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What COVID-19 taught me about meal prep

Use what you’ve got and spend less time in the kitchen

by Jenny Ringland

Ever since social distancing became our new normal, I’ve been spending more time in the kitchen than ever. Between the snacks, baking muffins or random cookie recipes my kids choose, cleaning up, packing away, I feel like I might  as well set up camp under the kitchen sink. However, if COVID-19 has taught me one thing it’s how to cut a few corners, and meal prep is now my secret weapon for less time in the kitchen! Here’s what I’ve learnt over the past few of months! 


Before you start cooking or food shopping, you need to get organised. Do a stocktake of what you have in the pantry, fridge and freezer. Chances are there are probably quite a few panic-bought items in there, so include them in your weekly meals.


Don’t underestimate the power of planning. Work out what you want to cook then create a shopping list so you know exactly what you’re making and need to buy. It’ll ensure you only have to brave the shops once and will prevent impulse buying.


Focus on one batch at a time. Start with protein that can be used for lunches or as the base of dinners, mariante, cook then store. Once you’ve put your proteins aside, move onto preparing grains, roast a batch of veggies, pre-cut some raw veg and then you’ve got a variety of foods to mix and match during the week.


Part of the ease of meal prepping is that food is portioned, but for this you need good containers. Make sure they are glass or clear BPA-free plastic so you can see their contents. If you can’t see what’s inside you’re less likely to remember it’s there.


Your freezer is your lifesaver during COVID-19 and any time for that matter.. Save leftovers, freeze batch cookoffs, and cookies or muffins ready to be enjoyed another day.

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