22. April 2022

Meal Prep – Cook Once, Enjoy Often!

What is meal prep? What are the best ways to do it? Which dishes are suitable for meal prep? Here, you'll discover everything you need to know about this popular food trend. 

Meal Prep – Cook Once, Enjoy Often!

Whether you put a salad in a mason jar, prepare a power bowl or make a healthy snack like energy balls – preparing food is increasingly becoming a popular trend. Cooking ahead of time, which our grandparents already encouraged, is immensely popular. Swapping out a delivery service or the office canteen for a self-made delicacy is becoming the preferred option. This meal prepping requires planning, cooking and packing. Curious? In this article we’ll explain everything you need to know about the meal-prep-trend.

Contents of this article:

  • What is meal prep?
  • What are the advantages of meal prepping?
  • Our meal prep ideas
  • Meal prep with Every. products
  • The best foods for meal prepping
  • Quick recipes for a weekly meal prep

What is Meal Prep?

Days can get very full, quickly. Juggling work, family etc. can often mean that very little ‘free’ time is left over. The consequence can be that nutritious, fresh, self made food is replaced with fast food or office-canteen meals. Thankfully, current food trends like meal prepping have made this a thing of a past, and allow for busy days, fuelled by good, wholesome food. But what does meal prepping actually entail?

Meal prep means nothing more than cooking in advance, and in bulk, to cover your meals for the week. With the right planning, suitable meals and a good to-go container (very important!) you can easily make plenty of delicious, diverse and fuelling meals to power you through the week. Goodbye lame sandwich, hello culinary excellence!

Meal prepping lets you determine what’s on your plate. Whether you want something hearty and rich, or rather opt for a light or low carb option, meal prepping makes you the boss of your personal nutrition.

What are the advantages of meal prepping?

You might be asking yourself, why would I spend hours in the kitchen when I can easily order a meal or pack something quickly day-of? Hear are some reasons:

1. Cook once, save several times! Not only are you saving on time, but your bank account will thank you! With the right organisation, you only need to cook once (maybe twice) a week and get everything done that you need for the week. Shopping, chopping, and cleaning up therefore also only needs to be done once.

    Cooking for yourself is much cheaper than frequent restaurant visits or splurges on a delivery service. If you plan ahead, only the things you’ll really need land in your shopping cart. Saving you money, and also reducing food waste!

    2. You’ve always got something healthy with you. When we’re stressed, we’re much likelier to grab a quick, usually unhealthy, snack. Regardless if we're in the office or working from home. The sandwiches from the bakery across the street, fast food or canteen food. The main thing is that it's quick and fills you up. With our meal prep ideas, you can decide in advance what will end up on your plate and when. And because you will prepare it yourself, you know exactly what's in it: additives, saturated fats and unhealthy short-chain carbohydrates are therefore much less likely to end up in your food.

    3. Keeps you on track of your nutritional goals. Do you want to keep an eye on your fitness level and increase your protein consumption? Or simply consume fewer calories? Or maintain a diet of clean eating while travelling? No problem. Just look for recipes packed with protein sources or modify meals to suit your needs. Of course, this also applies to the size of the portions.

    4. Eat away without a second thought. If you suffer from an allergy or an intolerance, you’re familiar with the tedious task of deciphering ingredient lists or asking a restaurant waiter "does it have x in it?". Meal prepping, again puts you in charge, so that you can avoid any unwanted foods.

    Our meal prep ideas

    You’ve got your chef hat on and are ready to go? But still unsure of how exactly? We’ve put together some helpful tips to help you get started and answer some open questions.

    • Prep before meal prep: A vegan rice pan, a warming stew or a light salad? Before you go to the supermarket, you should think about what you want to cook and what you need for it. This will save you time and give you an overview of the ingredients and quantities you need. A well-structured shopping list and a weekly plan are a real time and money-saver.

    • Fancy a salad? To avoid spoilage, you should aim to eat your vegetables at the beginning of the week. Package the salad dressing separately, and pour over your greens right before eating to avoid a soggy affair. Other fresh fruits and vegetables can only be kept for a short time because they lose water and spoil more quickly than others (especially if they are raw or very finely grated) - you should bear this in mind when planning to avoid unnecessary food waste.

    • Storage. Mason jar, lunchbox or lunch pot? Plastic, glass or metal? There are many ways to transport your meals from A to B, but which is best? Ideal are containers in which the individual components (e.g. rice, vegetables, sauce) can be separated from each other. This way you can keep an eye on the portion, save space, your food stays fresh and is still appetising to look at after transport.

    Sustainability tip: Empty screw-top jars are ideal to reuse for soups.

    Meal prep boxes made of plastic are cheap, but unfortunately not really environmentally friendly. However, you can also find sustainable alternatives made of PP plastic, metal or glass. But where to put the box? There is a solution for that too: the lunch bag. Made with several compartments (sometimes even with a cooling function), you can easily take your pre-cooked meals with you.

    You can heat up your pre-cooked meals in the microwave, pan or pot. Be careful not to overcook it. Read more about what to look out for when reheating and the best way to prepare food in the microwave in our article.

    Tip: An important business lunch throws your plan off course? Don't worry, your pre-cooked meals can be stored for a few days in the fridge, and enjoyed at a later time. But they won't keep forever. To allow for flexibility in your schedule, you can also free your meals directly after cooking (and cooling). This keeps it fresh (sometimes for months) and preserves important nutrients and flavour.

    Meal Prep with Every. products 

    Want to know how you can make meal prepping even easier? The answer: yes with Every. We’ve prepared the meals for you, so we’re really talking about minimal effort. Cooking, chopping and prepping, is all done for you. All that’s left for you to do is prepare the Every. bowl in a pan or microwave and store it in your to-go container. This will take literally 10 minutes of your time. Surely no one is too busy for that! All products are 100% vegan and free of additives or other unwanted ingredients. Regardless of what you're in the mood for, our diverse dishes will cater to all preferences. Start your day with a green smoothie or acai pearls. Energise yourself during lunch with a Kale Minestrone or hearty vegan Bolognese. In addition, we also have ginger shots or sweet snacks!

    The best foods for meal prepping

    What should be on your shopping list for the ultimate meal prep plan?

    Tip: A green salad is not suitable for long-term storage.

    However, there are foods that will be great for your lunchbox. Here an overview:

    Protein sources
    1. Cereals and pseudo-cereals such as soy, oats, chickpeas or quinoa.
    2. Seeds, such as hemp, pumpkin or sesame.
    3. Legumes such as nuts, peas, chickpeas, lentils, beans, and maize
    4. Vegetables such as spinach or broccoli
    5. Various plant-based milk and meat substitutes such as vegan cheeses, soy cutlets, tofu or plant-based chicken alternatives such as Planted Chicken.

    You can read more about vegan meat alternatives in this article.

    Unsaturated fatty acids

    1. Vegetable oils, e.g. coconut or olive oil

    Healthy carbohydrates

    1.Potatoes and sweet potatoes
    2. Pasta, e.g. from chickpeas
    3. Brown rice
    4. Pulses such as white or green beans
    5. Cereals such as oatmeal, quinoa or buckwheat
    6. Fruit and sugar alternatives such as bananas or date syrup

    Vitamin bombs in fruit and vegetables

    1. Vegetables such as broccoli, beans, peppers, cucumber, tomatoes, courgettes, aubergine, carrots, pumpkin, and beetroot
    2. Fruit such as berries, kiwi, pineapple, apples, banana, and pomegranate

    Don't forget a delicious dressing or sauce: Chopped and strained tomatoes, coconut milk, oat and soy cuisine, pesto, hummus or other dips are suitable as a base. You can round off the whole thing with nuts or seeds as a crunchy topping.

    Don't forget the seasoning! Spices such as salt and pepper, herbs de Provence, oregano or thyme give your meal prep idea more pep.

    Quick recipes for a weekly meal prep

    Lacking inspiration? We've picked out 5 popular meal prep dishes for you, but you'll have to cook them yourself. Unless you opt for the Every. version, then it's just a matter of getting out a pan and heating them up.

    Breakfast to go

    You don't want to miss out on a delicious breakfast? Overnight oats, creamy chia puddings and many others are great options for healthy breakfasts that are easy to transport.

    Quick recipes for lunch

    Give your meal prep meals a fun twist with our recipes like Naked Tacos, Udon Noodles or Ratatouille Gnocchi.  

    Italian wraps

      For this quick recipe you will need:

      • 2 vegan wraps
      • -100g vegan Mozzarella
      • 2 tomatoes
      • 2 TB pesto
      • 1/2 a bag of romaine lettuce
      • 1 TB balsamic vinegar 
      • Olive oil
      • Salt and pepper

      Mix the pesto and chopped mozzarella together. Cut the tomatoes and lettuce into pieces or strips. For the sauce, mix the balsamic vinegar and olive oil, season with salt and pepper and add the tomato and lettuce mix. Place everything on wraps and roll together.

      Tip: Here you can find more delicious recipe ideas - e.g. couscous salad or soups - for a healthy quick lunch.

      Asparagus-Tofu Curry

      • 1 onion
      • 1 garlic clove
      • 1 piece of ginger
      • 1 green chili
      • 250g broccoli
      • 250g green asparagus
      • Salt and pepper
      • 1 TB peanut oil
      • 2 TB yellow curry paste
      • 1 tbsp turmeric powder
      • 125ml vegetable broth
      • 100ml coconut milk
      • 150g tofu
      • 2 spring onions
      • 3g coriander
      • 1 tbsp sesame oil
      • 1 TB light soy sauce

      Chop the onion, garlic and ginger. Halve, seed and cut chilli pepper into strips. Wash and cut broccoli and asparagus - remove woody ends first and peel the lower third - into stalks. Fry onion, garlic, ginger and chilli in preheated pan covered with peanut oil and add curry paste and turmeric. Pour in vegetable stock and coconut milk, bring to the boil and then simmer. Steam broccoli and asparagus over salted water for 10 minutes. Cut tofu into cubes and the spring onion into rings. Wash coriander and pluck leaves. Next fry tofu in sesame oil. Mix soy sauce and pepper into the curry paste, add tofu and cook for about 5 min. Decorate the finished curry with spring onions and coriander. You can also season the broccoli and asparagus pieces served separately with coriander and add nori. Enjoy your meal!

      Snacks for a small appetite

      Energy balls, raw cakes or fluffy carrot cake pancakes are not just sweet and tasty, but they also supply us with important carbohydrates and are quick and easy to prepare.

      We totally get the meal prep hype. All of us are familiar with crazy busy days where you feel like you don’t get a moment to yourself. But in these moments, your nutrition shouldn’t be what gets compromised. A nutritious, balanced diet is paramount to your health. Take some time to get organised and start experimenting with some fun recipes. This will become an effortless (and maybe even fun!) routine and your health, your body and your bank account will thank you for it!

      Curious for more? Check out these articles:

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