The College Cook: Guide to Meal Prepping

Meal-Prepping

If there is one thing that college has taught me, it is time management. If you’re like me, you are probably living life hustlin’ and bustlin’: Biking (or walking, whichever floats your boat) to class, work/internships, the ARC, a variety of club meetings, study groups, etc.

Some days, it can be hard to grab a bite or cook up a good meal in between a busy schedule. Something I have found to be crazy helpful in this situation is Meal Prepping. “What is this and how do I do it?” you may ask.

Here is a simple guide to get you started!

Meal prepping is just what it sounds like: preparing about a week’s worth of meals       ahead of time to save time. Also, it ensures you a tasty meal waiting for you after a busy day of life.

meal prep 1

First and foremost: pick a day where you have at least an hour or two to spend some quality time with your kitchen. (I personally like to do this the same day I go grocery shopping.)

Second, plan your meal to include the essentials: protein + starch + veggies.

(The following are some options that are generally quick/easy to cook)

 Protein: chicken breast, eggs, ground beef/turkey, fish filets, and shrimp

 Starch: brown rice, quinoa, and sweet potato

 Veggies: basically whatever your heat desires! – fFor me, I like anything I can stick

Third, you will need containers, enough to pack the amount of food you want to store in your fridge. Typically, this could be a week’s worth of lunches and/or dinners.

Lastly, get cooking! I tend to put together a meal as simple as salmon filet + steamed veggies + quinoa.

But here are a couple of other awesome meal prep methods you could try!

meal prep 2

  • Crockpot it! Prepare these meals as usual & stick them in the freezer. They then only take about 45 minutes to cook, leaving you plenty of time for other activities

meal prep 3

  • Smoothies. You can even meal prep these tasty treasures. Here are some fun combinations to blend up for a quick breakfast or snack?

meal prep 4

  • Who doesn’t love to eat out of a Mason Jar? Pack these “layered lunches” to-go as you head out for another busy day.

Do have a favorite dish that you like to prepare in advance when you know you have a busy week? Share it in the comments below!

By Janelle Manzano, Nutrition Intern

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