meal planning

vegan + meal prep + Instant Pot

It’s no secret: I hate cooking. I hate eating. I hate trying to think of what to eat, what I want, and what I should eat. I also have weird food phobias which often results in going hungry + wasting food. I also tend to eat the same one or two meals all week. Because I love them so very hard. But then I want something different for the next week. So I guess this will be a good way of having the riiiiight amount of forced variety.

Basically: Eating is a fucking chore and a bother. If I could take a pill and never have to eat again I would. TLDR, I enjoy good food, I just hate everything to do with food.

I’ve tried this before but was so not motivated. BUT NOW I AM, thanks to this vegan meal prep guide and some new containers. I have 8 of the containers + 2 plastic containers to work with. I hope to get one more set of the nice glass ones next week. That will be a most glorious day indeed.

I tried the meal prep this past week and it went ok. I had to wait to get my containers so it took 2 or 3 days before I was actually done cooking everything. I didn’t like the curry or the cabbage. I knew I wouldn’t like the cabbage but I tried!

I’m typing this up Saturday night, the 22nd, and here’s what I’m doing, step by step:

  1. Started the rice (1 cup rice, 1 1/4 water, 22 min w/NR)
  2. while that was brewing I started assembling my smoothies. I decided to try maca powder (1/2 tsp ’cause I’m a newb), and chia seeds (1 T). This took about 10 minutes. 7 breakfasts done @ $???
  4. Prepared chili while sweet potatoes were cooking. Took about 16 minutes + a couple more to pack the chili up. Could have saved 10 minutes with step 3. Note: I did 2 sweet potatoes and just mushed them straight into the chili. Also, I tried Bush’s chili beans which eliminated the rinsing step and need for the can of tomato sauce. 3 chili lunches done @ $5.58 total not counting spices and rice.
  5. Instead of the curry recipe from the website, I made my lazy teriyaki tofu with jasmine rice. It’s a couple quick minutes to toss together and I cook it for 13 if I add frozen veggies, 12 if no veggies, then QR. 2 tofu dinners w/veggies @ $3.23 total not counting rice)
  6.  For my other lunch I prepared some coconut curry. Because fuck that cabbage lunch. I SHOULD HAVE MADE THIS LAST because boy does it get hot, and I don’t like the idea of packing it right away. 2 curry lunches made @ $5.00??? I don’t feel like crunching those numbers right now either (+ 1 1/2ish extra servings ’cause it’s a big recipe, I had it for dinner)
  7. Pasta! I’m just doing a simple super lazy pasta. 1lb penne, 1 jar of 25.5 ounce sauce (I like Mia’s), enough water to cover it and… maybe 8 minutes. 6 or 7 for al dente because you’ll be reheating these. If you’re up for it you ought to add in some veggies. Carrots and celery are a good bet. I didn’t add them but kept my frozen veggies bag. I ran out of nice glass containers and my plastic ones are grossing me out so I’m just going to shove this into some freezer bags. 3 pasta dinners w/veggies made @ $10ish total (yeah I like expensive sauce)
  8. ENJOY

But wait, what about snacks? I got some Dave’s bread and almond butter for $15.98 total. I’m still working on last week’s bread + vegan “Nutella” which was around the same price. So I’m going to half that and say snacks are $7.99 a week.

Time: 3-5 hours? But it was just a few minutes of actual work here and there.

Cost: $30+. The website that inspired this managed this in under $25 but I live in SoCal and use Amazon Fresh and have some spendy tastes and am counting snacks. And as I said above I’m not counting things like rice, spices, and super hippie dippy powders and seeds and whatnot.

The shopping haul I did for this week was ~$100. $25 was for husband’s mac ‘n cheese and soda. $20 was for maca powder (which will have 100+ servings). I spent about $7 on veggies because I thought I was going to make lentil stew but at the last minute made the curry so now I don’t know what to do with them (oh and my onions were nasty so I tossed them yay food phobias).

Next shopping trip will be even more refined. I NEED to be set on what I’m going to cook. I NEED more nice glass containers. I won’t be needing to buy an expensive thing of maca but I do need to buy more cacao powder and one or 2 spices, preferably in bulk. Those things tend to be the spendiest part of my cooking process.

Tips ‘n tricks?

  • Obvious but worth stating: clean as you go
  • Might not hurt to get an extra liner for the IP, or even an extra IP if you can afford that kind of luxury
  • It may sound like a lot of work. And I’ll be honest and say it is. But not really. Its the Instant Pot. It cooks fast and you don’t have to baby sit it so there’s not that much time on your feet. I could have played some music to pass the time but I wanted to work on this post whenever I sat down, so the music would have been just a few minutes at a time.
  • I’ll add more later. Leaving this post for a day didn’t help me think of anything else but I’m sure there’s something!

OK I guess that’s it for now. I hope this post helps somebody else break into the vegan pressure cooking meal prep world! I’m glad I finally got around to doing it.

Questions, comments, suggestions?