Pretending Like You Can Adult: Meal Prep Edition

TAYLOR SCHLOEMER | THE SPECTRUM
Some containers are not microwave safe, so be careful when buying new Tupperware.

Meal prepping can suck, and who has time for it? The answer is all of you. Also, it will simultaneously slim your waistline and fatten your wallet.

Make enough for the whole week

One of the obvious pieces of advice is to make all your food for the week, or at least the food you’ll be taking to campus or work, all at once. Yeah, just do it.

Except, let’s be honest, eating the same thing every day is really boring. However, you can do a variety of things to fix this. One of my personal favorites is to make a relatively mild dish and change the sauce I put on it every day.

If you don’t have any sauces, I find any form of nut butter is fine. I prefer almond butter, but that’s just my preference.

This keeps your meals interesting, and you get to experiment with different flavors, which can actually result in better cooking in the future.

But no containers though

I hear you. Plastic containers are expensive, and then you lose the lids and it all goes to trash.

A quick fix that I like to do is I go to the store and buy two to three pints of Talenti gelato, which is the perfect meal size container that also comes with an excuse for you to eat gelato for the same price of Tupperware. It’s a win-win.

But there is one drawback: they are not microwave safe. Trust me, I learned the hard way. On the bright side, it still holds things and is now a good conversation starter.

If you do need a microwave safe container, invest in a leakproof glass container. It will last longer and will never leak plastic byproducts into your food. As long as you do you dishes every day, one should be enough.

Getting your healthy on

We all love pasta, but let’s be honest, if you eat it every day you’re probably going to feel the effects along the way. It’s also a one-way track to excess weight, of course, unless you exercise regularly.

To avoid constant constipation and so your organs want to keep on keeping on, just throw in a quarter to a half-cup of frozen vegetables of your choice to every pasta meal you prep. Once you microwave it again, you won’t even notice the veggies are there underneath all the Alfredo sauce you’re putting on it.

This also works with any and every rice dish you make.

How to move away from noodles and rice

I have two words for you all, sweet potatoes. These tasty guys are pretty much just one meal all ready to go. One sweet potato equals one meal.

I love using these as a staple in my diet because they’re so versatile and easy to cook.

Personally, I have a few different ways I like to cook these:

  1. Steam them and mash them up with a tablespoon of almond butter (and a teaspoon of butter if you like them extra creamy).
  2. Chop them up and pop them in the oven with a touch of olive oil, bake for 20-30 minutes at 300 F and when they’re done (if a knife goes through them easily, they’re a bit soft) sprinkle paprika on them and enjoy either now or later.
  3. Cut them into thin slices and again, pop them in the oven with a bit of olive oil and bake at 325 F for 40-45 minutes (watch them to make sure they don’t burn). When they’re crispy, let them cool and pair with a spicy mango salsa for a cute picnic style meal.

OK, so you’re basically meal prep experts now, but you still have to, you know, do the actual meal prep. But hopefully this will encourage you to do so. I’m telling you guys, you really can make food that is better, and better for you, than another visit to Panda Express.

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