And how you can enjoy delicious, meaty meals without too much effort during the week!
Have you ever scrolled through your Instagram feed to see colourful and perfectly organised meals, ready to go? Beautifully plated boxes, loaded with a mix of food items, usually found under the hashtag #mealprep, these are sure to have popped up in your feed from time to time.
Inspiring, right? But also a little overwhelming to do, perhaps?
It’s not as hard as you think. Meal prep allows you to take charge of your weekly eating, helps in portion control and allows you to budget better through the week! Sure, you needn’t put together the perfect looking meal box, but meal prepping allows you to save up on cooking time. Who doesn’t want to come back home after a long workday to a delicious, pre-prepared but homecooked meal?
Let’s give you a brief on the wondrous world of meal preparation. Once you get down to it, you’re sure to be one of those people who talk about it like it’s the simplest thing in the world!
What is meal prep?
Meal preparation is the process of dedicating a certain amount of time (usually at the beginning of the week) to prepare dishes for the week ahead. This is usually done in two ways:
- Batch Cooking:
Preparing full meals and storing it in containers, ready to be eaten over the week
- Prepping ingredients:
For eg: making a quick curry base or pre-marinating your meats to help cut down on the cooking time later on
You can choose to pick the kind of method that suits you best!
Why meal prep?
The number one reason people meal prep is to save time. Shopping for and prepping your dishes during the week equals less hectic mealtimes during working weekdays. A tasty meal ready within minutes after a long day at work? It’s a win!
Other reasons include:
- Easy to eat healthier: Whatever your goals may be–whether it is to consume more proteins or to eat bigger portions of food–setting the menu in advance allows the process to be easier!
- Make food you actually enjoy eating: meal prep allows you to cook dishes you enjoy vs cooking a poor meal in a hurry
- Smarter grocer shopping: being able to plan out exactly what you need for the week helps to cut down on the grocery items bought and makes your meals cheaper, overall!
- Minimise eating out: One isn’t aware of what exactly goes into your food while eating out. Meal preps allow you to take control of what goes into your body. Additionally, you save money on not ordering out as often!
How to meal prep?
Decide on what exactly you want to achieve via meal prep (and what your struggles are)
What is it that you want to be more in control of when it comes to your eating habits? Do you want to include more meat into your diet? Marinate your meat in batches. Want to have larger breakfasts? Focus on prepping make-ahead eggs or oats for breakfast.
This includes choosing which meal you want to prep for (breakfast/lunch/dinner) and how much you want to prep. It’s recommended that you prep for two-three days before attempting to do it for all the weekdays.
Decide on your meals, mix and match
Decide on whether you want to cook in batches or if you only want to prep the ingredients and set up a menu for the same.
Cook in batches: make recipes that will be easy to make in big batches (such as pulav, upma, a large batch of noodles).
Prep the ingredients: i.e. chop up your vegetables, make a simple curry base, clean and cut your meats so that the overall cooking time for the week will be reduced.
Ordering your meat from Licious allows you to save up time while preparing your meat. Order from a range of cut, cleaned meats & seafood that you can use straight from the pack! Whether it’s different cuts of chicken to be used in your curries or boneless cubes of bhetki to be pan-fried, we have them all.
After deciding what your menu for those days should be, make a grocery list and shop for exactly what you would need. If you need reusable, microwavable, airtight containers, buy those too!
Prep and store
Now, all you need to do is to get down to it! Clean your containers, get your chopping board and cooking pan, your favourite tunes, and get down to it!
How long would meal prep-ed foods last?
This depends on the quantity of food you are making. Most dishes will last between 2-5 days when placed in the fridge. The best way to keep your fresh through the week is to seal it in airtight containers.
What makes a good meal prep recipe?
If you’re looking at only partially prepping your dishes and finishing it on the day of consumption, here is what you should look out for in a recipe:
- Can be partially made in advance ( for eg: egg fried rice, meaty salads, delicious teriyaki chicken)
- Keeps well in the fridge
- Re-heats well
Do I have to similar meals throughout the week?
No, you don’t need to. This is where the method of simply keeping the ingredients prepared (chopped, ground, cut etc.) come into play. Mix and match your ingredients to make a variety of meals!
Pro-tip: you could have the same base ingredient used throughout your meal days. For example, pre-cook and store chicken and cook it in different ways during the week!
Let us know about your journey with meal preparation in the comments below!