The Best Way To Approach Your Ingredients For Successful Meal Prep

Planning meals and preparing ingredients in advance can help you save time during the week and put together delicious dishes with ease. While batch cooking can lead to one large meal cooked and stored for later, the point of meal prep is to have a variety of flavors and tastes ready to choose from, making meals and snacks easier to serve. Yet, even something as organized as writing up menus in advance and storing containers of food can leave room for meal prep mistakes.

Whether slicing vegetables in bulk, cooking proteins to store for later use, or making pasta to have on hand to add quickly to meals, the way in which you prepare and store your ingredients can have a significant impact on the taste and texture of your foods. When cooking in advance, consider the time frame in which you plan on serving and eating your meals. 

While some meal preppers prefer to put complete meals together in one container to eliminate guesswork and cut down on cooking time during busy weeknights and hectic lunch hours, you may also want to consider keeping individual items separate, offering you the culinary creativity and flexibility to build meals and vary the presentations of dishes throughout the week. 

A methodical approach to menus

With proteins, vegetables, and grains stored in different containers, you can pick and choose from different components when mealtime comes around. Add ingredients to new recipes, or choose to combine produce from different containers to create new tastes. Having the option to build unique, fresh meals can eliminate any potential feelings of boredom and can keep you thinking of ways to make delicious meals using the ingredients you have prepared in advance.

Try placing separate dishes of produce, condiments, and rice or pasta in individual food containers, then reach for each separate container to assemble your meals. Having airtight bowls of fruits and vegetables at the ready can help flavor dishes, and storing freshly washed herbs to include in recipes can keep palates perked and interested throughout the week. 

Since ingredients will have different shelf lives once kept in the fridge, label each one with an expiration date to help you keep track of freshness, and enjoy the variety of meals you are able to assemble from your well-thought-out efforts.