Meal Prep - What Does it Mean to You?

Published by: Meredith Viguers | Published on: 19 Feb, 2018
Meal Prep - What Does it Mean to You?

Meal prepping means so many different things to different families. From just trying to simplify your life to trying to keep your macros in line...meal prep has become a necessity to avoid the fast food rat race. Here are a few tips to keep it simple and cost effective.

1 - Planning your meal prep time ahead is critical. If you don’t schedule the time to prep your meals each week it will never happen. Give yourself enough time so that you can relax and enjoy (or at least not stress) the process.

2 - Don’t let the grocery store beat you. Make sure that you know what meals you plan to cook for the week and make an ingredient list. If you are going to the store yourself, I recommend making your shopping list by section of the store as it generally speeds up the process. However, with all the options available for grocery pick-up and delivery, you could save quite a bit of time (and money) by just ordering online.
3 - Know what works and what doesn’t. Proteins including turkey and chicken will hold up and re-heat best (especially dark meat), while fish is probably not the best reheat option. Pasta is not great, potatoes are much better. If you’re pre-portioning your meals to reheat, vegetables are best included raw or frozen so that the first cook is when you’re “reheating” your meal.     
4 - Sauces and Salsas are your friend. Tomato and Broth based sauces reheat incredibly well and offer a great way to LOAD your dish full of vegetables. (Especially if you have a Nutribullet or something similar.) My kids have no idea how much they love fresh spinach, carrots, mushrooms and bell peppers until they’ve been inconspicuously added to a tomato-based pasta sauce. Making some fresh salsa is as easy as throwing tomatoes, jalapeños, cilantro, onion, lime juice and salt in a food processor. Who needs to dice and chop? Let the machine do the work and then enjoy on any of your favorite proteins or starches.

5 - Think about now and later...especially if you have a smaller household to feed. Cooking a whole turkey can be done overnight while you sleep...literally 5 minutes of effort and 10-12 hours of low and slow heat will give you a perfectly juicy turkey that you can immediately use for a great dinner with some roasted sweet potatoes and fresh veggies...but then you use the additional meat for turkey salad sandwiches and a soup with beans and frozen vegetables to be reheated at a later time.
Ultimately making sure that you have a few quick options made ahead of time will make it so much easier to drive past the drive through.

Written by Meredith Viguers, owner of Let Us Do the Cooking.  She started this small business in her garage in 2006 and has seen it grow to become Central Texas premier catering company.  Let Us Do The Cooking was recognized as the Small Business of the year by the Greater Killeen Chamber of Commerce in 2012.