Your guide to “no microwave” meal prep

Hi guys! This week’s posting schedule has been a bit different but hopefully next week it will go back to normal. It’s Saturday so it should be recipe time but since you already got one on wednesday, today we are focusing on : Tips Time !

A friend of mine inspired me to write the post about this issue. An issue that I once had at my current job for about six months and that I had to struggle with for a bit but then I found out some ways to get around it and it worked. The issue I’m talking about is : Meal prepping knowing there won’t be a microwave to reheat your meals. It might sound stupid but sometimes microwaves aren’t accessible or they just break or they are suddenly gone (In my case, the microwave was there on a monday and tuesday it was gone, just like that. Never got an explanation).

So how do you deal with this? How do you stop eating your flavorful warm meals when it’s cold outside, or your favorite meal prep recipes that you have bookmarked for so long? How do you change your eating habits? Well, there are two ways : You either change the recipe style or you adapt your tupperware situation.

Investing in containers that keep your food warm

There are several brands out there that provide with containers that have an insulated stainless steel interior, which is going to keep your food warm for a certain amount of hours. Some of the most expensive ones can keep it warm for 7-8h, and the basic ones are around 5 hours max.

Some brands (Available in US)

  • Mira Lunch Food Jar (~$15)
  • Zojirushi Mr. Bento Jar (~$40)
  • Thermos Stainless Steel Jar (~$25) or (~30€)
  • Nomeca lunch container (~$15)
  • Lille stackable stainless steel lunch box (~$25)

Some brands (Available in France and most likely in some other European countries)

  • Wenburg/Wolton conteneur isotherme (~25€)
  • 720ºDGREE Kaave conteneur isotherme (~40€)
  • IRIS Barcelona conteneur isotherme (~40€)
  • Thermos conteneur isotherme (~30€)

I have tried the IRIS Barcelona ones (here) and it’s really good. It is expensive but it works well. One small issue I have with most of these “containers” is the size (with some exceptions). Usually my meals are quite big (as you have seen on the blog) and these containers are usually around 500ml or less than 1l. I ended up buying an extra thermos lunch box from IRIS (so in total around 1,3l) and it was enough to fit well my carbs + vegetables and prots + even a bit of extra food like a soup, or dessert.

So my go-to with these meals : You prep them like you would normally and in the morning you reheat the container in which you stored the meal, you pour the boiling water in your “thermos” container and then you place the reheated meal in it. It does require a bit more “preparation in the morning”, but then it guarantees you a warm and yummy meal like you used to have with a microwave.

Renewing your bookmark section of recipes !

I know, I know, it sucks to give up on that great chili sin carne recipe but think that this is a great opportunity to renew your recipes ! Change a bit, try new things and maybe even discover “new” ways of cooking that you will love !

I used to really, really, really despise “salads”, any sort of salad that did not include a massive amount of fat (cheese, or carbs) was a failure and a no-go for me. Until I discovered new ways of making salads (not just your typical “green” salad) and then well, I became obsessed! (I still prefer any type of soup over salads, but I’m just a crazy person for soups).

To give you some inspiration, I have come up with a short list of recipes you can easily do. Some of them are just chopping the ingredients and adding some dressing, some of them are just basic stuff that you can cook and eat cold !

  1. Chickpea salad : Bunch of chickpeas, tomatoes, red onion, green or black olives, cucumber and whatever carb you want (I usually like cous-cous).
  2. Avocado and chickpea sandwich: Just smash some avocado, smash some chickpeas, add some tomato and spinach for layering and voilà! I usually add some extra crunchy veggies on the side like carrots or bell peppers.
  3. Cold burritos: Most burritos are good when they cold (At least in my experience).
  4. Pasta salads are your friend : Broccoli, olives, zucchini, cherry tomatoes and any other veggie that’s good raw will go well. And you can add pesto sauce, you can add tomato sauce, all is good.
  5. Lentil/white bean salad: Same as above, but with even more protein !

The two pictures here feature two of my “no re-heat” meals :

  • First one is a spicy summer cous-cous with chickpeas, peas and green beans.
  • Second picture is a cold rice with soy sauce and sesame seeds and a chickpea, green bean and home made tomato sauce on the side.

If this topic interests you, I can provide with more recipes or more tips! The wednesday (or as today’s case, saturday) publication is all about tips and helping you sort out stuff about cooking so if there is any area in which you wish to have more information, do not hesitate to comment and tell me !

Featured image credit goes to Brooke Lark on Unsplash
Text images credit goes to Annie Spratt on Unsplash(1)

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