Pre-cooking is more relevant than ever in times when more and more people are eating more consciously. We give you valuable tips and many meat-free recipes for pre-cooking.
Pre-cooking: veggie recipes
In our recipe gallery for vegetarian recipes for pre-cooking you will find all kinds of delicacies that you can prepare for your lunch break, for example. If you have a microwave or an oven available, you can jump into every recipe in this article. A lot can also (or only) be enjoyed cold , especially wraps and salads.
Particularly suitable for pre-cooking Incidentally, soups and stews are . These taste even better from the second day onwards. In addition, they fill you up without you falling into the famous eating coma. But casseroles and salads are also very typical meal prep dishes that you can prepare cheaply and quickly and freely adapt to your taste.
Pre-cooking: this is how it works
In our general article on precooking, we have already prepared extensive instructions that we recommend to absolute precooking newbies. There you can also find out which ingredients keep fresh and how long after cooking. Nevertheless, we would like to give you 5 tips for precooking , with which you can avoid typical beginner mistakes.
1. Start small
If you have little or no experience with pre-cooking, then we advise you to bake slightly smaller rolls at the beginning. What it means is that you don’t try two or three dishes at the same time, but instead concentrate on one recipe . Ideally, you have already cooked it and know that it will still taste good after a few days in the fridge or freezer.
This ensures that your first pre-cooking does not degenerate into stress and spoil your desire for a great thing. As first dishes we can recommend vegetarian chilli , a quick (and cheap) stew and couscous salad .
2. Plan properly
Before you go shopping, make a detailed plan of which dishes you want to pre-cook and when you want to eat them. If you’re only cooking one dish anyway, that’s less relevant. But if you pre-cook for the whole working week, you should make sure that at least one dish stays fresh in the refrigerator until Friday or you can freeze it until then.
You can also avoid leftovers by pre-cooking . If there are any vegetables left over from cooking a vegetable stew, you can cook them in the oven, for example, and include them as a light lunch with a sour cream. If you still have spaghetti left over, you can process it into hearty muffins that you can enjoy cold during your lunch break.
3. Let the food cool down quickly
Pre-cooking is really worthwhile if you cook large quantities. So you have lots of portions of delicious, home-cooked food in stock and you don’t have to go to the currywurst stand around the corner or ready-made meals from the supermarket during your lunch break. After cooking, you should quickly divide your large portion of chilli, soup or stew into small portions . These cool significantly faster than a huge portion.
We recommend that you simply have suitable plastic or glass containers ready that are well suited for a lunchtime portion. Do not put your freshly cooked portions directly in the fridge or freezer , but let them cool down until they are maximally lukewarm.
ADDITIONAL TIP: YOU BETTER NOT FREEZE THESE INGREDIENTS
Dairy products, boiled potatoes and vegetables and fruits with a high water content – for example cucumber and zucchini – are unsuitable for freezing .
4. It depends on the equipment
In our experience, it is extremely helpful to use the right containers: if you divide your pre-cooked food into lockable storage boxes that are easy to transport and microwave-safe immediately after cooking, you have killed two birds with one stone.
In the USA in particular, many rely on so-called meal prep containers . These are practical boxes with several chambers that are specially designed so that, for example, potatoes are not soaked in sauce when they are stored. You can also get these Meal Prep Containers in Germany and of course they are reusable.
5. Practice makes perfect
Successful pre-cooking has a lot to do with experience . It can happen that you notice that after three days in the refrigerator a dish no longer tastes as good as it did after one. Don’t let this discourage you: little by little, your very own personal collection of great pre-cooked dishes will come up on its own, if you are only open to new ideas.
As a starting point, you can browse through the vegetarian recipes from this article. Everyone is guaranteed to find something to their taste here! If you register for free on Chefkoch, you have access to your very own cookbook , in which you can directly create a collection of dishes that are suitable for pre-cooking.