So, you’ve red my other post about meal prepping tips. You’ve planned your menu, done your shopping and you’re ready to cook. How do you meal prep a week’s worth of food in one day without destroying your kitchen and your sanity? Well, I can help you with the sanity part…your kitchen on the other hand may need a good clean up when you’re done! Here are my top 8 tips for making your batch cooking session run as smoothly as possible.
1. Prioritize a day and time for prep
First thing’s first, is setting aside the time for prepping. It won’t get done otherwise, right. You have to make it a priority in your routine. A lot of people like to use Sundays for it but of course it depends on your typical schedule. You might want to split it up even and do some Saturday and some Sunday or plan a weekend prep day and another mid-week prep day. Maybe you do most of the heavy-lifting prep work on the weekends but cook throughout the week because you prefer your food to be fresh. Whatever your routine, pick what works best for you and that you will stick to.
2. Make the meal that requires the most time first
This depends on your schedule of course, but if you’re tackling everything in one day it’s best to get the most time-consuming one started first. That way if you DO run out of time, you may still be able to get most of the prep work done for the other quicker meals and whip them up later in the week.
3. While one dish is cooking, prep the next
Another reason to follow rule #2. If you have something that takes an hour in the oven, you can use that time to prep the next meal you’re going to cook.
4. Start with an empty sink and dishwasher
This should really be step #2 on this list probably. Before you even start chopping anything, make sure your sink and dishwasher are ready to be loaded up with the dirties. Otherwise you’ll have nowhere to put them as you go and it becomes much more stressful when your counter space is overtaken by dirty dishes.
5. Clean as you go
I find it’s much better to get things cleaned as you go. Whenever you’re waiting for something to cook for more than 5-10 minutes, use that time to clean whatever dishes you are finished using, or put them in the dishwasher. This keeps things more organized and saves cleanup time after eating, which let’s be honest, we never feel like doing.
6. Have a bowl to throw scraps in
There are different ways to do this. If you save scraps for compost having a bowl nearby to throw everything in is great and super easy. If you save some for making your own broth, just keep the bag you put in the freezer nearby to throw those ones in. If you don’t save them, pull your trashcan right up next to you so you can toss any discards in as you go and keep your workspace tidy.
7. Buy Frozen/Pre-cut veggies to save time
Chopping can be the most time consuming part of meal prep. If you’re really short on time, you can buy things pre-chopped like sweet potatoes, butternut squash, broccoli, etc. Or you can buy frozen ones depending on the dish you are making.
8. Utilize the instant pot for hands-free cooking
The instant pot (pressure cooker) makes it really easy to just throw things in it, turn it on and let it go. Find some great all-in-one instant pot recipes online or you can use it for batch cooking different grains you want to use during the week.
That’s it! I’d love to hear some of your favorite tips for how to run a smooth batch-cooking session! One last bonus tip I’ll add before you start any of the above tips – crank some tunes!
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