Preparing individual meals every night can get exhausting. Just thinking about all the ingredients you need and the work you’ll have to do before dinner hits the table can be stressful and make you lose your appetite. One solution is advance meal prepping, but many people find preparing entire meals for the week in advance to be equally stressful.
Fortunately, there is a middle ground that can give you some relief. When you make your proteins in advance, it saves a ton of time in the kitchen later. You can probably save some money with this strategy, too. Here’s what you need to know about this form of meal prepping and some ways you use it.
Simple Meal Prepping Trick — Make Your Proteins in Advance
Some people spend an entire day cooking all of their meals for the coming week in advance. Not everyone wants to sacrifice this much time and effort, especially if there are other things you’d rather be doing on the weekend. One simple meal-prepping strategy that works well is cooking all your proteins for the week in one batch.
Batch cooking is simply the act of cooking items in bulk. And you don’t have to hover over a stove or grill to get the job done, either. Many people use cooking techniques like pressure cooking, roasting, or slow cooking, so you can let items cook slowly while you do other things.
How to Batch Cook Your Proteins to Save Time and Money
One of the first things you usually think about when planning your weekly grocery shopping is protein. When you batch cook these items, you can save a lot of time in your daily meal prep. Here are some tips for making different proteins ahead of time.
Hard-boiled eggs are simple to make and store for the coming week. Simply boil water in a pot, drop in up to a dozen eggs, reduce the water to a simmer, and let the eggs cook for about 12 minutes. Let the water cool before removing the eggs to store them in the fridge. You can use them in recipes and salads and pack them in lunches throughout the week.
Pre-cooked roasted chicken can be used as a main course for a meal alongside some steamed veggies. It is also great for sandwiches and salad toppers. Even better, it only takes about an hour to prepare.
You can also purchase some boneless, skinless chicken breasts to prepare in your slow cooker. An easy shredded chicken recipe will take about five hours to cook. This is an excellent main ingredient for meals like taco night or burrito bowls.
While steak doesn’t taste great when it’s pre-cooked, meatloaf sure does. Using 2-3 pounds of ground beef, you can make a delicious meatloaf recipe in a regular rectangular loaf pan. It will take about an hour to bake. Then, you can serve it later in the week with your choice of veggies and potatoes.
Pulled Pork Loin
Pork loin is low in fat and makes a healthy choice for a pre-cooked meal. You can put a 2-3 lb pork loin in your slow cooker for up to six hours on low. This is excellent served as a main dish, made into sandwiches, or used as a taco filling.
Roasted Turkey Breast
Turkey is a low-fat protein that you’ll want to leave whole and slice as you use it for each meal. This will prevent it from drying out. You can cook a whole turkey breast (skin-on) in advance in under two hours. This is another protein you can serve as a main dish or use for lunches throughout the week.
If you plan to pre-cook seafood, only cook what you’re going to consume over the next several days. Otherwise, it will begin to smell fishy unless you decide to freeze what you’ve prepared. Sauteed shrimp is an excellent option because it’s super quick to prepare and easy to freeze. Then, you can reheat the shrimp with your choice of pasta or rice.
Find All of Your Proteins and Other Meal Ingredients at Nick’s of Calvert
Whether you choose to do a full meal prep or batch prepare your proteins, you need quality ingredients. Nick’s of Calvert has you covered. For decades, we have been carrying the highest quality meats, deli items, produce, and other food products and offering customers the helpful service they deserve. We even have many premade options and a large selection of beer, wine, and spirits to complement your meal. Feel free to give us a call at (410) 414-7105 or visit our store in Prince Frederick.