Why don’t you teach a Meal Prep Class? This question comes up often and came up in a unique way with Ana Couture – owner of Trifecta Sports Therapy.
But the more we talked with Ana, we kept turning the question back to her: What is a “meal prep class?” What does that look like? Meal prep is personal. It’s specific to each cook and depends on their family dynamic. It’s so unique to unique to every person, every situation, every home. But we were still leaning in because we really want to know: How can we teach meal prep here at Red Stick Spice?
Store owner Anne is an empty nester, so she meal preps mainly to get lunches for the week. Ana has three small children and runs a business – her meal prep looks a whole lot different.
Anne came up with three approaches for Ana to take while meal prepping for her family. Watch Ana & Anne’s complete conversation in this video.
ONE: Salt the Protein in Advance – but don’t cook it
Anne suggests, when thinking of a night like Taco Tuesday, on Sunday, consider seasoning the ground beef or chicken for your tacos. Salt it or use a salted taco seasoning, pack it in containers or zip bags and put it in the fridge. That protein, now that it’s been salted, will cook quicker, brown more efficiently and have much deeper and delicious flavor.
Willing to go the extra mile? Spend a little time cutting and chopping vegetables, making pico de gallo, wash lettuce for lettuce wraps and slice veggies for roasting.
TWO: Batch prep grains
A lot of meal prep blogs talk about spending an entire afternoon to cook one-dish meals like casseroles – lasagna, baked ziti, jambalaya – prepped, cooked, cooled and in your fridge.
That’s a good tip, but it didn’t work for Anne’s family. She found that my time was better spent making grains, cooling them properly and storing them. On Sunday, Anne makes a pot of rice, pasta or quinoa. Those grains can become a stir fry, Mexican rice for tacos, the base of a grain bowl, a quinoa salad and so on.
THREE: Theme Night. Decide in advance and lock it in
So, you have Taco Tuesday and it works. Build on that success and lock in another day.
Some folks do Breakfast for Dinner once a week, every week. Pancakes, waffles, egg mcmuffins – whatever that means to your family. Breakfast food is EASY to have stocked and ready. Frozen hashbrowns, pancake mix, eggs.
When Anne’s kids were at home, she did Sandwich Buffets. Clay and Emma loved Subway, so Anne recreated it at home. Sub rolls, meat, cheese were always on the grocery list. Anne spent meal prep time washing and prepping the veggies. Kids built their own sandwiches the way they wanted and as they got older, they packed one for their lunch the next day.
Pick a theme: Sheetpan Thursday, Red Bean Monday, Pasta Wednesday, Pizza Friday. Choose a theme, decide in advance, lock it in.
Which tip would you incorporate into your meal prep?
- Salting protein in advance
- Batch cooking grains or
- Choosing themed nights