How will you eat next week?

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Kris Gilbertson, Reporter

    Ever heard of meal prep? Some do it for health, others, for convenience. I have a five day plan that’s well rounded and easy to prepare.

It’s Sunday night and you’re preparing for the coming work week. Perhaps you’re a procrastinator rushing through some homework due Monday morning or a meticulous individual planning your outfits for the week. Whoever you are, when it comes to what you’ll eat at school for the week, choices are slim. Some take leftovers and hope to find a teacher with a microwave before they leave for lunch. Others are stuck with the same handful of meals to eat five days a week for half the year. Doing it the night before leads to a soggy mess that isn’t fresh and waking up earlier than you already do to make a sandwich that will still end up crushed or messed up somehow is not even close to ideal. Not to worry for I have the answer. 

    To start, you need five microwave safe containers with latching lids. Rubbermaid™ makes an eight piece, durable glass set for thirty dollars on Amazon.com. There are cheaper plastic ones like the Ziploc’s rectangle storage containers but those won’t last nearly as long but  they are great starters for seeing if meal prep is for you!

Starting with the main course will be the best option since it will cook the longest. For price sake and minimal complexity of the meat, we are going to slow cook a chuck roast. The chuck comes from a cow’s shoulder and is heavily used so it can be very tough, but very flavorful. In a slow cooker, goes the chuck trimmed to taste as well as a quarter inch deep pour of 

chicken stock (or any broth of your choosing).

Now, you have some choices and I encourage anyone giving this a go to experiment with what they think will work. I prefer to halve a whole head of garlic as well as some sprigs of thyme and one or two bay leaves. Then slow cook on low to medium heat for two to three hours. From here the meat will be significantly more tender no matter the way it’s prepared. 

If you trust that slow cooking will taste the best, continue cooking at the same temperature until it is cooked to your preferred wellness. Otherwise, pour the slow cooker contents in a casserole dish and bake in an awaiting four-hundred degree oven to prefered wellness. Cut the chuck into bite size pieces and toss it into the containers with a little bit of the cooking stock.

    A great side dish would be some wild carrots halved and baked in a four hundred degree oven for thirty minutes. Simply cut them in half long ways, rub with olive oil and the spice of your choice. When the carrots are tender and nicely browned, cut to bite size pieces and add to the containers. The third part of this meal is some simple brown rice. Minute rice works too for ultimate convenience but brown rice will pair with the broth better. 

    Uncovered, allow the food to cool. Equally divide into the five containers. Refrigerate and enjoy once a day at school or work. Since the food is already cut, a single fork will be the only utensil needed to enjoy this deliciously well rounded meal. Believe me when I say that a home cooked meal will be the pick up you need when getting over a long day or week.

Base Ingredients (Subject to change)

  • Beef Chuck Roast (2-3 pounds)
  • Vegetable Stock
  • Thyme
  • Whole Garlic Head
  • 10 Wild or variety species of carrots
  • Brown Rice
  • Bay leaves