We all know the feeling of coming home after a long, hard day and being in no mood to cook an elaborate dinner. All you want to do is sit on the couch, put your feet up and relax.
This is where meal prep comes in handy. Preparing your upcoming meals in advance can save you a good chunk of time and money through the week. Not to mention it’s a lot healthier than resorting to takeaway foods.
Some like to prep meals on Sunday and store them in individual containers in the fridge for lunches and dinners during the week, while others create big batches of recipes and freeze them for later. Do what works for you!
We asked Amazonia’s Head Dietitian, Tara Kaff, to share her favourite meal prep hacks.
1. Invest in reusable glass containers
Trust me, you’ll need them. Just because your plastic containers claim to be BPA-free, that doesn’t mean they’re completely safe. Plastic degrades over time, release chemicals into your food. Unlike plastic, glass is impermeable, non-porous and can handle the heat of your microwave, oven and dishwasher as well as the cold of your freezer. Not to mention it’s 100% recyclable and long-lasting!
2. Make a checklist
Write down everything you need for your week of meals before checking your pantry and fridge to see what you already have on hand. From there, create a shopping list of what you need. This will ensure you don’t end up wandering around the supermarket and spending money on things you don’t actually need.
3. Focus on food groups
Ensure your meal prep includes a healthy balance of whole grains, lean proteins, healthy fats, fruits and vegetables. Prepare a big tray of roast veggies and batch cook grains like quinoa or brown rice to use in different recipes through the week.
4. Mix up your recipes each week
Life is too short to eat the same food over and over again! Get creative and try new recipes each week. Just make sure they’re not too complicated, otherwise, you’ll just be making more work for yourself.
5. Find what works for you
Meal prepping is different for everyone! When you’re starting out, try different approaches to see what you like. You don’t even have to cook all meals ahead of time: you could just prep meal components, such as a big batch of vegetables, protein or grains.
6. Love your leftovers
If you struggle to find the time to meal prep, why not just double or even triple your dinner recipe? That way, you have enough for lunch or dinner on the following days. You could also pop the leftover portions in the freezer for another time.
Breakfast Meal Prep Ideas
- Smoothie packs
- Tofu scramble
- Chia pudding
- Breakfast burrito
- Overnight oats
- Mini breakfast quiches
- Apple, rhubarb & acai loaf
- BBQ jackfruit & couscous bowl
- Quinoa roast vegetable salad
- Ginger tofu stirfry with brown rice
- Vegan ‘tuna’ pasta
- Mexican burrito bowl
- Mediterranean chickpea salad
- Falafel wraps
Dinner Meal Prep Ideas
- Vegetable pasta bake
- Chickpea jackfruit curry
- Moroccan chickpea stew
- Jackfruit poke bowl
- Asian tofu noodle stir fry
- Red lentil dahl with rice
Ready in as little as 5 minutes, Amazonia Tender Jack is the perfect plant-based meat alternative to add to your meal prep rotation! It is sustainably sourced, high in fibre and low in calories. Shop Tender Jack now.