The mix & match method
The great thing about Meal Prep is the flexibility that stands behind it. It does not always have to be prepared for the whole week. That’s what it’s all about today: Meal Prep Start without stress!
There is no need to prepare 5 different dishes in advance to put them in the fridge at the end of each meal prep. On the contrary! I am a big proponent of the mix & match method.
What stands behind it?
Well, it’s quite simple: mix & match works like a kind of modular system. You prepare different basics at the beginning of the week (or on Sundays, or when it suits you), pack them into different containers, and then use them during the week.
In the picture you can see a classic example of how Meal Prep can look like with me.
We are a 5 person household: my husband and I plus our 3 boys aged 6 years, 10 years and 12 years. So it’s pretty clear: that’s not enough food for a whole week!
It helps a lot, though:
Above left you can see cut radiccio. A winter salad that brings color to the kitchen. I wash, dry and slice a large portion and store it in the fridge. So I have several portions ready to eat for lunch or dinner. This means we eat more salad on average, because it is on the table in less than 2 minutes.
Next to it is a bowl of boiled potatoes. This may sound strange, but cooked potatoes are now one of my absolute meal prep classics! I admit, potatoes with cottage cheese taste best if freshly cooked. But for roast potatoes, mashed potatoes, potato salad, potato rolls … precooked potatoes in the refrigerator are a very accelerating solution! They are processed quickly without the need to first being washed and cooked, perfect for the meal prep start!
It is also worthwhile, from a climate kitchen point of view, to cook 2 kg potatoes at a time, and to process half of them later.
The flatbread next to the potatoes was made from the carrot juice pulp. I linked the recipe for you. As I said, it works also well with freshly grated carrots, should you not have a juicer. With a load of flatbread you are prepared for sandwiches – very valuable when the fast hunger comes!
Blood oranges in slices are made quickly and are a delicious fruit snack for in between. For this I wash the organic oranges well and cut them already into small wedges. Packed airtight, the boys can quickly push something fruity between their theeth. It may look silly, how fast is an orange cut like that? But experience shows, if it is already there, much more vitamins are eaten. However, I slice fruits almost every day, 5 minutes invested in the morning means fruits enjoyed throughout the day.
Kale salad with pomegranate seeds and red cabbage: in 90% of all cases I roast kale into kale chips or throw individual leaves into a green smoothie.
Kale also tastes raw, plucked into small pieces and kneaded with some extra native olive oil and a little squeeze of lemon juice. I prefer it when the kale can sit a bit in the marinade. This makes the leaves softer and the taste a bit milder. Therefore, for me, a ready-made kale salad is ideal for meal prep. I eat it on the first or second day after preparation. Get it out of the fridge, maybe some feta sprinkle over it and my super healthy, delicious lunch is ready.
Bliss balls can always be found in the freezer. Because I like them cold the most, and because of the high nut / almond content they are delicious directly from the freezer and , without thawing, very edible.
You know, I love the freestyle cooking a lot, so I always have new energy ball variations. Whenever I make almonds / nut butter, energy balls come out with it … it’s a wonderful way to get the kitchen machine cleaner and to use every bit of valuable almond / nut butter.
Freshly squeezed carrot juice is one of our basics. For the kids with some apples, for adults with beetroot and ginger … A vitamin booster, and the pulp is the basic ingredient for the flatbread.
Red rice, just for a change, it could just as well be white rice or brown rice. Rice can be processed superbly, so it is a Meal Prep Start classic! Be it as a side dish in a large salad, as fried rice with vegetables and egg, onigiris, as a side dish to a quick curry …
The possibilities are countless and many times a bowl of rice has saved me at noon, when the children were home faster than expected.
Feta cheese, lightly marinated with a bit of good extra virgin olive oil and fresh herbs. Perfect to pimp the salad or crumble on the flatbread as a sandwich.
Relaxed in the Meal Prep Start: the main thing is to start!
My motto here is very clear: it is important to take the first step and get started. So if you’re cooking rice or potatoes, then just double the amount next time! The rest comes in the fridge and transforms in the next 2-3 days, for example, in fried potatoes and a vegetable rice pan.
Of course, it’s great to plan for a whole week right through, thus achieving maximum time / cost and energy savings in one fell swoop. But that’s also a bit overwhelming at the beginning.
Therefore: take some courage! Start cooking the basics in duplicate and wash the salad for 2-3 days in stock, dry and refrigerate. Add a salad dressing and that’s enough for the beginning!
Enjoy the meal prep start and tell me how it works! I am really curious about it!