Ahhh meal prep. The two words that mean I've managed to get my shit together and be prepared for the week. The two words that equally calm me and fill me with dread. The two words that mean a few hours spent in the kitchen, for a week of organisation.
Meal prep is an art. Not only does there have to be some element of knowing what you're doing for the week, but there's also taking the time out of your weekend to actually DO the cooking.
Meal prepping for me started as a way to save money when I began working and living out of home. The additional health benefits were a huge draw. And if I'm honest, knowing that I have some level of control over my week fits right in with my type A personality.
But how do I even start?
For those meal prep newbies, I'd suggest starting small. Make overnight oats for breakfast, start bringing home made snacks. I'm currently obsessed with bringing multi coloured carrots a hummus in my Joseph Joseph container which allows me to easily separate the veg from the dip. Yes, I'm well aware that this is technically for soup, and that's low key why I bought it. But multi functional right?
I meal prep every week, and I'll be the first to admit that I get stumped for ideas. I love trawling Instagram, recipe books, anything really, for ideas. My current favourites are The Food Medic and Jessica Sepel for ideas. They're both super healthy, easy and can be relatively cheap depending on how you do your shopping.
There's a few key things that I keep in mind, no matter what I'm meal prepping:
Make 2x different meals, varying the veg, carbs and protein. It's deathly boring having the same thing every day for a week.
If you're making something with elements that can go a bit soggy- like a salad- put the wetter ingredients in the BOTTOM of the container, and the ingredients you want to be dryer, at the top.
Separate any garnishes, like nuts and dressings, or even cheese.
Make what you like. There's no point creating great meals that you see on the gram if they have elements in them that you're not going to enjoy.
Meal prep takes time and practise. Be kind to yourself. It doesn't work for everyone immediately, so be nice.
My current favourite meal prep: Cauliflower tabouleh with spiced chicken
1/2 head cauliflower
1/3 red onion
1/4 cup salted roasted peanuts
1/4 cup quinoa
1tsp mustard powder
Salt and pepper to taste
- Prepare and cook the quinoa
- While cooking, grate the cauliflower into a large bowl.
- Chop the veggies into small pieces
- Mix the veg, cauli and quinoa together
- Season with lemon, mustard powder, parsley, salt and pepper.
- Top with peanuts
1-2 diced chicken breasts
1/2 tsp sumac
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp all spice
Salt and Pepper to taste
- Place chicken and spices in a bowl with olive oil and toss to lightly coat the chicken
- Leave to sit in the fridge for min 1.5hrs
- Bake in oven at 180deg until cooked through
- Once cooled, add to the tabouleh mixture