I was always either a religious meal prepper or ordering every other meal on Deliveroo, there’s no middle ground with me. But with the sad treatment diet dictating that every meal I eat needs to be made at home from scratch, we’ve had to get back into the swing of meal prepping. And actually, it’s not as much of a ball ache as you’d expect it to be.
If you’ve been ordering in every night for the last two months, you’re probably not going to want to commit to spending your whole Sunday and a few extra hours a week meal prepping. Find easy, quick recipes and look for places you can double up on ingredients. For example, every Sunday we roast a chicken with just a little lemon and salt and pepper. It takes no effort at all, makes the flat smell lovely and we use the meat throughout the week in soups, curries, burrito bowls and Connor’s lunch wraps. That way the prep is minimal, and yet when we come to make a meal in the week the hard work is done. Cooking a whole chicken is much more cost effective too.
Embrace easy slow cooker dump meals.
If you don’t have a slow cooker, get one. You can get one big enough for two with change from £20 and I promise it’ll be worth every penny. I use our slow cooker at least three times a week, I dump in the ingredients for soups, homemade bone broth, and chunky stews. 99% of slow cooker meals just involve dumping all the ingredients in the pot, turning it on and coming back 12 hours later. It really is that simple, and you’ll always have enough for at least four servings.
Make more of everything.
It really is the simplest way to meal prep, and yet a lot of people don’t seem to think about it. Every time I cook I make WAY more than two portions, box the rest up for later in the week. Buy bigger packs of meat, extra veggies, bulk out chillis and soups with beans and lentils. Even if I make a simple salsa for a chilli one night, I make extra to have with steak and salad another night, or to eat as a snack when I’m peckish. I’ll cook a whole pack of sausages in the morning for breakfast, and use the rest in salads or ready to go for breakfast the next day. Make life easier on yourself by reducing the time you spend cooking.
Invest in some good cookbooks.
Sure, you don’t need them, there’s plenty of recipes available online, but sometimes having physical cookbooks just makes life easier. A lot of them are ordered by ingredient too (ie, fish dishes together, chicken dishes together, veggie dishes together) which makes it easier if you’re trying to use some of the same ingredients throughout the week. Some of them even have ready done meal plans in them, so you have even less work to do. I love The Roasting Tin for easy one dish dinners, Deliciously Ella Everyday for quick lunch ideas, Ottolenghi Simple for easy salads and veggie dishes to bulk make on a Sunday, and the Whole 30 Cookbook for it’s great meal plans.
Invest in good tupperware.
Meal prepping inevitably means a fridge stocked with tupperware and containers of all shapes and sizes. We love the Ikea glass containers, they come in every possible size, can be chucked in the oven, freezer or microwave and wash really well. We also keep things like pickle jars, they’re always handy for leftover sauces, salsa, salads etc.
Are you a meal prepper?