I had a busy work week coming up that I knew would result in late nights and not much time in the middle of the day so I decided to use it as an opportunity to try out meal prepping. Meal prepping, if you haven’t heard of it, is when you prepare all your meals for the week (or any given time) in advance. The most obvious advantage is that you have a weeks worth of tasty food all ready to go! Other benefits of food prepping include being able to control portion size easily and effectively, less cooking time is required as you are cooking everything at once in a big batch. Batch cooking can often be easier on your budget too, bulk ingredients are usually cheaper and because you are cooking thing up in one go you won’t need to worry about things going off.
Meal prepping is similar to going for a hike in the Scottish mountains- with the right equipment it can be stress-free and rewarding, without the right equipment prepare to be miserable (and probably eaten alive by midges). You do need to prepare your ingredients and supplies and ensure you have some space in your kitchen and fridge for not just the actual cooking but for the storage of your meals too.
The most important equipment to have ready before starting cooking is to have containers ready to decant the cooked food into. You can choose plastic tub, glass mason jar, even plastic resealable bags can work. If you want to commit to meal prepping invest in a set of same sized containers. Glass is stackable, easily cleaned and also environmentally friendly, the downsides of using glass containers are that the container can break if you are not careful with them and they can be a bit heavier than plastic. If you live close to restaurant wholesaler you may want to check out what they have for takeaway food containers. Now that you have your tubs sorted, make sure you have cleared out space in your fridge for them to go once they are filled with tasty food!
Before starting to cook, prepare your kitchen like you are on a cooking tv show. Clear off surfaces of unnecessary items, lay out all the ingredients, prepare any necessary equipment and of course have your storage boxes on standby. Taking 10 minutes or so to prepare your space will make it a much more positive experience than if you have to scrabble around for all the different elements mid-cook.