Myfitnesspal

Message Boards Food and Nutrition
You are currently viewing the message boards in:

No space or motivation for veggies?! HELP!

keeganquillkeeganquill Member Posts: 8 Member Member Posts: 8 Member
I've got a triple kicker here for you guys. Looking for ideas to help resolve my difficulties with meal prep and fresh food eating!

A few obstacles I have are,
1. My fiance and I live in a 385 SQ foot studio apartment with three cats, a hamster, and a dog. He doesn't work due to his disability and I'm the primary breadwinner, I work an active job as a dog groomer full time and while he is an amazing partner I also do a lot more of the tasks around the house and some degree of caretaking. We have different dietary needs. Therefore... I'm a pretty tired human a lot of the time, making cooking hard (not to mention my own autism and anxiety making motivation a challenge).
2. Therefore, I don't have tons of money.
3. The fridge installed in our apartment is
a dorm/mini fridge. As mentioned above, the apartment is too small to add another fridge.

I am lucky enough to have a stove, oven, and air fryer though! Taking prepped meals to store in the fridge at work is also a possibility. I hope to move to a bigger place with a normal fridge next year.

What are your shelf-stable, fridge-space-saving, low-energy, or low-expense tips? I'd appreciate any of them you've got for me!

Thanks!

Replies

  • claireychn074claireychn074 Member, Premium Posts: 562 Member Member, Premium Posts: 562 Member
    Do you like particular types of veg / dislike certain veg? I’m wondering whether tinned stuff like sweet corn in water, tinned beans in water, chickpeas etc would help. They can be shoved anywhere you have space - don’t need to be in a fridge. Tinned tomatoes are also great, you can blitz them with some garlic salt (if you don’t have room for fresh garlic) and some powdered stock, and that’s a great way to make a pasta sauce. You can ask add cooked veg and purée it - great if you have any rubbery veg going over! If you have any freezer space in your little fridge then a pack of frozen peas or beans can be cooked quickly and added to lots of meals. You can also get dehydrated pulses, like lentils, which are good space savers and can be added to sauces and soups to get your veggie count up. Hope that helps a little bit!
  • goal06082021goal06082021 Member Posts: 1,623 Member Member Posts: 1,623 Member
    Is your partner able to take on any food-prep tasks, even if it's simple stuff that doesn't involve knives or heat (like, taking a bulk snack of some kind and portioning it out into easy-to-grab-and-go single servings)? You don't have to disclose what his disability is, but if said disability absolutely precludes anything like that, you'll need to figure out a system that will work without burning you way the hell out (as a fellow autistic and anxious human who was also socialized female).

    Is the apartment too small even for another *mini* fridge? Those will be going on sale soon, back to school and all that. At the risk of drawing more spooky parallels between you and me, an internet stranger, my now-husband and I also shared a <400sqft studio when we were young and broke and I was the only one working. I think we could have squeezed a dorm fridge in there if we were so inclined. Maybe not in a place that made a ton of sense, vis-a-vis the layout of the rest of the space, but we could have made it fit, at least.

    Do you have a way to boil water at work? That opens up some possibilities. They're ramen-flavored possibilities for the most part, but they are there. You can get cases of ramen for relatively cheap, they're not hard to store and they keep forever, and if your work is OK with you storing things in their fridge on a long-ish term basis, that TikTok ramen with the mayo and egg is actually pretty good.
  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Member, Premium Posts: 21,536 Member Member, Premium Posts: 21,536 Member
    Dry red lentils cook fast, and are long-term shelf-stable. The color is a little unique for it, but they taste good anywhere one might use other beans (soups, stews, tacos, tostadas, wraps, salads, etc.) Lots of whole grains don't take long to cook, either. Bulgar wheat doesn't even strictly need cooking, just soaking. Bought in bulk, those things are pretty affordable basics. Canned goods can be helpful, as described above. I don't know whether you eat/like it, but there's shelf-stable tofu. If you don't care for the texture, the soft type can be blended into almost anything to add some protein at fairly reasonable calories.

  • psuLemonpsuLemon Member, MFP Moderator, Greeter, Premium Posts: 37,668 MFP Moderator Member, MFP Moderator, Greeter, Premium Posts: 37,668 MFP Moderator
    If you don't have motivation to eat veggies don't. You can get plenty of nutrition from other sources such as whole grain breads, seeds, nuts, and fruit (especially low gi fruits). The main advantage to veggies is for volume. If you want more fiber, looks at "low carb" wraps, breads or tortilla.
  • MargaretYakodaMargaretYakoda Member, Premium Posts: 1,553 Member Member, Premium Posts: 1,553 Member
    If your partner is able to prep veggies and load them in a dehydrator, then you can store them in mason jars. When it comes time to cook just toss them in a soup or sauce and you have instant nutrition.
    We have a huge dehydrator, but you can use your oven. Or get a small round dehydrator. They’re generally inexpensive and don’t take up too much room. Low and slow is the best. And dry until they’re crunchy. They keep the longest that way.

    You can use the sad marked down veggies too, which helps the budget.

    Instant rice is also great for quick meals. Add a can of tuna, and maybe some A1 or similar, and those dehydrated veggies and you have a quick healthy meal.

    One last thing: Hey! I’m autistic too! 🙋🏼‍♀️
    Send me a friend request if you like.
    edited July 22
  • keeganquillkeeganquill Member Posts: 8 Member Member Posts: 8 Member
    Do you like particular types of veg / dislike certain veg? I’m wondering whether tinned stuff like sweet corn in water, tinned beans in water, chickpeas etc would help. They can be shoved anywhere you have space - don’t need to be in a fridge. Tinned tomatoes are also great, you can blitz them with some garlic salt (if you don’t have room for fresh garlic) and some powdered stock, and that’s a great way to make a pasta sauce. You can ask add cooked veg and purée it - great if you have any rubbery veg going over! If you have any freezer space in your little fridge then a pack of frozen peas or beans can be cooked quickly and added to lots of meals. You can also get dehydrated pulses, like lentils, which are good space savers and can be added to sauces and soups to get your veggie count up. Hope that helps a little bit!

    Thank you and sorry I'm replying so late. I'll definitely try more cans and see if I can't cook the thing on my day off and store it at work. Probably going to make some quinoa with black beans and corn soon. And stock up on some lentils. Thank you!!
  • keeganquillkeeganquill Member Posts: 8 Member Member Posts: 8 Member
    acpgee wrote: »
    Apparently a lot of vegetables can be stored without refrigeration.
    https://theboatgalley.com/storing-veggies-refrigeration/
    In general, a lot of good tips for living in small spaces can be had from people who live on boats.
    acpgee wrote: »
    Apparently a lot of vegetables can be stored without refrigeration.
    https://theboatgalley.com/storing-veggies-refrigeration/
    In general, a lot of good tips for living in small spaces can be had from people who live on boats.

    Didn't even think of that! Thank you!
  • springlering62springlering62 Member, Premium Posts: 3,757 Member Member, Premium Posts: 3,757 Member
    You don’t have to refrigerate eggs, freeing up space in your mini fridge . Hey can be left out at room temperature. I’ve done an safely for several weeks.

    Ditto butter. Google “butter bell”. You can leave it on the counter as long as you change the water regularly. Bonus: much easier to spread so you can use smaller quantities. I do this all the time with my homemade butter.
Sign In or Register to comment.