My favourite trick for making meal prep easier and less work is to cook favourite recipes in bulk. You can either freeze the extra and use it in another week or use it for other meals that week.
A couple of weeks ago I shared my weekly meal prep photos on Facebook (I do this pretty much every week and you can follow along here.) and it was a perfect example of how you can use cooking in bulk to make weekly prep easy and efficient.
That weekend for example, we had tacos on the menu plan. So instead of just cooking enough taco meat for one meal, I actually cooked 2kgs of beef mince and made:
- Tacos for Saturday night’s dinner using my own homemade taco seasoning (it is gluten free so helpful if you have dietary requirements to cater for).
- Taco parcels for the kids’ school lunch boxes
- Mexibake for Monday night’s dinner
- Left over taco meat for lunches for me and other adults in the house
Now in an ideal world I wouldn’t have tacos and then have Mexibake a few nights later, but most of the family including me were going to be out Monday night, so I wanted to have something ready that everyone could heat up and eat when they needed to for their dinner. Sometimes practicality wins over variety!
To make all of the above it took me about 3 hours. An hour or so of this I would have to have done anyway for dinner anyway, so it was really only an additional 2 hours to make another meal and lunches for the kids – both of which will make my weekdays so much easier!
There are many recipes that you can make in bulk to give you more bang for your buck when you are spending time in the kitchen. Here are just a few of my favourites:
- Sweet chilli chicken – for my family I will double this recipe (it is already 1kg of chicken, but my kids love it so they eat a lot of it at dinner time!) and the left overs are then used by the kids to make wraps for their lunch boxes.
- Bolognaise sauce – this meat sauce is such a flexible one! I will make 1.5kgs so we have plenty for dinner and sometimes I will then make a Shepherds’ Pie / Cottage Pie with half of the meat sauce for a meal later in the week. Two of the kids also like to take left over bolognaise and pasta to school in a thermos and you can also use this meat to make parcels, like with the taco meat. The older boys will also have this on toast for breakfast, so there are plenty of ways we use up this recipe when I cook it in bulk – it never makes its way to the freezer!
- San choy bow – I will double this recipe and then make spring rolls for snacks / school lunch boxes.
- Chicken schnitzel – to ensure we have left overs so kids can take schnitzel either with salad or in rolls for their lunches, I cook up at least 1.5kg of chicken.
I am sure there are family favourite meals you make that could easily be cooked in bulk and be meal prep for other meals! If so please let me know in the comments as I am always looking for more ideas.
If you want to make feeding the family easier and less stressful, then Meal Prep Primer is for you! Meal Prep Primer shows you how to plan effectively to spend time in the kitchen over the weekend and prep food that will make your week days easier:
- Imagine being able to simply pick and pack from your pre-made items to make the kids’ lunch boxes.
- Imagine being able to make a meal in minutes when you come in late after work or an after school activity using the food you prepped on the weekend.
- Imagine eating a nutritious homemade lunch each day that you can simply reheat in a flash.
This can be a reality for you and it doesn’t have to take up all of your weekend.
In the course I will teach you the process I have developed over these years. The course will:
- save you time
- save you money
- save you stress through the week days
- ensure your family eats well
- allow you to enjoy meal time more with the family