Confession: While I love food and I enjoy trying new food, I pretty much eat the same five meals all the time. I am not much of a cook but I do try to do some meal prep every week. I find that even though I don’t enjoy the process of cooking, meal prep saves me time during the week, which allows me to spend more time focusing on my business. The last thing I want to do after a full day of work is come home and spend an hour cooking and eating before I start working on my business. I prefer to get home, eat quickly, and start working again as soon as possible so that I don’t lose momentum and end up lounging on my couch scrolling mindlessly through Instagram all night.
I figured I’d share some of my prep strategies for all of my fellow fempreneurs who aren’t masters in the kitchen:
Simplify your meals. Because I’m not a very good aka pretty terrible cook, I try to keep my meals simple. I have a few easy and simple staple meals that I eat most of the time and every once in a while I’ll switch it up and add something new into the rotation. My meals often don’t consist of any sauces and only seasoning that I used for meat. I know that might sound boring but once you find a few options that you like, you can keep going back to those. I like to make a salad for lunch so I throw some spinach in Tupperware, add some chopped onion and tomatoes, then throw either smoked salmon or tuna on top, boom done! For dinner, we might make buffalo chicken wraps and just add some lettuce and tomatoes to that. Simple, easy, and delicious.
Bulk prep the basics. Believe me, it is a rare occasion that anything complicated is happening in my kitchen. And because I try to keep my meals simple, it’s easy for me to cook my meet and my grains once per week. I make a big batch of hard boiled eggs (in the oven) at the beginning of the week so that I can eat them on their own for breakfast or a snack and I can make some egg salad if I want to switch up my lunch option. And by cooking some ground turkey, chicken and fish in one shot while I also prep some pasta, and rice or quinoa, I have the base of all of my dinners done.
Cook like you’re on an assembly line. Because I bulk prep my basics, when it comes time to make dinner every night, I’m really just assembling those foods together into whatever version of a meal I want to have. Then all I have to do is chop some veggies and probably add some hot sauce (this happens for almost every meal) and voila, dinner is ready in about 5 minutes. I can pop a potato in the microwave and while that’s cooking, pull out my ground turkey and chop a couple vegetables, then as soon as the potato is done I throw it all together and I have a bomb loaded baked potato.
I know this isn’t the really intense version of meal prep you see where people cook all day on Sunday and pre-pack every meal into a Tupperware, but I find that doing these simple steps cuts down on the overall time I have to spend cooking and putting together my meals, so that I can spend more time working on my side hustle.
What are some meal prep strategies you use to save time?