We’ve all had those weeks where we barely have time to breathe because we’re super busy. But, that shouldn’t force you to skip meals! Here are some meal hacks to make squeezing in cooking a little less hectic as a collegiate.
1. Cook grains in bulk. Grains like brown rice, farro and quinoa can last almost a week if they are cooked and placed in Tupperware in the refrigerator. They will last even longer if they are frozen! Cook these grains during a meal-prep day or night that you have free. Then you can nosh all week long without ever having to boil water.
2. Pre-cut veggies. Sometimes cutting vegetables takes almost as long as cooking them, so shorten prep time by chopping them in advance. The only caveat: this speeds the process of spoiling. Make sure you only cut what you need for the next couple days, or you can freeze the cut vegetables.
3. Buy canned or frozen food. The belief that canned or frozen vegetables have less nutritional value is so wrong! Canned legumes, like black beans or chickpeas, are usually less than a dollar per can, which makes them a cheap and fast way to get extra protein. Frozen vegetables are ideal for busy weekdays when you only have half an hour for lunch because they are already chopped and take only a few minutes in the microwave.
4. Join a CSA that delivers. If grocery shopping is a time-consuming activity for you, try a food delivery service like AmazonFresh or your local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). Not only will the food come directly to you, but CSAs also support local agriculture, reduce environmental impact and give you organic vegetables to eat every week. Saving the environment and helping you eat more veggies? Yes, please!
5. Experiment with vegan food. While some diets require cooking to avoid getting sick, a more plant-based regime allows you to eat a lot of food without using kitchen appliances! Fresh vegetables, fruits and nuts will make your skin glow, and save you loads of time.
6. Use your oven (and microwave). Skip sautéeing and instead opt for the oven or microwave, which have built-in timers. This way, you can pop your food in and focus on the other components of your meal until the timer beeps.
7. Plan ahead. How many times have you stood in front of the refrigerator or pantry unsure of what you want to eat? Planning your meals ahead of time makes life a lot easier. If you already know exactly what to cook, then you can start preparing immediately when you arrive home. Plus you will ultimately save on groceries by not buying excess food.
Gifs Courtesy of Giphy