Meal Prep: Clever pre-cooking made easy
If you want to eat healthily, meal prep is a must. Pre-cooking and takeaway meals (meal prepping) is also very much in vogue. There is plenty of inspiration on the internet: From bento boxes that resemble small works of art to entire weekly plans for pre-cooking meals. In today's blog post, we'll show you how to become a meal prep expert in three steps.Table of contents:
- Food trend: Why is meal prep so popular?
- Step 1: The basics
- Step 2: The planning
- Step 3: The preparation
Food trend: Why is meal prep so popular
Bland canteen food or boring bread rolls from the bakery: fewer and fewer people are in the mood for boring one-size-fits-all meals during their lunch break. Vegans in particular are familiar with the problem, as the choice of delicious lunch options is usually limited. Cooking for yourself is therefore the motto. It's usually cheaper and has the advantage that you can tailor your meals to your taste and dietary habits. Vegan, gluten-free, low-calorie, low-carb, paleo - no problem. Meal Prep allows you to keep an eye on all nutrients. That's why it's so popular with athletes and health-conscious people in particular.
Step 1: The basics
Buying the ingredients and preparing the meals requires a little effort. However, with the right planning, this can be kept to a minimum. In addition to the food that you buy fresh every week, you should always have a few basics in the pantry. These include carbohydrate sources such as pasta, rice, bulgur or quinoa and protein sources such as pulses (e.g. lentils, chickpeas) or tofu. Tomato paste, pesto, mustard, soy sauce, coconut milk, nuts, onions, oil and spices should also be included. If you have a freezer, you can stock up on frozen vegetables and fruit. As these are already cut and easy to portion, they are perfect for meal prepping.
Step 2: The planning
Next, you need to think about what dishes you want to eat and what fresh ingredients you need. To do this, create a weekly plan including shopping list. Make sure that you can prepare different meals with the ingredients. For example, if you cook chickpeas, you can add them to your salad on Monday and try our delicious sweet potato falafel on Tuesday.
Salads, bowls and soups, as well as sandwiches and vegetable sticks are perfect for taking away. Delicious suggestions such as a summer bowl or our protein-rich cream of asparagus soup can be found in our recipes. For all those who love to eat pasta with sauce: With different types of pasta and vegetables as well as spices, you can vary this dish very well and prevent boredom on your plate or in your lunchbox. You can also find an overview in our
Step 3: The preparation
Salads and/or vegetables should make up the majority of your meal. The vegetables can be raw (e.g. peppers, tomatoes, carrots) or cooked (e.g. zucchinis, eggplants, mushrooms). Vegetables can be prepared easily and with a low calorie content in the oven. Then add a source of carbohydrates and protein as well as a tasty dressing or sauce and you have a full meal. If you find it too time-consuming to prepare a sauce or dressing, you can simply add a little oil, vinegar and tomato puree or pesto. For leaf salads, it is better to take the dressing with you in a separate container.
Dishes with fresh vegetables will keep in the fridge for around two days. Roasted or cooked vegetables can be kept for a little longer. If you are pre-cooking for more than three to four days, it is better to freeze the meals. However, we generally recommend not preparing meals too far in advance, as flavor and nutrients are lost during storage. In addition, very few people have space to store meals in the fridge for a whole week. So it's better to plan some time the evening before to prepare your meals fresh. We prove that this can be done very quickly with our layered salad.