One of the most useful things I’ve done since moving into my new apartment is set up a meal prep routine. It was something I’ve heard of other people doing, but for a long time I was skeptical: I thought it’d be too expensive, and take up too much time. I worried that the food wouldn’t reheat well, or that I’d quickly get bored with my meals each week. It wasn’t until one of my roommates insisted on attempting it that I finally gave it a shot, and I haven’t looked back since.
First things first, let’s tackle some of my initial worries about meal prepping:
The Cost: Surprisingly, this turned out to be a non-issue. We cook for four people, and as such there are four people contributing to the shopping fund, and as long as you only put what the recipe requires onto your shopping list, I’ve yet to spend more than 35 dollars for a whole week (If you’re only cooking for one, just make sure to adjust the recipe accordingly, and to buy in bulk for future weeks: this should keep your cost down).
Time: One thing I quickly learned was that the cooking goes by faster than I expected. It still takes up a good few hours of my day to cook all of the week’s meals, but there’s a few things you can do to reduce the time as much as possible. First, make sure to pick a day where you don’t have too much homework or classes. For me, this means I do all my cooking on Sunday afternoons: I start early enough that I’m not stressing myself out by doing it last minute, but it’s at the end of the weekend, so I have Friday and Saturday to not worry about it. Second, don’t limit yourself to working on just one meal at a time: your oven has two racks for a reason, and definitely take advantage of being able to put multiple things in to cook at the same time. Finally, if you’re really concerned with not having enough time, cook half of the meals on one day, and then the next half later in the week. There’s no rule that you have to do everything all at once: just work it into your schedule as best you can.
Reheating: This can be kept short and sweet: it’s better than you’d expect it to be. I was most worried about the food not tasting good when I reheated it. Does it taste as good as it would when it’s first out of the oven? No. Does it still taste good? Yes, definitely.
Variety: This one’s up to the recipes you find. So far, I’ve yet to repeat a meal, even though there’s been plenty that I wouldn’t mind having multiple times. There’s so many recipes out there for any sort of variety of meals, that finding something that you like shouldn’t be a problem. If you need any ideas on what to make, throughout this blog I’ll be listing out what I’m making each week, and you can try it too!
On the menu for this week:
Monday: Pesto Baked Chicken with Roasted Veggies
Tuesday: Lemony Kale and White Bean Soup -Recipe Here
Wednesday: Spaghetti Squash w/ Onion Tomato Sauce and Ground Turkey
Thursday: Sweet Potato Hash
Friday: Roasted Brussel Sprout Salad – Recipe Here
Breakfasts: Smoothie Bags
Snacks: Veggies and Hummus or fresh fruit