Most of us strive to eat healthy and clean, but it’s easy to get sidetracked when you’re not prepared. That’s where meal prepping comes in. All the shopping, prepping, and cooking is done on the weekend so that weekday meals come together in a matter of minutes. Imagine reaching into your fridge and grabbing a nutritious breakfast or lunch that’s ready to eat. It’s that simple when you meal prep. We’ve put together 10 of the best meal prepping tips to get you started on a fridge full of incredibly healthy and delicious meals.
1. Make a meal plan.
Whether you use pen and paper or a handy meal planning app, it’s time to look through all your favorite meal planning sites and make a list of recipes for the week. Try grouping recipes by overlapping ingredients. If a dinner recipe calls for chicken, choose a lunch recipe that also uses chicken. Need cauliflower rice for your curry? Double the recipe and use it for fried cauliflower rice later in the week.
2. Make a detailed shopping list.
You’ve already chosen your recipes for the week, now it’s time to write a detailed shopping list based on those recipes. Write down specific amounts that you’ll need so you won’t have to make multiple trips to the store. Check your pantry to see what you’ve already got on hand before shopping. Once at the store, stick to your list. You’ll be less likely to impulse buy the foods you’re trying to avoid.
3. Get chopping.
Wash, chop and prep all of your veggies for the week and store them in sealed containers in the fridge. We find it easiest to group chopped veggies by recipe and store them in separate containers, so when it comes time to cook, it’s as simple as grabbing a container and getting to work. Don’t forget to cut extra veggies for snacking throughout the week! We love the GoodCook 5” Fine Edge Santoku Knife for chopping, slicing and dicing. If you need a smaller knife, the GoodCook Touch Ceramic Paring Knife works wonders on peeling apples and mincing shallots. For super thin potatoes or julienned carrots, the GoodCook Nonslip Handheld Mandolin Slicer is a perfect choice. Cut soft fruits and veggies like strawberries, avocados and tomatoes right before eating.
4. Season, season, season.
Don’t be shy when it comes to adding flavor. Use spices and fresh herbs to make flavorful dry rubs, marinades and sauces that will up the yum factor of your food. We love the PROfreshionals Herb Mincer for quickly chopping a bunch of fresh herbs. Extra herbs can be mixed with olive oil or butter and frozen in GoodCook Stackable Prep and Freeze Silicone Cube Trays for later use. Toss them into soups, stews and stir fries for a delicious flavor boost.
5. Cook foods all at once.
Make the most of your oven space by cooking all of your vegetables and proteins at once. Cook chicken breasts, bake potatoes and roast veggies all at once to save time. You’ll be amazed at how much you can cook in under an hour. GoodCook makes bakeware with a nonstick surface and sturdy base, perfect for this purpose. The GoodCook AirPerfect Nonstick 13×9” Quarter Sheet Pan is just the right size for sheet pan meals and roasting vegetables, and we love the GoodCook Nonstick Extra Large Roast Pan With Rack for cooking chicken, turkey, beef and pork as well as an extra-large batch of veggies.
6. Invest in the right containers.
It’s essential to have proper food storage containers for meal prepping. Start with colorful Good Cook Melamine Bowl Set For Kitchen Storage With 6 Nesting Mixing Bowls And Lids. These bowls are great for kitchen prep as well as food storage. A big part of meal prep is portion control, and the GoodCook line of meal prep containers is perfect for portioning and storing your food in containers that are just the right size for breakfast, lunch or dinner. They come in 3 sizes: the GoodCook 1 Compartment Rectangular Meal Prep Container, the GoodCook 2 Compartment Rectangular Meal Prep Container, and the GoodCook 3 compartment Round Meal Prep Container. Pack lunch on-the-go with the GoodCook Square Meals Set With Ice Pack and store snacks in a GoodCook Food Storage 9 Piece Lunch Set. It’s always a good idea to have varying shapes and sizes of containers around for all your meal prep needs.
7. Muffin-sized portions.
Don’t overlook your muffin tin for more than just baked goods. Make individual portions of frittatas and meatloaf in your muffin tin for on-the-go meals and freeze extras in a resealable freezer bag. GoodCook makes three sizes of muffin tins, and we use them all. Choose from the GoodCook 12 Cup Muffin Pan, the GoodCook 24 Cup Mini Muffin Pan, and the GoodCook 6 Cup Jumbo Muffin Pan.
8. Batch cook.
Doubling or tripling a recipe allows you to eat throughout the week or freeze portions. That also goes for sauces and marinades, which freeze well for later use. The GoodCook Nonstick Extra Large Roast Pan With Rack is roomy enough for roasting multiple batches of vegetables at once or cooking two whole chickens.
9. Gather all your kitchen appliances.
Why not use all the help you can get when you meal prep? Round up everything from your slow cooker to your GoodCook Classic Dutch Oven to your waffle maker and put them to work for you. That way you can have multiple ways to roast, cook, heat and simmer.
10. Pre-cook meals.
These are the meals that you won’t have time to re-heat. Think breakfast and lunch. Grab a frittata as you head out the door in the morning or pack a slice of quick bread for lunch. This is what we consider the healthy convenience food that beats fast food any day. With GoodCook, it’s easy to cook and bake up these handy treats. We use the GoodCook 12 Cup Muffin Pan all the time, and the GoodCook AirPerfect Nonstick Loaf Pan is another favorite.