Let’s face it. Time is something we all are a bit strapped for these days and if there’s any way we can speed up a task so we can gain a little time back most of us would be on board. Well today, I’m here to share with you a few of my meal prep hacks that I’ve discovered to save not only time but sanity when trying to get healthy meals on the table on those busy weeknights.
- Choose recipes that utilize one ingredient a few times. Add two recipes with asparagus to your meal plan or butternut squash or chicken breasts or quinoa. That way when you prep or cook that ingredient for one recipe you can prep or cook it for the next. If I am peeling and dicing butternut squash for one recipe it’s not much harder to do it for two. If I am cooking chicken breasts for one recipe why not cook extra for a second. If I’m cooking quinoa for one recipe why not do extra for two… you get the idea! With a little planning and strategy, you can shave off a bit of time and save on stress in the process.
- Invest in a rice cooker. It doesn’t have to be an expensive one but I am telling you it’s a life-changing tool. I literally cook all of my grains in my rice cooker and all I have to do is put them in with the liquid, press a button and forget about it until I am ready to eat. The rice cooker even keeps it warm until you’re ready. I can’t tell you how many times dinner is waiting on the rice to finish or how many times I have burnt my grains. Hop on amazon and order one now!
- Buy prechopped veggies. If it’s in your budget you can totally cut corners and save time with pre-chopped veggies! When it comes to health I always say progress over perfection so don’t feel guilt in taking shortcuts when you have to if it means you’ll stay on track!
- Pay attention to recipes and their prep methods. If I am pan-roasting some chicken and butternut squash for dinner with quinoa in the rice cooker I will prep my quinoa kale salad while I am waiting on everything to roast. I’m cooking enough quinoa for two recipes and I might as well do something productive while my dinner cooks. And since everything is in the oven my stovetop is completely free! I make sure to take full advantage of getting as much as I can accomplished during dinner prep time.
- Order your groceries online. As much as I love grocery shopping even I have resorted to ordering my groceries online occasionally to save me an hour of time that can be devoted to cooking. So if you’re in a pinch there’s no shame in your game. OH and AHP software integrates with Instacart for easy shopping + delivery 😉
So there ya have it, my tips to speed up the prep and cooking process so you can get delish and healthy meals on the table on the regular! I hope this helps and let me just when I start with simple recipes from A Healthy Passion and add in these hacks, healthy cooking on busy weeknights becomes totally doable!