I don’t know about you but my fridge is usually packed to the brim or almost empty. It’s as if it has a life of its own alternating between a big grocery shop haul and having fed an entire army!
I’m also not a meal planner. While the kids have their staples and favs, my husband and I tend to cook according to what we feel like, the weather, and our training requirements.
For the two reasons above, meal prep tends to happen on the day itself and more of a “random” practice than something I plan days in advance.
Here are some guidelines I try to stick to:
It has to be quick – I am not one to slave over meals.
It has to include as many* fresh and colourful produce items as possible – while also keeping the recipe tasteful!
It has to “work” with what’s in our fridge and pantry. We rarely go out just to shop for a special ingredient for a simple meal.
*I like to keep our plates to about 80% fresh produce and the rest made up of protein or grains.
At the end of the day, I have learnt to be flexible and work with what I have in the fridge, no matter what the contents are looking like that day.
(Caveat: While I try to cook most days, there are definitely days when my family uses our weekly “wild card” of ordering take-out or having a meal at a restaurant. After all, it’s also about the memories so that’s fine too)
Here are a couple of personal hacks on how to get a quick and tasty meal on the table at any meal time, any day:
Always have some cooked grains (ie rice) in the fridge that are just ready to reheat. I always have some pasta ready for the kids as well.
Ready-to-go salad leaves always make a great back up plan.
Always have eggs or protein in your freezer/pantry. For example, we normally have a couple cans of tuna in our pantry.
Have a couple of staple recipes that you can rely on – these need to be quick and easily done. Some of my personal go-to ones are a frittata or veggie patty made up of veggie leftovers from the week.
When you make something like a tomato based sauce or curry base, make a bigger portion than the recipe suggests so can store some in the freezer/ fridge for those days where life gets busy or you don’t feel like cooking.
Make sure to check my “recipe” section later this week as I share my fav go-to curry