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Meal Prep Newb...need help!

KA1688KA1688 Member, Premium Posts: 16 Member Member, Premium Posts: 16 Member
Hi everyone! I am in the process of recomposition and I'm super excited because I already feel positive changes occuring. However, I am a bit concerned about meal prep and could use some help:


Situation:

-I do not have a full kitchen. I have a fridge, hot plate, cast iron skillet and rice cooker.
-looking to do easy meal prep one day a week.
-full-time student.
-so far, my staples are bison strip salad, skyr yogurt with almonds and honey, egg on sprouted bread with avo, wild salmon (from a can) tacos and chicken salad
-I'm into healthy fats and tend to get carried away. This is an area I really need to watch.

I'm pretty happy with what I have so far BUT i really don't want to get in the habit of eating the same thing every week. Last week I made a potato soup which faired pretty well, BUT I realized that it was high in carbs and low in protein...no good. In this phase, I am slowly building up my muscle so I need to focus on meals that are macro-balanced and provide foundational building blocks for my fitness journey.

TODAY I am 1 pound away from my goal weight, which will mean I lost the 14 lbs I gained after being a vegetarian for two years. I'm not saying that vegetarianism doesn't work for people, but once I cut out tofu and replaced it with lean meat my body started to progress very rapidly.

I'm overwhelmed by all of the meal prep options and I'm looking for a very simple and straightforward guide. Thanks!

Replies

  • Mouse_PotatoMouse_Potato Member Posts: 1,332 Member Member Posts: 1,332 Member
    Can you get your hands on a slow cooker or an Instant Pot? You can cook a lot of things with what you have, but it will be challenging to cook in bulk.
  • KA1688KA1688 Member, Premium Posts: 16 Member Member, Premium Posts: 16 Member
    Can you get your hands on a slow cooker or an Instant Pot? You can cook a lot of things with what you have, but it will be challenging to cook in bulk.

    I've actually tried that and I don't like it. I like more variety and with the instant pot or slow cooker, I found that I was making too much food that I wasn't eating because I became bored. I've found that I really like the set up I have now better.
  • Mouse_PotatoMouse_Potato Member Posts: 1,332 Member Member Posts: 1,332 Member
    So, you don't want to batch cook. You just want to make a bunch of different meals ahead of time? Is that correct? Then I'm probably not going to be much help, I'm afraid. I don't know how to streamline that process. I tend to make 2-3 recipes, freeze them in individual portions, and rotate. Then again, I'm autistic and I don't need much variety. :smile:
  • Strudders67Strudders67 Member Posts: 754 Member Member Posts: 754 Member
    Buy a ready-roasted chicken. Use the meat for salad, evening meals or whatever. Then,use the carcass to make a chicken soup and add whatever veg you like - I add a selection from onion, carrots, celery, mushrooms, broccoli, cauliflower, courgette, tomatoes and potatoes plus a lot of water and a stock cube. Once it's finished cooking, fish out all the bones, pick any bits of meat off the bones and throw back in. With the meat I originally take off the chicken, I portion it up and freeze for future lunches. Any little bits left over get added to my soup for added protein. I make enough to have soup for lunch for a week alongside some salad.

    Could you make bolognese? chilli? curries? stirfries?

    If you cooked in bulk and froze in portionbags, those portions could sit in the freezer for months. I make a huge bolognese and usually freeze 8 portions. I'll eat those over the next 6 months. Same with curries (usually 4-6 servings) and chilli etc.
  • kshama2001kshama2001 Member Posts: 22,721 Member Member Posts: 22,721 Member
    Hmm, wanting to meal prep while not having a full kitchen, wanting variety, and not having a freezer is outside my experience...

    How about you just cook rice ahead of time and make easy proteins and veggies at meal time?

    For example, you could cook chicken tenders very quickly in the cast iron pan. I never get tired of chicken because I have an insane amount of different spices so can make many different styles of cuisines.
  • KA1688KA1688 Member, Premium Posts: 16 Member Member, Premium Posts: 16 Member
    So, you don't want to batch cook. You just want to make a bunch of different meals ahead of time? Is that correct? Then I'm probably not going to be much help, I'm afraid. I don't know how to streamline that process. I tend to make 2-3 recipes, freeze them in individual portions, and rotate. Then again, I'm autistic and I don't need much variety. :smile:

    Hi! I would be open to batch cooking if I actually had a freezer, but I do not. Thank you though!
  • KA1688KA1688 Member, Premium Posts: 16 Member Member, Premium Posts: 16 Member
    Buy a ready-roasted chicken. Use the meat for salad, evening meals or whatever. Then,use the carcass to make a chicken soup and add whatever veg you like - I add a selection from onion, carrots, celery, mushrooms, broccoli, cauliflower, courgette, tomatoes and potatoes plus a lot of water and a stock cube. Once it's finished cooking, fish out all the bones, pick any bits of meat off the bones and throw back in. With the meat I originally take off the chicken, I portion it up and freeze for future lunches. Any little bits left over get added to my soup for added protein. I make enough to have soup for lunch for a week alongside some salad.

    Could you make bolognese? chilli? curries? stirfries?

    If you cooked in bulk and froze in portionbags, those portions could sit in the freezer for months. I make a huge bolognese and usually freeze 8 portions. I'll eat those over the next 6 months. Same with curries (usually 4-6 servings) and chilli etc.

    Appreciate the ideas, but I do not have storage space/a freezer for these. Thanks though!
  • KA1688KA1688 Member, Premium Posts: 16 Member Member, Premium Posts: 16 Member
    kshama2001 wrote: »
    Hmm, wanting to meal prep while not having a full kitchen, wanting variety, and not having a freezer is outside my experience...

    How about you just cook rice ahead of time and make easy proteins and veggies at meal time?

    For example, you could cook chicken tenders very quickly in the cast iron pan. I never get tired of chicken because I have an insane amount of different spices so can make many different styles of cuisines.

    Thanks - I've essentially figured out a process to cook basic foods and put them in glass meal containers...the issue now is that the whole process takes about 4-5 hours for essentials because of my lack of kitchen tools. I've realized that I need to do meal prep for a week over the course of a few days.

    Sigh. I can't wait until I have my own space with a full *kitten* kitchen.
  • MadDogManorMadDogManor Member Posts: 925 Member Member Posts: 925 Member
    I tend to cook/meal prep and portion control on Sundays, and it takes me about 4-5 hours too. Usually I make rice and some type of stir fry, soup or stew, and always a big basic salad for the week
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