The Treacherous World of Meal Prep

On a whim my fiance, Jake, decided to become a meal prepper. Inspired by posts on reddit, Jake bought an entire set of dishwasher-safe, microwavable, partitioned dishes. He researched the recommended portion sizes for grains, protein, and vegetables. Moreover, he has also done extensive research on the mistakes that many beginning preppers make. Some foods reheat better than others. Prepping staples include rice, beans, meat, and noodles, because all of these taste great even after they’re microwaved. Foolish preppers attempt absurd things like breakfast burritos. Everyone knows you can’t microwave eggs. That’s just yellow slime wrapped in a tortilla.

When I first heard about Jake’s plan to begin prepping, I was over the moon ecstatic. Finally I could have varied lunches that were filling and delicious. No more boring ham sandwich everyday for me! Also, I would never again have to choose between packing a lunch and being on time for work. If I’m running late for work, which I always am, I could pick up an already prepared meal as I’m sprinting out the door.

What I didn’t realize, however, is how involved Jake wanted me to be in the process.

Sure, fair’s fair. If you eat the food you should help in preparing it, but Jake and I have more of an “he cooks, I do the dishes” arrangement. This for good reason, because I am a TERRIBLE cook. Downright horrible. I have 0 food sense whatsoever. I can do the basics: boil water, chop vegetables, brown beef, but whenever in comes to combining these items into something edible, I struggle. There are nearly endless stories of my mishaps. Friends and family can tell you horror stories of the disgusting dishes I have forced upon them. The ghostly tales range from a soup that I made with a cup of dehydrated onion (instead of the cup of chopped onion the recipe called for), hash browns I tried to fry without any butter, and the chocolate that I started on fire in the microwave (and how I tried to pass it off in my cupcakes as s’mores flavored with tastable smokiness).

Point being: I don’t cook. I’m not good at it, and I don’t like doing it. Given this disinclination towards anything culinary, I was a bit leery as jake showed me the plethora of meal prep photos on reddit.

Here were thousands of photos of people across the world who make all their lunches for the week in advance. It turns out meal prepping isn’t just something you do, it’s more of a lifestyle. Each week meal preppers meticulously plan their meals, cook them to perfection, and enjoy them whenever the fuck it pleases them. These people’s leftovers look better than anything I could make the first time around!

Meal preppers have their shit together.

I’m proud of myself when I make myself anything other than ice cream for dinner.

Nonetheless, driven by the dream of a hot and tasty meal everyday for work, Jake and I dove in with our first true meal prep: pork tenderloin with brown rice and broccoli. Jake, of course, cooked the tenderloin to perfection. It was marvelous. Our sides were … in a word … disgusting.

I chose to cook the rice, because I thought it would be easy. Yet, somehow, I found a way to make it mushy, pasty, and sticky. The broccoli that Jake cooked in the oven was great fresh, but when microwaved turned into limp stalks and mushy tops. Overall, a meal that was less than satisfying.

Fret not though dear readers! We are not disheartened. Jake and I have already prepped some wraps to last us through the last half of the week. Fingers crossed these wraps turn out better than our first round of meal prep.


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