Everyone is always impressed by the lunches Neil and I bring to work and the dinners we frequently Instagram. We are usually asked questions like, “How do you have time to cook every night?” or “How are your lunches so great when I barely have time to eat breakfast?” The simple answer is: we don’t.
The last thing Neil and I want to do when we get home is cook. But, we love home cooked meals and even enjoy the act of cooking when we do have time/energy to do it. To combat our lack of time, we have become skilled in the art of the Mega Meal. A mega meal is a large meal cooked at the beginning of the week meant to last the whole week. While some find the idea of eating the same thing every night repulsive, we really enjoy it and have found ways to add variety within the mega meal system. Here are three reasons why mega meals are awesome:
It saves money – The math is easy. Multiple smaller meals mean a whole lot of different ingredients that can really add up. When you cook bigger meals, you save on ingredients because you’re buying in bulk. Neil and I share a mega meal for dinners and then each make a smaller mega meal to serve as our lunches (to provide variety and take into consideration our different tastes). Even our check-out line people at the store are shocked when they see our final grocery receipt.
It saves time – Neil and I both work and have several evening activities that take up our time, so cooking every night is just not sustainable. Instead, we cook on Sunday nights and we make enough food to last the week. It takes us anywhere from 1-3 hours to do, depending on how ambitious our meal of the week is. We once made homemade lasagna including homemade noodles and that took a while. (It also meant spreading noodles all over our tiny kitchen.)
It tests our creativity – We’ve tried a slew of meals in the past six months. From casseroles to slow-cooker stew to pulled pork sliders, our mega meals have run the gamut. We’ve even started creating meals with multiple parts, so we can mix and match if we want more variety. Don’t feel like grilled chicken sandwiches tonight? Have it on a bed of Asian cole slaw instead. Truth be told, sometimes we hit a dud. A few months in, we thought it would be cool to make a BBQ-themed shepherd’s pie. That did not go well – we had to suffer through a week of sweet-potato weirdness. But sometimes it turns out so well that we surprise ourselves. For instance, we once went on a 6-week taco streak. It was epic.
At the end of the day, mega meals give us the benefit of home-cooked meals without all the effort. As part of our weekly routine, it feels like almost no work at all. And, we get to do it together which is always fun. A lot of our friends have even started doing mega meals of their own, customizing it to fit their lifestyle.
Do you meal prep? Would mega meals work for you? Have any ideas for what the Robinsons should make next? Let us know!