Financial Responsibility: Fakeout-Takeout
Still struggling with paycheck related anxiety? Taxes take out how much? Yeah, me too. Listen – some days I'm great at managing money and some days I get dragged by some weird magnetic pull into Forever21 and walk out $30 poorer. It happens. Anyways, one of the neat ways I've learned to cut costs is to cook more. Utilizing all the food in my fridge has been a great way to feel more responsible, and it also gives me a little more flexibility in my grocery habits.
Eating dinners at home is really important, but in the past few weeks I've set aside time to meal prep for weekly lunches. I've shared this prep on Instagram, and I'm always met with a variety of comments. Some people say they just can't bring themselves to eat the same thing every day without getting bored (understandable), some people wind up eating the food they've prepped before their work week is up (understandable) and some people just want to know where I got my meal prep containers (Amazon, of course).
I've started spending my Sunday afternoons making large quantities of food while binge watching tv shows. This week, I made a stir fry (inspired by one I had in Philly the other week) and caught up on the new season of Death in Paradise.
While meal prep isn't everyone's thing, it's been a great way for me to stay on track with my budget and, as I've stated before, cooking always helps me calm down for some reason? So without any further babbling, here's my first fakeout-takeout recipe.
Remember, this is going to be your food for the week. If you're only making it for dinner, or not trying to feed ten people, feel free to adjust the measurements.
1. First thing: marinade your chicken. I made a marinade of soy sauce, two cloves of minced garlic, olive oil and Chinese five spice. I basically just adjusted my chicken marinade recipe. I let the chicken marinade for about half an hour.
2. Bring a pot of water to a boil and add your ramen noodles to it. Don't even think about using those flavor packets. Throw them away. The flavors from the marinade you just whipped up will be replacing the (delicious) processed flavor of chicken and sodium.
3. Add some olive oil to a large skillet on medium heat. Add the chicken (and excess marinade) to the skillet and cook the chicken. Once the chicken is cooked, add in the mushrooms and spinach until the spinach is wilted and the mushrooms are cooked.
4. Once your noodles are complete (usually around four minutes) drain the excess water and add the noodles to your stir fry. Mix it all up and then, depending on how you're eating, either let it cool before placing it in Tupperware containers for the week or serve!
Can you believe I actually just made that a blog post? It's so easy. It only takes like ten minutes! I didn't even really need to make a recipe list because you can add or subtract your proteins, vegetables or whatever.
Go forth, meal prep and enjoy!