Being somewhat lazy but also smart enough to avoid shopping with all of my children at once, I’ve developed a few meal prep shortcuts:
- I try to plan ahead, mostly in terms of buying ingredients I can use for future recipes.
- I advocate keeping freezer meals around.
- I make simple things for dinner most nights; like German Pancakes or French Dip Sandwiches.
- And, I LOVE pre-pared food.
Why the hyphen? Because I want to use the word with its literal definition: cut up ahead of time.*
Use prepared ingredients.
If you’re not a finicky chef, food that is all ready to go is a huge time saver. I am somewhat picky about the final taste of things; yet still use dried herbs and spices, minced garlic, and frozen onions and green peppers. I’ve also tried frozen bananas in bread and frozen berries in shakes.
Using dehydrated and frozen versions of ingredients works well. Not all foods can be used in all recipes, of course. Breads and other baked goods are fairly tolerant, whereas stir-fry works better with fresh vegetables.
But still, we’re talking scooping out 1/4 tsp of minced garlic vs. pulling off a clove, peeling, cutting, and accidentally rubbing your eyes.
And food preservation technology just keeps getting better. Our frozen corn from Costco tastes fresher and better than the canned stuff I ate as a kid. The dehydrated onions I bought smell and look good enough to eat.
So try it. You’ll love the time you save.
*Actually, it means to cut off the excess or outer parts, but let’s not get too picky.
©2019 Chelsea Owens