One Sunday for meal prep, I had decided to try making fresh spring rolls. You know, the kind with the clear rice paper and fresh veggies & tofu inside. I love eating spring rolls and it didn’t seem that hard. It wasn’t until I realized how bad I am at wrapping them and how many steps were involved that I was like, What the heck did I get myself into?
I had to fry up the tofu, julienne all the vegetables, make a dipping sauce, make a sauce for the tofu (I skipped this because ain’t nobody got time for that), soak each sheet of rice paper in a shallow bowl of warm water, then put all the filling inside and wrap everything up.
It took me like 1 minute to eat each spring roll but so many more minutes to prepare.
When the magnitude of prep time is so much greater than eating time, I feel like those recipes aren’t very time-efficient and, frankly, not worth it to me, unless I’m trying to impress someone or I have a lot of spare time. These are also the foods that I like ordering when I go out to eat.
These are the foods on the orange (bottom right) of my food matrix of eating vs. prep time.
On the top left purple quadrant are foods that are both quick to prepare and quick to eat, like cereal — you dump it in a bowl with some milk and you can eat that one serving in like 5 minutes.
Foods on the top right yellow quadrant hit the sweet spot — they still require little active cooking time but make a lot of servings or take long to eat. For example, raw veggies and salads require a lot of chewing and most of the prepping involves chopping stuff. Crockpot meals require little active cooking time since you let time and the crockpot or slow cooker do all the work, but you can make a lot of servings that take days to consume.
Foods in the blue section can take a longer time to make but also yield a lot of servings.
- foods in the top left and bottom right corners take about as much time to eat as to make
- foods in the orange section take way longer to make than to eat
- foods in the yellow section take way less time to make than to eat
Let me know if you have any more yellow section recipe ideas!