Are you ready to take your plant-based cooking skills to the next level? Well, get ready to embark on a journey of culinary delight as we unveil eight incredible vegan meal prep hacks that will revolutionise your time in the kitchen. Whether you're a seasoned vegan or just dipping your toes into the world of plant-based eating, these hacks will transform your cooking routine, making it easier, faster, and more enjoyable. Say goodbye to stress and hello to delicious, homemade vegan meals that will leave you wanting more!
1. Meal Planning: A Recipe for Success
Meal planning might sound like a mundane task, but trust us, it's a game-changer!
By taking a little time to plan your meals in advance, you'll save yourself a tonne of stress and indecision. Not sure where to start? Here are some tips to make meal planning a breeze:
- Take Inventory: Begin by making a list of all the ingredients in your kitchen and fridge. This will help you create a menu based on what you already have, minimising waste and saving money.
- Embrace Seasonality: Plan your meals around seasonal produce. Not only will they be fresher and more flavoursome, but they're often cheaper too.
- Start Simple: If you're new to meal planning, begin with a few simple recipes that you already love. As you gain confidence, you can experiment with more adventurous dishes.
- Seek Inspiration: Spend some time each week exploring blogs, websites, and cookbooks for inspiring plant-based recipes. Save your favourites and keep them handy for easy reference.
- Take it Step by Step: If planning three meals a day for the entire week seems overwhelming, start with just one meal at a time. Gradually work your way up to planning your entire week's worth of meals.
- Theme Nights: Inject some fun into your meal plans by assigning themes to each night of the week. Have a leftover night, breakfast-for-dinner night, or even a taco Tuesday. Let your imagination run wild!
- Sale Savvy: Keep an eye out for sales at your grocery store and plan your menu around discounted items. Found canned chickpeas on sale? It's time to make some mouthwatering falafels!
2. Embrace the Power of Meal Prep
Meal prepping is like having your own personal sous chef. It allows you to tackle multiple meals in one go, saving you time and effort throughout the week. There are two main approaches to meal prep:
Ingredient Prep: This involves prepping and storing individual ingredients, such as grains, beans, and veggies. Chop, slice, and dice them ahead of time, so they're ready to go when you need them. Having these building blocks on hand makes it a breeze to whip up a delicious meal in no time.
Batch Cooking: If you prefer to have complete meals ready to eat, batch cooking is the way to go. Prepare large batches of your favourite dishes, portion them out, and store them in the fridge or freezer. This way, you can simply reheat and enjoy a homemade meal without the hassle of cooking from scratch every day.
3. Pre-cook Grains, Soups, and Curry Bases: Ready in a Snap
Grains like rice, quinoa, and couscous are staples in many vegan meals, but they can be time-consuming to cook. To save time and make meal prep a breeze, pre-cook a batch of grains and store them in the refrigerator. When it's time to whip up a meal, you'll have a quick and easy base ready to go.
Similarly, preparing curry bases and soups in advance can be a game-changer. These bases and soups can be frozen and used as a foundation for a variety of meals. After a long day, all you need to do is chop up some fresh veggies, heat up the curry base or soup, and combine them to create a flavoursome, home-cooked plant-based meal in minutes.
4. Make the Most of Leftovers: Unleash Your Creativity
When you put effort into preparing a meal, why not make it work double duty? Leftovers are a treasure trove of possibilities. Instead of letting them go to waste, think outside the box and transform them into exciting new dishes. For example, those leftover black beans from your taco night can be used to create a scrumptious breakfast burrito or blended with spices to form delicious vegan burger patties. Get creative and explore the endless potential of leftovers.
5. Blend Your Way to Efficiency: Convenience Meets Flavour
When it comes to home cooking, you have the freedom to customise recipes to suit your taste and convenience. Instead of spending precious time chopping and dicing ingredients, consider using your blender to streamline the process. Soups, chilies, curries, and pasta sauces can be quickly prepared by blending all the ingredients together. This hack is especially handy on those days when you're craving a delicious meal but don't feel like putting in the effort of manual preparation. However, keep in mind that blending may affect the texture of the dish, so use this hack selectively.
6. Master the Art of One-Pot Meals: Less Cleanup, More Flavour
Simplify your cooking routine with the magic of one-pot meals. These recipes require minimal prep work and result in fewer dishes to clean up afterward. They are a perfect solution for busy individuals who still want to enjoy a homemade meal. Whether it's a hearty stew, a flavoursome stir-fry, or a comforting risotto, one-pot meals offer a harmonious blend of flavours without the hassle of multiple pots and pans. Build a repertoire of go-to one-pot meal recipes that you can rely on for quick and delicious dinners.
7. Stock Up on Frozen Veggies and Tinned Beans: Convenience without Compromise
Frozen vegetables and tinned beans are your allies on those days when time is scarce, and cooking from scratch feels like a monumental task. Frozen veggies retain the same nutritional value as their fresh counterparts and can be easily incorporated into a variety of dishes. They save you the time and effort of washing, peeling, and chopping, allowing you to have a nutritious meal in no time.
Tinned beans, on the other hand, are a fantastic source of protein in a plant-based diet. While soaking and cooking beans from scratch can be a lengthy process, tinned beans provide a quick and convenient alternative. Rinse them to reduce sodium content, and they're ready to be used in salads, stews, wraps, and more. Having a stock of frozen veggies and tinned beans ensures that you always have the building blocks for a satisfying vegan meal at your fingertips.
8. Vegan Ready Meals: A Break for the Busy Days
Let's face it, there are days when everything seems chaotic, and the last thing you want to do is spend time in the kitchen. That's where ready-to-eat vegan meals come to the rescue. Keep some frozen vegan lasagnes, plant-based burgers, or plant-based curries from Root Kitchen in your freezer. They offer a quick and hassle-free solution when you're too exhausted or overwhelmed to cook. It's a guilt-free way to treat yourself to a delicious, nutritious meal without any effort.
These eight vegan meal prep hacks will revolutionise the way you approach plant-based cooking. With a little planning, prepping, and creativity, you can save time, money, and effort while enjoying a wide variety of satisfying, homemade vegan meals.
By incorporating these hacks into your routine, you'll find that cooking delicious plant-based meals at home becomes a breeze. Not only will you save time and money, but you'll also have full control over the ingredients and flavours in your meals, leading to healthier choices and a more sustainable lifestyle.
Remember, these hacks are meant to inspire you and make your cooking journey more enjoyable. Feel free to experiment, adapt, and find what works best for you. As you become more comfortable with meal planning and prep, you might even discover your own unique hacks and tricks along the way.
So, embrace the art of vegan meal prep and get ready to savour a wide array of mouthwatering plant-based creations. Bon appétit!
Have we missed your favourite vegan meal prep hack? Be sure to slide into our DM's on insta @rootkitchenuk and let us know so we can include it in our next roundup.