Updated: Nov 7, 2019
I have three golden meal prep rules if I'm in maximum efficiency mode.
Rule 1. Meal preparation is all about preparing in bulk. That rule applies to vegetables, too!
Rule 2. If you're pressed for time, use the same pan to cook more than one thing.
Rule 3. Choose cooking methods that are really, ridiculously easy. Stupid simple. Like literally just at the press of a button.
This meal meets all three rules. It's too simple to call a 'recipe', because you'll see that it's really just a combination of efficiently timed steps rather than cooking something. And if you're focused on prioritising your nutrition but you're not keen to spend all day slaving in the kitchen, this should be your go to cooking mode - easy, effective and organised.
I've made a batch of simple burgers (here's my beef burger recipe) and then just added cauli rice to the same pan after cooking the burgers to simmer the vegetables in the liquids, butter and spices. You could do this using any vegetable (other great options include spinach, kale, zucchini, broccoli florets, or bok choy). You'll be surprised at the difference in the taste of your veggies if you prepare it like this in some kind of natural flavours, rather than just steaming or boiling it and tolerating the bland taste. You can do better than that!
You don't have to make a masterpiece each time you eat. Sometimes my meals are quite plain, and other times I like to be more creative. But in either scenario, your meals should still taste great. Cooking delicious food is really simple.
One pan beef burgers and cauli rice
Immediately after cooking your burgers, add chopped veggies to the pan and add a little water and some extra spices to cook. This releases the flavours already in the pan to complement your vegetables. Cook the veggies until soft enough to eat (test using a fork) but not mushy. I'm not going to eat all of that cauli rice at this meal, but I'll have it ready in the fridge to add to my meals each day.
If you haven't tried blitzing your cauliflower florets (or broccoli) into fine, 'rice' like pieces, give it a shot. A simple food processor (I use this basic processor) is a fantastic tool to add to your tool kit because you can easily change your entire meal even if you're using the same ingredients. You can also create different textures that keep your meals interesting and avoid 'food fatigue'. For example, the taste and texture of cauli rice is completely different to roasted or steamed cauliflower. Trial different cooking methods, find the ones you like and prepare things in bulk, and you'll quickly up your nutrition game.
Bonus tip! Cook your steak and greens in the same pan
I also do this if I'm cooking a steak. You can easily fry your greens in the same pan as your steak (or other meats) to add the flavour of the butter and the meat to the fresh veggies. This is nutritionally better, too, because some vitamins (A, D, E and K) are fat soluble and need a little fat to promote assimilation. Buttered greens trump limp lettuce leaves in both the taste and nutrition arenas.