It sounds great in theory but does anyone else have a tough time sticking to meal prep and planning for the week? It’s something we want to master this year. We hope to never throw out another bag of wilted spinach again! HELLO to saving time, money and energy in the kitchen! We have put together a few tips to help you start meal planning and saving too.
- Sit Down and Plan
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither was anyone’s perfect week of meals! The first step in optimizing your weekly meals is designating some time for planning. It may seem like you're too busy to actually pencil this into your schedule but trust us, it will be worth it! Figure out what you’ll need to put together and prep your meals and when you plan to consume them. Let’s face it, cooking can be quite a drag! We found that meal planning actually helped enhance the experience and had us enjoying our time in the kitchen. Making space for versatility helped here, for example you could pre-make a batch of spicy tuna. Add 'spicy tuna' but leave it up to you to decide on the day whether you want to have this on a piece of fresh sourdough bread or combined with a salad or pasta. Flexibility is the key to success here so try to establish this in the planning stage too! Having pre-made food we knew we could play around with and have in different ways helped us stay excited about meals and not feel too restricted.
- Batch Cook
There are various ways to go about batch cooking, we recommend first deciding which works for you! You can batch cook grains like rice, quinoa or oats for example and then top them with whatever you plan to have that day. Having pre-cooked oats in the fridge makes for a very quick breakfast when topped with milk or yoghurt berries, chia seeds or fruit. You can use plain rice or quinoa as the base for a quick and nutritious buddha bowl topped with fresh veggies, a source of protein and garnishing. You could also batch cook a sheet of roasted veg which are versatile enough to add to any dish, sandwich or to snack on solo. You can also batch cook your favorite dishes at the start of the week and have them throughout the week. Here’s a dish we’ve tried recently that works great for batch cooking!
- Get Creative
There are no rules! If you’re anything like us, you might get a little bit intimidated when it comes to preparing meals sans recipe but trust us, you got this! Stepping into the kitchen and taking charge of your weekly meals is a great opportunity to explore your culinary talents. Instead of sticking to standard dressings for example, try something new. Combine some of your favourite flavours, including a bit of tang, sweetness and fat to create some emulsion. Here’s an example of a salad dressing we created this week, using a unique blend of ingredients that made for the perfect dressing for our office salad!
- Shop Smart
We recommend figuring out where you will get the bulk of your groceries from ahead of time. Have a think about where you can source the best produce and whether you might have access to any farm delivery services. Jot down where you like to get your dry goods from, keeping your eye out for reputable brands and good deals! Once you find the smoothest way to get the food to your kitchen, you’ve already saved some time and hopefully money too and the fun can begin!
- Enjoy Going Rogue on Occasion!
Do you ever get too hungry to even think about what’s for dinner and end up ordering take-out that you later regret? One of the perks of being on top of your weekly meal schedule, is that you get to enjoy your time out of the kitchen to its fullest! This means allowing yourself to make time to enjoy culinary delights- guilt free! Trust us, it just hits different when you don’t have fresh produce in the fridge that needs to be consumed!
We hope you enjoy taking charge of your meal planning as much as we have these past couple of weeks! Let us know how you get on @pricklypearme !