In a recent survey by the Soymates editors, a large portion (84%) of respondents said they cook meals at home several nights per week- but over half of that same group reported that they rarely ever meal-plan.
We get it. Not everyone is a type-A organizer, and meal-planning can feel like it's yet another chore you have to do as an adult. HOWEVER: If you get in the habit, you'll not only stop struggling to figure out what to eat on a daily basis, but you can also save a lot of money by actually eating all of the food that you buy. And the best part? It's all guaranteed to be food that you like, because you're the one in charge!
There are tons of different meal-planning lists, apps, and tools out there. We like using these "What To Eat" and "All Out Of" planners from Knock Knock (not affiliate links), because you can update during the week as needed, rather than having to sit down and plan your entire grocery trip all at once. You can also design your own system if you're feeling creative.
Here's what our process usually looks like, along with some tips on how to make your meal-prepping easy and stress-free:
For a long time, we were buying boxed broth several times a month for all of the different recipes we were making. Then it occurred to us- veggie broth is pretty much just vegetables, salt, and water, so why not start making our own? As an added bonus, it can make your kitchen smell amazing while it simmers.
Broth is used in many different soups, sauces, gravy, etc. Since we cook with vegetables all the time, we keep a container in the fridge where we store vegetable waste for later use in broth-making. Today, we're preparing a vegetable broth for a vegan minestrone we'll be making later in the week.
For this round of broth-making, we're keeping it pretty simple with the ingredients: onion, bell pepper, carrot, celery, and lemon. Other times, we've successfully made broth with leftover broccoli stems, mushrooms, garlic, and potatoes. It's good to decide roughly how much broth you want to make at a time, but it's ok to just make a guess (broth keeps pretty well in the freezer for a long time)! Typically, we choose a few containers or pitchers and fill them with water, then add that amount into the pot. Instead of the stovetop method, using a slow-cooker on low for 6-8 hours will really let the flavors steep into the water.
Homemade Veggie Broth
Got any methods or ingredients you like for your broth? Let us know in the comments!
When we were first starting to cook for ourselves, knife skills were some of the most daunting things to learn. But we didn't want that to scare us away from knowing how to select and prepare fresh ingredients for our meals- so we just had to jump in and start practicing.
Some important basics before we get started:
Let's get to it!
First step: Shoo away your cat, who is just a little too interested in this process.
Lay the pineapple down on its side. Slice off the top part, just below where the leaves branch out from the main fruit. Then, slice off the bottom inch or so.
Begin slicing away strips of the tough outer skin. If you like, use a smaller knife to cut out the brown divots left over. We usually just leave them on- a little extra fiber won't do any harm!
Cut four large slices off from the top down, leaving a 2x2-ish square inch core. This can be thrown away or composted.
Lay the remaining slices down flat, and make long cuts vertically and horizontally.
All done! Store in an airtight container and keep in the fridge. We've found that pineapple keeps for about four days once it's diced up, but eating it fresh on day one is always best.
Got any fun ways you like to use fresh pineapple? Let us know in the comments!