Meal prepping can make life easier, but it can also feel like a big chore. That’s because it can be a big chore. Fortunately, there are ways to get all the benefits of healthy meal prep while making it a little bit easier.
The number one way to meal prep and menu plan like a pro is to think of food in terms of components that can fit together in multiple ways like building blocks. When a professional plans a menu, they look for ways to make their time (and ingredients) go a bit further.
Here are some of my favorite tips to help you do just that:
Set one day to cook and make a mess in the kitchen. A few hours of work will pay for themselves in time, energy, and money all week long.
Set up a pressure cooker, a slow cooker, turn on the oven, and boil a large pot of water for steaming and blanching. Choose three to five proteins, five to six vegetables, three or four dressings and sauces, and two to three side dishes that can be put together in varying ways throughout the week. Cook everything at once, cool it, package it, and store it in the fridge.
Then clean the kitchen secure in the knowledge that meals will be on the table or packed for lunch in no time for the rest of the week.
A head of broccoli can be steamed for soups, roasted for side dishes and casseroles, served raw for salads and dips, or used in slaws and stir-frys. Instead of steaming broccoli as a side for every meal, cut it up and roast some in the oven, steam some, and leave some raw, then combine it with different sauces and seasonings during the week to mix it up.
This applies to everything you prepare. Chop onions and garlic for cooking and keep them in containers in the fridge for quick last-minute additions to meals. Use multiple cooking techniques on proteins, vegetables, and sides then combine them in different ways throughout the week.
Prepare foods simply but be bold with sauces, dips, and condiments to punch up the flavors in multiple ways. A compound butter like garlic butter can be used in many ways. Use it to sauté and roast vegetables, add it to mashed cauliflower, top steaks and chops with it, dress hot spaghetti squash with it, slather it on keto rolls, or melt it over cooked shrimp or chicken.
Roast garlic, make pesto, make vinaigrettes, sauces, and creamy dressings that can be used all week for so much more than salads.
Clean leafy green vegetables, herbs, and vegetables all at once while you prep, so they are ready to use when needed. Store parsley, cilantro, green onions, and cut celery in pitchers of water like a bouquet of flowers. Store other herbs like rosemary and thyme and salad greens, gently wrapped in damp towels in the crisper drawer.
Clean and cut radishes, jicama, and cucumbers and store them in containers in the crisper for easy access. Celery for dips, and fresh herbs for sauces will be a lot more appealing if they are cleaned and ready to use at a moment’s notice.
This list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning all the ways Keto Chow, a meal replacement with 1/3 of your daily nutrients, is the real meal prep MVP. Not only are Keto Chow shakes and soups quick and easy meals that are ready within minutes, but they can be used in hundreds of recipes to make breads, wraps, casseroles, muffins, dressings, breakfast bars, and so much more.
Learning to prep like a pro can make your weekly meals less stressful, more enjoyable, more delicious, and nutritious. Once you get the hang of a weekly meal prep you will start feeling inspired to create beautiful meals.