Many of you come home in the evening hungry and tell me that you tend to throw yourself at everything that falls under your hand by the time dinner is ready: bread, cheese, chips, chocolate… In a matter of seconds, you swallowed the toast, the chocolate bar took a slap and there are only crumbs left in the bag of chips. Does that sound familiar?
Of course, it’s the classic move! And after this orgy of food, when it comes to eating, the appetite has obviously disappeared. But you still eat. To put on a good face, because you are a family, the dish is ready, you will not stand in front of your empty plate anyway… In short, you eat much more than you need. Most importantly, you confuse your body by continuing to eat without feeling hungry. Everything you can’t do!
To avoid this kind of scenario, there is an almost infallible solution: “meal prep”, literally “meal preparation” in French, also called “batch cooking”.
This technique simply consists of preparing several ingredients or dishes during the weekend to save time during the week. And it is very effective! It allows you not to nibble in the evening since the dishes are already prepared, just warm them up and sit down at the table!
Is it complicated?
So this is the question that many people ask me, “But, am I going to have to spend my weekend cooking?”
Of course not! Don’t worry, I don’t feel like (or the time) spending my Sunday behind the stove either. The idea is just to get there 1h-1h30 max. At home, it has even become a family activity. I put everyone to work, the children are super happy to give me a hand and they often eat even more willingly the dishes they prepared themselves.
Personally, I did the time test in my MEAL PREP video of the week. In just 1h30, everything was ready for 4 people: a large pan of vegetables, big stocks of quinoa, lentils and red beans, a green salad, a soup and a cake!
In fact, the goal is not to prepare EVERYTHING in advance as many imagine. It’s simple to make the biggest and longest: cooking cereals and legumes, cutting vegetables, preparing salad… To then do the assembly in the evening on weekdays and not have to spend more than 10 minutes in the kitchen.
The advantages of meal prep
1. Less stress
So it’s nice to do your day-to-day shopping and let yourself be inspired by the neighbor’s shopping cart, but during the week it’s really not easy! I don’t know about you, but after a long day of work, I only want to go home quickly and enjoy my husband and my children. If I have to stick my dick in the supermarket, it’s just hell!
With the meal prep, I know that everything is more or less ready. I don’t have to run everywhere. After that, it doesn’t prevent me from improvising from time to time, of course, but the fact that I plan most of the time takes away a good dose of stress.
2. You eat better
No more snacks before dinner or a healthy snack prepared! The same goes for easy solutions such as ready-made meals, pizza or sushi deliveries… Which are just super bad for your health.
Thanks to meal prep, we can create more balanced, thoughtful and varied plates. With the same base of ingredients, it is possible to imagine dozens of recipes.
3. We waste less
Generally, I chain my meal prep on Sunday after going to the market. This allows me to buy in anticipation of what I’m going to cook. I cook fresh products first and I eat them preferably at the beginning of the week (so I don’t end up with a stale salad on Fridays). Finally, meal prep also saves money. You just buy what you need, no more!
The secrets of an effective meal prep
Initially, you may need a little time to find your rhythm, the right organization, the right fit. But after a few weeks, you should quickly take the fold!
To get organized and save time, I advise you to proceed by task. For example, prepare all the vegetables at once. Those for your soup, those for your pan, those for your quiche… Gather the vegetables to cut, wash them and cut them at once on a large board. This will avoid making vegetables for one dish, washing the board and re-cutting vegetables for another dish. While you’re preparing the vegetables, start cooking cereals or legumes.
Also remember to have enough containers under your thumb. A little tip if you plan to buy some: square boxes or rectangles are more convenient to store. It sounds silly, but wait till you put five bowls in a fridge to realize it’s not so stupid