One of the major aspects of being a responsible adult includes being able to prep healthy meals during the workweek.
Big-batch meal prepping lets you enjoy a dinner staple, like roasted chicken or turkey on a workday without the hassle of cooking. Cook your favourite meals in bulk and repurpose them throughout the week to take the pressure off cooking and save time. Big-batch meal planning is the key to stress-free weeknight dinners.
Meal prepping for a whole week might seem daunting at first - planning dinners, cooking multiple meals, portioning everything and storing all the containers in your fridge can reasonably feel overwhelming. However, it is easy to get the hang of it with practice and with time, it gets easier and simpler, as you enjoy the benefits of your endeavours.
The benefits of batch cooking
Batch cooking allows you to have a cooked homemade dinner instantly available whenever you need it.
It is cheaper and healthier to have your own cooked meals on hand than going for store-bought ready meals when you are short on time.
Homemade meals are far more flavoursome than frozen meals sold in stores as you are in control of everything you add to the dish.
You can adjust your meals to suit your dietary requirements, such as gluten and lactose intolerance.
It helps avoid the excessive consumption of salt, sugars and other unhealthy preservatives and additives.
Big Batch Meal Prep Ideas
To keep both your taste buds and stomach happy, try the healthy bean salad. You can also use canned beans, but if you have enough spare time on the weekend, cook a big batch of dried beans. They are not only cheaper than canned beans but also healthier. Add fish or steak with it, toss it in a mess of hearty greens and serve it with some brown rice. You can even repurpose the remains by adding them in a soup or stew.
Try topping it with chicken or fish:
Oven roasted vegetables are an easy and delicious way to get a serving of greens in your diet. Simply follow the colour rule when it comes to picking which vegetables will go on the roasting pan, since the more varied the colours, the more types of nutrients will be on your plate. The added benefit is that they can complement your main protein source–like roasted chicken.
For a base for lunch bowls, cook some brown rice or another grain or seed of choice like quinoa or couscous. Brown rice is another nutritious grain that you can add to your weekly meal prep menu. It has all of the vitamins and nutrients that white rice doesn’t have after it’s bleaching process. Grain bowls are a blank canvas for anything you might have on hand, like roasted meats and vegetables or beans.
Pair off your grain-based dishes with:
One of the biggest meal-prep hacks is to make dressings, sauces, and condiments that keep similar food items interesting throughout the week. Adding different sauces or pickles to a dish can change up the whole taste of the meal. Plus, it is easy to make your own condiments and dressings in between meal prepping. Just whip up a batch of all-purpose vinaigrette or Caesar dressing for salads or try the following recipes for flavoursome ways to spice up your meal at the end of the week.
Homemade soup is made with simple ingredients including veggies, meat, water and broth and is incredibly tasty. While you’re at it, you can even make a double batch of soup, enough to get you through the week ahead plus more to put away in the freezer for later. Soup also makes for the perfect meal on a chilly evening. To switch up between classic comfort foods, try our selection of 10 healthy twists.
Frozen pizzas have rapidly gained ground, with most supermarkets now offering a varied range of toppings and styles of crusts. Frozen pizzas are available with meat, seafood, cheese and veggie toppings. However, making your own homemade frozen pizzas from scratch is the way to go, if you want to enjoy your preferred toppings in the way you want and with your favourite kind of crust.
If you’re a fan of curries, you will most likely enjoy this Tandoori Pizza Recipe