When life gets hectic, and you find yourself trying to fit in half a million things into an impossibly small window of time, it becomes a real struggle to prepare healthy and nutritious meals without having to sacrifice other things. A shortcut for many is a quick trip to a fast food joint, and we all know how unhealthy that can be! So here’s a meal prep guide that will last you a fortnight, cutting down on nightly meal preparation time, leaving your schedule free for everything else.
Here we go! Start by getting together a selection of fresh fruits and vegetables from Peaches, enough for everyone you will be cooking for over the next 3 or 4 days. Some produce will last longer, like potatoes, onions, and carrots, so you can be confident in getting enough of these for the whole fortnight. Refrigerator regulars like tomatoes, apples, capsicum, cucumber and other “salad veg” will comfortably give you a couple of days in the fridge.
You can make meals quicker and easier every night by planning what you’ll be cooking a few days ahead and doing the hard work early. For example, if you know that Saturday night you’ll be making a stir fry, cutting up the veggies for that can be done at the same time as preparing a couple of chunky pieces of potato, carrot and pumpkin for a Sunday roast.
And for simple lunches that take no effort at all, cook a little extra at night and chuck the leftovers in a container for leftover lunches – yum!
As for meat, fresh is best but buying bulk is not the end of the world – any extra uncooked meat that won’t be used straight away can be put in the freezer so it is available to be defrosted and used another time (this saves a last-minute trip back to the shops for more).
|Monday||-Buy and store veggies so they last (see above)-Dice up carrot, celery, capsicum, zucchini-Slice up the same amount of each into matchsticks (store)
-Get 1kg Beef Mince
—use 500gm tonight
—use 500gm Wednesday (freeze)
|Spaghetti Bolognaise||Refrigerate matchstick veg for Tuesday’s meal|
|Tuesday||-500gm chicken breast – sliced-Get out matchstick veg||Stirfry|
|Wednesday||-Defrost 500gm beef mince from Monday night-Spices, seasoning, diced onion-Boil and mash potato||Rissoles||Great for kids to help make, and tasty for everyone too!|
|Thursday||-Grab some fresh steaks-And more fresh veggies-12 med-lge red potatoes – cut into wedges/chips||Steak and Home-made chips|
|Friday||-Frozen Seafood from Peaches à defrost and season-cut up veggies for steaming – enough for 2 nights||Grilled Fish and Steamed Veg||Store cut veg in fridge|
|Saturday||-Use prepped veg from Friday-Take 1kg of Chicken breast and dice. (500gm tonight, 500gm Tuesday)-Peanut butter and coconut milk
-While it cooks, cut up some potatoes, pumpkin, onion and carrot, bag up with olive oil and rosemary, and refrigerate
|Satay Chicken and veg||Always a leftover favourite|
|Sunday||-Mt Barker chicken (available at Peaches)-Use veg prepared yesterday||Roast Chicken||Any leftovers can be divided into serves in sandwich bags, and used for sandwiches through the week|
|Monday||-Shopping day à veggies, turkey mince, burger buns||Turkey Burgers|
|Tuesday||-Defrost chicken pieces from Saturday night-Rice, stock, diced veg||Chicken Risotto|
|Wednesday||-Grate up zucchini, cheese, potato, carrot – enough for 2 nights||Veg and cheese Fritters|
|Thursday||-More fresh veggies, sausages (whatever you prefer), recover leftover grated veg from last night, potatoes||Sausages, mash and coleslaw||Leftover snags: perfect for lunches the next day|
|Friday||-Flour, salt, egg, milk, butter||Savoury crepes, your choice of filling|
|Saturday||-Fish fillets, bread crumbs, potatoes||Homemade fish and chips||Aussie favourite|
|Sunday||-Premium mince, onion, bread crumbs, steamed veg||Meat Loaf and veg|
As you can see, it’s possible to prep ahead and prep smart to make the weeks easier for making good quality food quickly. So come into Peaches and get around this meal prep plan, or modify if for your own tastes.