Meal prepping

How Meal Prepping Can Help You Save Time and Stay on Track

Meal prepping a range of dishes in advance can help to save you time and money, reduce waste and help you to stay on track with eating healthy meals even when you’re in a rush. If roasting a tray of vegetables or slices of sweet potato and some crispy tofu, cooking up some quinoa, lentils and then making a dressing and a dip sounds like too much effort then read on.  This approach does require the initial investment of prepping time however, it can you back with time saved not having to prepare from scratch several meals during the week.

With all these prepared ingredients in the fridge you can bring together a variety of meals in less than 10 minutes which require minimal reheating or can be eaten cold. You can also freeze portions of rice or vegetables which will last for several weeks and can be defrosted overnight ready for the next day.

Some meal prepping websites or books suggest preparing food to make up five portions of the same meal. I personally prefer to meal prep food that can be used to create several different meals with a slight variation on ingredients. Once you’ve prepped a few components a little creativity is all that is needed to quickly conjure up a new dish within minutes that you’ll look forward to eating.

These key meal prepping ideas are fundamental to ensuring you always have something to base a meal around and if you’re lacking one ingredient you can always use a quick off the shelf alternative as suggested below to complete your plate.

These are the four key areas to consider when meal prepping:


  1. Protein

This can be meat such as roasted or shredded chicken, baked salmon, roasted tofu, pan fried tempeh or legumes such as beans, lentils or peas and boiled eggs.

Off the shelf alternative: roasted chicken from the supermarket, tinned mackerel, or salmon, prepared and spiced tofu or tempeh, lentils or beans in a pouch.

  1. Vegetables

Roasted vegetables are great and pretty much any vegetable can be roasted, spiralized or pickled raw vegetables.

Off the shelf alternative frozen vegetables are the answer here – they’re a good and healthy alternative or tinned vegetables such as sweetcorn.

Best of all fresh vegetables such as spinach, avocado, tomato, and salad leaves take minimal preparation and ensure that you’re getting more than your five-a-day.

  1. Carbohydrates

Grains such as brown rice, quinoa or millet and wholegrain noodles can be cooked and stored in the fridge for up to four days. Ensure you cool the grains fully before putting in the fridge. Rice is better reheated so if you wanted a cold salad quinoa or buckwheat could be alternatives.

Roast sweet potatoes, squash, celeriac and carrots can be stirred into quinoa for a salad or mash and form into cakes which can be gently fried or air fried for a bit of crispness.

Off the shelf alternative: Precooked pouches of mixed or single grains are great and can be easily stored until needed. Frozen roasted vegetables are an alternative although in my experience are better eaten hot.

  1. Flavour

Having a dip such a houmous, carrot or artichoke dip and a range of pickles and chutneys in the fridge will go a long way to increasing your range of dishes.

A batch of houmous made at the weekend can last all week and be used in dishes or as a quick snack with veggie sticks. Quick pickled veg, sauerkraut and kimchi add not only flavour but can contribute to your gut health by contributing healthy bacteria to your microbiota.

In addition to these ingredients try having a range of nuts and seeds, oils and vinegars and sauces which can be used to dress your meals.






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