I Rely on These 4 Simple Food Prep Hacks Every Single Week
If you're yet to discover the time-saving qualities of simple food prep, you might want to consider getting on board. While carving out a chunk of time at the end or beginning of each week to pre-cook meals might sound uninteresting and exhausting, with a little practice, you'll find yourself with more time on your hands, not less. You'll save money, and, perhaps more importantly, free up all that mental energy usually devoted to figuring out what can be made for dinner with whatever's in the fridge. Getting started can be a learning curve, but after a few weeks and you'll have a solid idea of how much you nosh in a week, as well as any individual issues that might need troubleshooting. (For instance, if faced with the exact same lunch more than twice I'm more likely to hit up Mad Mex than stick to my healthy meal plan, so I make sure to switch up marinades and sauces for variety.) To help take your food prep game to the next level, I'm sharing the 4 simple hacks I rely on every single week. Each one has transformed my diet in some way, and now? I'll never go back.
Keep scrolling for learn what they are.
1. Hard "Boil" Eggs In the Oven.
Whether you're prepping hard boiled eggs for a specific dish or individual snacks, refilling and boiling a small saucepan over and over again can get tedious, fast. Next time you need to cook a lot of eggs at once, try this time-saving hack—it's a great alternative that delivers a similar result. Sit an egg in each hole of a muffin pan and pop the tray into a preheated oven (165 to 175 degrees, depending on your oven) for half an hour. Once done, tip the eggs into a bowl of ice water for ten minutes, then peel.
2. Freeze Your Smoothie Ingredients.
Not so much a cooking hack as a food prep fix, this one involves pre-measuring everything you usually include in your weekly smoothies (berries, bananas, greens, etc.) into individual bag and throwing them in the freezer. This simple trick saves you having to wash and dry fresh ingredients on busy mornings. To use, dump the contents of a single bag into a blender, add your liquid of choice (like coconut water or almond milk), supplements, and blitz.
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3. Roast Hard-to-Cut Vegetables Whole.
This clever trick takes the knife wizardry out of prepping hard-to-cut vegetables (think: pumpkin, squash, even large sweet potatoes) for roasting. Gently pierce the whole vegetable a few times with a sharp knife, then place it on a baking tray or in a dish and bake in a moderate oven. Cooking times will vary according to your vegie of choice, but pumpkin can take anywhere from one hour to two. Once done, it'll be a lot easier to peel and portion.
4. Remember This 3-Ingredient Marinade.
One of the easiest ways to jazz up anything from chicken breast to fish fillets is by basting them in a tasty marinade. My go-to recipe is easy, fast, and suits any type of protein you can imagine—it even works with root veggies. Even better, it only requires two ingredients I always have on hand. To DIY, crush a clove of garlic into a freezer bag, add a drizzle of olive oil, a tablespoon of miso paste and your protein, then snap the bag shut. Smoosh everything around with your fingers to coat the meat and leave in the fridge for 20-minutes or overnight. No lie, it never fails to impress.