Meal prepping hacks to save you time
Meal prepping does not always have to mean sacrificing your entire weekend slaving away over the stove!
Simple things like buying staple ingredients, utilising kitchen appliances and freezing batches of food can make meal times less stressful, and even allow a little bit more time in the evenings to squeeze in a quick walk or 20-minute home workout.
Top tips on how you can help carve out time for physical activity:
Focus on staple ingredients
Checking that your pantry is stocked with basic ingredients can help take the stress away from meal prepping. Common recipes that you can fall back on will often use grains or meat for a base, to which a variety of vegetables can be added along with herbs and spices for flavour. To make sure you’ve got enough staples to make an easy meal, stock your pantry and fridge with these items:
- grains like pasta, rice, couscous, quinoa or another grain you prefer
- canned vegetables like diced tomatoes, corn kernels or beetroot
- canned chickpeas, beans or lentils
- fresh or frozen vegetables like carrot, peas, zucchini, broccoli and capsicum
- lean meats (these can be bought in bulk and stored in the freezer!) or plant-based protein if you prefer, like tofu or beans
- your favourite herbs and spices.
Use appliances to your advantage
It is surprising how much time you can save by using common kitchen appliances to help save cooking and washing up time.
- sandwich press: fry eggs, sear fish or fry veggies
- slow cooker: set and forget! Throw ingredients in the morning and let your meal cook itself
- blender: use to fast-track pasta sauces or soups
- microwave: steam vegetables, rice, fish or re-heat meals in no time at all
Bulk cook where you can
If you have got a bit of extra time, double or triple a recipe and freeze it in batches. This can help with carving out a bit more time for a walk or quick workout at home. Examples of dishes that are easy to double and great for freezing:
- pasta sauces
- tray bakes (like lasagne)
- soups (try our chicken and corn soup!).
Chicken and corn soup
- 2 cans (400g each) creamed corn
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 2 whole shallots
- 1 chicken thigh per person (or you can simply use left-over roast chicken, or buy a BBQ chicken from the supermarket)
- 4 eggs separated (optional)
- Soy sauce (or tamari for gluten free option)
- Into a large saucepan, empty the creamed corn and stock and bring to a boil on high heat.
- Slice the chicken into small strips and add to the hot liquid.
- Turn the pot down to medium heat.
- Slice the white part of the spring onion finely and add to the pot.
- Let the soup simmer until chicken is cooked through, approximately 10 minutes.
- To make the egg ribbons, separate the egg whites from the yolks. Slowly drizzle the egg whites into the soup in long ribbons (don’t just clump them in all at once). Don’t mix yet. Leave the egg whites to cook until you see them starting to turn white. Take a spoon and gently stir the soup in a figure 8 motion to break up some of the cooked egg whites.
- Add all the yolks at once and quickly stir the soup straight away. The yolks will thicken the soup. Keep stirring to disperse the yolks so they do not clump together.
- Taste the soup and if you feel it needs more salt, add a dash of soy sauce.
- Garnish with finely sliced green section of the shallot.
Last updated: September 15, 2021 at: 8:26 am