Meal Prep Resources: The Tips & Tools You Need for Success!

01.08.18 - BY RSVP International

As the New Year rolls in, many people make resolutions and set goals for the year ahead. Health, fitness, and organizational goals are often listed among the top New Year’s Resolutions year after year. Unfortunately, life gets busy, motivation fades, and more than 80% of New Year’s Resolutions fail by the second week of February. Meal prepping helps you achieve all of the above goals and more in sure-fire fashion! Whether new to the whole meal prepping thing or at make-ahead recipe expert level, we’ve got you covered! We’ve rounded up a few of our favorite meal prep products and some tips to help get you on the right track.

Meal Prep Must Have Kitchen Tools

Having a good selection of high-quality kitchen tools and cooking gadgets makes meal prepping all that food less time consuming and less daunting. Here are a few must-have kitchen tools you’ll want on hand for your meal prepping endeavors:

        • Labels

      FREEZER LABELSFood prepping requires organization, so you don’t lose track of what’s what. Using adhesive labels can help you avoid any confusion down the road and prevent food waste, especially if you prep in large quantities and if it goes in the freezer.

        • Storage containers & mason jars


      Making your food ahead of time makes it easily accessible to grab when that hunger kicks in. You want to have a variety of shapes and sizes of storage containers on hand that you can grab and go. We recommend clear containers that are microwavable and dishwasher safe to make the process as easy as possible. Many food preppers also find mason jars and glass canisters helpful with their food storage needs. Utilize these containers for oatmeal, flour, sugar, dried beans, rice, and nuts that a lot of make-ahead recipes call for. They also work great for transporting home-cooked meals to work or school!

    • High-quality knives


With all the chopping, dicing, slicing, and cutting needed for preparing food, some high-quality knives are essential – particularly a chef’s knife and paring knife. Be sure the knives you use are sharp and built to stand up to wear and tear. To keep them organized, you may want to consider a knife bar or knife block for easy access to your knives during meal prep day.

    • Cutting boards

Almost every recipe requires some type of cutting or chopping, so it goes without saying that cutting boards are a necessity. Whether you use wood or plastic, be sure to have a selection of them on hand. We recommend having at least two – one for meats and one for produce – to avoid any cross contamination.

  • Colander

 

You don’t realize how often you use colanders and strainers until you’re rinsing beans, washing fruits and veggies, and draining pasta all at once during food prep day. Much like cutting boards, a colander will get used often while meal prepping, so you want to have a few on hand to avoid washing them multiple times.

 

  • Corer

 

Using produce corers makes quick work of prepping fruits and veggies, but they’re something many food preppers don’t think about using regularly. Adding it to your meal prep tool box helps save you time and energy.

 

  • Potato ricer

 

A great tool for food processing, the potato ricer helps make creamy mashed potatoes or yams quickly and easily. But that’s not all! The ricer makes quick work of pureeing carrots and other veggies, removing large chunks from guacamole, removing excess water from cooked spinach, making homemade tomato and applesauce, and more!

 

  • Grater

 

From cheese to lemon zests to nutmeg, a grater is a necessity when adding flavor to your quick, on-the-go meals. One with a variety of different grating surfaces allows you to easily tackle a variety of recipes.

 

  • Steamer

 

When eating healthy, don’t forget your daily doses of vegetables! Steam your veggies for the best way to cook fresh produce, without losing flavor, vitamins, and other essential nutrients. Steaming also provides a method of cooking that doesn’t add unnecessary oils or fats. Be sure you have a large enough steamer and pan to cook up a big batch of veggies at once.

 

  • Egg slicer

 

High in protein and easy to make, hard boiled eggs are a favorite for meal preppers. They make for an easy grab-and-go breakfast, taste great on a salad, and a great afternoon snack. However you like to eat them, an egg slicer can help you get perfect egg slices and properly portion it out as needed.

Other Tips & Tricks for meal prep success


Now that you’ve added some useful chef tools in your kitchen, here are a few other meal prepping tips we’ve found helpful when cooking ahead of time and trying to stick to a healthy eating plan.

    • Start small.

If you’re new to meal prepping, don’t be afraid to start small. Try prepping one or two things and keep going from there. Take the time to find the recipes and meal prepping schedule that works for you to help increase the likelihood you’ll stick to it long term.

    • Be realistic and flexible.


Daily obligations such as your child’s soccer game, Happy Hour with a friend, or a lunch meeting with a work client can all impact the amount of time and energy you have to spend in the kitchen, so use your calendar and plan meals accordingly. If you know you have a busy evening ahead, a quick wrap may make for a better on-the-go dinner than a lasagna that day. Don’t let your meal prepping interfere with your social life.

    • Utilize spices.

Don’t underestimate the power of a well-stocked spice rack. A variety of spices can help take a bland meal into something flavorful and delicious. While you may be eating the same type of foods multiple times throughout the week, changing up the spices can trick your taste buds into thinking you’re eating something completely different. Check out our Endurance® Herb Scissors to make easy work of your herb prep!

Whatever your New Year’s resolutions and healthy eating goals are, meal prepping can help you get there. Do you have a favorite meal prep gadget or make-ahead recipe that people should know about? We’d love to hear all about it! Leave us a comment on Facebook or share it with us on Instagram with the hashtag #RSVPintheWild. Happy meal prepping and best of luck with your New Year’s resolutions!