This simple idea is the key to easy weeknight cooking |

This simple idea is the key to easy weeknight cooking |


If you’re the kind of person who loves to eat at home—but feels overwhelmed by the planning, shopping, prep work, and cleanup—you’ll want to pay attention to what McKel Hill has to say. The Nashville-based RDN, coach, and recipe genius behind the food blog Nutrition Stripped is a fan of batch cooking, which can save you time *and* help you eat well. Here, the Well+Good Council member shares her pointers on making it happen.

Batch cooking or “meal planning” is a beautiful thing because it:

  1. saves you time from cooking throughout the week
  2. keeps you on track with your health goals
  3. relieves you of the mental burden of decision fatigue about what to make each day and night
  4. is a fun way to diversify your food and meal choices throughout the week

That’s why the key to meal planning lies in its simplicity. So many basic, whole food fruits and vegetables are already “superfoods” in my book because they nourish your body and offer a wealth of health benefits.

Keep reading to see how to make batch cooking work for you.


Photo: Nutrition Stripped

How to start

Decide on a few meal components to batch cook for the week. As I share in the Guide to Master Meal Planning, I like to call these prepared foods “meal components” because you basically build meals out of them throughout the week. I keep it simple by making a soup or daal, roasting veggies, and preparing overnight oats, cashew cheese, and other nutritious toppers that can be paired with fresh components when I’m ready to enjoy them.

Here are a few examples to get you started with meal planning with three meal components, showing you several ways to use each of them. Catch more nourishing recipes that are meal planning-friendly on the NS blog.


Photo: Unsplash/Jackelyn Stack

Example 1: roasted vegetables

  • purée to make a roasted vegetable mash as a side
  • top onto salads
  • use as a side dish for any meal
  • use as a snack, dipped in hummus
  • purée into a soup by adding vegetable stock

Example 2: baked sweet potatoes

  • purée into a potato mash as a side
  • chop into cubes and top onto salads
  • use as a side dish for any meal
  • use as a snack with tahini, almond butter, or coconut oil
  • blend into a smoothie
  • blend into chia pudding or soaked oats

Example 3: chia pudding or soaked overnight oats

  • blend into a thicker smoothie
  • make each pudding or oats in a separate mason jar and top with a variety of fruits, nuts, seeds, etc.
  • enjoy as a snack, breakfast, or on-the-go dessert

McKel Hill, RDN, is a registered dietician nutritionist and the founder of Nutrition Stripped, which treats healthy food as more than just fuel—and gives expert advice on using its nutrients and flavors to make you feel amazing.

What should McKel write about next? Send your questions and suggestions to [email protected]