By Soji James, CPT, CSCS
When’s the last time you had a good home-cooked meal? And when’s the last time you produced a good home cooked meal yourself? Ladies and gentlemen, we need to make cooking great again—for everyone. We’re all busy and moving at a much quicker pace. As a result, our culinary skills have been relegated to either things we can nuke in a microwave or whatever restaurant is still delivering at that particular hour. In exchange for convenience, our nutrient quality and control over what goes onto our plates and into our bodies have taken a hit. Here’s how to develop healthy meal prep habits without taking a toll on your busy schedule.
As the old saying goes: abs are made in the kitchen. Any major changes that you are looking to make to your body have to start with the food you are eating. Improving your culinary skills and comfort as a cook can enhance your nutrition, improve training results, and even take your social life to the next level. Even if you’re not the greatest chef, you can prioritize your health by picking up the right tools to cook your fresh produce and other healthy ingredients. Prepare yourself to become a hero in the kitchen by picking up these basic necessities.
This may just be your go-to pan for years to come. Looking to jump into cooking and to keep things simple? These skillets are ideal for single-pan cooking. They are almost impervious to damage and hold on to heat very well. You can use this skillet to sauté, bake, broil, fry, or braise and it can seamlessly transfer from the stovetop to the oven to the top of a grill. Whether you are attempting to make an Instagram #foodporn-ready steak, or exhausted after work and looking to crush a one-pan stir fry, you will be ready to go.
A good knife may be the most important tool at a chef’s disposal. It is involved in almost every dish that you will create, and quality ensures that you have better control. With a sharper knife, prep work is generally more enjoyable in the kitchen. (Try making even and consistent slices with a blunt knife—and you’ll quickly see what I mean). This sharp Victorinox 8 inch chef knife won’t cost you an arm and leg. It’s a great healthy meal prep tool, and it will allow you to comfortably maneuver through any mincing, chopping, slicing, or shredding that you have to do.
What good does it do you after you make an amazing meal if you can’t take it with you anywhere? These awesome containers make meal prep and on-the-go eating a viable option. They come with leakproof lockable lids and an easy stackable design. Glass containers are also easier to clean, and avoid holding onto the smell of your food. This is a sustainable option that is a must-have for any health-conscious individual.
This bad boy is essentially 7 common kitchen appliances in one must-have purchase. You can plug it in, leave it, and come back to your first masterpiece later on. It’s a great healthy meal prep appliance, ideal for whipping up delicious dishes around a busy lifestyle. There are currently over 32,000 reviews, averaging out at 4.5/5 stars on Amazon—which means this instant pot is obviously doing something right.
You could just use your knife to cut everything, but sometimes it’s just not a realistic option. A food processor is great for simple prep tasks that your forearms may not necessarily take well to after a long day of work (or working out!). You can also use it to create smooth, well-mixed sauces and dips that will drive you and your dinner guests wild. With the large feed chute and scraper attachment on the Hamilton Beach food processor, you can keep prep work and clean-up to a minimum.