Updated: Aug 20
Meal prep can seem like such a time-consuming, overwhelming chore. I'm here to help you understand that it doesn't have to be. Among so many things that I like to do to minimize prep and cook time (and stress!), here are 3 non-intimidating things you can do to meal prep in 15 minutes.
It probably seems like all I can talk about is meal prep. And there's a reason! I started meal prepping back when I started university, working different jobs, and having so many other things on the go. It was the only way I could stay on budget and free up my time for other important things.
So, I'm sharing a few ways that I like to meal prep that isn't intimidating and only take a few minutes to do whenever you have the time. Because who wants to spend hours prepping and cooking your meals??
#1: Wash or cut up the vegetables/fruit
For those evenings when you expect to be very busy and cooking a whole meal seems impossible with everything on your to-do list, meal prepping will help you. and before you roll your eyes, by meal prepping, sometimes all I mean is taking the 5 extra minutes you have in your day to prepare something easy so you can minimize the time you need to cook a meal.
So, one of the easiest things that I like to do to prepare for a meal coming up is just cut up the vegetables for a supper coming up, whether that be the night before or the morning of. It may just take 5 minutes off the prep time when you do cook the meal. And to some people, those 5 minutes mean a lot.
So for example, if you're having pasta with red peppers and onions, dice and cut them up the night before, the morning of, or a few days before. Just store them in the fridge and take them out when you start cooking. So much easier!
#2: Make marinades, sauces, or seasonings
Whatever you plan on cooking, if it's going to be good, you'll likely be using seasonings, sauces, or marinades for it. If you plan on having a salad, make the dressing ahead of time. If you plan on having a chicken fajitas, season the chicken with taco seasoning before cooking. Or if you're having a stir-fry, make the sauce ahead of time.
It seems so easy to do, but even making whatever will add flavour to your dish will minimize the time and effort needed to actually cook the meal. Making a sauce can literally take less than 2 minutes. You can do it!
#3: Marinate your protein
Whether you're eating animal protein or plant protein, it always tastes better when it's marinated in a sauce or seasoning.
You can prepare this by either preparing the seasoning or sauce on the weekend or the evening before and then marinating the protein in the fridge overnight/throughout the day before you'll be cooking it.
Then, just grab it out of the fridge and go straight to cooking. So easy!
I hope these tips help you have a bit more understanding of how easy meal prep can be. It doesn't have to be a 4-hour weekly session and can be a helpful tool. The key is to find what works for you and make it consistent.
If you want more of a guide on meal prepping - including a full guide on how to meal prep throughout the week with some of my favourite meal-prepping recipes - get my guide here!