If you haven’t noticed, I’m all about saving time and making meals for the week ahead. I got into this habit at medical school and continue to do it to this day – even when working from home. It’s a great way to save time (and money), ensure you’ve got some healthy nourishing meals in the fridge and it also cuts down on food waste – good for you, good for the planet.
That said I know meal prep can seem daunting if you’re new to it – trust me it can be streamlined and made simple. So I’ve rounded up my top kitchen tools to help you get started and I’ve also shared some of my favourite recipes to make ahead of time.
A food processor
My food processor is probably the most used kitchen gadget I have. I use it to make falafel, homemade veggie burgers, energy balls, to shred veggies, and make sauces and dips.
I recommend something like the Kitchen aid compact food processor if you want something that doesn’t take up a huge amount of space, is powerful – and looks great on your countertop.
Recipe ideas using a food processor:
A personal blender
If you’re stuck for storage space or someone who is always on-the-go then a personal blender such as a nutribullet is a great option. This can be used to make smoothies, soups, sauces, hummus etc. The nutribullet GO Cordless Blender is also a great option if you want to leave it at work or take it with you when you’re travelling. Stuck for inspiration? How about trying one of the recipes below for a quick breakfast on-the-go.
Recipe ideas using a personal blender:
Mason or kilner jars are great for storing food, but also transporting food. They come in all different sizes. For breakfast, such as overnight oats or yogurt and granola, I would opt for a 0.35 litre jar like this one and for salads I would choose a pint size. Check out these recipes for 3 ways with overnight oats below.
Recipe ideas using mason jars:
and food storage containers
I have 4 of the same lunch boxes that I use every Sunday when I’m dividing out my lunches for the next few days.
I like to use stainless steel lunch boxes because of the quality and durability – and they’re more environmentally friendly compared to plastic. The downside is you can’t put them in the microwave but you can easily bypass this by tipping the food out onto a plate.
Glass containers are also long-lasting but they can break, so I usually keep them at home for fridge storage (also easier to see what’s inside!)
Find all our lunchbox club recipes here – some favourites are linked below.
Recipe ideas using lunchboxes
If you’re prepping for a few people with different dietary requirements, or dealing with raw meat and veggies at the same time, it’s key to be careful with cross-contamination.
This handy colour-coded chopping board design has an index tab which means whether you’re preparing veg, fish, meat or hot food, everything is kept separate at all times and you don’t need to worry about repeatedly washing a single board.
You can also use the colours to simply be more organised by creating meal prepping stations for example breakfast, lunches, snacks etc.
Thermos or soup flasks
I love soup or stews during the colder months when I’m working longer shifts or night shifts so this is something which gets a lot of outings from my house. Also ideal if you’re planning a cute winter picnic and want to bring some hot chocolate (or mulled wine)
Recipe ideas using thermos or soup flasks
That’s my main list but some other things you may find useful:
- A slow cooker – I don’t actually have one but lots of my friends with children or those with busy schedules swear by them.
- A good set of knives – Don’t underestimate a good set of sharp knives – trust me it’s worth it. It makes chopping and cooking so much easier, effective and just enjoyable
- Measuring cups and spoons, or weighing scales – Some recipes require weight measurements so this is a handy tool to have in the kitchen anyway. While not essential to healthy eating, some people may wish to track their food intake and so a weighing scale is pretty essential for that
- Beeswax wrap – Environmentally friendly alternative to cling film – I use mine all the time to wrap up sandwiches, bagels and wraps
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