Health & Fitness

Food Prepping for Busy Gals

I am a single, financial savvy woman who is on-the-go quite often.

What that means:

  1. “Single” – I cook for one person, and cooking for one person is annoying.
  2. “Financial savvy” – I don’t eat out all the time because it is a waste of money, mainly because all the tip you have to put on top of the bill. It also means that I don’t like when I buy groceries and have to throw them out because it went bad.
  3. “Woman” – I’m a person with female body parts.
  4. “On-the-go quite often” – I don’t have a lot of downtime to be holing up in the kitchen. Let’s be efficient and effective, people – efficient and effective.

Thankfully, my friend Christine who is currently studying for a masters in medical science is also a quite busy studying, so whenever we meal prep together, we aim to be efficient and effective.

During the middle of the week, Christine and I would see if we had enough time to meal prep together during the weekend. Once it is a go, we’d email each other a short list of recipes we would like to eat that following week. Then we’d narrow down the list, list out the ingredients and see who has what, and bam! We’re ready for the weekend.

In our previous cooking sessions, we had most of the ingredients between the both of us. I’d run to the grocery store for any remaining items on my way to Christine’s house. But this time, Christine said we should go grocery shopping together. So I sent her this:

And that’s how the “hahahahaha jeez” situation happened.

Some things you should know:

  • Besides Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods, there are three other main supermarkets around Boston: Stop & Shop, Shaws, and Star Market. Shaws and Star Market are owned by the same company.
  • I have been in the Boston area for about 7 years and should know better.
  • Christine has been in the Boston area for about 6 months.

I was waiting for Christine at Star Market on Commonwealth Avenue, when I get a text from Christine asking where I was. “In the produce section, where are you?” “In the produce section, I don’t see you.”

Turns out, she ended up going to Stop & Shop about a 10 minute drive from Star Market.

It was okay though because there were a couple items that I couldn’t find at Star Market, and she just picked them up at Stop & Shop.

We cooked four things for the week:

  1. Instant Pot Lemon Vegetable Risotto
  2. Hoisin-Glazed Salmon (without the Quinoa)
  3. Chickpea Salad
  4. Pumpkin muffins from Trader Joe’s

My favorite dishes are the lemon vegetable risotto and the salmon. The chickpea salad wasn’t my favorite because it was a salad, and the onions felt like they got stronger as the days passed.

We cooked all of those dishes in about 3 hours.

Here’s how we did it:

  1. Read through all the recipes for oven temperature and length of time to cook.
  2. Turn on the oven.
  3. Juliet first washes the veggies, and Christine starts chopping the veggies.
  4. Christine starts cooking the first bit of the risotto recipe in the Instant Pot, and Juliet finishes chopping and prepping veggies for the oven.
  5. Pop the veggies in the oven and the rice in the Instant Pot.
  6. Christine cuts up salmon, and Juliet makes sauce for the salmon.
  7. Christine finishes chopping up veggies for the salad, and Juliet finishes the salmon recipe as well as dinner (a potato and a sweet potato) and pops them in the oven.
  8. Oh, don’t forget to time everything! Use the microwave timer, oven timer, phone timers… everything.
  9. Christine makes the chickpea salad, and Juliet makes the pumpkin muffins.

BOOM. DONE.

I’ve always found cooking for one person is terribly hard and annoying. I used to make so much food that I’d have to throw some in the trash. Not only do I find cooking with others a lot more fun, but I also get to have more variety in what I get to eat throughout the week. Also, Instant Pots are the best thing ever. And cooking with friends is a great way to catch up!

I can’t wait to meal prep with Christine (or anybody else) again!

xo Juliet

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