You have 3 midterms coming up on the same day and a whole season of Friends to marathon. I know. It’s hard. It’s hard to binge-study and binge-relax without any ready-made food to eat that won’t leave you feeling gross.
But putting aside a few hours on Sunday to pre-pack your meals will save you SO much time (and boost your liquor funds) during the week when you’re running around between classes and meetings.
No longer do you have to deal with the Tim’s line on campus just for limp lettuce and reheated soup. No longer will you have a pile of dirty pots and pans that your housemate passive-aggressively rants about on Yik Yak. Ditch the ramen – it’s time to get colourful.
Prep the Side Dishes
One of the first steps you can take to make things easier for yourself is to wash and slice your fruits and veggies right after buying groceries – tedious, but way more convenient for cooking and snacking on later.
On the side, boil some frozen veggies for ease or roast fresh veggies in the oven with the meat to coat your drooling tongue with spice. You can also boil pasta, grains or eggs. Hard-boiled eggs are a great treat for sandwiches and wraps (think egg salad) or just as a quick ‘n easy snack.
Pick a Protein
Choose a versatile protein that can withstand a few days in the fridge, and play with different seasonings so it doesn’t get repetitive. I prepared chicken and varied the spices on each piece (more on cooking times for chicken here).
Divide the Food
Chop up your protein into meal-sized portions to feast on later in the week. Pack veggies that can be eaten raw like lettuce, spinach, and sweet peppers, and divide them into individual meals to be used for salads, sandwiches, and wraps. Wet veggies like tomatoes should be stored separately.
Mix Up Those Ingredients
Don’t be afraid to amp up your leftovers by adding in other ingredients to give variety to your meals. Mix your food up with spreads, cheeses, fruits, and nuts. Make sure to keep dressing and nuts in a different container so none of your food gets soggy.
Carbs + protein + veggies = golden. Pack these babies up, reheat on campus, and you’re good to go.
Pasta can be tossed with pesto or salad dressing and eaten hot or cold (It’s a love/hate relationship with that Mac-Corry microwave on campus. You know what I’m talking about).
Here are a few options to get started:
Protein: Chicken, beef, pork, eggs, beans, lentils, chickpeas, and tofu (fish gets too fishy when it sits in the fridge).
Greens: Lettuce, spinach, kale, tomatoes, sweet peppers, avocado, cucumber, red onions, carrots, and broccoli.
Carbs: Bread, tortillas, pitas, pasta, rice, quinoa, grains, and potatoes.
Prepping meals in advanced will be a life-saver when exam season hits you like a wrecking ball and leaves you in a swirling haze of confusion and despair. Trust me, you’ll thank yourself later.
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