How to meal prep if you're not into committment
If you're anything like me the idea of perfectly scheduled and prepared meals sounds absolutely unappealing. Sure, having ready meals in the fridge would be nice. But to have everything planned out right down to the raisins in your oatmeal leaves you anything but excited to eat that nutritious food. Not to mention if you're more of a 'Type B' person, being that organized does not come naturally, which just leaves you feeling flustered and defeated. Thus I figured I'd share my tips for when I do decide I want to be more organized in the kitchen.
A friend asked me what my weekly 'meal prep' looks like and I tried numerous times to sit down and write something super organized out. But then I realized that's not me, and that's not actually how I do it!
I know I'm not the only one out there who has trouble articulating their routine; or maybe you don't have any sort of routine because you've tried the weekly meal calendars and the matching tupperware and the muffin-pan eggs, but it's just not natural or cohesive for you.
If I had to put it simply, I don't really prepare my meals for the week all in one day. I make a whole bunch of different things (typically on Sunday afternoons) and then I have them all packaged separately in the fridge ready for whenever. I prefer this method because it doesn't lock me into a particular meal. And the best part about that is it allows me to eat more intuitively in the moment, while still having at least half of my meal prepped or cooked in advance.
For example, I'll make a huge bowl of brown rice and leave it in the fridge unseasoned. Now I can add it to a stir fry, I can eat it with greens and roasted sweet potatoes or I can reheat it with some coconut milk and cinnamon to make a warming rice porridge for breakfast. This leaves you OPTIONS, my dear. And the FREEDOM to change your mind last minute. I like options and freedom, you?
What I do like to plan however, are my dinners. I might plan to make 4 or 5 dinners a week so that way I have leftovers for lunch or breakfast the next day. I typically have more time in the evenings, not to mention I do love to be in the kitchen; so this is like my play time. I'll come up with a few different meals for dinner that week and that's where the majority of my grocery list comes from.
For example, one night I might plan to make a pasta dish with olives, fresh tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, capers and olive oil. (PS this is my go-to meal when I'm out of inspiration! Always fast and delicious) What I'll do is make extra pasta and leave it plain in the fridge. That way I can eat it with a different sauce over the next couple of days. Planning your dinners also cuts down IMMENSELY on the amount of foods you have to prepare on Sunday.
That's not to say you shouldn't do any prep at all! Definitely make sure to have some staples in the fridge for backup! But by planning dinner you get more VARIETY in your 'planned' meals than the typically 'meal-prepper' who tends to eat the same meals over and over.
Some of my 'staples' for the week might be: Roasted seasonal vegetables Brown rice or quinoa
Cooked plain pasta Cooked black beans Baked sweet potatoes Hard boiled eggs Massaged Kale Washed lettuce Chopped raw veggies Iced coffee or chai (UHM HI- do this! It makes Monday mornings so much less monday-y to have a cold or ready to heat treat tucked in the fridge!)
I keep all of these in the fridge and just combine them super quick at meal time with other quick-cooking ingredients. This leaves me tons of options and doesn't lock me into eating a specific set of foods if I'm not digging them that day. I hope this helped all of you who've struggled in the past to get on the meal prep train. If you found this helpful please let me know and share with a friend!