As a personal chef, and having once owned and operated my own restaurant, I am no stranger to prepping ingredients for meals. In the culinary world we refer to it as “mise en place” which is French for “putting in place” or “everything in its place”. We also call it “PREP”. And every restaurant does it.
Prepping ingredients is essential to a smooth and efficient meal service. It allows chefs to compose dishes quickly and somewhat effortlessly, without having to start from scratch with each dish. Now a mom of 2 boys, and a part time chef/caterer, my everyday life is not that different than my days behind the kitchen at my restaurant. The only difference is my kitchen is in my home, and my customers are my family. But I don’t have time to dream up elaborate meals...and lets face it...sometimes the last thing you want to do at the end of the day is cook. Even me. But what most people don’t realize is that you don’t have to. You just have to PREP. This is how the concept of Sunday Prep was born. A real solution for real life. And it actually works.
The concept is simple: Shop for ingredients. Prep them. Package them. Use prepped ingredients in a variety of meals throughout the week.
It’s the idea of having cooked ingredients at your fingertips during the week to compose healthy delicious meals for you and your family. The hardest part for most people is carving out time on their Sunday to shop, prep, and package. However, once you open the fridge on Monday and see all your lovely food options neatly arranged at your fingertips for breakfast, lunch, and dinner...you have a major “ah-ha” moment. Being able to whip up a delicious meal in minutes is a luxury. And it’s totally doable. You just have to PREP.
To give you an idea- imagine coming home after a long day of work, and/or schlepping the kids around, and opening the fridge to quinoa you already boiled, cucumbers and cherry tomatoes you’ve already cut, feta cheese you’ve already cubed, and a lovely parsley vinaigrette you’ve already blended. You throw it all into a bowl and mix, and you have a lovely Mediterranean quinoa salad to accompany a simply grilled or roasted piece of chicken or salmon. Kids don’t like the Mediterranean quinoa? No problem...because you can just give them the prepped cucumbers alone with their chicken or salmon. Or the pasta you’ve already boiled and buttered that just needs to be heated. Maybe throw in a few pieces of broccoli that you already roasted. And Tuesday breakfast is a breeze with the eggs you’ve already boiled, the fruit you’ve already cut, and the overnight oats you’ve already soaked. And maybe you grab a snack of hummus accompanied by the bell peppers and celery you’ve already washed and cut. Why not...it's all ready and waiting.
Your prep, and how elaborate or easy you want your meals to be is entirely up to you. I always tell my students to choose one ingredient from each category to start. For example: one protein, one grain, one veg, one fruit, and one dressing. Start there. And once you master that, add a second ingredient to each category.
My Sunday Prep classes teach you how to roast vegetables and proteins to perfection. Make simple, healthy and delicious dressings from scratch that you can toss into salads and grains or drizzle on proteins. I give you seasonal master grocery lists to help you get thru your shopping quickly and efficiently, as well as give you sample menus with breakfast, lunch, snack, and dinner recipe ideas using your prepped ingredients. I also show you the best way to package all your prepped ingredients to ensure the optimal shelf life in your fridge (3-4 days).
If you are in Los Angeles and you’d like to sign up for a Sunday Prep class, or get sample grocery lists and menus and recipes please email email@example.com.
The Sweet Life By Brittany + Cynthia Daniel