I’ve been there, you’ve been there-We’ve all been there: skipping off to the grocery store, armed with five-day menus and visions of becoming meal-prep pros—only…
to see that most of the fresh food we’ve bought can’t last the week without becoming susceptible to wilt, mold, and sketchy odors. Depending on how you go about it, meal planning can be the bane of your existence or your weekly lifesaver. From grains to produce to proteins, that will last at least four days once prepped-I’m liking this. Here goes, rinse one cup of short-grain brown rice in cold water. Add the rice to one and a half cups of boiling water and cook for about 30 minutes, covered. Let it sit for another 10 minutes before opening and fluffing with a fork. Cool, then store in shallow, airtight containers. You should get about five half-cup servings. Cooked brown rice will keep for about five days in the fridge. To make it taste fresher, reheat only the portion you need for a given meal during the week.
Rinse one cup of quinoa, then place it in a pot with two cups of water and a pinch of salt. Boil, then cover and reduce the heat, simmering for about 15 minutes until all the water is absorbed. Let it sit for five minutes before fluffing with a fork. Cool, then store in airtight containers. You should get about six half-cup servings. Make quinoa last longer and taste even better by reheating it on the stove top; add about two tablespoons of water for every cup of quinoa, plus a teaspoon of olive oil, and heat it in a pot for 10 minutes until it’s warmed through and fluffy. Have breakfast half-ready all week long, by simmering one and a half cups of steel-cut oats in four cups of water and a pinch of salt for three minutes before turning off the heat. Once the mixture comes to room temperature, place the oatmeal in an airtight container. You should get about five servings. Save even more time in the morning by packing the oatmeal into five individual containers and adding your favorite mix-ins.
Boil 10 ounces of pasta according to package directions, but take it off the stove when it’s just shy of al dente; you’ll want it slightly under cooked so that it’s not mushy when you reheat it during the week-and more al dente-less calories really. Make your pasta last longer by storing it separately from sauces and add-ins. For a fast reheating option, bring a pot of water to a boil. Put your pasta in a metal strainer and dip it into the boiling water for about thirty seconds, or until it’s warmed through but not soggy. Cook two cups of bulgur (no need for rinsing) by adding it to four cups of cold water or broth, bringing the mixture to a boil, then simmering for 15 minutes. Let it stand, covered, for at least five minutes, and drain any remaining water before fluffing. Properly stored bulgur will last for three to five days, if refrigerated within two hours of cooking. Cause I hate wasting food-you??
Article credit: Greatist
Photo credit: Toronto Star