Welcome to my new blog series, "Bearcats in the Kitchen!"
Whether you commute to campus, work part-time at an internship or just moved into your first apartment after graduation, this series will provide you with cooking tips and recipes to fit your busy lifestyle.
When I lived in a dorm as a student, I really enjoyed the convenience of having a meal plan. In fact, one of the greatest perks of living on campus at Saint Vincent College centers around the endless food options provided by Dining Services. Whether you begin the day with a leisurely breakfast at the Cafeteria (also known as "the Caf" by students) or grab a quick lunch at the Shack between classes, there's always something to satisfy your cravings. The staff ensures that all of your meals are taken care of so you can focus on studying, completing projects, playing sports or participating in club activities.
Once I graduated and got my first job, it was suddenly time to learn to cook. However, like most young professionals, I had a lot on my plate. Cue the meal plan! Although I didn't live at the comfort of Saint Vincent College anymore, I decided to create my own system to help free up time during the week. This especially comes in handy on weeks when I'm traveling or busy with meetings and rehearsals.
Here's the simple three step process I follow:
- Meal plan - Pull out your calender and decide what you're going to cook this week. Make a grocery list. Try to account for special events like birthdays, eating out or tight deadlines.
- Go shopping - This is the hardest part. Take a friend if you need support. If you have trouble sticking to your budget, make a game out of trying to hit your targeted number at the cash register (say $50).
- Meal prep - When you get home chop veggies, cook pasta, boil eggs, etc. Arrange your food in containers. I like to balance my meals with proteins, carbs and fats plus extra snacks throughout the day.
Here's what a typical week for me looks like. I like to have snacks on hand too, so I prepare those ahead as well.
When preparing your meals, variety is key! If you get creative with your options, you'll find yourself less tempted to eat convenience foods.
Now your food is ready to take to the office...
Or to the beach!
Eating at your desk might seem like a drag. However, with a little creativity in the kitchen, you can eliminate the need to hit up the vending machine or fast food chains on a daily basis.
As an extra bonus, you can look for stylish lunch totes that will make it fun to bring your prepped meals to work or school. I like these ones from fit&fresh and currently own two. Yes, I researched this so you don't have to! #priorities
It's not always possible to bring your own food. That's why if you're at an airport or traveling, it's a good to look for quick and healthy options. I like to go with green juices. They're easier to eat, or should I say drink, than a salad!
That wraps up today's post! Stay tuned next time for my super low-carb pancake recipe.
Just kidding! You know I had to throw in some humor somewhere.