16 TIPS & TRICKS FOR HOW TO PREP HEALTHY MEALS
If you want to enjoy more freedom in the kitchen, learning how to meal prep can expand the variety of healthy dishes you prepare each week. Explore these meal prep tips to harness the power of your countertop appliances while you explore new recipes and techniques for everyday meals and snacks.
What is Meal Prep?
There are two types of meal prep that can help you enjoy flavorful and nutritious meals every day: prepping the ingredients for meals you’ll cook later and fully preparing meals to eat later. You can learn how to do both types of meal prep using your countertop appliances and following these tips.
Whether you’re brand new to meal prep, trying a different diet or simply looking to add variety to your cooking, learning how to meal prep for the week opens a world of possibilities for your cooking adventures. You can focus on one or both of the methods below to get familiar with planning and prepping meals for exciting eating options throughout the week.
Prepping Ingredients to Cook Later: Prepping your ingredients ahead of time can streamline busy weeknight cooking, since all your ingredients are pre-cut and measured, so all you have to do is focus on crafting a delicious meal to put on the table.
Prepping Complete Meals to Eat Later: You can enjoy fresh, homemade meals no matter how tight your schedule is by preparing larger batches of new recipes and old favorites then portioning them out to store in the fridge or freezer. Grab pre-portioned meals when you’re on-the-go and reheat for an effortless breakfast, lunch or dinner.
TIPS FOR HOW TO MEAL PREP SAFELY & WITH VARIETY
Follow these meal prep tips to ensure you’re developing good food preparation and storage habits. This will help you avoid cross-contamination, reduce the chance of grabbing the wrong items for the dish you’re cooking or wasting food you intended to cook if you only had the time. Meal prepping can also help you expand your palate by exploring different flavors and new delicious recipes you haven’t tried before.
TIPS FOR PREPPING MEALS FOR THE WEEK AHEAD
Streamline meal prepping and shorten chopping time by using your countertop appliances to efficiently prep a variety of ingredients for multiple dishes. You can create your own homemade meal kits by portioning and storing the prepped ingredients in labeled bags and containers in the fridge.
Use your countertop appliance to:
Slice, dice and rice vegetables for vegetarian meal prep and more
Shred cabbage, carrots and broccoli for slaws
Spiralize and sheet vegetables for healthy pasta alternatives
Grind meat for homemade meatballs and meatloaf
Knead pizza dough to keep in the freezer
Set yourself up for meal prep success with a little up-front effort. Use the KitchenAid® Food Processor Attachment with Commercial Style Dicing Kit to dice vegetables you can keep in containers or bags in your fridge for salad toppings, quick roasting veggies for pasta or pizza, omelettes and more. For prepping extra-large quantities of ingredients, there are larger capacity food processors like the KitchenAid® 14-Cup Food Processor.
GRINDING MEAT FOR MEATLOAF, SAUSAGE, MEATBALLS & MORE
Perfect meatballs, meatloaf and sausage all start with the freshest meat and the right balance of seasonings. The Metal Food Grinder attachment for your KitchenAid® stand mixer lets you grind meats that you can season and shape into meatballs or assemble into loaves that you can either cook immediately to portion for meals or store uncooked in the freezer to cook later.
TIPS FOR PREPPING COMPLETE MAKE-AHEAD MEALS
In addition to preparing the ingredients for cooking during the week, you can also include a few fully-prepared dishes into your meal prep time. Portion these balanced, make-ahead meals into individual or family-sized containers to build a little breathing room into your mealtime.
Harness your countertop appliances and these meal prep ideas for streamlined and deliciously satisfying breakfasts, lunches or dinners. Your slow cooker can help you turn out stews and roasts, and the pasta attachments for your stand mixer can help you make fresh lasagna or fettuccine noodles. The food processor lets you dice and slice vegetables for salads and soups that you’ll portion ahead.
USE A SLOW COOKER FOR STEWS & ROASTS
One of the best countertop appliances for prepping make-ahead meals is a slow cooker like these models from KitchenAid. These come in different capacities and lets you create large batches of recipes like pot roast, chilli and pulled pork for sliders to portion and store in the fridge or freezer that you can reheat and eat later.
Fresh homemade dressings for green salads can be made ahead and stored in a jar or container, or even in small 2-4 oz. individual serving containers ready to grab and go.
MAKE A FRESH BATCH OF PASTA
When considering what to make for meal prep, fresh pasta for the week is a great choice even if you won’t cook it right away. Most noodles take just a few minutes in well-salted water at a rolling boil to come to perfect al dente, making it an easy addition to a busy week meal plan. Tools like the Pasta Roller & Cutter and Gourmet Pasta Press attachments for your KitchenAid® stand mixer can help you prep noodles to store for later use in a variety of shapes and sizes.
MAKE DAILY SMOOTHIES FOR THE FREEZER
Blend up batches of your favorite smoothies to store in containers in the freezer. Move one to the fridge the night before you intend to drink it to begin thawing. Or you can chop and portion all of the ingredients for smoothies to grab and blend with your milk or juice of choice first thing in the morning. Freeze portioned chopped fresh fruit and veggies and dry ingredients such as chia seeds and protein powder in labeled bags or containers.
By incorporating a regular meal prep session into your week, you can give yourself room to try new recipes and techniques while enjoying nutritious meals every day. You can also learn more about how to organize your kitchen to set yourself up for success with your meal prep by using the practice of mise en place. With your refrigerator and freezer filled with delicious options to eat immediately or serve up effortlessly like a pre-prepped meal kit, you can find time to explore even more creative cooking ideas in your busy life.
Root to Stem Cooking: How to Cook More Sustainably Why not use fruit and veggie scraps for a sauce or healthy snack? Check out these green cooking ideas using leftover produce like corn cobs and citrus peels.
How to Organize Your Fridge Learn how to organize your fridge like a pro. Make it easier to maintain, faster to clean, and better for storing leftovers with tips for organizing 5 key areas.
How To Store Fresh Pasta Use this guide to discover the best methods for storing, drying and freezing fresh pasta so you can enjoy it longer.