Food Prep 101
What is stoping you from food prepping for the week? Time? Don’t know how to cook? Don’t have time to learn how to cook? If you said yes to any of the previous questions, here is a crash course on food prepping to get you going.
Things you need
- Oven and/or stove
- Frying pan(s), cookie sheet(s), a knife, and a cutting board
- Plastic containers
- About an hour and ten minutes
- Honorable mention – plastic or metal mixing bowl, aluminum foil, microwave
Step 1 – Plan your meals
First off, what are your planning for? Are you prepping dinner for two nights? Or are you planning three meals a day for four days? This will determine how much food you need to buy. Second, what do you like to eat? Don’t buy anything you don’t like. Start with proteins like fish, chicken, pork, or beef. Then move on to vegetables like broccoli, carrots, spinach, peppers, green beans, asparagus, potatoes, etc. Stick to what you know like before you start to experiment with fancy, intimidating things, like parsnips and turnips, or swiss chard. Then organize them into meals such as chicken and asparagus, or steak, green beans, and sweet potatoes. After week one, this will get easier because you will know exactly what to buy and how much of it.
**look to add in some nuts and avocados when possible and fruit as well.
Step 2 – Prep your food
Get everything ready to go. Cleaned, cut, sliced, and diced. This may take the longest at first. If you’re not handy with a knife, take your time, and each week you will get better. Dump all the scraps right into the garbage as you go. You always want to make sure you keep your prep area clean! This keep things organized and will make cleaning up at the end much easier.
**although often more expensive, most grocery stores sell things such as bagged vegetables that are already cut and washed and even microwavable right in the bag. This can save a lot of time and prep if that is your major concern.
Step 2.5 – Season everything
This one is simple – Sea salt, pepper, olive oil. Toss it around in a bowl. Done.
**any other herb(s) you like
Step 3 – Cook time
The oven is your best friend. 400 degrees for about 20-30 minutes will cook just about anything. Seriously, you almost can’t go wrong. Potatoes take longer (40-60), and fish usually less (14-16). While your food is cooking in the oven, clean up your mess. Try and buy everything dishwasher safe so you can just throw it all in together. Also remember to line all your baking sheets with aluminum foil to make cleaning them a breeze.
**Sautéing in a frying pan is also a great option for things like ground beef, caramelized onions, or steaming leafy greens. However it only creates more dishes.
***A microwave should only be used to re-heat your delicious home cooked meals.
Step 4 – Place into plastic containers
Put each meal into it’s own microwave safe container. In the morning, just grab and go, and re-heat when ready. The only issue you could run into here is refrigeration…if your workplace provides an employee fridge, don’t forget to label your containers. If not, L.L. Bean makes some of the best lunch bags around, and all you have do is stock with ice packs and keep it under your desk.
Step 5 – Save money, get healthy, make gains.
Save money, get healthy, make gains. There’s nothing else to say about that.
If you have any questions, please feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org