This is the second post in a series of four, so if you missed the first one, go here to check it out, it also contains a YouTube video in case you prefer the content in that format. In the previous post, I give you a 10-step meal prep guide to avoid overwhelm and common mistakes when batch cooking.
If you search online for meal prep, you’re going to see loads of “rice, chicken and broccoli” lunch boxes. I’m here to tell you that it can be better than that. When your lunch is not boring, you’re more likely to enjoy both eating the food and cooking it.
I have a simple formula that allows diversity, flexibility and has good nutritional value. Because, seriously, chicken and rice people, where are all the vegetables? Oh, and you only need one pot and takes less than an hour!
One of the benefits of going vegan was discovering plenty of foods that I would have otherwise ignored. In a quest to get all the necessary nutrients from plant sources, I tried new vegetables, spices, fruit, grains and beans in all eatable forms – raw, cooked, baked, boiled, grilled, you name it. Since then, I never had rice again, because I found other grains that taste great and are very easy to cook.
The easy meal prep recipes formula
- Pick a grain (rice, couscous, quinoa, bulgur)
- Pick a bean (black beans, pinto, red kidney, chickpeas)
- Pick a mix of frozen vegetables (either mix them yourself or find mix bags)
- Optionally, pick a source of protein (tofu, soy products)
- The rest of the ingredients are cooking oil, garlic and onion, and your favourite spices (salt and pepper will do).
Let’s cook this thing!
- Heat the pot and then add 1-2 tablespoons of cooking oil
- Add your chopped onion and garlic
- Before they start getting brown, add your frozen veggies and let them simmer.
- Add water and season this base.
- Add the pre-cooked beans and the grain. Couscous and bulgur don’t need a long time to cook, so we prefer them.
- Let it cook until the grain is done.
- Cook your protein source as instructed on the package.
- If you want more veggies, you can have a tray in the oven while you’re cooking the rest. I like baking butternut squash, aubergines, root veggies like potatoes and parsnip, and mushrooms.
Using this formula but changing the ingredients each time will bring more diversity to your meals, even when you don’t know what to cook. In the video below, we cook two different dishes, so follow along and hit pause between steps to join us!
This week’s challenge is to make two meals for lunch or dinner that will last you and your family for 4-5 days. Want to share the results with me? Email me a picture at firstname.lastname@example.org, tweet or Instagram it and tag @greenzenfit. I wish you’ll make a success out of it. And if you have any questions, you know where to find me.
Let me know in the comments, do you have any formulas to create recipes?