View Full Version : Meal Prep......


salleh
08-03-12, 12:08 AM
.....I don't know about the rest of you, but my usual thing is to buy fresh fruits and veggies, and then ...oh about 1/2 the time....ok 2/3 of the time .....they just sit in the fridge and go bad ......

....Maybe I wasn't in the mood to cook that, or in the mood to eat that , or they got shoved to the back of the frdge .....whatever ..,.they get thrown out ......


......Tonight I was really proud of myself ....I saw fresh corn on the cob for 25cents each .....now it's already after dinner, so I think ...I'll get them, cook them up, slice the corn off the cob and freeze it .....for a dollar, I get several servings of fresh frozen corn ....

....I even undercooked them a trifle, and then cooled them off straight out of the pot so they didn't continue to cook ......( I hates over cooked corn ) .....

.....So there I am feeling all thrifty and good veggie conscious, and make the mistake of telling roomie Mike what I am doing ......no you'll have frozen stale corn .....you should buy it and eat it .....


...shock ! .....I didn't want to go into the whole thing with him .....this man buys what he wants for a couple of days ....and plans his meals .....( this is the amazing part!) then he cooks what he had planned and eats it on the night he planned to !!!!!!


.......so I might get one night where I plan for that night .....and it works .....but 2 in a row ????? nuh uh......

...so how do you guys do it ??? do you plan meals ahead ....???

....or do you follow my plan ....that is ....go by your whim of the evening .....I don't know what I want to eat for dinner on any night until .....about 5 in the late afternoon .....or if I even want to cook for that matter ......

k1dj03y
08-03-12, 01:12 AM
I do the exact same thing. I will plan out a dinner and find i had what i needed in the refrigerator all along. It has been bad at some points where i was going to the store daily because i didn't have what i needed (well thought i didnt). Or because what i had expired/spoiled before i could use it

spunkysmum
08-03-12, 01:54 AM
I do the exact same thing. I will plan out a dinner and find i had what i needed in the refrigerator all along. It has been bad at some points where i was going to the store daily because i didn't have what i needed (well thought i didnt). Or because what i had expired/spoiled before i could use it

I think in some ways, the "go to the store daily and get what you need as you need it" method might have its advantages, especially for us with ADHD. When you do a big grocery shop (especially when hungry) it is so easy to get a LOT of stuff, with great intentions of doing things like trying healthy new foods or recipes, or cooking up a mess of something big enough to either eat off of all week or freeze for another day, only to end up forgetting half of what you got, letting it go bad (especially in the case of fresh produce) or not feeling like fooling around with new recipes after all and leaving stuff sit in the freezer or cupboard.

CheekyMonkey
08-03-12, 01:57 AM
All reasons why I do not plan dinners. I'll cook when directed...and even then I can't make promises that I'll actually read the directions. :lol:

fracturedstory
08-03-12, 01:57 AM
I avoided buying food that goes off quickly as much as possible. Except for chicken. This week I have and have just thrown a few things together, mostly from packets and frozen boxes. I've almost gone a full week without chicken. It takes that worry off about cooking it up in time so I don't get sick and have to give it to the dog.

When I do buy fresh food I'm in a rush to eat it in time. I usually buy too much for a single meal, which usually gets me through two days. So some of the leftovers sit there and go off. I even buy pumpkin that has been sliced up but there's still always some left over.

Speaking of food going bad my chips will be stale soon, so I guess I should eat them. So far my solution is to see what food needs to be eaten quickly and cook it up. And then I don't feel bothered making such a meal. I might just have some toast.

That wasn't very helpful. Sorry.

fracturedstory
08-03-12, 03:23 AM
All reasons why I do not plan dinners. I'll cook when directed...and even then I can't make promises that I'll actually read the directions. :lol:
You're actually meant to read the directions? I thought you just prop the book up in front of you and forget that it's there, except when you splatter food on it.

Mattyk269
08-03-12, 03:57 AM
I think in some ways, the "go to the store daily and get what you need as you need it" method might have its advantages, especially for us with ADHD. When you do a big grocery shop (especially when hungry) it is so easy to get a LOT of stuff, with great intentions of doing things like trying healthy new foods or recipes, or cooking up a mess of something big enough to either eat off of all week or freeze for another day, only to end up forgetting half of what you got, letting it go bad (especially in the case of fresh produce) or not feeling like fooling around with new recipes after all and leaving stuff sit in the freezer or cupboard.



Hahaha I can relate to this, always buying new different things and a bunch of food with intentions of eating it all trying new things, then end up throwing half of it away because I've either got distracted with something else and left it too late to cook and ended up getting fast food instead, can't get out of bed early enough to prepare something from all this stuff I bought to take to work for lunch and too lazy to prepare something the night before, or i simply don't feel like any of all this stuff I've gone and filled the cupboards and fridge up with.

Day to day shopping is definatly the easiest way for me, I always get what I feel like, I don't have a bunch of stuff going old in the fridge, and I don't feel bad if I run out of time and end up having to grab fast food on the way home because it's just like spending the cash on something that's already prepared for me without having something else going to waste.

Plus for me going to the supermarket each day provides a
Bit of excitement and I like to try and be social

tudorose
08-03-12, 04:18 AM
I buy meat and put it into the correct portions and freeze it. That way I can work out what to take out that morning. Biggest problem I have with this is forgetting to take it out of the freezer and ending up having to cook or cut up frozen meat (which gives you frozen fingers).

With veggies I try and plan as much as I can. Packets of frozen veggies are good. The veggies you can keep for a while in the fridge without them going off in a hurry are potatoes, sweet potatoes, butternut pumpkin, carrots.

Zucchini's, capsicum, tomatoes, lettuce and cucumber can go off after about a week. Celery goes limp but it's still edible.

In my freezer right now I have a couple of packets of frozen veggies, a packet of brussel sprouts, broccoli and spinach. I like to have frozen corn cobs in there too but coz I like them they get eaten really quick. I think I have one left but with 3 of us I need to get some more first so that everyone gets one.

stef
08-03-12, 04:40 AM
It took me almost 20 years to get this down (I'm not exaggerating);
my mom is SUPER organized so she makes (well made, she doesn't cook as much anymore) a menu for the week and a corresponding grocery list. I tried this for years but it just doesn't work: I would forget an item; or, not want to make that particular dinner on a certain day.

So before I go grocery shopping on saturday (only day possible because of work & some stores closed here sundays) I make a list of "possible meals" and usually have one or 2 ideas in the store (this leads to losing the shopping cart but that's another issue!)

we have this great frozen food store here (open sunday am) so I get some more things there on sunday. Especially meat, I hate raw meat and worrying if it"s still good. YUCK. plus they have some nice prepared meals for 2-3 people - so I get one of those just in case. The trick is to have enough "elements" that you can throw a semi-healthy meal together. Frozen chicken nuggets and canned vegetables - whatever!

I try to make one nice meal a week (sunday noon); I HATE to cook though!

BohoButterfly
08-03-12, 05:20 AM
I have had all of the above problems with cooking meals, too. That's why i stopped grocery shopping a year or two ago.

Now, i buy staples as i go- milk, bread, cheese, sugar, tea, etc. on my way home from uni, one at a time, to help me remember.

I always, always, always have eggs, i buy them in bulk family packs lol. Boil them, keep them in fridge- instant good food when u have forgotten to eat!

I keep frozen vegies in the freezer- the big home brand ones, and i buy them separate, not mixed- corn, peas, etc.

Otherwise there'll be a day i dont feel like carrot, so dont use the vegies at all.

I buy fresh fruit and vegies in 'phases' to avoid wasting them.

Eg. I'll buy a tub of baby spinach and an a couple of avocadoes and have them with dinner until they run out, then maybe tomatoes and some brocolli for the next few days.

I also buy things that have a long shelf life to stick in the cupboard when they're on sale- like pasta side-dishes, baked beans, tuna, 2-minute noodles etc.

I buy frozen meals for the freezer when they are on sale, too. Like 4 for $20 and i can forget about them until one of those moments where i realise i've forgotten to organise my lunch, or have no dinner ideas.

Lastly, i cook in bulk on a whim, lol. Eg. If i feel like spaghetti one night, i buy enough ingredients to make a big batch, then freeze the sauce in individual servings.

Oh, and i get paid fortnightly, so about four days before the fortnight ends i ban myself from coles and woolies and fend for myself with what i've got left.

It always turns out to be so much that i can't believe i still think im going to run out of food every time i do this.

xxBB

purpleToes
08-03-12, 10:13 AM
Fresh fruit, I almost always eat before it goes bad, but fresh veggies require more prep, so those tend to get neglected. I rely more on frozen vegetables, and a few fresh veggies that last a long time like carrots and cabbage. I've had a cabbage in the fridge for 6 months and it was still good under the top leaves! I love carrot salad, roasted carrots and cole slaw.

A good knife makes prepping vegetables soooo much less of a chore. I used to think my knives - hand-me-downs from home - were fine. I kept them sharpened, and they cut stuff. I happened to buy a couple of $15 knives from Ikea for my partner's new place, and the difference really surprised me. Better ergonomics, balance, I don't know, but it's such a pleasure to use them. I bought a couple for myself after that. I'm still not organized about meal prep, but it's one less mental obstacle I didn't even know I had before.

salleh
08-03-12, 04:51 PM
Ahhhh good knives ....now you're talking ! I was a profassional cook while I was going to college and art school.....with a decent chef's knife that is easy to sharpen, and a good paring knife....I could conquer the world...

had a Cutco chef's knife with a white pearl handle for a while till I lost it moving .....but that was a sweetheart .....

or get the cheapest thinnest bladeded cleaver made of carbon steel you can find ...they're easy to sharpen with a steel, and a sharp knife makes life so much easier......


carbon steel knives are the easiest to sharpen using a steel, but they have 2 bad habits....1) they rust easy, you just wipe them dry when you're finished using them ....never ever ever put them in a dishwasher......or even dishwater for that matter
2) theuy go dull fast too......so you do have to sharpen them a lot ....

Lunacie
08-03-12, 07:00 PM
I buy meat and put it into the correct portions and freeze it. That way I can work out what to take out that morning. Biggest problem I have with this is forgetting to take it out of the freezer and ending up having to cook or cut up frozen meat (which gives you frozen fingers).

.

Putting frozen meat in a well-sealed plastic freezer bag in a sink full of warm water about 20 to 30 minutes before starting to cook works really well - as long as it's a small portion, not a whole beef roast or whole chicken.

After about 10 minutes, drain the water, fill the sink or bowl with fresh warm water, and turn the meat over to thaw it from the other side. This is when a timer comes in handy so you don't leave the meat in the sink for hours.

Whole chickens and beef roasts can be put into a crock pot frozen and cooked. Do a web search for recipies and cooking times.


I've shared this tip before - celery will stay fresh and crisp for several weeks if you rinse it off, pat it dry, and wrap it snugly in a layer of aluminum foil. I was so amazed how well this works. I only wish I'd known it 40 years ago.

Ranmaru
08-03-12, 07:49 PM
I don't really cook, nor do I know how. D:

I just...eat ramen... or boiled hotdogs, or cereal, or toaster scrambles, or snacks (like ritz crackers with white turkey and sharp cheddar cheese).

My mother cooks meals usually but when she doesn't that's what I usually would eat. And of course, PB&J sandwiches.

I just eat the most simple meals I can, I like the idea of 'meal fundamentals' I guess.

I would like for my mom to teach me how, but I fear she doesn't want to because of culture, she'd rather teach my girlfriend, which I don't currently have. I just want to cook for myself. ;-; (I will be using the cooking channel yum yum)

Spacemaster
08-03-12, 08:44 PM
I am always ashamed of myself when I have to throw away good produce. I feel super guilty.

Just today, I did something I have never done. I was so proud. I finished off a bag of 3 romaine hearts. I usually throw away 2/3, but I finished the whole bag without it rotting! Wooohoo!

I'm great at cooking, when I do it.

salleh
08-03-12, 08:46 PM
Cooking isn't all that hard...back at the dawn of time, I had a job at at a little bar on Pacific Coast Hwy ....I was the lunch cook, ..had to make a homemade soup everyday ( Fridays had to be white clam chowder, 21 ingredients) ...a lunch special for about 10 to 15, ,,,make homemade 1,000 dressing and blue cheese dressing ....and cut the 21 pound sirloins into 4 oz lucnh and 10 oz dinner steaks .....

cooking every day is how I learned .....that and a cook's best friend be they beginner or pro, "The Joy of Cooking" ......this book first appeared in the 40s I think and has had umpty ump revisions........

Get one ....it doesn't matter when it's from .....they explaind everythiing about cooking as if you didn't have a clue ....it's not full of pretty pictures, just a few line drawings and words.....but it's also pretty much fool proof....follow their instructions and you will end up with an edible dish ......


and the "Lunch, Supper and Brunch" chapter is chock full of great and easy dishes.....

when I started working at that bar,, I had flipped burgers at a burger joint on Balboa Island .....that was the total of my cooking experience.....my mom never taught me a thing about cooking ....I somehow talked the lady who owned the place into trying me out, and the Joy and I became best friends....

I would make a special and she'd compliment me on it ..and I would tell her ....never made that before ,..,....she always looked a bit startled .....about the 6th time I said that.....she got this look on her face ....and I think she then figured out that I was winging it .....but since I was doing pretty good I kept my job......


I learned 90 % of what I know about cooking from Joy of Cooking .....get the book, they're always at thrift shops and I bet Amazon or ebay will have one for about a buck .......

CheekyMonkey
08-03-12, 08:47 PM
Also! I freeze fruit that is about to go bad and use it for smoothies.