It’s true—everything tastes better when it’s been cooked on a grill. Just because summer is technically over doesn’t mean you have to be done cooking outdoors. In fact, busy weeknights plagued by repeat questions of, “what should we have for dinner tonight?” are easily solved when you can grill once and eat all week! Here are a few great tips for meal prep planning on the grill for the entire week.
Shop in Bulk
When ideating on recipes for the days ahead, a trip to your local big-box wholesale store is the first step to gather the right ingredients. The best meal prep approach is to prepare foods in bulk, which means you’ll need to have enough stuff to last you for a few days. Keep in mind that it’s a better use of food when you can buy in large quantities and repurpose the ingredients for other meals. Think: rack of ribs and 12-piece chicken thighs, not butcher-precise cuts of ribeye or individual filets of salmon. Here are some money-saving grocery shopping tips.
Grill it all in One Day
Make Sunday the official “grilling day” and you’ll be able to serve those meals through Thursday (and might stretch it to Friday) while keeping all their lovely barbecue smokiness. Most large chunks of meat will stay juicy in the fridge for days, so long as it is sealed, and veggies will hold up for a handful of days as well. From kabobs to tacos, there are numerous ways to get creative with the grilled leftovers mid-week.
Diversify the Vegetables
Grilled corn and potatoes are certainly tempting, but they don’t provide the same nutritional value or color that other veggies do. (Imagine how drab a corn and potato skewer would look!) Consider peppers, onions, and mushrooms over the starchy alternatives. Grilled asparagus is also a tasty choice, especially if you wrap them in bacon or prosciutto. Even sweet potatoes, which are high in beta carotene and have a delicious, charred flavor when cooked on the grill.
Sauces can do double duty for Salads
Your favorite vinaigrette that gets drizzled on top of flank steaks for the finishing touch can do much more than just that one job. It can be used the next day as the base to a delicious leafy salad. Even a thrown-together purple cabbage slaw can add another layer of texture and flavor to those burgers.
Two Sets of Utensils
Preparing large amounts of food is enough to unnerve even the most seasoned home chefs. It’s important to be mindful how you handle the meats: by using separate plates when grilling, you cut the risk of cross contamination from uncooked meats to cooked food. Use one set of tongs for raw meat and a separate set for cooked meats!
With just a bit of meal prep planning you can whip up an entire week’s worth of food all in one day while enjoying an adult beverage and watching the football games to boot.