Step 3: Batch cook your staples. For example, we eat black beans regularly, and therefore we have a huge bag of dried black beans ready to batch cook. You can use canned or dried beans, but we save so much money using dried beans, and I believe they taste so much better. We prepare dried beans in an Instant Pot, but you can do it on the stovetop and, once cooked, portion them out and freeze several servings. Keep two to four portions in the fridge for immediate use, and freeze the rest for later in the week or future weeks. Cooked beans will keep well in the freezer for up to four months. We also batch cook soups, garbanzo beans for salads, and brown rice for quick meals.
Step 4: Prep your produce. Based on the meals you selected, buy the produce you need, and prep it for the week. Wash and dry one or two leafy greens like lettuce, arugula, kale, spinach, or Swiss chard. Clean and dry in a salad spinner, and store in the fridge. Chop and slice onions, carrots, leeks, and/or shallots. Store in separate airtight containers. Clean and prep one or two seasonal vegetables like zucchini, squash, bell peppers, cabbage, beets, asparagus, cauliflower, broccoli, etc. Clean and cut into desired size. You could do the same for herbs, but we use mostly dried herbs and spices. Also consider roasting, sautéing, or steaming a vegetable in a big batch and using it in different dishes throughout the week. Pick a vegetable from each category, and you will have a variety of flavors and textures in your meals.