The foundation of nutritious cooking is great flavor. No one wants to eat mushy vegetables that taste like sand, so taste is important to a smooth mealtime routine. One of the best things you can do to save yourself time in the middle of a busy week is to prep a few key ingredients in large batches to have on hand.
Onions are an essential part of building good flavor in most cuisines – they also contribute to the vegetable requirement of your diet! Peel and prep a few onions once a week so you can scoop what you need for each recipe without dealing with the watering eyes. A medium dice is a safe bet, but you can also puree the onions if you have picky eaters who don’t like the onion texture, or leave some in rings if you’re planning salads.
Garlic, like onions, is a key ingredient for more meals than it isn’t, and let’s be honest, very few savory meals would be hurt by a little extra garlic. You can buy pre-minced garlic for a good price and great convenience, but if you like it fresh, take the time to mince the heads you’ll need at the beginning of the week so it’s ready to measure out.
Bell peppers are a little less common than onions and garlic, but still quite prominent and full of flavor. Choose your favorite color (don’t be afraid to sub red for green and vice versa) and slice the peppers julienne-style. You may need to dice some of them later in the week, but in the meantime, you’d got easy-to-grab vegetables that are perfect for many recipes, or failing that, snacking on with a little hummus.