaways are usually the most popular choice when considering taking a break from cooking, but they are not always the most economical nor the healthiest choice. Instead, explore the heat-and-eat aisle at your nearest grocery store. You’ll be surprised to find many wholesome and nutritious meals. For an adventurous shortcut, consider exploring meal kits that source exciting menus straight to your door. Meal kits come with fresh ingredients, an easy-to-follow recipe, and the option to add a bottle of wine to pair with your meal.