Mastering Meal Prep without a Huge Time Sink


Man and Woman Prepping Meals

Gaining health and losing weight are two things that tie into meal preparation. Yet who has the time to invest in cooking complex meals from scratch? Well, the answer to that question is you. You have the time to cook complex meals from scratch if you cook smartly. Smart cooking is all about the preparation. In this do-it-now blog, we give you a few tips to help reduce the time investment in cooking healthy meals. Let's get started.

"To Do Ahead of Time" List

There is a lot in a kitchen that you can do ahead of time. In fact, a lot of meal preparation is the same across multiple meals — meaning you use the same ingredients in different dishes. A good example of this is when a recipe calls for one-half of an onion. Well, you've already dirtied the knife and the chopping board, so just chop the whole onion. By doing so you are saving the labor of watching the knife and board twice and getting all of that stuff out of its' stored spaced. That is just a little trick.

Plan Meals in Advance

Think about meal planning and then combine as much as you possibly can combine. Every meal should have a vegetable, starch, and protein. What would happen if you planned to use two cups of brown rice per week? Couldn't you make it all at once? You can. What about the vegetables? You can use vegetables in almost any meal simply by substituting or making an addition to the recipe — nothing ventured, nothing gained. You can prep vegetables and starches ahead of time by planning your meals in advance. Remember that leftover garden salad goes nicely in an omelet. You can add rice to many dishes too. So instead of making rice three times a week, make it once. Boom! Done!

Get a Crock Pot*

You can make a ton of things in a crock-pot. If you are trying to eat healthier, then a crock-pot full of beans is a good place to start. Add beans to salad, breakfast burritos, or as a side dish for dinner. This Crock Pot Turkey Chili rocks as an Entree and again the next day for lunch. If you are crafty, you can tweak this recipe and make it into a dip for chips. The list of what you can do with a crock-pot is amazingly long. Here is a wonderful recipe for Broccoli Cheese Soup.

*Crock-pots allow you to master the art of one-pot meals that don't require much of your time.

Cook It and Freeze It

If you are making one lasagna make two. They freeze well and it does not take any more time to make a second lasagna than it does to make the first. It's like two-for-the-price of one. Anytime that you are making something complicated, go ahead and make two or three of them. Most of the time invested in complex meals is the prep work and prepping enough for two or three version is easy. Many meals freeze well including soups, casseroles, desserts. Use your freezer to save time later.

These little tips add up to big reductions in time. They also allow you to eat healthy and delicious meals without the daily investment of time. Who wants to come home from work and then work to make dinner? You don't have to if you plan ahead. For more tips and tricks that help you gain health and lose weight, visit the Metabolic Research Center. Their recipe bank is filled with healthy and good-to-eat meals that help you gain health and lose weight.

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