Does Meal Prep Mean Boring?
I am a part of several meal prep Facebook groups. This is the time of year they are the most active, and people who really want to meal prep ask some really good questions and bring up logical concerns.
Probably the most common concern I’ve heard has to do with meal prep being boring and the thought of eating the same thing over and over sounds like a solid form of torture.
Now, that doesn’t have to be true! I mean, don’t get me wrong, eat, rinse, repeat is a definite way some people meal prep. They make 1-2 meals, and divide them up into small containers, and eat those every single day. I have also done this, although it isn’t my favorite way of meal prep. It is one of the easiest.
With that being said, meal prep doesn’t have to be difficult to not be boring.
This is an example of my meal prep – what I’m doing this week as a matter of fact.
My Meal Prep Week
The following items I cook on Sunday:
- Steel Cut Oats
- Sweet Potatoes
- Brown Rice
- 15 hardboiled eggs
The following meals I have cooked:
- Korean Beef Rice Bowl (https://www.skinnytaste.com/korean-beef-rice-bowls/)
- Cheesy Beef and Noodle Casserole (a Weight Watchers recipe from their One Pot Cookbook)
The following meals I have prepped but NOT cooked:
- Chicken parmesan burgers (assembled the patties and wrapped them in saran wrap. Put in the freezer and will pull them out on Tuesday. I will cook them Wednesday.)
- Skinny Crustless Quiche (Will put in the oven Monday or Tuesday morning for breakfast)
One Meal not prepped:
Now, all of this takes me about 2 hours and I have a solid grasp on the week.
Here’s what it looks like:
I don’t often prep ahead. I’m trying to make a frittata or quiche or slow cooker egg bake every week to break up the breakfast routine a bit.
Since I work from home, I have a LOT of flexibility, which can be a massive double edged sword. With that being said, I have hard boiled eggs – I can make egg salad, or I can just have them as is, especially if I have a busy day. They’re a great on the go lunch! I also have the Korean Beef Rice Bowl for lunch.
- Salmon one night
- Cheese beef and noodle casserole
- Chicken Parmesean burgers
I realize that leaves two nights open. But, this week, we are going out to the movies and early dinner after school, a fun rare treat for everyone as sports and night teaching for my husband hasn’t taken over our evenings.
On the other open night – this is leftover night. It always has been and always will be. I set out everything I’ve cooked and set it up buffet style. Everyone serves up what they want. There are weeks we don’t have enough food left to do this, so I will pick up chicken sausages at the butcher or a rotissierie chicken to add to the mix.
I might take a meal out of the freezer to heat up as well as I always try to make a freezer meal (this week I didn’t, but I definitely will for next week).
With the meals I am making, I have some side dishes prepped – sweet potatoes or brown rice. I also have plenty of vegetables on hand as well. I will roast up some veggies, or make a salad, or cut up veggies and serve raw. I’ll put some salad dressing in a little ramekin for dipping.
By taking time on Sunday, I have created an organized week and I spend less time in the kitchen each evening.
I’ve meal prepped some things, but not every single thing.
Make Your Own Rules
Meal prep isn’t about following a specific set of rules or formula, it’s about handling some things ahead of time so you’re not trapped every night in the kitchen.
For us, this modified method works. Once sports start, I’ll actually do more work on Sunday to lessen the work load during the week. I might cook one more meal, so we can just re-heat and eat.
What I tackle on the weekend will vary due to our upcoming schedule. The only way I get in trouble is if I do nothing. If I don’t have a plan, we will go out to eat way too much, we will eat awful, and I’ll feel terrible by the end of the week. I know this because I’ve done it more times than I can count.
Boring Meal Prep
I have written a quick 3 page guide on different steps you can take to keep meal prep from being boring that includes other idea other than what I talk about here.
If you are interested, click THIS LINK for Meal Prep Doesn’t Have to be Boring!