It all started a week before our June holidays. I made a list of chores that I needed to carry out before leaving for vacation. And one of them was to get rid of all the perishable stuff in my fridge. But instead of throwing the loose/leftover vegetables in my fridge (which would have been a waste), I suddenly got an idea on how I could use all of them: do a meal prepping for my lunch for the whole week!
Aside from saving time, meal prepping can also save pennies from our budget. And most importantly for me, I don’t need to wake up SO early to prepare packed lunch for my two boys.
From then on, I cooked and packed our lunch every Sundays. I usually prepare 9 sets which is good for 3 lunches for the three of us.
In case it’s your first time to hear about meal prepping, it’s essentially the planning and preparing of your meals in advance. In other words, cooking in bulk.
Planning stage (PVC) Protein + Vegetable + Carbs(Starch)
Proteins: Chicken, Ground beef and pork, Fish/Seafood, Eggs, Ham, Sausages
Vegetables: (for every prepping, I choose 2 to 3 items)
Broccoli, capsicum, zucchini, squash, carrots, french beans/green beans, snow peas, baby corn, mushrooms, asparagus, yellow onion, eggplant, cauliflower, corn
Carbs: (for every prepping, I choose 1 item)
Sweet potato, potato, pasta, brown rice, burghul, couscous (also a type of pasta), polenta
– (these are our body fuel.)
Prepping Stage (MCC)Marinating, Chopping, Cooking
Marinating: shower your meat with seasonings and massage them passionately.
Chopping: Wash your vegetables and let them dry. Try to chop them in similar sizes so they will all be cooked evenly. Then lay them in your baking pans. (For easier cleaning, I lay an aluminum foil or parchment paper on my sheets/pans.)
Cooking: Most of the time, I use my oven except for some sautéing like for ground beef and pork. I just wait for the timer to ring while I’m doing other chores, reading or watching TV.
Here’s my Meal Prepping Idea #1
Roasted Bell Peppers, Sweet Potatoes, Onion, Broccoli and Chicken
- 1 pc green bell pepper, washed and chopped into bite-sized pieces
- 1 pc red bell pepper, washed and chopped into bite-sized pieces
- 1 pc yellow bell pepper, washed and chopped into bite-sized pieces
- 4 pcs sweet potatoes(med-large size), washed and chopped into bite-sized pieces
- 4 pcs broccoli, washed and chopped into bite-sized florets
- 2 pcs yellow onions, peeled and slice into rings
- 3 pcs breast chicken, washed and dried
- Garlic salt
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 190C and line baking sheets/pans with aluminum foil or parchment paper.
- Prepare all the locknlocks or tupperwares or lunch boxes that you need.
- Rub the chicken with salt, pepper, garlic pepper and paprika.
- Lightly drizzle the chicken with olive oil and massage it passionately. Put into the bowl and wrap it with cling wrap. Keep it your fridge.
- Lightly drizzle each vegetable with olive oil and season with salt, pepper and garlic pepper. Put broccoli, bell peppers and onions in your sheet/pan and sweet potatoes in another sheet/pan.
- Bake each sheet for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and stir. Change the oven setting to broil and cook for another 10 minutes or until desired golden brown.
- Change the oven setting to 180C.
- Place the chicken in your pan and put inside the oven. Bake it for 30 minutes.
- When the chicken is fully cooked, cover the pan with an aluminum foil and let it rest for 10 minutes.
- Now it’s ready for cutting.
1. It is important to wait for the baked chicken to rest for awhile before cutting. The resting time gives the juices time to settle. This will make the chicken juicier and easy to carve.
2. Try not to overcrowd the vegetable in your sheet/pan. This will block heat from getting into your vegetables.
3. Stirring or turning your vegetables allows to cook them evenly.
4. To ensure the chicken is fully cooked, use a meat thermometer. It should read 71C to 74C. If you don’t have a meat thermometer, cut a small portion. If you can still see pinkish color, it means you need to bake it for 5 more minutes. You can repeat this checking procedure until the meat is fully cooked.
1. Don’t freeze. I store the individually packed meals in the refrigerator up to 4 days, between 1.6C to 4.4C temperature. (I cook on Sundays and we eat them for lunch on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.)
2. I add the fruits and/or dessert just before packing into the lunch bags.
3. I put them in a locknlock thermal bags and they’re ready to go.
1. I usually don’t reheat them.
2. I usually drizzle them with balsamic vinegar or olive oil before eating.
1. In Singapore, asparagus is more affordable when it’s in season. Just buy this during this period.
2. When you’re in the grocery and you see something not in your list that is on sale (for example, if the shop were having broccoli promotion), replace one of your items with this one.
3. I spent around S$2.00 per lunchbox.