Top Five Meal Hacks
Top Five Meal Hacks.
I know, I know you’re already thinking when am I meant to meal prep? Well allocating a few hours a week will save you so much time, stress, energy whilst rushing around with work, sports, school, family time, personal time, they all compete for our attention. Making it a challenge to create that coveted work-life balance while juggling multiple responsibilities we have in life.
Half the battle is acknowledging that this challenge exists; the other half is recognizing that we can do something about it. While we may not be able to manipulate our full time schedules, meal preparation is something we can influence in ways that directly benefit a crucial element of life—our time.
Here are my Top Five Meal Hacks to reduce your time in the kitchen.
Containerize. Investing in reusable containers is critical to meal-prep success. Insert mason jars above! Having a variety of sizes to accommodate different meals and side dishes. Choose easily packed containers preferably made from glass not plastic (such as an all-in-one option) that allows you to pack lunches and snacks for work and/or school.
Menu Plan. I find myself here every week, meal planning time! To make your grocery trip more efficient and more inspiring go prepared. Create your meal plan and if you have kids encourage them to provide input and suggestions (keeping in mind healthy options). Planning ahead for dinners (and even lunches) automatically results in the creation of more than half the grocery list. This way, you go to the store with a solid plan. This also helps the budget as well by avoiding needless or random purchases that ultimately go to waste.
*Top Tip- Find out when fresh produce is delivered to your chosen grocery store.
Pre-cook grains and chop veg. Once you know your weekly menu, you will know which grains and fresh veg you need. Instead of waiting until that dinner is scheduled, precook the grains earlier in the week and chop the veg putting them all into containers and store in the fridge for easy access. Grains such as quinoa, brown rice, couscous are good to reheat and also great cold for salads.
Freeze. The freezer is your friend! Just as you can leverage leftovers turning dinner into next day’s lunch, you can make large pots of homemade chili, soups and curries that freeze beautifully and allow you to stockpile meals for busier weeks and colder winter days.
One-pot Meals. I love my slow cooker especially when I am super busy with work. Coming home to a meal already prepared and sometimes at the right temperature ready to go is just so convenient. If you prepare veggies ahead of time, you can add these to the slow cooker with your choice of protein or vegetable broth and let it cook throughout the day (usually on a low setting). You will come home to a hot and ready meal. The clean-up is minimal and the leftovers are fantastic.
Here’s one of my favourite slow cooker recipes from one of my previous blog posts.
Mealtimes shouldn’t be stressful and hours spent preparing and then 15 minutes eating. Saving time meal prepping will give you more time to spend with family, walking the dogs, enjoying the things you want to do at home. Utilise these five meal hacks tips and enjoy more free time! x