If you already know the basics 🙂 here are some expert tips!
Pro Meal Prepping Tips
Prepping to Prep
When you find new recipes, have a system for organizing and categorizing them. If you look through Pinterest, create a separate board for recipes you want to actually try. If you look through Instagram, create a separate saved folder. Go through your cookbooks and sticky-tab them with the same color post-it note.
You don’t have to cook fancy, complicated meals. Choose easy recipes to start out with to strengthen your meal prep muscles.
Cook with foods that you can use throughout your meals. Many ingredients can be interchangeable – if one recipe calls for arugula but the other recipes call for romaine – you can very likely just use romaine for all of them. Unless you’re baking – cooking isn’t an exact science!
Choose varying sized food storage containers and ones with different sections – but based on your actual needs and what foods you are actually going to prep. Don’t buy a container with 6 compartments if you don’t want to prep 6 different foods for one meal.
Meal prepping does NOT have to always mean cooking. Including grab & go foods to create a snacky-type meal absolutely counts. For example, make a meal of Jack Links Beef Jerky zero sugar, baby carrots and hummus, and an apple – you are good to go!
Start with cooking the foods that take the most time to prepare, e.g. roasting potatoes, soaking beans, etc.
When you get comfortable, use different machines at the same time. Have your oven going while you’re stir-frying and boiling on the stove top, baking something in the toaster oven, and heating something in the slow cooker.
Use a cast iron grill pan to make your proteins look more appetizing – the grill marks make your meals look fancier!
Make your meal prep time enjoyable so you look forward to it – put on a movie you can watch on repeat (so you don’t have to pay close attention), or put on your favorite music, audiobook, or podcast.
Change the same base meal up with different spice combinations. For example, to make it Mediterranean, add basil and oregano, for example. To make it Indian, add turmeric and cumin, for example.
For cooked grains like pasta and quinoa, add oil or butter to grains to keep them from sticking together.
Label your containers with what the food is, what date you prepped it, and how long the food will last if possible.