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hard boiled eggs on avocado toast

There’s a reason why meal prep has taken off over the last ­decade: It’s a convenient way for many folks to plan and execute recipes. With just one day of cooking, you can have a whole week’s worth of nourishing, ready-to-reheat dishes at arm’s reach.

But this method isn’t without its drawbacks. Though plenty of people love the ease of cooking only once a week, just as many battle boredom from eating the same meals day in and day out, especially because preprepped dishes tend to lose their freshness and vibrancy over time.

Fortunately, there’s a solution for all the home cooks out there who want to take a more minimalist approach to meal prep: component cooking, which is the practice of preparing separate ingredients in advance so they’re at the ready in your fridge or freezer. It’s like having a handful of shortcuts to a variety of flavorful dishes — a real boon for healthy eating when hunger closes in, explains Michelle Tam, best-selling author of Nom Nom Paleo: Let’s Go!

Like meal prep, this approach can help you stick to your grocery budget, reduce food waste, and cut back on your time in the kitchen. Component cooking still involves planning, but it’s not as rigid as meal prep and offers more flexibility across different lifestyles and taste preferences.

Tips for Using Hard Boiled Eggs

Whether chopped into a Niçoise salad or layered with smoked salmon between thick slices of whole-grain sourdough, the humble boiled egg is a component-cooking champion. “Hard-boiled eggs are definitely a staple in my component cooking,” says Danielle Walker, best-selling author of Healthy in a Hurry. “I use them in salads, as a protein-packed topping for a roasted sweet potato, or as a quick snack for the kids with a turkey jerky stick.”

Boiled eggs stay fresh for up to seven days when refrigerated, but they’re so versatile you’ll easily use them up before the week’s out. (Try our simple, four-step method for perfect boiled eggs.)

More Tips on Component Cooking

Component cooking is a clever approach to meal prep that will help you save time and money while allowing you to whip together flavorful and healthy meals during the busy week. Learn how to prep, store, and use several various components at “Easy Meal Prep: How to Start Component Cooking,” the source of this article excerpt.

Camille
Camille Berry

Camille Berry is a wine and food writer based in San Francisco.

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