4 Tips to SLASH Meal Prep Time
"I don't have time" is the most common reason I hear from people about why they don't meal prep. Well... I don't buy it!
First, you can make time for almost anything if you make it a priority. Second, meal prep does not have to take long! You just have to know these 3 tricks to make it fast and simple:
4 Tips to Slash Meal Prep Time
1. Buy pre-cut, pre-packaged, & microwaveable Carb sources
Instead of spending 40+ minutes cooking your rice or baking your sweet potatoes, buy pre-packaged carb sources that take 5 minutes or less to cook in the microwave. Buying pre-cut/packaged food items is NOT meal prep cheating - use these items to your advantage if you're short on time! They're just as healthy and tasty, I promise.
Personally, I use Trader Joe's everything (#obsessed) and here are my Top 3 Favorite Pre-Packaged Carb items:
- Fresh Cut Butternut Squash - 5 Minutes in the Microwave
- Frozen Organic Brown Rice - 3 Minutes in the Microwave
- Fresh Roasted Sweet Potato Wedges - 3 Minutes in the Microwave
2. Pack Veggies RAW in your Tupperware
"But I don't like raw vegetables - Ashley, that's a terrible tip." Hold on, hold on. The key here is: pack them raw and when you're ready to eat your meal, cover your tupperware with a paper towel and let the microwave "steam" your veggies! That means ZERO meal prep time!
Here are my Top 3 Favorite Pre-Packaged Veggies (again from Trader Joe's, of course):
- Fresh Trimmed and Cleaned Green Beans - 3 Minutes in the Microwave
- Fresh Broccoli Florets - Pack Raw
- Fresh Zucchini or Yellow Squash - Slice and Pack Raw
3. Invest in a pressure cooker for speedy Protein prep
My Pressure Cooker is a GAME CHANGER. Seriously. If you aren't familiar, Pressure Cookers seal in steam and expedite cooking timing via the extremely high-temperature steam. Personally, I use an Instant Pot and I'm so in love. You can buy it from Amazon - worth it.
With my Pressure Cooker, I can cook multiple chicken breasts in less than 20 minutes which is insanely fast! I set the Pressure Cooker to 7 minutes (the cooker takes a few minutes to heat up and start cooking) then I let the chicken sit for 5 minutes before using the quick release and taking it out. BOOM. So fast!
As well, Pressure Cookers can make perfect hard-boiled eggs in about 10 minutes. I set the pressure cooker to 2 minutes (again, takes a few to warm up) and after the cook time, I quick release after 5 minutes or less.
4. Pack your meals in Tupperware as soon as items are done cooking
This tip is about efficient use of time. As soon as those items come out of the microwave or pressure cooker, portion and place the prepped items in separate tupperware containers (I use these) for each of your meals. Just do it. Get it done. You'll thank yourself later!