Your Ultimate Guide To Meal-Prepping Like A Pro
You know the deal: meal prepping allows you to cook on your schedule, so you have healthy dishes on hand all week. But if the thought of downing the same old salmon, green beans and quinoa combo four days in a row has your tastebuds protesting, we have a solution. These smart prepping strategies will set you up for success.
Baby kale, wheat berries, chicken, asparagus, chickpeas, caper vinaigrette
Chicken Breast: grill
Rub chicken with olive oil, then season and grill on medium–high until just cooked through, 4 to 6 mins per side.
Chicken Breast: roast
Heat oil in an ovenproof skillet on medium. Season chicken and cook until golden brown, 2 to 3 mins per side. Transfer to oven; roast at 220°C until just cooked through, for about 10 mins or so.
Heat oil in a skillet on medium–high. Season salmon and cook until golden brown and opaque, 5 to 6 mins per side.
Place salmon on a baking sheet. Season and roast at 220°C until opaque throughout, 10 to 12 mins.
Season salmon and grill on medium–high until opaque throughout, 3 to 4 mins per side.
Season 2.5cm-thick steak with salt and pepper and grill on medium–high to desired doneness, 6 to 8 mins per side for medium rare. Let rest for 5 mins before transferring.
Heat oil in an ovenproof skillet on medium–high. Season 2.5cm-thick steak and cook until brown, 2 to 3 mins per side. Transfer to oven and roast at 220°C to desired doneness, 5 to 6 mins for medium rare.
Place extra-firm tofu on a cutting board between paper towels and top with a baking sheet and large cans; let sit 15 mins, then slice. Heat oil in a skillet on medium–high. Cook until deep golden brown, 2 mins per side. Transfer to a paper towel; add salt and pepper.
Break firm tofu into large pieces on a baking sheet. Toss with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and roast at 220°C, flipping once, until golden brown at the edges, 25 to 30 mins.
1. Ace Your Base
Load up on pantry staples like grains, wraps and breads, plus potatoes and hearty greens, so mixing up your meals will become a no-brainer. 2. Pick a Protein Cook proteins in advance, but don’t slice until you’re ready to eat to prevent ’em from drying out. And season simply, so you’re not stuck with spicy chicken five days straight (we’ve all been there, right?).
3. Choose a Veg
In addition to your fave raw salad options, choose hearty, versatile vegetables like broccoli, capsicum, sweet potatoes, mushrooms, green beans, asparagus and grape tomatoes. Cook them to extend their shelf life and you won’t have to deal with a fridge of food that’s gone bad.
4. Switch Up the Flavour
Wait till the end to get creative so you can easily shake things up while keeping food from getting soggy. DIY a few delish dressings (see page 129).
Stockpile: Pack your freezer with frozen peas, corn and edamame. They thaw fast under running water. And don’t forget beans! Try canned black, pinto or chickpeas for easy-to-add fibre.
Farro, salmon, cauliflower, tomatoes and Mediterranean olive sauce
Always cook more, not less: Leftovers last in the fridge up to four days, and batches of brown rice, wheat berries, farro and quinoa keep in the freezer for a month – at least! To cool grains quickly, spread them out on a baking sheet. When you’re ready to warm them up again, simply pop in the microwave.
Water is enemy number one if you want to keep your produce crisp. When you’re chop (Bonus for spin-drying first.) Buying prewashed? Check for moisture in the clamshell, and if needed, take the greens out and dry between clean dish towels.
Opt for noodles that taste good cold (looking at you, soba) so you don’t have to deal with reheating spaghetti that’s clumped together. For the same reason, embrace shorter pastas like fusilli or orecchiette, which tend to stay separated, unlike their longer siblings.
Stockpile: Use roasted sweet potatoes as a base or pack them as a snack with a dipping sauce.
Rocket, steak, roasted sweet potatoes, sauteed mushrooms and romesco sauce; Quinoa, broccoli, tofu, cucumber, toasted almonds and sriracha-honey vinaigrette
Veggie cheat sheet
Sauté All Day
Heat a large skillet on medium–high. Add olive oil, then vegies, and season with salt and pepper. Cook, tossing occasionally, until just tender.
Capsicum (sliced) 6 mins
Green beans 5 mins
Grape tomatoes 4 mins
Mushrooms (halved or quartered) 11 mins
Roast With the Most
On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss your fave veg with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast at 220°C until golden brown and tender.
Broccoli florets 22 mins
Cauliflower florets 20 mins
Asparagus 15 mins
Capsicum(sliced) 14 mins
Mushrooms (halved or quartered) 25 mins
Best for Blanching
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add salt and vegies to boiling water and cook until just tender. Immediately transfer to ice water to cool. Drain and pat dry.
Broccoli florets 4 mins
Asparagus 4 mins
Cauliflower florets 5 to 6 mins
Green beans 5 mins
Rice noodles, steak, green beans, edamame, cabbage and peanut sauce
Dressings & Sauces
Makes about 1½ cups
Combine 2 eschalots, ½ cup parsley, ¼ cup drained capers (all finely chopped), 1 tbs lemon zest plus ¼ cup juice, and ½ tsp each salt and pepper, then whisk in ½ cup olive oil.
Makes about 1½ cups
Whisk together 2 tsp lemon zest plus ½ cup juice, 1 tsp Dijon mustard, 1 grated clove garlic, 1 tsp each low-sodium soy sauce and pepper. Whisk in 1 cup olive oil.
Makes about 3 cups
In a blender, puree ¾ cup each creamy all-natural peanut butter and canola oil, ½ cup water, ¼ cup each rice vinegar and fresh lime juice, 1½ tbs each low-sodium soy sauce and gochujang, and 2 spring onion whites until smooth.
Makes about ⅔ cup
Whisk together ¼ cup each cider vinegar and olive oil, 2 tbs Sriracha, 2 tsp honey and ½ tsp salt.
Makes about 1¾ cups
In a food processor, pulse 2 cups roasted red capsicum (drained), 1 cup flat-leaf parsley, ½ cup roasted salted almonds, and a pinch of salt until almost smooth.
Makes about 2½ cups
In a blender, puree 1 jalapeño (seeded and chopped), 2 cups Greek yoghurt, 1 cup coriander, ¼ cup fresh lime juice, and ½ tsp each ground cumin and salt until smooth.
Mediterranean Olive Sauce
Makes about 2¼ cups In a blender, puree 2 cups pitted green olives, ½ cup olive oil, ¼ cup lemon juice, 2 tsp Dijon mustard, ½ cup flat-leaf parsley, 2 cloves garlic and ¼ tsp red pepper flakes until nearly smooth.
Makes about 1 cup Whisk together ½ cup each mayo and yoghurt, 2 tbs white wine vinegar, 1 tbs wholegrain mustard, 1 tsp Dijon mustard and ¼ tsp each salt and pepper.
Stockpile: Refrigerate all dressings and sauces for up to a week and use as desired.
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