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The joy of time-saving meal prep


The meal prep phenomenon is here to stay, so get prepping!

Meal prep. It’s the new hottest trend you’ve probably seen buzzing around social media, where planning, preparing and storing meals ahead of time is saving people time, money and hassle all over the world. Why didn’t someone think of it sooner?

Maybe you’ve taken a peek inside your meal prep convert friend’s fridge and been amazed by how organised, easy and delicious their pre-prepared meals look. There’s no longer a need to be green with envy at the ease your friends and family can enjoy their next meal thanks to their ultra-organised meal prep skills.

You too can be a meal prep whiz, as La Española is here to give you the breakdown on what you need to master the culinary art!

Prep for meal prep

One of the great reasons that meal prep is so popular is the fact that you don’t need much to get going. You will, however, need some sturdy containers to store your delicious culinary creations in. 

Don’t scrimp and use leftover Chinese takeaway containers that may break quickly. Instead, invest in some good quality Tupperware that will stand the test of time. After all, one of the best elements of meal prep is the ability to save money on eating out, and to be able to simply reach for a pre-prepared meal at the end of a long day. 

Buy the amount of containers, in a range of sizes, that you will need to plan ahead for a decent amount of time - whether it’s just for dinner for a few nights, or each and every meal for a week. 

Plan the meals themselves

Now for the fun part - planning easy, healthy and enjoyable meals that are ideal for storing in the fridge or freezer. Make a list of each meal you will to prep for, and what you will need. Variation is key, so that you never get bored!

Many people opt to do all of their meal prep for the week on a Sunday so they are all set for the week ahead. Do a big grocery shop, making sure to cover all the essentials, including a mix of fruits and vegetables, grains, legumes, meat, nuts and of course, snacks for that mid-afternoon slump. The Mediterranean diet makes for a great basis for meal prep ideas, as it is simple, healthy and keeps for longer. 

Lay all of your containers out on your bench or preparation station, and get creative!

A huge pot of pre-prepared pasta can cover you for a few days, or a traditional Spanish paella divided over a number of dinners. Stir-fries, with chicken or beef, are also an easy go-to meal prep option. A decent dollop of La Española Olive Oil is a great way to keep meals moister and more enjoyable for longer. 

For snacks, cut up some fresh fruit for fruit salad on-the-go, trail mix for a protein hit or some dark chocolate for a bit of indulgence. Store snacks in smaller, portable containers.  

If you search #mealprep on Instagram (check out La Española while you are there!) you’ll find a plethora of inspirational ideas for both simple, and more complex, meals to prepare. 

One important tip - take some masking tape and write the date that you prepared each meal with, and stick it on the relevant container. This way you know how long the meal has been stored. Planning on storing for longer? Utilise your freezer space and simply defrost when you get hungry!

The meal prep phenomenon is here to stay, so get prepping!