One of the biggest complaints I hear about meal prepping is that people don’t like the taste of reheated food. On top of that it’s boring to eat the same things over and over again, day after day. If this sounds familiar, then you’re doing it all wrong! There are some simple strategies that anyone can learn to make your meal prep taste great! There’s no reason to eat bland and tasteless food, even when it’s been in the fridge for several days. Here’s five of my top secrets for a flavorful meal prep that you’ll look forward to eating all week.
Start with what’s in season - Fruits and veggies that are in-season and locally grown are bursting with flavor! If you normally buy all your produce from supermarkets, you really don’t know what you’re missing! Try buying your produce from the Visalia Farmer’s Market on Saturday mornings, and you’ll definitely taste the difference. Produce from supermarkets are usually harvested early and chemically ripened, then shipped thousands of miles, sitting in boxes for days or even weeks before they make it to the grocery stores. This can make for some pretty bland veggies and tart fruits.
Go heavy on the seasonings - When meals sit in the fridge for several days, they tend to lose their flavor quickly. There’s no getting around the fact that reheated leftovers just never taste the same as food that is freshly cooked. So I always recommend going a little heavier on the spices and seasonings for meal prepping than you normally would for a freshly cooked meal. Or, you can even wait to season your food until just before you eat it. I often add a little olive or avocado oil and himalayan salt or garlic to my meals just before consuming.
Add fresh toppings to your meals - This is my favorite tip, and it’s amazing the difference that a topping can make! After reheating your meal, try kicking up the flavor with some freshly squeezed lime juice, chopped herbs, guacamole, salsa, fresh grated cheese, or hot sauce. It can not only boost the flavor but add more texture and nutrition to your meals.
Spice up your staples - Instead of cooking your rice and/or quinoa in water, try cooking it in a low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth. Or you can make tangy cilantro-lime rice, by adding fresh squeezed lime juice and chopped cilantro to your cooked brown rice. Instead of seasoning your meats right before you cook them, try marinating them overnight to really lock in the flavor. And don’t forget about your veggies! Try adding some lemon pepper seasoning to your steamed broccoli, or garlic salt on your green beans!
Eat the rainbow - The more colors you have in your meal, the more flavor you will have, guaranteed! Adding a wide array of colors also ensures you are getting plenty of nutrients, along with lots of flavor and texture. Try making a simple black bean and corn salsa with chopped red and green bell peppers, purple onions, and cilantro to add on top of your meals or enjoy as a snack with tortilla chips!
If your meal prep is bland and boring, try out these easy tips to spice it up! Just by choosing the right produce, knowing how and when to season, and adding flavorful and fresh toppings, anyone can brighten up an otherwise dull meal. If you want to learn more about adding great flavor to your food, stay tuned for next week’s blog, and subscribe by clicking the link below.