Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Meal prepping

You might have heard about meal prepping before, but for those of you who haven't or those of you who haven't done it before, here's a post explaining why I like meal prepping and why it's so great! Meal prepping is basically planning and preparing some meals for a couple of days or even a whole week. It's basically making leftovers on purpose. It doesn't only save loads of time and money, but it also helps you keep track of eating healthily. 

When I was having stressful times because of uni work (like my dissertation), I did some meal prepping so I wouldn't have to spend my precious time in the kitchen. What do you need to meal prep? A LOT of tupperwares (I like the ones from Ikea), an hour or two to spend in the kitchen and some fresh groceries. My meal preps usually consist of three parts: meat/protein, veggies and carbs/starchy food. Instead of meat you can also use fish but I like eating fish best when it's fresh so I don't use fish for meal prepping. 

Protein/meat: chicken breast, turkey, ground beef, pork or veal (eat 'normal' or make meatballs). If you don't eat meat you can also use halloumi, tofu, tempeh or eggs.
-> grill or cook in a pan & season with salt, pepper and other spices

Starch: Brown basmati rice, wholewheat pasta, quinoa (regular or red quinoa), buckwheat, bulgur
-> boil & season with salt

Veggies: broccoli, kale, carrots, tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, mushrooms, green beans, onions, garlic
-> boil the vegetables or my favourite way: roast them in the oven with a bit of olive oil, salt, pepper and any other spices you like

So you can meal prep all the foods at once. In one pot, you boil the grains/rice. In the oven, you roast the vegetables and in a large pan you cook the meat. Keep track of time and don't leave the kitchen till it's all ready, put into tupperwares and into the fridge.  

You can make basic preps which is simply cooking the meat like a big pack of chicken, or cooking a lot of rice, or roasting lots of vegetables in the oven. Put each type of food in individuals containers so that you can use and combine them to make different meals throughout the week. This simply shortens you time in the kitchen though you will still need a bit of time to prepare the meals.

You can also make meal preps, which is when you prepare complete meals. I did this during busy times, so that I could easily grab and heat up a meal when I didn't have time to prepare one. I usually make 4 whole meals (all the same), 1 to eat the night of the meal prep and then 3 dinners/lunches for the following days. I still like my food fresh and varied so I never make too many preps at once. I'm only a beginner meal prepper; there are people who prep breakfast, lunch and dinner for the whole week and spend about half a day prepping everything!

My meal preps usually consist of brown basmati rice, chicken and vegetables. When I have the meal prep for dinner I usually add some salad, fresh tomatoes or avocado. This is what a meal prep looks like:

Apart from meals, you can also prep snacks. Make small containers with roasted nuts, cherry tomatoes, hummus, carrots, sliced cucumber, apple... It will stop you from having take-away food and snacks. Meal prepping is also great for when you have a full time job. Just prep 5 lunches for each day of the week (it doesn't all need to be the same). I really like meal prepping because it's so convenient; I should really do it more often! Do any of you prep meals? 

© whiskers & lions

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