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Meal prep 101: Weekly batch cooking & tips for success

Meal prep is a crucial piece of the cooking puzzle. You can have the best roundup of recipes and a fridge full of wholesome ingredients, but it can often go to waste without taking the step to meal prep. 

One of the best ways to get into a routine of prepping meals is to prioritize setting aside a day each week (or at regular intervals). You know your schedule best, so pick a day that’s best for you. For example, if you do grocery shopping on Saturdays —perhaps batch cooking is best on Sundays. Or, you may want to schedule your “cooking day” for the same day as your local farmers’ market.

Think: 90 minutes, once a week

If you work efficiently, a 90-minute block of time, one day per week, can make a huge difference in how much time and preparation you need to do for the rest of the week. In that time, you can simultaneously:

  • Simmer a pot of beans or a soup

  • Clean, slice, and store some produce

  • Make a sauce, dip, or dressing

  • Make a batch of rice or other grain

Batch cooking: Mise en Place – 5 Steps

Here’s a five-step plan that will make your batch cooking and meal prep as efficient and smooth as possible:

  1. Clean and sanitize your work surfaces.

  2. Ensure you have all the equipment you need including pots, cutting boards, knives, storage containers, etc.

  3. Gather all the ingredients you need, separated in different batches. For example, group your cleaned raw vegetables in one pile; put grains, pot, and water together; and the ingredients and containers for dressing together.

  4. Understand the order in which you will prepare your batches. For example, the beans and grains have relatively long cooking times, but the active time to prepare these base recipes takes just a few minutes. They can be prepared first, and then left to simmer while you chop your vegetables for the week.

  5. Have some idea of how you will stretch your ingredients throughout the week. How will you use your beans and grains throughout the week in different ways?

Note: Don’t have time to finish eating your base ingredients during the week? Store extra beans and grains in airtight, sealed containers and freeze them. They’ll last up to six months in the freezer, and they can be quickly thawed for lightning-fast meals!

Why is meal prep important?

First, meal prep will help you stay on track with your health goals. By having healthy food ready to go, you’ll be more likely to eat it rather than packaged, processed, and less healthy options. Spending time with your food will also help you refine your cooking skills and reduce any stress during the week from having to plan meals every day. 

Plus, meal prep will help you save money, eat more of the food that you buy, and reduce food waste, which is an alarmingly huge problem. 

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Tags: Cooking Tips Learn To Cook Meal Prep Plant Based Cooking
Leave a Comment

Shari I. ( 15d ) – I agree. I always have rice, noodles , chopped onions, chopped celery, chopped carrots ready . It makes cooking much more convenient. The ingredients are there ready to cook with .

Swich C. ( 9d ) – We agree – it definitely makes cooking more convenient. Are you currently meal prepping? What are your favorite recipes? :)