Food| Become a master of meal prep in no time

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Meal prep something we’re hearing more and more of.

Could it be a way of eating healthier meals and being organised during those especially busy weeks? Or could it even benefit your lunch box and the kids’ lunches when they go back to school? For staff editor Róisín, meal prep has become the solution to a very common problem; there just aren’t enough hours in the day.

Food bloggers, nutrition experts and cook-book authors such as Roz Purcell, Rosanna Davison, Madeline Shaw and Ella Woodward (aka Deliciously Ella) have long been advocates for the latest healthy eating trend.

After falling in love with the instagram-worthy timesaver, Róisín shares her top tips.

Make a list
I usually do my grocery shopping on a Sunday afternoon, but I always make a list before hand. It helps to write the list out on a notepad or sheet of paper so that each item can be crossed off the old fashioned way. Failing that, the notes app on your phone will do.

Think in terms of value
Nutritional value that is. I think of the nutritional value of foods to me personally when I’m making my list. I’m sure my list would contain things that might turn your stomach, but the point is to think of the whole foods that you will realistically eat in a couple of days time. For example, what sources of protein do I want to take in this week? My staples are chicken breasts, eggs, quinoa and smoked salmon, not just because they taste great with lots of accompaniments, but they are also low maintenance.

Frozen or fresh?
Of course we’d all love to be able to buy the freshest veggies from the local farmers’ market on a Wednesday morning. Newsflash! Farmers’ markets usually take place in the middle of the morning on weekdays, so those of us who are tied to our desks or work commitments can’t always strive for fresh out of the soil carrots. I try not to buy much frozen fruit or veg, but the three items I’ve found useful every week in my meal prep are frozen cauliflower, frozen broccoli and frozen berries. Remember, just because they’re frozen doesn’t mean they don’t need to be washed.

Tactics
Meal prep doesn’t have to take up your Sunday evening. All you need is an hour or so to cook the food, then separate it into portions in three or four lunchbox containers and make plenty of room in the fridge.

That should at least get you to lunchtime on Wednesday.