Are you tired of spending so much time in the kitchen? Learning how to meal prep for beginners is one of the best ways to save time and money and reduce food waste.
There never seems to be enough time in the day in today’s rush and tumble world. We get up in the morning and scurry about work all day. Then when we finally get home at night, we have barely enough time to cook, clean, and get ourselves to bed for a good night’s sleep.
However, there is a way to make better use of our time. And, that’s where learning how to meal prep for beginners comes in handy.
What is Meal Prep?
So, what exactly is meal prep? Meal prepping is basically the act of preparing meals or portions of meals ahead of them. Then, you portion them out for use later in the week, making it easier to feed your family.
Learning how to meal prep for beginners gives you a head start on things in the kitchen. Additionally, it helps you regain control of your time and what you are eating.
Meal prep can be as simple as slicing and dicing vegetables for soups or salads during the week. Or, it can also be as complicated as making full meals ahead of time.
And here’s the thing, you’ve probably been prep cooking all along and never knew it. For example, if you’ve ever packed leftovers for lunch, you have already meal prepped on a simple level.
And speaking of lunch, there are even special meal prep bags that make bringing your healthy choices with you a breeze.
Benefits of meal prepping
There are a variety of benefits to learning how to meal prep. For instance, meal prep is a great way to regain control of your evenings. Who wants to spend an hour or two cooking after work? Who wants to finish cleaning up just in time for bed?
With meal prep, you can grab a meal out of the fridge, and you are good to go in minutes with no fuss or muss.
Additionally, you can save money by learning how to meal prep. For example, meal prep allows you to take advantage of great prices on seasonal fruits and vegetables. You can prep them ahead of time for smoothies, soups, or salads, and freeze them for later use. You can even prep entire meals.
Meal prep also makes it easier to eat healthier food. And you can lose weight a lot easier. One of the biggest threats to healthy living is coming home tired and hungry and eating a bag of chips for dinner, or ordering junk food delivery.
Once you master how to meal prep for beginners, you always have fast meals available any time of day or night.
Basic types of meal prep
There are a number of ways to meal prep. Common meal prep methods include:
How to Meal Prep for Beginners
We covered a lot of information, and you might be feeling a bit overwhelmed. Have no fear. The good news is that learning how to meal prep is as easy as one-two-three.
First, pick a day to prep your meals. Sundays are typically a great option. You don’t have to work. Additionally, the rest of the family is around to help out if you need it. However, when learning how to meal prep for beginners, it is best to set aside a couple of days instead of prepping an entire week at one time.
Second, select the meals you want to prep. Look for meals that can easily be made ahead of time. For example, recipes that call for a lot of slicing and dicing are excellent meal prep options — additionally, select meals with ingredients that freeze or refrigerate well and reheat quickly.
Third, use proper airtight containers for storing your meals. A variety of food container sets can be purchased online that are ideal for storing individual portions or mix and match ingredients. You can also purchase BPA-free sets that are large enough to store entire meals in one container.
Last but not least, have fun.
2 Simple Meal Prep Recipes to Get You Started
Our article about learning how to meal prep for beginners would not be complete without a selection of recipes to get you started.
1. Freezer-Friendly Breakfast Burritos
Our first recipe was adapted from one found on All Recipes. This breakfast favorite recipe is ideal for making in large batches.
How you make it
First, preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Then, combine the potatoes, peppers, and onions in a medium-sized bowl. Next, drizzle them 1 tablespoon of oil and 1/2 half a teaspoon of salt and toss to coat. Then, spread them evenly on a sheet pan and roast about 20 minutes until the potatoes are tender.
Second, add a tablespoon of vegetable oil to a skillet and preheat using medium-high heat. Meanwhile, using a medium-sized bowl whisk together the eggs, milk, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Then, pour the mixture into the skillet and cook for about four to five minutes until the eggs are mostly set but still moist and transfer them to a bowl.
Third, cut 12 pieces of aluminum foil slightly larger your tortillas. Next, lay one tortilla on each square and evenly distribute the cheddar cheese on top. Then add the eggs, potatoes, and salsa to each tortilla.
Fourth, tightly roll the foil around each burrito, covering it completely. Next, place the burritos in a large resealable plastic bag. Then, remove as much air as you can and seal the bag. Store in the freezer until ready to eat.
Lastly, reheat the burritos on in a skillet on the stovetop in the foil. Or, you can remove the foil and heat them in the microwave for about one to two minutes until evenly warmed.
- Feel free to substitute Monterrey jack cheese or American cheese for the cheddar.
- Optional extras include cooked bacon, cooked sausage, or sauteed mushrooms.
- These breakfast burritos can be stored for up to three months in the freezer.
2. Weekday Meal-Prep Chicken Teriyaki Stir-Fry
Our next delicious meal-prep recipe was adapted from a video posted by Tasty.
How you make it
First, add the vegetable oil to a skillet and preheat on medium-high heat. Next, add the cubed chicken, salt, and pepper and cook for about five minutes until almost done.
Second, reduce the heat to medium and add the crushed garlic, soy sauce, honey, and one tablespoon of the sesame seeds and stir until thickened.
Third, remove the chicken, leaving the sauce in the skillet. Next, add the vegetables, cover the pan, and cook for an additional three to four minutes until the veggies begin to soften. Then, remove the lid and continue stirring until the sauce is thick again.
Fourth, set out four containers and add half a cup of cooked white rice to each one. Next, evenly divide the chicken and vegetables and add them to each container. Then, sprinkle with the remaining sesame seeds and top with the sliced green onions.
- Feel free to substitute 18 to 24 ounces of beef or pork for the chicken.
- You can store this recipe in the fridge for four days or in the freezer for up to three months.
What We Learned Today
We hope you enjoyed our article discussing how to meal prep for beginners. We covered a lot of information today.
Now we want to hear from you. Using the comments section below, share your experience learning how to meal prep. Additionally, let us know and tips and tricks you learned along the way.
And until we meet again, bon appétit.
Featured Image from Pixabay