Time is money – continuing the series of “Cooking is Cancelled” food guides for people who don’t love cooking or who don’t desire spending hours slaving to meal prep. PS: I secretly love going to Florida cuz it means going grocery shopping at Publix (: (:
If you’re new here, “Cooking is Cancelled” just means I’m showcasing foods that are already cooked and/or need VERY minimal effort before consuming, ie items that just need to be microwaved or tossed in the oven. You could also refer to it as “No Prep Meal Prep”, but “Cooking is Cancelled” has a little more ring to it. Cooking is Cancelled is great for travel, great for dorm life, great for new parents, great for when life gets busy, or just great for anyone (myself included) who would rather spend their free time living life and making memoriessss vs slaving away in the kitchen.
While you could certainly spring for things like pre-made microwave meals, I still don’t know that I’d want to touch things like a Lean Cuisines in 2020, even though I’m sure they’ve come a long way over the years (haha). The food quality and ingredients are typically not the greatest and you tend to pay a decent amount of money for something that’s generally pretty low calorie and lower in protein. They also don’t tend to be super filling and you don’t have much control over the macros (how much protein, carb, fat is in them).
When it comes to re-heating pre-cooked animal proteins: I know it might be tempting to pop them in the microwave, but if you can, I’d highlyyy recommend investing the extra few minutes to pop in the oven, pop on the stove, or reheat in the air fryer. Don’t forget to season copiously with spices (my triple thread “go to” often includes himalayan pink salt, onion powder, and garlic powder), and have dipping sauces or dressings on hand. Primal Kitchen, Tessamaes, and Siete Foods are always stocked in my kitchen!
Fruit is an easy staple to keep on hand. If you hate cutting fruit, stick to varieties that just need a rinse when you get home: strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, apples, etc. When it comes to getting in your veggies (a great goal might be to have 1-2 cups at every meal), I’m a biiiig fan of steamable bags. If they’re overly squishy, you likely cooked them too long. Don’t forget to flavor your vegetables copiously with lots of spices and things like grass-fed butter, ghee, olive oil, avocado oil, etc.
When it comes to everything else you might be putting in your cart, just really watch those ingredient lists. I typically love to see ingredient lists that are relatively short and mostly real whole foods. Then I also check the nutrition labels to make sure I like the macronutrient profiles (how much protein, carb, fat there is) in a serving. If something has a 1:1 ratio on protein:fat (for example: 21 grams of protein, 21 grams of fat), that would likely be a pass for me. I prefer leaner proteins so that I can add healthy fats as I desire. It makes hitting macro goals a lot easier this way.