On Sundays I do my vegan food prep. That means I spend a couple of hours busy in the kitchen preparing a couple of different meals for the week so that I have food prepared for lunches and dinners. It saves me so much time and is a real stress relief too! I always have a meal or food prepared so I don’t have to cook when I’m tired after a long day of work.
Back when I first started working, and hadn’t properly learned how to adult yet (lol, still don’t know how to adult), I would buy lunch every day at work. Then one day I sat down and added it all up to see how much money I was actually spending each week (and month) by buying lunches. Whoops! It was a lot more than I had imagined. Seeing how much money I could save by making my own lunch, I decided it was time to start preparing food to bring with me to work.
Tip: Check out my recipe for easy vegan lunch boxes
That habit has stuck since then. I’m not super ambitious about my food prep, I don’t want it to take all day, so I often make similar things and cook things that I can easily make big batches of that will last for several meals.
What inspires me to food prep
Some might consider it boring and time consuming to do food prep, but the truth is, it actually saves you a lot of time (and money) in the end. Sure, if you food prep like me and only make a couple of different dishes it might get a little bit boring eating the same meal several days in a week, but if you prepare enough different foods, you can vary your meals and keep it interesting. Here’s what I like about food prepping:
- I eat proper meals. Without my nutritious meals prepared, I’m more likely to just grab a snack because I can’t be bothered to cook. Food prepping helps me make sure I’m eating nourishing meals and enough food to fuel my body.
- It saves me time. Instead of having to cook every evening when I get home from work, my meal is ready for me to eat when I get home. I get spend my evening relaxing or doing something else I enjoy instead – like writing for Banana Bloom, or watching a favourite series on Netflix.
- It saves me money. If I’ve got lunch and dinner prepared, I’m a lot less likely to spend money on buying my meals at restaurants every day. If you’re buying meals out several times a week, check your account balance – how much are you actually spending on buying lunch and dinner every week? I bet you it’s more than you realise. Food prep saves you a lot of money!
- I don’t have to venture far to get my meals. If I were to buy lunch for work every day, I’d have to find a place within reasonable distance that has food I like – not to mention that has good vegetarian options – and venture out to get it. Food prep allows me to have the food I want, and it’s right in the fridge at work waiting for me.
- Preparing food in advance gives me time to do something a little bit more complicated. I think we can all agree that we’re not about to stand in the kitchen for hours after we’ve worked a whole day. However, if the food is prepared on your day off, you’ve got more time to do a bigger batch of a recipe that’s a little more complicated. So go for it, try that Jamie Oliver recipe you’ve been eyeing!
Great foods for meal prepping
Here’s are some of the foods I commonly prepare, which can be combined in different ways to create a variety of meals for the week:
- Cooked quinoa, bulgur, rice, sweet potatoes and/or potatoes
- Chickpeas, lentils and other beans
- Red cabbage and carrot slaw
- Broccoli, cauliflower, carrots
- Overnight oats
- Chia pudding
- Vegan lasagna
- Spring rolls
- Gluten Free Vegan Banana Bread
- Veggie Patties
A recent vegan food prep of mine included making spring rolls. I filled them with zucchini, carrots, radishes, tofu, avocado and cilantro. They turned out great and I just add some soya sauce when serving. I also made salads with spinach, potatoes, crispy tofu, tomatoes, cucumber and some of the left over radishes and zucchini. Salads like this are a staple food prep of mine because it’s so easy to throw together.
Do you food prep? What’s your go-to meal that you prepare?