Many people dream about organizing and streamlining their plant-based meal prep but fail to achieve that due to their busy schedules. Any kind of time management and organization is often easier said than done. You will find many friends advising you to use recipe organizers and apps to plan meals. However, you know that the best and efficient planning needs not just time but also effort, energy, concentration, and focus, which you might not have.
Sometimes, even after giving our best efforts, it might feel too much when we struggle to keep things together in the kitchen. However, understand that where there is a will, there is a way. The plant-based meal prep tips that are shared below will help you make your plant-based meal preparation a breeze.
Use Pre Packaged Salads And Vegetables
Pre-washed and pre-chopped salads and veggies are not a good choice when you prepare plant-based meals. This is because they are less environmentally friendly and are more expensive. However, as long as the pre-cut and packaged products are fresh, you can go for them, as they are as healthy as their unpacked counterparts. Being able to open a bag of chopped salad greens, kale, carrots, lettuce, or cabbage and tossing it into a salad bowl or skillet can make the difference for many busy people out there who are looking to have a plant-based food preparation.
It is not always about the extra effort and mess. Sometimes the thought of washing and chopping the vegetables can be overwhelming for many people who are pressed for time. Using pre-packaged veggies is one way in which you can have fresh and healthy food available when you are low on time.
Go For Frozen Vegetables And Fruits
Frozen veggies and fruits can be a great option for you when you are on a busy schedule. Besides, these are less expensive, when compared to fresh produce. More importantly, frozen produce will stay fresh until you use it. Also, it is handy for spur-of-the-moment cooking and can help you avoid midnight runs to the local store. By opting for frozen produce, you can avoid the pressure of using it before goes bad.
You can also find pre-cooked frozen items, in addition to frozen veggies and fruits. Frozen cooked quinoa, riced cauliflower, and other items like vegetable medleys are available, that can help make your plant-based food preparation easy. You may also combine these pre-cooked frozen items with frozen or fresh veggies, legumes, or fruits. You need to stock up on sale, but make sure to have a good supply of the most commonly used frozen veggies and fruits handy as they can be a true lifesaver for plant-based eaters who lead a busy life.
Use Instant Pot Or Crock Pot
If you do not already have an instant pot or crockpot, make sure to buy one as it can be used to slow cook and pressure cook items, making them popular among plant-based dieters. You can buy instant pots at department stores and even at supermarkets. As per many plant-based cooks, these pots are truly the best friend of busy people and will let you have many delicious dishes in the minimum time and with minimum meal prep.
When using instant pots, you will not have to worry about sautéing onions before making soups. You just need to toss everything into the pot and cook it. These pots are great for soups and stews, as well as for cooking beans and to make whole grain porridge. You can throw in the ingredients to the pot before going to bed and have a warm and healthy breakfast when you wake up in the morning.
Follow Batch Cooking
If you have a large crockpot, you can cook extra and then freeze the rest. Batch cooking can be great for dishes like seitan, pasta dishes, tofu scrambles, potato dishes, and all items that will freeze. This can also include staple items like beans and rice. You can make them early in the week and use them to pull together a meal quickly. You can invest in storage items like freezer bags and freezer containers of varying sizes.
If you use glass to store food items in the freezer, there is the risk of glass breaking due to the expansion that occurs when liquids are frozen. Before putting the food items into plastic containers and bags, you need to let your food cool off. You can make pasta salads, stir-fries, tossed salads, mashed potatoes, vegan quiche, and other dishes in bulk and refrigerate them for later use.
Hopefully, some of the plant-based meal prep tips that are shared above will work for you. Keep in mind that it is not always easy to eat healthy when you are very busy and you should do your best to ensure that you eat healthily.