Beginner-friendly, Easy and Simple Meal Prepping Tips
Meal prepping is not intimidating as many people may assume. In fact, it is very easy and simple. Meal prepping is just a fancy way of basically cooking for yourself ahead of time and then portioning them out to be eaten later on.
This habit is not just for the Super fit people. In fact, it is for everybody because cooking for yourself means you are fully in control of what you put into your body. It can also save you a lot of time.
By spending three to four hours cooking your meals in advance, you make your time more efficient because those routines need to be repeated only once or twice a week.
It can also help you to lose weight and keep you on a healthy eating track with all your meals prepped in advance. You have no reason to stop and grab unhealthy meals.
Plus, no more forgotten vegetables sitting in your fridge for weeks. Let's talk about the five simple steps to get you started!
1. Take baby steps
You do not have to prep all your meals. Start with one single meal, for instance. You can choose to prep your lunch to take it up with you.
It is best to start with single recipe meals instead of making meals that require two to three recipes.
Make a one-pot dish that contains protein, carbs, and vegetables. Plus, start with recipes that you already know so you will be more confidence in what you're cooking.
2. Know your ingredients and cooking methods
When it comes to meal prepping and wanting your meals to keep well for at least up to four days, choose ingredients that will not produce much liquid when cooked and can be capped and reheated without losing much of their texture.
Suitable vegetables include carrot, broccoli, pumpkin, potatoes, bell pepper, cherry tomatoes, cauliflower, such as lettuce or spinach, basically foods that will not produce too much liquid after cooking, and can be kept for days.
Most protein are suitable such as chicken, beef, fish, egg, tofu, beans, etc. Fully cook them and avoid consuming medium rare or raw protein. Keeping them dry will be the best option as you can simply toss them onto salad and take them out with you.
|In meal prepping grains, try rice, pasta or couscous. Photo: Shutterstock|
For grains, try rice, pasta or couscous. The key to making them last long is to store them separately from any sauce, and only reheated the portion you want to eat at that time and add a splash of water to avoid them being too dry.
Apples, pears or bananas are your best bet, you can keep them for a long time and they can be eaten whole. Fruits such as grapes and berries can also be added into your meal prep, but be sure to chill them in the fridge.
3. Write a plan.
Ask yourself how often. Do you want to cook and how many meals in a day? So take a look at your schedule and work with what is realistic for you.
|Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran.|
It is just about making this your priority. Another important tip is to think of your meals in three parts; protein carbs and also vegetables. And remember, keep it simple. You do not need to have too many varieties, it is more efficient to repeat your ingredients.
Write a shopping list when grocery shopping. When you have a grocery list, it will help you to stay on track and only buy ingredients you need and avoid unnecessary temptations or buying junk.
4. Get cooking
Always begin with preparing the ingredients, like chopping garlic, your vegetables, washing them. Or marinate your meat.
|Photo: Hanoi Grapevine|
Start up with food that require the longest cooking time, followed by the easier meals. For instance, the first dish you should cook is dinner, which will take the longest time to cook because of the ingredients like meat or fish.
While cooking dinner, you can start prepping salad that has no cooking required, so it is all just about assembling and putting the ingredients together.
While you prep yoủ snack and you cooked dinner is cooling down, go ahead and prep breakfast. The more you meal prep, the quicker and more efficient you will become at it.
5. Storing and reheating your meals
Generally all dishes can be stored in the fridge for up to four days. If you plan to store them for more than four days, then it is best to freeze your meals. When it comes to freezing.
Some foods can be freezed better than others.
Cooking meals tend to freeze well in airtight containers. Foods with high moisture content, such as salad greens, tomatoes or zucchinis, are not recommended as they tend to become mushy when frozen.
Consume high liquid ingredients within four days. Also, using plastic containers is not recommended.
|Photo: Getty Images|
Please share your tips and tricks for meal prepping in the comments below. Remember, there is no one correct method as this differs based on your food preferences, cooking ability schedules, and your personal goals.
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