Making the actual cooking of your meals easier is the best way to avoid many of the mistakes that are made when people try to plan their meals ahead of time.
Make use of easy cooking methods
Whether it’s one-pan oven meals, quick and easy meals on the grill, or my personal favorite, the slow cooker, easy cooking methods make cooking less laborious. Using the oven and the slow cooker might result in longer cooking times, but you don’t have to watch over them or stir. Just set a timer, and when it goes off, dinner is ready. Many grilled dishes take a bit more attention, but they are often done very quickly. Fill out the form below for three of my go-to easy recipes!
Pre-prep what you can
Mornings are often a rush. Even if you plan on making a fairly simple slow cooker dish, chopping up veggies can take time. Do some of that preparing ahead of time. Chop up those veggies and put them in containers or labeled baggies so when the time comes to use them you just have to dump them in. This is also a strategy I use whenever I buy grapes to make sure they get eaten before they turn into raisins. Buy washing them and removing the stems right away, whenever I need a snack, I can just grab a handful and they’re ready to eat. There are many recipes you can find for “freezer meals” where you do all the prep but the cooking, and then freeze the food. The day you want to eat that meal, take it out of the freezer in the morning and put it in the fridge to thaw. Then, that evening, all you have to do is cook. Many of these are even set up for slow cooker meals as well.
Make bigger batches
It can be tough to carve out a big chunk of time to prepare your food, but if you do, then the process of making those meals during the week becomes significantly easier. Take the time to prepare all your lunches for the week, so that during the week it’s just grab-n-go. If you are going to make a marinade, quadruple the recipe, and store the rest in a bottle in the fridge. Next time you make that meal, you already have the marinade made, and can just pour it on to whatever meat or veggies you are making. If you are making a soup or stew, again, double the recipe, and then freeze half of it for a couple weeks later. Multiplying a recipe takes very little extra time now, but will save you a ton of time in the future!
Be sure when freezing things to label what it is and date it! Hopefully these tips will help you stay on course to reaching your goals!
For more tips on making cooking easier, check out my Ultimate Guide to Meal Prep.