The lazy guy's guide to meal prep: Top tips for planning ahead and eating well
Brought to you by Strong Roots.
Being lazy isn't always wrong.
Cooking from scratch is a great way to eat healthily and save money. Still, nobody wants to slave away over a hot stove after a hard day at work.
That's why meal prep is a game changer. That vicious cycle of cheap ready meals and takeaway dinners can finally be broken. Hassle-free fresh meals will be the way of the future.
You'll need to make some changes to your routine but you'll never look back once you get the hang of it. Welcome to the wonderful world of Tupperware, planned shopping trips and home-cooked goodness!
Plan your shops
Meal prep means making shopping lists and sticking to them. The night before you go shopping, write down the meals you will be having for breakfast, lunch and dinner over the next week.
You can start off with three or four-day blocks until you get into the swing of things. Having a list will make shopping easier and ensure that you don't forget anything.
Freezing and storing food
If you're cooking five days of food, you can keep three days' worth in the fridge and the rest in the freezer. Let food cool down before freezing but freeze it within two hours.
Make sure it's properly sealed or freezer burn will ruin the taste. You can defrost frozen meals in the microwave but the safest option is to pop them in the fridge the night before you plan to eat them.
Healthy foods like fruit and vegetables go off quickly, so sometimes it pays to buy frozen. Companies like Strong Roots have lots of great healthy frozen products available such as Kale and Quinoa Burgers or oven-baked sweet potatoes. They even have ripened avocado halves.
So you don't have to spend days waiting for that one-hour window where the fresh avocado you bought is ripe but not too ripe.
One pot meals will soon be your best friends. You can throw everything into the one pot so there's less washing up and a pot of chilli or curry will last you for a couple of days.
Cook more than you need so you can stick a meal or two in the freezer for later use. The more meal prep you do, the bigger your collection of freezer meals will become.
Roast your veg at the same time
Roasting your veg is a great way to bring out their natural sweetness and add lots of flavour to your meal. Save yourself some time (and dishes) by roasting vegetables that have the same cooking time together.
For example, veg like carrots and potatoes will take much longer than asparagus or peppers. You can also roast veg while cooking or baking protein-rich options like chicken or fish.
Bake in bulk
Baking enough chicken or meat for a few days doesn't mean you have to sacrifice flavour. Divide a baking tray into three using tin foil, ensuring that each section is fully sealed.
You can now bake three lots of meat with three different sauces/marinades or season each one differently. It's a simple way to bulk bake your food without sacrificing flavour.
Freeze your smoothies
Don't have time to crank up the blender every morning? Make all your smoothies at the weekend and simply freeze them in ice cube moulds.
All you need to do is pop a few smoothie cubes in the blender and you've got the perfect cold smoothie for brekkie.
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This article is brought to you by Strong Roots.