Who wants to save time and money and waste less food? I know I do! By meal prepping and batch cooking, you spend a little more time and money up front in order to save those precious commodities down the line. In addition, planning ahead promotes a more gratifying food experience because you’ll be less stressed at mealtimes and have a higher likelihood of sticking to your diet.
Meal prepping involves assembling part or all of your meal(s) beforehand to minimize the work required right before sitting down to eat. This might be as simple as washing and chopping veggies to store for later use or it might be the more complicated assemblage of a whole meal so all that’s left to do is to heat and eat at the appropriate time.
Batch cooking involves multiplying servings of meals or making multiple different meals for a week or for several weeks all at one time. You can think of it as food prep on steroids. I know people who batch cook a month of meals and snacks at a time!
5 Tips for Successful Meal Prep and Batch Cooking:
1. Have a plan. As you can imagine, batch cooking a month of meals takes major planning but even a small plan to prep a few meals can make your kitchen life easier.
2. Time. Set aside a few chunks of time for planning, shopping and cooking. Some people like to do all their shopping in one day, and all their prep and cooking on another day. Others prefer to do all the work in one day or break it up into several days. How you organize the work is completely up to you.
3. Get organized and comfortable in the kitchen. Have your chopping boards, knives, gadgets and appliances etc., clean and within easy reach.
4. Plan to use all available cooking methods such as the oven, stovetop, slow cooker (I have two and often use them together!) pressure cooker, and blender.
5. Storage Containers: have enough on hand for your prepped items such as Tupperware, glass containers and freezer bags.
About the Author
Sally Johnson MA, RD, LD is a registered and licensed dietitian. Born and raised in New York City, she now calls San Antonio home. She has a love for evolutionary nutrition and CrossFit! You can find her at PaleoPlan.com and to see all the healthy food she makes, follow her on Instagram @sallyjohnsonrd.