Meal planning has taken the world by storm — everywhere you look, you’ll find articles and guides on how to meal plan and businesses selling meal plan kits. To the inexperienced, meal the thought of meal planning can seem like an incredibly overwhelming and elusive task. From shopping to finding recipes and chopping vegetables, one may not even know where to start! Thankfully, today, we offer you 6 tasty tips for improving your meal planning, no matter how (in)experienced you may be. Ready to become a meal planning master? Read on to find out more!
1. Get Some Basic Tools
What is a workman without his tools? In order to become a master of meal prepping, you’re going to have to ensure you have some basic kitchen tools that will make your cooking just that much simpler. You don’t have to splash out on anything fancy or overpriced either — we highly recommend getting yourself a blender, food processor, some quality knives and a few frying pans and saucepans. Some other items to look into for those who already have experience meal prepping include sheet pans and roasting trays that will allow you to diversify the kinds of foods you can prepare for your weekly meals. and With these simple tools, you’ll be able to make most meals effortlessly.
2. Plan In Advance
Figuring out what you need to buy and what recipes you are going to cook up is imperative if you want a fuss-free meal prepping session. Start off by choosing the recipes you would like to recreate by simply browsing through blogs, the internet or your favourite magazines/cookbooks. Now that you have selected your meals, it’s time to make a list of ingredients you need to buy. Always cross-reference with ingredients you already have in your pantry to avoid wasting money or buying doubly the quantity. With your list in hand, your supermarket trip will be easy peasy, and you’ll be in and out of there in no time. Less time shopping, more time cooking delicious food!
3. Not Everything Has To Be Made From Scratch
Oftentimes, people expect a little too much of themselves when planning their weekly meals. We’re here to tell you that there is absolutely NO shame in not making everything from scratch. Sometimes, it may even be cheaper to buy ready-made stir fry sauce instead of buying 10 ingredients to make your own. Some great and healthy pre-made options include bakery bread, jarred pesto, nut butters and even the occasional cold cuts or rotisserie chicken. Just make sure you buy varieties that contain as little preservatives as possible!
4. Be Creative, But Not Too Creative
Most of us are creatures of habit — we like what we like and we don’t like what we don’t like. This is why we always recommend that you remain creative with your meal planning but try not to go overboard or try ingredients that you may not enjoy. After all, the last thing you want is to prepare a week’s worth of meals only to realise that they are all too spicy, salty or simply not to your taste. Work with a variety of ingredients that you know you enjoy, and try new things in small implements instead of going all out!
5. Choose Ingredients That Store Well
Stir-fries, stews and chilis are all dishes that we know stay good in the fridge for up to a week and can even taste better the longer they sit. Souffles and coconut-based dishes? Not so much. When choosing your recipes, it is important that you ensure you use ingredients that won’t go off by Wednesday or turn slimy and unappetising by Friday. If you need to add ingredients such as Avocado to your dishes, we highly recommend leaving them out of the meal prep and only topping your meals at the time of serving. This will avoid your food going brown, tasting weird or generally just looking incredibly unappetising.
6. Invest in Food Containers
No meal prep is complete without the perfect containers and storage boxes. If meal prepping is something that you plan on doing on a regular basis, we highly recommend purchasing glass food containers that can be heated up in the microwave or oven without having to worry about melting plastic or BPA leaks. Glass is also a much sturdier, eco-friendly option compared to reusable plastics or worse, single-use plastic containers. Don’t ruin your perfect meal with the imperfect storage box!
And there you have it — everything you need to become Australia’s #1 meal prep maestro! With a little organisation, creativity and planning ahead, you’ll find that meal prepping is actually an enjoyable way to spend your Sunday evenings listening to music, drinking a glass of wine and cooking up some delicious meals for the week ahead!