This guide is about getting results in the kitchen. We’re not talking about you becoming the worlds next best Chef but if you want to make better tasting, more variety and a healthy food option in a short amount of time then you are in the right place.
Meal Prepping can be challenging, but it’s also one of the single biggest steps you can take toward a better work life balance, more free time, and an all round healthier lifestyle and help build a life you’re proud of.
Our very own Chef Jaime, started his kitchen career over 20 years ago, has worked in some of the worlds best restaurants, leading hotels and even been the personal chef for 2 royal families.
On average we spend 10-12 hours each week just organizing our meals. It sounds like an incredible amount of time but if you take into account the planning, shopping, cooking and preparing that time soon adds up. Hang on, I forgot the cleaning!! That’s a load of time we’re wasting every single week. Thats over 600 hours in a year, 26 spent just making your meals.
So if you could cut that down by 3/4 you would probably see the value in it right?
Starting to meal prep has many benefits. Of course, people jump at the idea of meal prepping watch a few Youtube videos and think it all pretty easy. If you struggle with just cooking one dinner in the evening it’s a lot to take on. Take on too much and you’re likely to struggle with the overwhelm of all the ingredients laid out and having to cook them all.
That’s a very legitimate motivation. You get excited about the new dishes you are going to cook, you’ll become a better cook and all that free time that is up for grabs you want to do it the best you can. And you can achieve all of these things, it also won’t happen overnight.
Often people starting to meal prep go all out taking on way too much without the knowledge or planning to think about how it’s all going to come together. You’ll encounter new challenges when starting to meal prep, either overload your work space and something ends up crashing to the floor as it gets accidentally gets pushed off the work bench, all the dishes you decided to cook require the oven so you end up waiting to make the next dish for space to become available which ends up costing you so much time you should have stuck cooking every weeknight or even worse you find yourself in a mess, juggling everything trying hard to keep it together and then you wonder what that smell is to discover what is burning on the stove top. Don’t worry, we have all been there and it’s all part of the learning experience, right?
If you take only one thing away from what you’re reading, take this: Planning the cook is key. Let’s be honest and admit that when it comes to recipes on meal prepping, the internet’s got a bunch of bullshit to offer because unless you just want to cook one dish at a time you can’t always make it the same way every time.
But there’s also tons of gold out there. Awesome quick recipes that are perfect for meal prepping and saving time while being healthy. That’s a big part of why ChefDine was created, to help our community cut through the BS and save time and eat well.
So what do you do? Well, if you’re going to jump in the world of meal prepping alone then you are better off starting with the don’ts: Don’t ever over complicate it, start simple & build on that.
Don’t expect every recipe to work that you see online especially when you don’t actually see the process in full. Just ingredients going in the bowl or dish and then cut to a final product have a high likelihood of missed ingredients. Not everything is has the ingredients you’d like so analyze the idea, try them out, keep what works, and discard what doesn’t.
Yeah, there are many potential paths when meal prepping. So it can make it easier to have a standard cook that you can make variations on.
1 braised dish that could be a stew or curry
1 fish dish that can be prepped and baked when needed
2 chicken dishes that can be marinaded in the same mix and put with different sauces
Then a blanched vegetable side and a roasted vegetable side.
The three core components of planning are:
1️⃣ Where will the dishes be cooked, oven, stovetop, slow cooker etc
2️⃣ What dishes, pans or utensils do I need to cook these dishes
3️⃣ How long will each dish take, longest dishes should go on first.
To make sure it worth it for you to meal prep its a good idea to look at the Pros & Cons as the whole idea is to save time and eat a healthy balanced diet.
✅ Free time in the evening during the week
✅ Makes it easier to stick to your diet
✅ There’s always a go-to option
✅ Avoid the get home and cook or order the unhealthy option with the app.
✅ Save money
❌ You sacrifice an hour or 2 of your Sunday to save hours during the week
To make it easier to get started we have created a Free Group where we cook live in our kitchen while you cook in yours. Showing you every step of the way, saving you time during the week and get your cooking questions answered along the way. You’ll end the cook with a fridge full of tasty dishes that you can grab and go making even work lunches more interesting. We send you the shopping list an a reminder of when we are going live. All the dishes are designed to be versatile so you can do the same cook with different flavors.