LIVING WITH A MINI FRIDGE
I had a minor meltdown the other day. I was attempting to make myself breakfast, help get Harrison out the door for work, and also figure out what the both of us were going to eat for lunch. And I had this panic feeling that I was failing at cooking and meal prep and eating healthy and my brain took the worst possible route. You know? When something little happens, but you’re kind of tired and can’t control your thoughts, so you just spiral. Yeah, that.
We all have our insecurities and fears, weaknesses and trip up points. Those things we constantly come across and still “aren’t good at yet” or “can’t handle” without anxieties sweeping over us.
This may all sound a bit dramatic, but honestly - that’s how I feel about cooking. Especially in my tired, insecure moments.
So needless to say - mental meltdown occurred.
BUT. Thankfully I had enough logic and determination in my head to want to take that moment of realization and panic and react in a determination type of way.
SO. Now I am on the hunt for great meal plans and recipes that allow for quick and easy and HEALTHY and compact meals.
Cause…the challenge is not only in the fact that I am a fresh little post grad child who barely knows how to begin finding work life balance and is figuring out this whole new being married thing….it is also in the fact that we only have a MINI FRIDGE.
So here I am trying to figure out how to eat well and with limited storage space.
And so far, what I’ve found is this:
Stick to the basics. Try not to be to complex, just stay simple and find things that work.
No fancy pants recipes that call for a million ingredients.
Make things than can easily be used as lunches and dinners for MULTIPLE meals. This is KEY.
And out of these ideas - I have found that sandwiches, wraps, soups, and breakfast foods are the easiest at the moment. AND TACOS. These basics are easy to have on hand for tons of different types of meals. We typically always have these items on hand: ground beef, beans, cheese, veggies, turkey, eggs, hash browns, bread, and tortillas.
With these I can make any and all breakfast foods - simple egg scramble, breakfast burrito, breakfast sandwich, etc. Lunch: turkey wraps, tacos, turkey sandwich, grilled cheese, etc.
Simple foods, relatively easy to store, and can be used for many, many different meals.
Harrison and I enjoy cooking together (aka he enjoys it and I like helping him) and when we do this we like to go for the more fun, extensive recipes. However, the more extensive recipes call for really random ingredients like capers and olives, or other little things that we JUST DON’T HAVE ROOM TO STORE IN OUR FRIDGE. So…its important to try and stick to more basic recipes for now.
Basically - my rule of thumb is that if I can’t use the ingredient for at least 1 meal per day - don’t buy it.
Another easy thing I’ve found is go-to frozen items from Trader Joes! These are great for Harrison’s lunches, and mine as well. And while all of these things are easy and affordable, the next challenge is HEALTH. So what we’re doing currently is using Imperfect Produce! Its an easy, cheap way to get great produce that we love.
So here we are. This is what I’ve been able to do so far in order to get our meal planning under wraps. Its still a work in progress, but just a few tips and tricks I’ve found!
Hope you may find some help in this as well!
P.S. Per request - here is the recipe and instructions to the Chicken Noodle Soup I made from scratch the other day!
get a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store!
take the meat off, keep for later.
toss the bones in a crock pot, insta pot, etc. (I used an insta pot and its all I know how to use so this recipe follows suit).
add water and a dash of wine or apple cider vinegar to the bones. fill the pot close to the top with water.
pressure cook the bones, water, & wine for 2 hours. then slow cook over night.
in the morning, toss in celery and onion (just cut an onion in half and toss it in, same with celery).
slow cook with the veggies in for 2+ more hours.
TA DA. Broth is finished! Strain out the bones and veggies, and keep the liquid. Now you have your broth :)
sauté veggies - celery, carrots, onion.
toss the saved chicken in with the broth. i like to shred mine before hand, but you can do whatever bite size you prefer.
add the sautéed veggies in, and let it all cook on the stove top, just like you would with any other soup.
and after anywhere from 15 min - a few hours your soup is done!
just add noodles 10 ish minutes before you’re ready to eat!
Any questions? Leave a comment down below and I’ll get back to you ASAP :)