Last week I got you all thinking about meal planning. So you are all set to go! But how else can we all be a bit more, dare I say, organised, with our food in order to get the most out of our precious time?
The answer is food prep! We don’t want to have to spend more time in the kitchen than we have to, especially on a week day when you have had a tiring day at work and all you want is some good grub on the table. This weeks ‘5 Top Tips on a Tuesday’ involves some handy advice in order to get the most out of your time in the kitchen – getting ‘food prep’ done efficiently as part of your weekly routine.
Keep it simple
I mentioned this last week with regards to meal planning but it really does deserve a second mention. Do what you know you can actually achieve with your prep – will simply taking 10 mins out to spiral a heap of vegetables ready to whip up your lunches for the week help you out? You bet. Will spending 4 hours in the kitchen on a Sunday afternoon, when you have lots of other things you would rather be doing, help? Probably not and you would soon resent it.
Figure out exactly what you need to do rather than think you should do within the time you have. If you prep a whole lettuce and store it in the fridge will you and your family eat the whole thing in a few days? But if you spend your time making a batch of home made granola or snack bars will that keep your family going for quick grab and go breakfasts throughout the week – is that not a better use of your time? As mentioned above, one or two things will make all the difference but get overwhelmed and you will end up with a lot of waste and one frustrated chef!
Focus on the simple ‘bulkers’
‘Bulkers’ are the simple foods that you can make a batch of and eat at several meals – the real food prep star! Cook a whole chicken, joint of beef, ground meat or other protein and eat within a variety of meals ranging from curries and salads to tacos and stir fries. If meat isn’t your thing soak and cook up a batch of lentils or beans and have them ready to use when you need them. I also cook up a big batch of white rice at the beginning of the week – very handy to add to leftovers to bulk up a lunch for David!
Tupperware (or equivalent) is your friend! Make sure all foods are completely cooled before storing in the fridge and if you are ever unsure as to whether or not you will eat something before it turns just pop it in the freezer and its ready waiting for you when you need it.
I use my senses when it comes to knowing whether or not something is still ok to eat – trust your sense of smell and taste, it will hardly ever steer you wrong
Make it fun!
You may not believe me but food prep can be so much fun if you let it be! Invite the family in, give everyone a task and all contribute to your food for the week. Pop on some music and have a dance whilst doing it, even a cheeky glass of wine. You never know, there may be a budding chef inside of you ready to be let out if you let it! And if not, well at least you know when you are in your car driving home from work at 5pm there is part of, if not all, of your dinner ready there waiting for you.
Missed any of my ‘5 Top Tips on a Tuesday’? Check out the header above for a link to them all!
Do you like to food prep?
Do you whip up a couple of things or get stuck in?
Favourite ‘bulker’ to prep?