If you’re a bit like us, half the battle of cooking is finding the time to start.
The good news is, however, there are shortcuts that you can take to ensure you can spend your weekends exactly the way you dreamed of, rather than fretting about hauling your arse out to the supermarket to stock up.
Here, pros from the U.S. share some innovative stock-piling ideas that could save you hours of time.
1. Roast veggies
Before you roll your eyes with contempt at what may seem obvious, here us out. Vegan chef and cookbook author Isa Chandra Moskowitz tells Well+Good that you can’t beat this option for full-on flavour with minimal prep. The key, she says, is to keep things simple. “My favorite vegetables—broccoli, Brussels sprouts, zucchini, cauliflower, and eggplant—need nothing more than olive oil, salt, and pepper,” she says. “I usually toss them in a bowl with brown rice and beans, like lentils or chickpeas.” Later in the week, after she grabs the pre-mixed dish out of the fridge and heats it up, she adds a little avocado, a drizzle of tahini dressing, and voila—dinner is served.
Juice Served Here CEO Alex Matthews doesn’t see meal prep as a chore. In fact, he loves it. “It can be really meditative,” he says. Alex tries his best to live a carb-free life, but since he’s all about Italian and Mediterranean food, spiralised veggie noodles have become a big staple—and fortunately, they don’t take long to whip up either. “My new favourite dinner is zucchini noodles with kale pesto,” he says. “It literally takes 10 minutes to make.”
3. Greek yoghurt
Open Nix chef John Fraser’s refrigerator and you’ll find a lot of this high-protein dairy staple, which he eats for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert. “It’s one of my favourite ingredients,” he says. “I use it like cream cheese for breakfast, and for lunch and dinner I use it as a salad dressing, a marinade for proteins, and even with a drizzle of honey for dessert.”
4. Homemade pesto
Kombrewcha cofounder Ariel Glazer relies on a flavorful condiment for keeping his dishes tasting fresh: “I make my own kale pesto. It can be added to almost anything,” he says. He steams kale and then throws it in a blender with walnuts, olive oil, a couple garlic cloves, and a pinch of salt. Then, it’s ready to top off his meals throughout the week, from sandwiches to grain bowls.
5. Root veges
Celebrity chef and Clean Green Eats author Candice Kumai has perfected over 100 healthy recipes, but her weekly shopping is simpler than you might think. “My staples when it comes to meal-prep are sweet potatoes, kabocha squash, fresh greens, quinoa, soba noodles, avocado, lemon, and savory baked tofu,” she says. Candice roasts the sweet potatoes and squash, and cooks the quinoa and soba noodles. Then, she pairs everything in different combos throughout the week.