I hope that these tips are useful to you, whether I have prepped your meals or you’ve done your own meal prep.
First, here are my favorite things to have on hand for storing meal prep:
1. Glass containers. I love these because they are fridge, freezer, and microwave safe. The health coach in me also loves that they are more health-friendly than good ol’ plastic Tupperware. Bonus points if you have glass containers that are oven-safe so that you can simply pop it in the oven to reheat! Here are two of my favorite types: meal prep containers and oven-safe dishes.
2. Jars of all sizes. I love using them for dressings, leftover sauce, that half can of olives that didn’t get used up, etc. You can of course buy mason jars for this purpose; however, I love repurposing glass jars that prepackaged food was stored in! Some favorite jars are kalamata olive jars, small jam jars, etc. The tiny ones are great for dressings for one-serving dishes. I don’t remember the last time I tossed a glass jar after cooking at home!
Here is how I generally recommend reheating meal prep:
1. Of course, the easiest way is a microwave. That isn’t generally what I recommend as I prefer oven or stove-top reheating for more even heating, but you can reheat most foods in the microwave. Just make sure it gets up to the safe temp (165F).
2. The oven works great for items like casseroles, baked pasta, etc. Generally, if it was cooked in the oven, it reheats great in the oven! Cover your dish to maintain moisture (foil works well) and pop it into an oven preheated to 325F for 10-20 minutes depending on the food. Start checking it at 10 minutes and go from there.
3. The stovetop is great for foods cooked on the stove originally, such as curries, soups, etc. Set your pan over medium heat and heat, stirring frequently, until heated through.
1. I don’t recommend storing leftovers in the fridge for more than 3-5 days (3 days for items such as salads, veggie plates, etc and 5 days for meals that have been cooked and cooled). Longer than that, pop it in the freezer – okay, maybe don’t do that if it’s a salad!
2. Make sure you don’t leave food to cool on the counter for too long. The best thing to do is to divide your food into smaller containers and then put it in the fridge to cool – leave it covered loosely until cool, then secure the lid.