Meal prep days can seem pretty daunting if you are just starting out. When I prep my meals I am prepping enough for my work week. I am prepping for two meals a day ( lunch and dinner ) for 5 days. ( ten meals ). If you are just starting out I recommended starting out small. Start by prepping two days of meals, then three, then four.. and so on. Starting small is a good way to learn how to put together a menu and manage your time in the kitchen. Once you master prepping for a few days, you can move on to prepping more meals at a time without much more hassle.
The more you prep, the more efficient you will be in the kitchen. One of the best ways to stay organized and on task when meal prepping is to create a timeline. Before you even start cooking take a look at your menu and your ingredients. Figure out what is going to take you the longest and make sure to start that project first. Creating timelines and how to properly season food is probably one of the most simple, yet important things I learned in culinary school.
If I were to create a timeline for my latest meal prep video. It would look kind of like this:
- Put spaghetti squash and sweet potatoes in the oven.
- Make meatballs and cook
- season and bake chicken
- season and bake salmon
- prep Turnips, rutabagas, and parsnips and place in oven ( these vegetables will take the longest so you want to get these in the oven first ).
- prep green beans ( super quick so you can get them out of the way. They will be done by the time you finish prepping the next thing. )
- Prep brussel sprouts and parsnips and roast.
- prep cauliflower and peppers and and roast.
You won't always have to write out a timeline, but I highly recommend doing it when you start out. Pretty soon you will be able to recognize where you need to start and know each step without having to write it out. At this point I can create a timeline in my head and go from there.
You will also start to learn more efficient ways of cooking. You might have noticed I don't use my stove top much. Using the oven is a lot easier when you are cooking in larger quantities. If I can throw it in the oven and let it cook it is much more hands off and allows me to use that time to prep something else.
If you are struggling with feeling bored with your food and are looking for more variety, try to pick at least 3 different types of proteins and vegetable choices each week. At some point you might have to be okay with a little repetition, but even just slightly changing things up can help a little. Trying out a new recipe every couple of weeks or so can also help.
Don't let meal prep intimidate you. I promise it gets easier the more you do it. The key is staying organized and consistent. Don't be afraid to start small, make mistakes, try something new, or ask questions. Keep in mind your goals. Hard work pays off!
Don't forget to check out the latest meal prep video! Happy Prep Day!