I think we can all agree that one of the main reasons we opt for preparing meals in advance is so that we have more time for things other than cooking during those days to come. When it comes to time management while working full-time, taking care of my new home (kitchen tour to come!), running Vegan Meal Prep Sunday and finding time to spend on other things I enjoy, like yoga, having meals on hand, helps me a ton!
However, no one wants to be in the kitchen all of Sunday either, am I right? To achieve this, I often introduce a few hacks to save time in the kitchen.
Here are five easy ways you can ensure you spend as little time as possible meal prepping, so that you don’t only save time during the days to come, but also on meal prep day!
1. Use a sheet pan & maximise oven space
I am a massive fan of using sheet pan recipes. With one cycle of your oven you can fill two or three levels of your oven with ingredients, like I did with this delicious deconstructed falafel bowl, an entire meal prep recipe completed by using the sheet pan time-saving hack! Another bonus is that there’s less to clean up by cooking with sheet pans – no added bowls, spoons, pots and pans!
2. Use a food processor
Let’s be honest – there are certain dishes and sauces that require some good ‘ole elbow grease to prepare the right way… but sometimes life’s just made easier with the use of a food processor.
My fresh Thai green curry is one of those recipes that calls for the use of a food processor. Not only to mince the curry paste ingredients, but also to slice the vegetables. Every now and then one can skip taking twenty minutes to tackle a butternut or shedding a few tears as you chop onions – just throw it in the food processor!
3. Take short cuts
Another time-saver is using your favourite pre-made sauces or flavours to boost your meal prep, and simply add some to any meal you’re eating to give it a flavour variation. For example, I love adding a dollop of hummus to my meals – it’s easy to enjoy by just adding a scoop to my meals or on a slice of toast as a snack!
I make hummus from scratch at home, but another favourite of mine which I buy at the store to save time is pesto! It adds a delicious flavour to any meal, like a simple pesto pasta. Pesto Princess recently started selling pesto in bulk tubs, which are freezer friendly! So convenient!
4. Keep it simple with salad bowls
A vegan meal prep hack since most vegetables and fruits were gifted to us by Mother Nature in ready-to-eat form is… salads! It doesn’t get easier than getting your daily dose of veggies in one single bowl, which doesn’t require any cooking!
One of my favourite quick and easy salad bowls to prep is the Mediterranean quinoa bowl, which I relish with a generous dollop of hummus, plant-based tzatziki or creamy tahini.
5. Use frozen veggies
This is one time-saving tip that has a bad rep. Many of us struggle to cook with frozen veggies, especially since some frozen veggies can lose their form, colour, and flavour a bit. While I don’t cook with frozen veggies very often, it’s one go-to ingredient that I always have in my freezer.
Frozen vegetables have saved me time in the kitchen many times, and recently while meal prepping an instant tofu miso soup I was able to save so much time on this recipe. A miso soup with frozen veggies requires zero cooking and is absolutely tasty and truly simple to make.
I’d love to know how you save time in the kitchen while meal prepping, so let me know in the comments below!
And don’t forget to share your meals with me and other fellow VMPS preppers by tagging your posts with #veganmealprepsunday. I’d love to see how your meals turned out!