My meal prep guide to save time and cut food waste | Melissa Hemsley
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My Meal Prep Guide

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My Meal Prep Guide To Save Time & Cut Food Waste

Meal prep is often a lot easier than you think. It brings so much ease to cooking in my home, and helps me reduce my food waste and save cash too.

It’s something I like to do at the start of each week or on a Sunday (or whenever I have a moment really) to save me time throughout the week. It doesn’t have to be a big fuss. Think of it more as an investment. It will mean less mess and washing up in the week and more time to enjoy yourself.

Batch-cooking
I absolutely love batch-cooking so I always have a hot meal on hand in the fridge or freezer when I’m strapped for time. Double or triple your soups, stews, curries or whatever one-pot meal you’re cooking, then divide up leftover portions into containers and label and date them so you don’t forget what’s in them. If you don’t have a saucepan that’s big enough, you can divide your ingredients between two medium pans

Here are some of my favourite batch-cooked freezer meals to make ahead.

Building blocks
I also love having building blocks of bases ready to go so I can pull together a delicious dinner or packed lunch in a hurry.

Usually, for me, meal prep is weather dependent. So if it’s cold I’ll make tonnes of soup or take advantage of having the oven on and roast loads of veg and make banana bread to use up really ripe bananas. Or if it’s a warmer day, it can be as simple as peeling, rinsing and chopping veg, cooking some quinoa and mixing up a dressing. It’s a simple secret to always having things ready to go for picnics or meals on the move.

My new cookbook EAT GREEN is stuffed with more of my meal prep tips, batch-cooking and freezer ideas, plus lots more ways you can eat well, save time and cut food waste, too. You can order a copy here.

3 key ways to meal prep

Keep your jars. Coming to the end of your peanut butter or mustard? Use the last little bits as a base to a salad dressing. Or if you’re a scraper like me and use every last bit, then sterilize them and keep them ready for your food prep. All shapes and sizes are great!

Invest in some glass lunch boxes that stack well in your fridge.

Clear a shelf or space in your fridge so that you can easily see, at a glance, what’s ready to go.

5 things I do:

  1. Boil eggs, lots of them! These are always a great base for a salad, eg my BLT salad from ‘Eat Happy’, throw them into a noodle soup or just pack for an on the go breakfast or snack.
  2. Roasted Veg. Whatever veg I have lying around, I will chop it all up and roast with some garlic and oil. It’s great on it’s own or mixed into quinoa or with leftover chicken.
  3. Cook some quinoa, lentils or noodles. Quinoa keeps really well and is great mixed in with veg, a leftover curry or even with berries and compote in the morning. Soba noodles also work really well cold, just make sure you rinse them under lots of cold water & drizzle them in some oil after they’re cooked.
  4. Make a pesto, dressing or dip. Mine changes all the time depending on what I’ve got lying around, so blend up whatever you’ve got- it makes a lovely addition to any dish. Here’s my turmeric dip for inspiration.
  5. Happiness Balls! No matter what, I’ve always got these in a glass jar in my fridge. Perfect for hungry visitors and to take out with you. Make mine here.

Do you meal prep? I’d love to know more of your ideas! I actually love the process of doing it as it makes me feel ready to take on the week, knowing I’ve got food that makes me happy to hand.

1Comment
  • How to cook money-saving meals from your storecupboard | Melissa Hemsley
    Posted at 17:02h, 02 March Reply

    […] 6. Glass jars! Don’t chuck jars straight in the bin, clean them out and reuse them! Use them to collate random packets, like nuts and pasta (see above) or for storing anything you bulk buy from plastic free supermarkets and shops, or save jars for tasty meal prep. Read on here for more ideas.  […]

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