4 meal planning tips to making cooking easier this spring
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The benefits of meal planning are many, but it can be hard to learn how to plan correctly. Taking time over the weekend to plan meals, shop, prepare ingredients and cook ahead can make your upcoming week a lot easier.
Plus, it gives you more control over ingredients and portion sizes than you get when grabbing take-out. Sound like a no-brainer?
The trouble is, it can be daunting to get started, but the team at Herbalife Nutrition has rounded up a few of their favourite strategies that can help you make meal planning a habit.
Keep your pantry stocked with the essentials
Let’s start with something simple – your pantry or food cupboard. There are so many ways to stock up on items that last longer, are budget-friendly, and have the potential to transform any meal.
Consider staples that you should always have on hand – frozen veggies, chickpeas, canned tomatoes, and whole grains – these are all simple ingredients you could use to create a healthy, delicious meal.
With a well-stocked pantry, there’s no excuse to reach for the takeaway menu when you could whip up an easy one-pan chicken bake?
All you need to do is pop some chicken pieces, canned tomato mix, low sodium broth, and brown rice into an ovenproof dish, season, and let it cook.
Keep it simple
Hands up if you enjoy spending hours cooking dinner every night. No one? Right! So if you’re like us and would rather have a quick fix, use the short-cuts that are available to you.
We’ve already mentioned using pantry staples to quickly whip up a dish, but there’s so much more you can do to save time. Ready-made chicken at your local grocery store can be served as is or cut up and added to any dish.
There may even be enough to also make a sandwich or wrap for lunch the following day. Pre-cut veggies are a good way to make sure you get your five-a-day and still have time for all the things you really want to do.
When it comes to planning your meals, try to think of ways that you can double up on ingredients to make tomorrow’s meal easier.
This way you can save time prepping ingredients and reduce your food waste. Whether that means doubling your recipe and freezing half of it for another day or chopping extra onion tonight for tomorrow’s dinner, think about ways you can be more efficient with your cooking – and time.
When you start experimenting with healthier options, winging it often pays off. However, what happens if you wing it, your family loves it, and then you can’t remember how you made it?
We recommend buying a notebook dedicated to recipes and making notes as you cook up a storm.
Take note of what works and what doesn’t. Who knows, you could be the next Jamie Oliver! This Spring, don’t let your dream of a healthier lifestyle keep you chained to the kitchen.
Instead, follow our helpful guidelines to build healthier habits while still living your best life.