So you know how to containerize a recipe now. And, maybe you’re pretty comfortable tweaking a recipe to fit in your meal plan. But let’s say your recipe doesn’t take well to changes in ingredient proportions, or you’re not confident enough as a chef to take such creative liberties yet. (That was me like last month.) Then what?
Then one day maybe you decide that you’d like to try making this recipe for golden soup. So you count up the containers per serving, and you come up with:
1 green + 2/3 red + 1 1/2 blue.
Technically we all only get 1 blue container per day, so maybe you use less cashews than the recipe calls for, or maybe you play fast and loose with your containers and just decide that you’ll trade 1/2 of your orange container for that extra 1/2 blue container. Never mind which one I went with, neeever mind.
Either way, you are stuck with that 2/3 of a red container. If you leave it like that and eat random fractions of containers in each meal, planning out your meals for the day is going to require a spreadsheet and possibly a computerized algorithm. Fact: I actually do use a google spreadsheet to plan out my meal prep. Please don’t nerd-shame me. Here is a day of my meals from 80 day obsession:
Doesn’t that look pretty, with the containers all color-coded? Now here’s a day of meals from before I figured out how to keep things simple:
I don’t know if you realize this, but matching up different meals with fractions of containers is a really efficient way to drive yourself crazy. It is so much easier to just eat the rest of that fractioned container in the same meal and be done with it!
So anyway, back to the golden soup. The recipe involves baking chickpea croutons; I was out of chickpeas and I didn’t want to leave the house, so I decided to wing it with a can of kidney beans I found in the back of a cabinet. Just for funs, let’s take a look at how beautiful their soup looks on the blog, and how sad my version looks next to it:
Nailed it, right?? Whatever, it still tasted good.
So to review, we’re at 1 green + 2/3 red + 1 blue, which wasn’t really enough food for dinner anyway. Also, as a friend of mine is fond of saying, soup isn’t really food. So I rounded up that red container with some red lentils on a warm salad of baked potatoes and green beans with balsamic vinegar:
new container count: 2 green + 1 red + 1 yellow B + 1 blue. No container fractions, and an actually filling dinner.
Alternatively, here is a photo of the actual salad I just ate for lunch today:
It’s a kale Greek salad and it was delicious, thanks for asking. I got the idea here and took a few liberties. Those included swapping out feta cheese for just an ungodly amount of nutritional yeast (I highly recommend nooch for all your Greek salad needs), making some changes (a lot of changes) to the dressing, and then there are the tofu cubes in there. See the recipe calls for some chickpeas, but not enough for a full red container. And we know how I feel now about container fractions. So I thought, you know what would work better than just drowning this salad in way too many chickpeas…? Some lovely dry-fried tofu, that’s what. (Dry frying just means you spray your pan with cooking spray and don’t add any more oil than that.)
So, TL;DR: container fractions make your life harder. If you can’t change the ingredient proportions in the recipe, add a side dish to round out those container fractions, add more of an ingredient if it doesn’t ruin the dish, or add some of a different ingredient if that fits better. Find something that complements your meal and fits in.