It’s absurd to think that one of the hardest parts of adulthood is planning what you’ll eat every single week. Who knew picking out food would be so hard? But when meal prepping entered the scene, suddenly meal planning became easier. Or did it?
Simply put, meal preparation is a way of simplifying traditional meal planning by cutting down on the time it takes to cook a meal. Unfortunately, this handy way of planning and preparing meals often gets stale. Thankfully, Redditors have come to the rescue with some helpful tips and tricks on how to keep meal prep fresh and fun.
1. Take Advantage Of Your Freezer
Several Redditors touched on the woes of dish burnout. They said they often get sick of eating the same thing all week.
Instead, of the five container method that all contain the same thing, many suggest preparing larger meals and freezing portions of them for later. After a while, you’ll have a variety of meals to choose from in the freezer.
Several members recommended chili, soup, lasagna, enchiladas and casserole-type dishes as freezer-friendly. Additionally, they proposed freezing burritos, wraps, meatballs and wontons, as they’re simple to remake when you’re running low.
2. Choose the Main Ingredient Wisely
Many Redditors agree that meal prepping means choosing a main ingredient for your meals at the beginning of each week. They explain that this central ingredient usually takes the most time to prepare; often, it would be a protein such as pork shoulder or turkey breast.
Once you prepare your central ingredient, it serves as the meal base and can be used in more than one way. So don’t feel like you have to eat the same meal all week. Switch it up using that main ingredient!
3. Prepare Elements Of Dishes Instead
One Redditor shared that they simplify the meal prepping process by preparing elements of dishes rather than the entire meal itself. For example, when making a grain bowl, they make the sauce and herb dressing in advance and prepare the grains, salad and pickles beforehand as well. However, when it comes to the braised meat, they cook it on the day they intend to consume it.
4. Take Some Time To Prepare Ingredients
Meal prep doesn’t only include ready-to-go meals neatly stacked in your refrigerator. Meal prep also means spending a little more time in the evening to make future meals easier.
For example, when you go grocery shopping and buy some vegetables, don’t immediately put then in the refrigerator. Instead, quickly chop them up for tomorrow’s meal while dinner is cooking. You can also choose to make additional grains when preparing a recipe, as they can be the cornerstone of any great meal.
5. Don’t Prep Meals, Prep for Meals
Lastly, don’t prep meals; prep for meals.
You’ll need to create a seamless weekly meal plan. First, choose a cultural theme, like Tex-Mex. Then, spend Sunday evening preparing ingredients that fit that theme. For instance, you can cook up slow-cooked shredded beef, grilled chicken, pickled red onions, various vegetables, rice and beans for the Tex-Mex theme.
Once the ingredients are prepared, all you need to do throughout the week is assemble them into various meals of your choice, such as burritos, chili or enchiladas.