Batch Cook and Start Freezing - This is a great way to start with batch cooking. Find a few core recipes that freeze well, make a large batch and freeze in the portion size you need. You could prepare some for the family dinner and some for lunches.
Things like chili, soups, burrito fillings, or even the whole burrito! When I do the soups I'll do a base and then when I'm cooking it add the pasta, rice, or quinoa. Otherwise, it gets mushy.
Meal Prepping – What exactly do I mean by this? My personal definition of meal prep is preparing a bunch of veggies and precooking some food to easily put meals together when you lack time or motivation. For example, when I was getting my weekly CSA(community supported agriculture) box AKA big box of veggies, I would wash and prep all of it when I got it. This increased the likelihood of me eating it and not wasting it. We are all familiar with that unrecognizable plastic bag in the fridge that smells super funky! I'm so guilty of this. So washing any greens and chopping into bite-size pieces. Chopping up carrots for snacks, onions, and peppers and freezing them for quick cooking.
Also, cook a batch of brown rice, quinoa, pasta, and even bake some tofu and just have it sitting naked in the fridge until you need it. I'm also a big fan of frozen steam-able veggies! This makes it possible to throw together a healthy meal in 10 minutes with leftovers for lunch!
Batch Cook and Meal Prep twice a week – That sounds pretty doable, right? So you're really only doing major cooking and chopping twice a week. You can even cut it down to once if you plan on eating out sometimes or even making simple meals like sandwiches. Most people prefer to do it once a week.
Doing this will help with stress, save money, and eat healthy. Even if you can't do this for every meal, doing it for most makes a big difference and we are not striving for perfection, just progress!
Involve Friends and Family – You don't need to go it alone every week. Start a meal prep, batch cooking gathering with friends, share recipes, CSA Boxes, expenses. How great to have different meals to try. We all get sick of making the same thing over and over, This helps to change it up a bit.
Also, get those kids to work. If they're old enough to chop, wash veggies, pick recipes, get them to help. Did you know that if kids chose the recipe and help prepare and chop veggies they're more likely to eat it! True story! You can make this fun, I swear!
Strive for Progress not, Perfection – This is not supposed to add stress it's supposed to relieve it. So start small, maybe just batch cooking some things and get the hang of it first. Then add the meal prep or vice versa. You can even just do it once a month and see how it feels. Find what works for your life. Overall it should relieve stress, and save money and time.
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