What we wouldn’t do to just squeeze an extra hour or two out of our week! Right?? Turns out there IS a way to do it and it’s not all that difficult. All it takes is a little advance planning and some easy-to-accomplish organization. Acolytes of the big batch cooking trend know what we’re talking about. Plan your meals ahead, make plenty extra to mix and match, and you’ll be eating well all week. A properly stocked and organized kitchen is key to your success. Here’s how it’s done.
If you’re the sort of person who stores leftovers in anything from a leftover yogurt container to a coffee cup, listen up: These things are a salvation. You can see what you have without rummaging, bending, and freaking out that there is no food in the house. That cup of canned tomatoes or coconut milk won’t turn up moldy a month from now; you’ll use it in a curry instead. And these nest, which makes storage a cinch. Glass containers go from freezer to oven, won’t leak, and are a dream for storing prep essentials such as roast chicken all week long.
When dealing with big-batch cooking, as one does while meal prepping, the last thing you want is to be stuck in your kitchen on a Sunday dicing six onions. Get a food processor that does it for you. (This one also slices, shreds, makes dough and peels potatoes.) It’s ideal for any recipe involving chopped garlic and onions, tons of potatoes, or any other annoying-to-chop, reasonably medium-sized veggie. And let’s come back to that “peels potatoes” bit: This Breville processor can peel 7 small potatoes in 40 seconds. Mic drop.
3. Buy a Three-Quarter Sheet Pan
This is the biggest pan you can get that still fits into conventional home ovens. You can fit large batches of vegetables or two chickens at a time in just one pan! That means you can roast broccoli or cauliflower on one rack and a huge bird with potatoes on the other, all at once, and dinner (and accompanying delicious leftovers) are done.
When your lunch sack is this chic, you definitely can’t forget it on the counter in the morning… right? Make the dream a possibility, at least, with one good-looking lunch bag. So pretty it conjures a stroll along the Seine, you’ll enjoy opening it to envious coworker stares even if you have a grain bowl instead of baguette and escargots inside. A removable insulated insert enables easy cleaning, there’s a back pocket to hold cutlery and a napkin, and a detachable strap allows crossbody wear. Bring it to a picnic, and show up in style.
5. A High-Tech, Low-Stress Storage System
The best meal prep technology helps you pack prepared food, keep it fresh, and see it clearly in the fridge. This seven-piece set includes BPA-free bags (for garnishes like tomatoes or sides of veggies). A vacuum pump is included so you can suck air out of bags in moments (and ensure foods stay fresh for up to three times longer). There’s even an app you can use to track how long that food has been in the fridge! We love that there are two sizes of lidded containers, for “hungry” days and “very hungry indeed” days.
Once you get become accustomed to planning ahead and learn how to make the most of these organizational tools, you’ll find a lot more time in your day that might be otherwise devoted to cooking. With a few meal prep strategies in your back pocket, you’ll give yourself time to relax, sit back and enjoy a good meal.