Last weeknight I got the flu. Coughing, headache, vomiting, couldn't move from the couch flu. It was quick moving (except for the damn cough) so on Sunday I actually did some meal prep because we had several evening commitments last week and needed to have fast meals. I normally chop veggies standing at my kitchen counter but in my weakened state, I had to sit at the table with my water and tea.
I guess my point is not that you need to foresake your health to get meal prep done, but that it can be done rather easily in a pretty short period of time. Moving slower than normal, I got all my dinner veggies chopped plus I cooked chicken for Jeff's lunch (more on that in another post) in 50 minutes while Emmett napped and Graham watched a little TV.
I wanted to share a few veggie chopping tips with you that I've developed over my years of meal prepping.
1. Invest in quality supplies.
- Get a large heavy chopping block/cutting board.
- Buy a quality chef's knife.
2. Gather all of your supplies.
- Get all veggies out of the fridge and wash the ones that need washing
- Make sure you have a trash bag or bowl handy for peels, etc.
- Get containers where you can put your prepped veggies by meal.
3. Make the most out of your ingredients.
- Especially when you are buying a veggie that yields a lot - like celery - use it in multiple meals.
- This saves money and eliminates waste.
- Still have too much? Use for a snack! I put a few celery stalks in a container for my afternoon snacks at work. I also put carrots in single serving bags for easy lunch packing.
- Put in containers as you chop.
4. Chop veggies in order from clean to messy (or strong in odor).
- This saves on the amount of time you have to clean in between veggie chopping!
- Clean veggies: zucchini, carrots, squash, green beans
- Messy: Broccoli, tomatoes
- Strong Odor: onions, jalapenos
5. Admire your work.
- Look how pretty and organized!
- Healthy meals ready for the week!
6. Chop meat AFTER veggies.
- This eliminates cross contamination.
- Use a different cutting board - I like plastic boards for meat cutting.
- Read this post about chopping chicken.