So, we’re one week late with May’s #CookMoreIn2013 tip but better late than never. That actually is my philosophy on learning to cook too – it’s never too late to learn, and it definitely is a skill that you and the people around you can always benefit from regardless of how late in life you start. Anyhow, I digress. Let’s get back to May’s tip: The Importance of Prepping and Getting a Head Start in the Kitchen!
I know that a lot of us tend to procrastinate. When you procrastinate with cooking, you tend not to do it. There are just too many more convenient (but often more expensive and less healthy) options out there to tempt us not to cook – fast food, frozen dinners, take-out, the prepared foods section at our grocery store, that box of cereal, or the burrito joint on the corner. However, if you take a little time to proactively start your meals over the weekend, you’ll be so much more likely to cook during the week. Excuses such as: 1) the meat’s still frozen; 2) I don’t have “x”; 3) I’m too tired to chop broccoli no longer apply.
If you can do just a little bit – write out a grocery list, go shopping, and prep a few items that tend to be the bottleneck or the hindrance to a home cooked dinner – then you’ll be golden for the week. This is one of the best parts of our meal plan service. We pick out a few tasks that can be done ahead of time to make sure your weeknights are a lot less stressful and hectic. You can even make this time a social event. Invite a friend over for a glass of wine and get a few things done together. We all know we’re more likely to do something when we buddy up.
Here are some of the most common make ahead tasks that I like to get out of the way right when I get home from the store:
Season / marinate and tenderize proteins. Give that meat some love! Seasoning meat early means it’ll have plenty of time to absorb flavors
Clean and prep greens. Get your salad spinner out and wash and prep all your greens in one go. You’ll never regret having more greens in your diet
Cook grains. It can take a long time to cook some grains, such just make a huge pot of one grain over the weekend and eat it throughout the week
Wrestle butternut squash. We love this vegetable but all admit that it’s a pain in the butt to prep. See our simple method in the video below
Stir-fry tofu. For vegetarians, this is a great way to dress up plain tofu and have it ready for any salad, stir-fry, or rice bowl. Way better than cereal, right?
We’d love to get your weekend make ahead tips. What is your routine for getting a head start on your week of cooking?