I’ve been doing some research on cooking habits lately (which, by the way, have you taken my survey?), and I’m finding that most people feel cooking takes way too much time during your week. In my opinion, cooking doesn’t have to take as long as your making it. A good solid prep session on Sunday should fix that.
Here’s my motto: If you’re prepped, your set. I think you can easily cook dinner in 30 minutes or less each day if you have things prepped already. No, I don’t mean cooking it and refrigerating it to heat up for later. I’m just talking the prep.
Think about it, how long are you taking to chop up vegetables and get food ready to cook? I bet you it takes a longer amount of time to prep the food instead of actually cooking it. Adding the prep to the cooking time is probably why you feel like cooking is taking so darn long. By slicing that out of your daily routine, you’re saving yourself a lot of time.
If you don’t believe me, I posted an IGTV episode where I show my audience how I get things done in an hour. For further reference, here are the things I mention in the episode:
Plan your meals
You can’t prep without a plan! Before grocery shopping, sit down with a cup of coffee and plan out what you would like to eat for the week. I usually plan out one breakfast item (like a batch of muffins, overnight oats, or yogurt with my homemade granola), one lunch item (I like making a lunchbox with a protein, vegetable, and fat item), and five or six dinners for the week. This gives us some room to eat out if we would like.
Also, planning your meals means having a set grocery list, which also means not buying more than you need! It may be tempting to just hit up the grocery store without a plan…but I’m almost positive that you’ll spend more that way instead of going with a set plan for the week.
Not sure what to plan?
Don’t worry, I have a guide that will help make that easier you. Long story short, don’t be so hard on yourself to make this healthy. Just make food you like, and keep it as simple as possible.
Ask yourself: What can be done in advance?
Now that you have your groceries, go through each meal and look at how much prep work it will take before cooking. If it can be done beforehand and stored in your fridge, do it on Sunday. Sunday is the day that I usually prep my breakfast snags, my lunches (like hard-boiled eggs), and chop up any vegetables for recipes beforehand. This is also a great time to divide and cut up your meat supply, and store them in the freezer by meal. I also will take this time to make up a casserole—like a lasagna, ziti, or enchiladas—to shove in the freezer for later.
Make a to-do list
Once you figured out what can be prepped, make a specific list to follow during that meal prep time. Having a list will save you the stress of “what do I need to do next?”
Drink some wine, watch TV, play some tunes
Once you have that list, and all of your items are ready to prep, pour that glass of wine. Sometimes I’ll listen to tunes, but if you have a TV show you’re binging, I also recommend propping up your laptop and watching a show. It’s a great way to pass the time!
I hope this helps to cut down your cooking time during the week! If you have any questions, feel free to comment below.