Component cooking is a meal planning and preparation method where you cook individual components or ingredients separately and then combine them to create a variety of meals throughout the week.

This approach can save you time and effort, reduce food waste, and allow for more flexibility in your meal choices.

Here’s a plan for component cooking:

Proteins:

Grilled Chicken Breast: Marinate and grill several chicken breasts.
Baked Salmon: Season and bake salmon fillets.
Browned Ground Beef: Cook ground beef with onions and spices.

Grains:

Quinoa: Cook a batch of quinoa.
Brown Rice: Prepare brown rice.
Whole Wheat Pasta: Boil whole wheat pasta.

Vegetables:

Roasted Vegetables: Roast a mix of your favorite vegetables (e.g., bell peppers, zucchini, carrots, broccoli).
Steamed Broccoli: Steam broccoli florets.
Sautéed Spinach: Sauté spinach with garlic and olive oil.

Sauces and Dressings:

Tomato Sauce: Make a big batch of tomato sauce with herbs and spices.
Vinaigrette: Prepare a versatile vinaigrette with olive oil, vinegar, and mustard.

Meal Ideas:

Chicken Quinoa Bowl:

Combine grilled chicken, cooked quinoa, and roasted vegetables.
Drizzle with vinaigrette for flavor.

Salmon and Brown Rice:

Serve baked salmon with a side of brown rice.
Add a dollop of tomato sauce for extra flavor.
Pasta with Ground Beef:

Mix browned ground beef with whole wheat pasta.
Toss in some sautéed spinach and tomato sauce.

Vegetable Stir-Fry:

Sauté your roasted vegetables in a hot pan.
Add a protein (chicken, beef, or tofu) and stir-fry sauce.
Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo:

Slice the grilled chicken and mix it with steamed broccoli.
Toss with whole wheat pasta and Alfredo sauce.

Salmon Salad:

Flake-bake salmon and add it to a bed of mixed greens.
Top with vinaigrette and roasted vegetable leftovers.

Mediterranean Quinoa Bowl:

Combine cooked quinoa, chickpeas, and sautéed spinach.
Add some grilled chicken for protein.
Drizzle with vinaigrette.

Taco Bowl:

Use the browned ground beef as the base.
Add black beans, lettuce, tomatoes, and other taco toppings.
Serve with whole wheat tortillas or over brown rice.
By preparing these components in advance, you can mix and match them to create a variety of delicious and nutritious meals throughout the week, saving time and reducing food waste. Plus, you have the flexibility to customize your meals according to your preferences.