Better meal prep

Prepped food can get nasty. When I first started meal prepping, most of my meals were not-so-fresh by the time I got around to eating them. Let’s face it – three day old dried up chicken and broccoli isn’t appealing…to anyone.

Now I do meal prepping differently.

Step 1: Pre-bag the meat. When my meat comes home in trays (I buy bulk), I separate it out into double portions. So two chicken thighs per bag, two steaks per bag, and so on. Then I freeze everything.

Step 2: Thaw and cook meat as required. Every night I take the meat were going to eat from the freezer, so it thaws overnight. If my husband isn’t going to have the same thing, that just means I’m going to eat the same type of meat two days running. No biggie. Then I cook it. I avoid sauces and instead focus on herbs, spices and seasonings.

Step 3: Prepare two days worth of carbs. So I cook a few serves of rice, couscous or whatever. Two days old still feels fresh, and it’s a small enough amount that I know it’ll get eaten and nothing will be wasted.

Step 4: Prepare 1-2 days worth of veggies or salad, but no more than that. Once again, this is about freshness. Prepping can include washing and chopping vegetables, building a salad, or just making some cucumber sticks for a snack.

Step 5: Assemble! Now all I have to do for each meal is put a serve of meat, veggies and carbs on my plate, and heat. Everything is fresh, tastes better than if it’s been sitting in the fridge for days, and there’s minimal waste.

Prepped meal: buffalo chicken with asparagus. This took me 3 minutes in the microwave for the asparagus, and a couple of minutes to heat up the chicken. Quick and easy.

You could argue that what I’m doing isn’t “real” food prep. But meal prep doesn’t have to mean a week at a time’s worth of meals.

My version of meal prep is precisely what it sounds like: prepping my meals to make them faster, healthier and easy to portion-control.

Another prepped meal: steak, rice and broccoli. I cooked the steak (200g sirloin) while the pre-chopped broccoli was cooking in the microwave. Then I just heated a cup of pre-cooked rice. My correctly portioned dinner was ready in five minutes flat.

Cooking this way makes it easier to keep track of my portions, it’s faster and I’m eating healthier as a result. With little to no waste, as I’m only prepping a couple of days at a time.

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