Invest in quality food containers
Before you start chopping and peeling and slicing and dicing, you need to have the right equipment to hold the fruits of your labor. If you’re prepping a week’s worth of meals, FoodSaver vacuum-sealed containers are a worthy investment. Not only are they durable and BPA-free (translation: no harmful chemicals to stain them or leach into your food), they also keep food fresh up to two times longer than other storage units because all the air is sucked out, making it harder for bacteria to grow or food to spoil. “For me, meal prep is about doing the work when you have the time, which is usually on the weekend. FoodSaver containers extend the life of my food so I can have fresh food ready all week long,” says celebrity chef Damaris Phillips, Food Network Star and FoodSaver spokesperson. Here’s how your food storage containers could make you sick.
Plan a week-long menu
Meal prep doesn’t mean you need to eat the same meal for five days straight. Choose staples from each food group—one grain, one or two proteins, and a variety of veggies, then use the same ingredients all week with different flavor combinations. “I try to think about using those same ingredients as a breakfast dish, in a cold application for lunch, and then dinner,” says Phillips. For example, if you make a big batch of quinoa, you can treat it as you would oatmeal for your morning meal, scoop it on top of a salad for lunch, and pair it with a protein and some roasted veggies for dinner. Explore new flavor combos by trying out different mixed spice blends (Pereg offers everything from curry to BBQ to Cajun), which takes the guesswork out of it. Need more ideas? Check out these delicious quinoa recipes.