Meal prepping may look quick & easy from afar, but after several years of kitchen messes and soggy leftovers, I realized that meal prepping on Instagram is A LOT different than meal prepping in REALITY. To solve all my meal prep woes, I made a list of tips and tricks to make meal prep easy! For REAL. And just in time for back to school season! Although things look a lot different this year, Sunday meal prep makes the rest of the week just that much easier.
Here we go:
PROBLEM # 1: THE WRONG STORAGE
PROBLEM SOLVED: Meal prepping definitely doesn’t require fancy tupperware and matching lids, by any means. But, be prepared that tin foil and parchment paper may not solve all your meal prep woes. I like keeping a bunch of different sized containers and mason jars handy for every possible meal prep scenario that might pop up! Mason jars are perfect for on-the-go smoothies (like this Energizing Blueberry Smoothie), salads, homemade nut butters, iced coffee, etc.
PROBLEM # 2: SOGGY EVERYTHING!
PROBLEM SOLVED: Have you ever eaten salad leftovers from Sweetgreen? Then you know greens and veggies are the first to get soggy when drenched in vinaigrette. Always store condiments and dressings in their own mini containers. Drizzle when ready, and keep all your greens and veggies fresh for good.
PROBLEM # 3: NO TIME
PROBLEM SOLVED: Multi-tasking. Don’t know her. Introducing, MULTI-COOKING. All jokes aside, multi-cooking (aka cooking multiple items at a time) can save you when you don’t want to spend your whole day in the kitchen. For example, roast multiple veggies at once. Throw everything onto two sheet pans and stick ‘em in the oven. Voila! Roasted veggies for days!
PROBLEM # 4: SAME MEAL, DIFFERENT DAY
PROBLEM SOLVED: I’m not gonna lie. It’s super simple to meal prep grilled chicken and roasted veggies on repeat. And don’t get me wrong. That hits the spot! But on days, when you want to spice things up, there are plenty of ways to make new things with the same ingredients. Instead of just roasting veggies, take those veggies and toss them into the blender to whip up a quick soup (my faves are roasted mushroom, carrot, or red pepper soup). Finding recipes that are multipurpose are the best way to meal prep creatively!
PROBLEM # 5: ANYTHING BUT BASIC
PROBLEM SOLVED: I am a seasoning and condiments gal! I love different spices and rubs. It spices up life! But when meal prepping, everything tastes the same, right? Think again! Apply the basics when cooking (salt & pepper, baby!), but when dividing into tupperware for the week, add different seasoning to taste. I like to try to think of each day of the week as a different cuisine. Taco night, asian fusion, Italian, etc. Chicken fajitas for taco night gets a sprinkle of cumin, cilantro, and diced onions. Asian fusion: a drizzle of sesame oil, soy sauce, sesame seeds, and scallions. Italian: garlic powder, basil, and roasted tomatoes. I’m drooling already! The possibilities are endless when you have fun spices and seasonings on hand.
PROBLEM # 6: KITCHEN FRENZY
PROBLEM SOLVED: I’m a bit of a tornado in the kitchen. I make messes in multiple spots and by the time I’m done meal prepping, I have one REALLY BIG mess. I’ve learned to keep my chopping and prepping to 1-2 spots max in the kitchen. Pick your “messy” spots and use resources from your pantry to minimize the mess. Cutting boards, Rachael Ray’s famous “garbage bowl” for things like onion peels, eggshells, etc., and tin foil comes in handy! Then when you’re done prepping, you only have to clean 1 or 2 spots and most of the mess is contained. Success!
I hope these six tips & tricks solve all your meal prep problems each & every week. Check out our collection of B.T.R. Bars to meet all your snacking needs and make your meal prep that much easier!
Always remember: any time you’re cooking food to eat in the future, it’s essential to let your leftovers cool in temperature before refrigerating or freezing. Make sure you freeze the meals you’re not going to eat right away. Safety first!