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Meal prepping: ‘Not only healthier, it also saves you time and money’ | NOW

Now that the children are back at school and we are cautiously going to the office a little more often, the weeks are just as hectic for many parents as they used to be. Preparing your meals at the weekend saves stress and time during the week. It is also a big incentive to eat healthy.

Meal preppen is derived from the term preparation and actually means nothing more than ‘to prepare’. It means that you prepare meals for one or more days. Handy if you have little time after a long day at work. You keep the food in the fridge or freezer, and you get what you need from it every day.

Nina de Bruijn, from the popular food blog Chickslovefood, is an avid meal prepper. Always, but especially now that she is the mother of two young children. “Preparing meals is an important part of my weekend. I make a schedule for the entire week and then have the groceries delivered.”

Preparation is getting faster and faster

For example, on Sundays she makes soup and healthy muffins for the lunch boxes. “Spend a few hours a week in the kitchen, you will enjoy it all week.” The advantage is that you save time and money, says De Bruijn. “You don’t easily order a pizza if you know that a nutritious meal is ready in the fridge.”

Chef Danny Jansen, who, among other things, produced the program for TV channel 24Kitchen Cook for a week made, agrees. “The first week it will take you a long time, but you will see that the preparation is getting faster and faster. And especially if you look at what is in season and on offer, you can save money.”

Cauliflower: you can eat one for several days.

You can eat a large cauliflower on offer several times a week. Once as boiled cauliflower with baked potatoes and meat or vegetarian, the leaves can be used in the soup, and you can make cauliflower rice or couscous from the other half. You can make nasi from an extra portion of rice, and a savory cake or pie from leftover macaroni.

Almost everything can be frozen

Both Jansen and De Bruijn freeze a lot. “You can freeze almost anything. Soups, pasta, casserole, quiche, plate cake, all kinds of baked goods”, says de Bruijn. She even freezes an oven dish with earthenware dish and all in it, so that you take it out of the freezer in the morning and slide it into the oven after work.

The freezer is also handy for freezing portions of tomato sauce or gravy, ready for use. Jansen has also often marinated satay and vacuumed it in the freezer. “When I get visitors, they can be thawed in hot water in no time and can be put on the barbecue.”

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What about vacuuming? Jansen: “A vacuum sealing machine removes the air from a plastic bag. This means that food has a longer shelf life, even in the refrigerator. Grilled chicken thighs can safely be stored for another week, and fried onions remain crisp.”

Finally, both preppers tip good stackable trays and reusable or non-reusable bags. Janssen uses a piece of masking tape to record the date and content. “It comes off well after use, but it won’t fall off in the fridge or freezer.”

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