I think the thing I dislike most about meal planning and cooking generally is the preparation. I love the actual cooking, stirring and seasoning, but I hate the chopping, peeling, etc. To make this process less painful and more efficient, I like to do what I’ve dubbed the prep once cook twice method.
I like to think ahead to what main entrees and sides I’m going to plan for the week and identify duplicates. For example, I make curry chicken with potatoes once a week and roast chicken with potatoes once a week. So, instead of prepping two times for each meal, I prep one time for both meals. Sometimes, I prep for more than two meals at at time. Some people pick a day when they cook several meals on one day, but since I don’t mind the actual cooking, I prefer to set aside s day for the prep.
Set Aside Time
Instead of chopping the potatoes for one meal, I will set aside more time on a single day and chop all the potatoes for two or three meals and store them in the fridge until I’m ready to cook them. I’ll do this for most of the sides I’m going to cook, i.e., cabbage, potatoes, etc. I’ll even do this for the main protein. I will buy an entire tray of chicken and season half for the curry and half for the herb roasted chicken and store in the fridge until I’m ready to take it out and cook.
There are so many things you can pre-prep and store in ziplock bags or containers. I like to chop enough scallions, potatoes, and peppers for the week and just use them as I need them. Prepping for one meal means I have to prep several times a week, but by taking a little extra time once a week, I cut my prep time in half. How do you prep your prep?