Meal prep is a phrase often used when people are about to begin a healthy lifestyle regimen or even embark on a “diet”. But meal prepping does not just need to be used for those purposes. Even in this slowed down climate as so many people are living through a pandemic and spending more time at home, life can seem busier than ever. Multiple family members in the home all at the same time for hours on end working, attending school remotely, connecting with family and friends over the screens can fill up the days more than ever and finding the time to get meals ready each day, sometimes three times a day, can be overwhelming. Whether it is meals for one or meals for a family of four, setting aside time to get meals prepped and ready to use at any given time during the week can remove an enormous amount of stress and may even actually bring a sense of joy and calm to cooking.
Diego Ruiz Duran believes that effective meal prepping is not as hard as it can seem and just having the right tools and ingredients at your fingertips will make it very simple. First, the tools! Tools include both the utensils to have handy as well as the containers to store the meals in. It is important to have some good cutting knives that can be used to cut and dice vegetables as well as a very sharp knife that will easily slice meats like chicken, steak or even fish. Containers will need to vary in size and possibly even material (like plastic or glass) depending on what will be stored in them, but either way many will be needed.
One of the most important things to do before even starting the meal prepping process is deciding on the types of meals to prep for the week. Dinners tend to be the meals most prepped, particularly for Diego Ruiz Duran, but once meals are decided upon, it is helpful to write down for each day what meals need to be prepped, build an ingredient list that will ultimately create the shopping list required to fill in what might not be already in the house or currently in the refrigerator. Once all of the meals are decided upon and all of the ingredients have been secured, now it’s time to really prep the meals.
Start by prepping by laying out all of the ingredients. If breakfast is the meal to prepare first, measure out what would be enough for one meal and then multiply it by the number of days that meal will be eaten. Do the same for lunch and the same for dinner if those are the chosen meals to prep.
Prepare and/or cook all the meals, store them in sealed containers, and then when it’s time to eat, simply pull the meal(s) from the refrigerator and cook as needed.