If someone tells you that they like meal prep, there’s a strong chance they’re either lying or just getting started. The process can get tedious over time, and you might be struggling to find something new. This is especially true if you are not used to cooking, or maybe not the best at it. Thankfully, there are plenty of things that you can do to make the process more interesting, and add a little bit of variety. Let’s take a look at a few ideas for spicing up your meal prep.
The easiest way to make your meals more interesting is to inspire yourself with international cuisines. You don’t have to learn how to make mole or chicken biryani, but you can always include some foreign elements. One of the easiest ways would be to use marinades from different parts of the world for every meal. You could have an Asian-style marinade with soya sauce, honey, garlic, and ginger, a Greek-style marinade with olive oil, garlic, and yogurt, or a Mexican marinade with cilantro and orange juice, for instance. This will help mix things up and you can reuse these marinades for different dishes.
Get to Grilling
If you’re going to be cooking large meals, why not use the grill instead? Everything is more interesting when it’s grilled, and it’s easier to prepare large quantities of food on a grill outside instead of a small, hot kitchen. You could even prepare two weeks’ worth of food and freeze a portion of it if you want.
You shouldn’t be afraid to step outside the box when you’re preparing meals. One of the easiest ways to spruce up rice or any cooked grain is to use other liquids instead of water. Any liquid that you use will impart its flavor and you could be surprised at how it can make something that is often bland, like rice, much better.
One of the simplest things you can do is use some sort of broth, but you can get even more creative and use tomato juices. Another thing you can do is make what is called a “fond” and use it as a base. You could braise meat with a few vegetables and aromatics, take out the meat, add water or broth, and cook whatever carb you want in it. You can also use something like white wine to deglaze the pan and add water afterward.
Choose the Right Containers
You should also make sure that you pick the right containers for your meal prep. Make sure that they’re all the same to make things easier for you. The best meal prep containers will have multiple compartments and will keep cold things cold, and hot things hot. Look for meal containers that have a space for sauces as having to carry another container just for this can be inconvenient. Also, we suggest you look at different materials as they vary in price and features.
Play Around with Your Salads
Salads can get boring over time, but it’s usually because we tend to stick to lettuce-based salads. There are plenty of other alternatives that you could use instead. Here, again, going international could give you some inspiration. We suggest you look at the Mediterranean and the Middle East there. A nice tabbouleh salad could be a nice break from the traditional Caesar salad, and it’s chock full of protein.
Another thing you should do is add some pickled vegetables to your salad. We would also suggest that you go a step further and pickle your vegetables yourself. Home-made lacto-fermented pickles can make your salads and dishes much more interesting. Pickling is pretty simple too. All you need is a jar with a closable lid, the vegetables of your choice, water, and some pickling salt. You can also add a variety of aromatics like dill, garlic, cloves, and mustard seeds. We would suggest that you use distilled or filtered water too as things like chlorine can negatively affect the taste.
These are all things that you should make meal prep and your meals more interesting. Don’t be afraid to be original and explore your options.