Tips for an effective meal prep day
Tips for an effective meal prep day
Spending a day preparing meals can be a great strategy for saving time in the kitchen, and making sure you eat well. Once the refrigerator is filled with small meals, it is much more difficult to order from the restaurant or grab fast-food. It is your health AND your wallet that will thank you. It also allows you to have lunches that are already ready for work or school. Seriously, there are only advantages!
But how can you have an effective meal prep day?
How do you make sure you don't waste your time in the kitchen?
You don't want to spend the day there and finish it off with only two meals done. It would not be convenient!
There are several tips you can use to help prevent this from happening. They will increase the effectiveness of the preparation, but also allow you to vary your meals during the week. It’s much more fun and motivating to have different meal choices within your reach!
You will also see below that the secret hide mainly in the step's order and structure of the preparation.
• Grains and cereals
Begin your preparation by starting to cook 2 to 3 grains and / or cereals. This is usually the most time-consuming. This way, during this time, you can continue your preparation and save time.To make your job even easier, you can use a rice cooker.
Here are some ideas of what you can cook: quinoa, couscous (very quick to make), white rice, wild rice, millet, bulgur, etc.
• The vegetables
Meanwhile, cut a large amount of vegetables. Then add the spices of your choice: parsley, thyme, oregano, baking powder, grilled vegetable spices, steak spices, etc.
Finally, grill/saute them all together in a pan or in the oven.
It can also be a good idea to cut fresh vegetables at this stage, which will then be used as snacks. Having vegetables already cut is an excellent way to get hungry!
• The fruits
If you like to eat fruit as a snack or lunch, cut several fruits and place them in different bowls. This will make them more accessible and attractive when you are hungry.
• The proteins
While the grains, cereals, and vegetables are cooking, prepare the proteins you will eat this week.
At this stage, you have several choices:
- Marinate your tofu. Then, you'll just have to cook it in the pan when the time comes.
- Marinate tempeh. Then, you'll cook it in the sauce for ten minutes when you feel like eating it. (That's the trick to make it taste less bitter.)
- Open one or two legume canes.
- Cook legumes. To save you time, you can cook chickpeas in a slow cooker. Cover them with water and cook them at high for about 4 hours.
• The sauces
At this point, the majority of the ingredients should be ready. To make the meal choices more interesting, I now advise you to prepare 3 sauces (or more) to accompany them.
This can be store-bought tomato sauce, dragon sauce, a drizzle of olive oil and a little lemon juice, spicy vegan mayonnaise, etc.
You can then cook them or have them handy for the week.
• The grand finale
Once everything is prepared, it only remains to organize everything. I suggest two ways to do it:
- Put the separate ingredients in large dishes. Once you want to eat, take each ingredient that interests you and compose your meal this way.
You then put a grain/cereal, the vegetable mixture, the protein of your choice, and the sauce. It makes it possible to have different meals throughout the week and reduces the chances of getting bored.
- Prepare ready-made meals in individual serving dishes. This allows you to have a quick meal, and it's also faster for lunches!
And there's nothing to stop you from mixing the two methods!
The important thing is to make the preparation as pleasant and effective as possible. You'll be encouraged to start again the following week.
I hope these tips can help you!
By Priscilia Vaillancourt
Writter at RAW Nutritional
Photo credit: Instagram @profitesen