Do you dream of recreating the colourful, well-organised containers full of delicious foods that flood your Instagram feed but don’t know where to start?
Preparing meals in bulk can be overwhelming to begin with but with the cost of groceries rising, meal prepping is a habit that can help you save in the long run.
So, to help you succeed, we spoke with meal prep queen Katie Lolas and found out her top tips for mastering the process so you can get cooking!
1. Start Slow
Meal prep is supposed to make your life easier, not overwhelm you. Remember you don’t need to prep everything. Pinpoint your meal-time struggles and start there. Then, when deciding what to make, stick to recipes that don’t require over-the-top cooking techniques or ingredients you have to go out of your way to purchase - I’m currently loving recipes that use the AirFry function in my Westinghouse oven (WVEP617DSC) like my Tahini Maple Chickpeas with Roast Veg.
2. Plan, prep and portion
Planning, preparing and portioning your meals ahead of time is one of the most effective ways to keep your food and budget in check. The same goes for your grocery shop. Instead of aimlessly walking down the aisles, write a list based on what you already have at home and choose recipes that can use these ingredients - this will stop you buying items you don’t need.
3. Lock in time to cook and stick to it
Just like other commitments in your week, schedule time into your diary to cook. Once you’ve committed to a time, you’re more likely to make it happen and make it a routine. If you’re new to meal prepping, set yourself a time limit and once that time is up, walk away from the kitchen. If that means you only prepare one recipe, that’s still one meal you have covered that week. Eventually, you’ll become more efficient in the kitchen within your allocated time frame.
4. Stay organised in the kitchen
Staying organised as you meal prep will make the whole process easier. I always start cooking with whatever takes the longest and have a few things going at once. This has become so much easier since installing my cooktop - I can have three pots/pans cooking at once and I don’t have to be worried about space. I also say a clean space is a productive space, wipe down benches as you cook and if you are waiting for something to finish in the oven, take the time to do the dishes.
5. Cook lots and store it correctly
Want your fridge to look perfectly organised like your favourite celebrities? It’s possible! Meal prep in bulk and make the most of the storage space you’ve got. My Westinghouse fridge (WBE4500SC) and freezer is my best friend when it comes to meal prep - I have so much room and can easily keep my meals organised. I recommend using air-tight containers. And, if you’re storing in the freezer, mark each with a sharpie so you know what meal is what.