How to: meal prep - a beginners guide

Let's face it, we all live busy lives - many of us are working too many hours, are underpaid and exhausted. This often means that healthy eating goes out the window because when we finally get home after a 12 hour day, the last thing on our mind is cooking.

I get it because I too do 12 hour days so here are my top tips to get you meal prepping in a way that makes healthy cooking that little bit easier.


Why do we even need to cook?

Almost ¾ of Australians between the age of 18 and 34 are eating out or ordering a takeaway at least once per week. 

Who cares right?! Well, we are more miserable than ever, fatter than ever & less connected. So unless you're making your own sandwich at the local cafe, takeaway foods are often higher in saturated fat, salt and sugar. Plus eating out or purchasing takeaway often costs more too. 

Don't believe me? I ordered a vegan burger from Uber Eats and compared this to my Mushroom & Oat Burger recipe complete with buns, spinach and avo. See the difference below:

mushroom burger ingredients woolworths.png
 

$40.00 ($6.66/burger) at Woolworths making 6 mushroom burgers complete with wholegrain bun, avocado, spinach and tomato. 

uber eats vegan burger

$18.90/burger. Granted it does come with a few more things including pickles and chips. Overall saving you $12 per burger.

 

Six steps to meal prep:

1. Check the fridge and pantry, write a shopping list and go shopping. 

2. Rinse and wash the fresh veg and fruit as soon as you unpack so it is ready to eat. 

3. Pre-chop carrots, celery, capsicum and store in a container with a little water. The water will help to keep the vegetables nice and crisp plus you can easily store them for longer by replacing the water every few days.

4. Make a big batch of something like meatballs, bolognese or dahl, freeze it in portions or store in the fridge for up to one week.

5. For meats, portion out the meat into smaller sizes. This means you can buy in bulk, and then divide it into smaller portions for freezing.

6. Choose an afternoon, evening or morning where you can make a bit more for the nights or days you're super busy. Some people do a big meal prep on a Sunday but to be honest that doesn't work for me. Instead every second or third night I make two dinners. For example: tonight I'll cook vegetarian pasta with pesto, spinach and other greens, and while the sauce is simmering I'll start to make a dahl, cook that up, let it cool then put it in the fridge for the following evening.

Have I missed something? Let me know what works for you.

Happy prepping, 

Dietitian Bec