Meal Prepping: An Aspirational Blog PostDecember 2, 2020
Hey Mason Grads,
Nikita here. Today I’m going to write a little bit about meal prepping, and let me be very clear with you: this is an aspirational blog post. I am mildly terrible at remembering to meal prep. The hopes are that in writing and publishing this blog post, I’ll hold myself a little more accountable for doing it!
Meal prep is essential for us working adults (as many of us graduate students are), both to bring to our jobs and to those evening classes. Meal prep is great for many reasons–when you meal prep, you’ll be eating more nutritious food, healthier portions, and saving a lot more money than if you were eating out for these meals.
One thing to keep in mind is not to meal prep too much food at once, because chances are, you’ll get sick of the same thing after a few days and you won’t want to eat it anymore (unless it’s something you can freeze and save for later). Meal prep also goes hand-in-hand with those pesky little self-care tasks that I talked about in my previous blog post. Additionally, if nutrition and diet is something you’re struggling with, I’d recommend utilizing Mason’s Student Health Services Nutrition Counseling, a resource that is accessible and available to students!
Here are some great and relatively easy ideas:
The basic recipe is pretty simple and easy:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and spray a muffin tin with cooking spray
- Evenly distribute egg cup toppings/veggies in each muffin cup
- Whisk together 8 eggs (for 12 egg cups) and ¼ cup milk
- Pour egg mixture into each muffin cup and season with salt, pepper, and other seasonings
- Bake 18-22 minutes
- Seal in an airtight container for up to 5 days in the fridge or freeze
Getting creative with your toppings is the fun part! Here are some ideas:
- Chopped spinach, feta or mozzarella, sun-dried or regular tomatoes, basil
- Broccoli and cheddar
- Bacon/turkey bacon/other bacon alternative and gouda
- Ham/turkey, bell peppers, and cheddar
- Mushrooms and swiss cheese
The fun of these egg cups is that you can get creative with them and do something different every time you make them. You can also use whatever leftover vegetables or deli meat you have in your fridge!
Rice bowls are a tasty way to get a balanced meal with complex carbs, healthy fats, protein, and vegetables. One option is to do a taco/burrito bowl with brown rice or quinoa, fajita seasoned chicken, black beans, corn, avocado, bell peppers, greens, cheddar or cotija cheese, and salsa. These are very filling and easy to throw together. Also, if you’re vegetarian or vegan, it’s super easy to leave out the chicken and cheese and add tofu instead (or whatever floats your boat).
Fish & Veggies
Another simple & delicious option is to make salmon and vegetables. You can bake salmon with a spicy sweet chili glaze or a sesame ginger glaze, for example, and serve with asparagus, green beans, squash, or bell peppers and brown rice if you want a more filling meal.
My secret ingredients to bomb quesadillas are Habanero Lime Tortillas from Trader Joe’s and–wait for it–Taco Bell hot sauce. I typically make my quesadillas with a generous helping of cheddar or pepper jack cheese, chicken, corn, bell peppers, and black beans, if I have them on hand. There are also plenty of cool low-carb or high-protein tortilla options that can make this a delicious nutrient-packed meal, and they’re easy to reheat on a pan or in a toaster oven.
I hope these ideas are helpful for you or serve as motivation to make something great for yourself this week! Our present selves have got to look out for our future selves when we’re starving at work or need a bite in class!