When Meal Prepping, Cook More Vegetables Than You Think You Need

Prepping ingredients and planning meals is a life hack guaranteed to reduce time spent in the kitchen and help you create healthy meal options with ease. Portioning out pasta and cooking chicken to pack away in containers can set you up for delicious, quick snacks and meals, particularly during hectic weeks. 

Though cooks new to the world of meal prep may commit mistakes such as failing to diversify menu options or skipping out on seasoning, there's another overlooked element in the art of advanced culinary prep: vegetables. While spur-of-the-moment recipes may call for an exact amount of fresh vegetables to add to the broth simmering on your stove, washing, slicing, and storing more than you think you need can have payoffs in terms of meal planning, snacking, and eating on the go. Having ready-to-eat extra vegetables on hand to quickly serve for meals or dish out during snack time can help you eat more healthfully and toss in extra nutrition when extra fresh flavor is needed. 

Set your kitchen up for culinary success

With vegetables already washed and stored, reaching for packaged produce becomes more of a tempting option after opening the door to your fridge. Carrots, cabbage, broccoli, and other veggies with less water content can remain fresh for up to a week in the fridge after chopping, while more fragile produce like tomatoes and zucchini can still last several days after being washed, chopped, and stored.

Whether you roast seasoned root vegetables to store in containers or chop fresh bell peppers to have on hand to easily add to crunchy summer salads, preparing extra vegetables can save time and money throughout the week. Get into the habit, and it can also keep you and your family eating well on the days your schedule has you feeling stretched thin. With healthy eating made more convenient, you may find your veggie intake increasing, too, and fewer produce items turning rotten in the bottom storage drawer of your fridge.