Does short on time mean nutrition disaster for your next meal? During the semester I feel like I have zero time or energy to prepare food...let alone eat! After four years of 'experience' I've learned that I eat more healthfully during the week if I take the time to do meal time prep work over the weekend.

My goal is to never feel like my time in the kitchen is a burden. I want cooking to be relaxing, fun, and exciting (but not in the way of cuts, fires, or fail meals) so the way I make it happen is scheduling.

Take the time to schedule meal prep into your spare time with these suggestions:

  • Book it: If you're like me, your shelf or desktop is flooded with cook books or recipes. Spend the morning browsing with coffee and pick your favorites to make for the week. You're hoarding those recipes for a reason right?
  • List it: You've got the recipes, now list your ingredients. Ideally, find recipes with overlapping ingredients to cut down on expense and time at the store.
  • Check it: When you're at the grocery, triple check your list to make sure you've got what you need. Talk about a time waster if you have to dash to the store for one ingredient last minute.
  • Chop it: Cut veggies or fruit for easy snacks and keep them in a sealed container that are easily visible in the fridge. Also use this time to pre-measure and chop any ingredients for labor intensive recipes. A great example is a stir-fry. Cut peppers, onions, bok choy, carrot, or whatever you love and toss it in a container to use the night of your meal. All you'll need to do is toss it in the wok!
  • Soak it: Beans or grain part of the meal? Start your soak for the beans, or go ahead and whip up some quinoa.
  • Note it: Book mark your recipes or write yourself any notes for the meal.

Not everything can be done ahead of time, for flavor and safety reasons! However, little time savers like I mentioned above will really help during the week, and maybe afford you time for an evening cocktail with friends and family. Isn't that worth some weekend prep?