Why I Don't #MealPrep
There are two kinds of people in this world: people who live for their Sunday mealprepping, and people who sh*t their pants at the thought of it. I am one of the latter, or at least I used to be.
Sundays are my "me" days. Sometimes that means doing errands, laundry, and other adult things, while other days it means doing absolutely whatever I want, as I feel so inclined in the moment. Leisurely morning, yoga, maybe a massage or pedicure, shopping... damn, I'm excited for this Sunday now. But they usually always include grocery shopping. Which I love! Don't get me wrong, I could spend the whole day in there easily, and then still enjoy a girl scout style slumber party in the vegan cookie isle. But I digress.
While I love my grocery shopping, it really is time consuming. And so the idea of not only grocery shopping for the whole week on my one "me" day of the week ANDDD cooking all these full meals would have me stressed out before I even left my apartment. I'm kinda stressed out just typing that, to be honest.
What would I cook that I wouldn't get bored of? That wouldn't go bad? That wouldn't be too expensive or require me to buy ingredients that I'll use a tablespoon of and then sit in my cabinets for a year? Ugh.
But I realized that it really doesn't have to be so intimidating or complicated. Instead of even trying to play the #mealprep game, I came up with my own #ingredientprep game-- and I win every time. So can you! Let me explain.
Rather than plan out full meals, I just prep all the ingredients that can be combined in different ways to make different meals! Here is what I will cook up on a typical Sunday of ingredient prepping:
- 1-2 trays of roasted mixed veggies (carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, sweet potatoes, zucchini, butternut squash, brussel sprouts, parsnips, etc.)
- large pot of plain, cooked grains and/or legumes (quinoa, lentils, wheatberries, farro, bulgar)
- A prepped protein (if having animal that week, I'll hardboil eggs or make a tray of baked white fish/salmon), or just buy cans of chickpeas/black beans, frozen edamame.
- 1 cooked spaghetti squash or pot of lentil pasta
The best part? If you have multiple racks in your oven, you can have all of these things cooking in the same 30-60min time period, and you don't even have to be in the kitchen while they are cooking!!! WHATTTTT. It's true.
Once all of these are prepped and ready, I can then make up tons of different meals in a matter of minutes to fit whatever I am in the mood for that day! I find this is SO much better for my lifestyle than knowing that I am eating the exact same thing for 3 days* or more (which would sway me to want to eat out and thus waste some of it).
See below for some dishes I made using all the same prepped ingredients, with little to no additional cooking!
So to conclude, ingredient prepping instead of meal prepping is a triple win: saves time in the kitchen and thus more time for living; saves money by not buying barely-used ingredients; saves food by preventing prepped meals from going bad (and saves room in your freezer if you're someone who freezes everything for later); and saves you from food boredom!
Oh wait, that's a quadruple win.... ;P
Would you try #ingredientprep instead? Let me know! Love to hear from ya.