About the Blogger
Hi! My name is Chase Ossenkop, welcome to my meal prep blog! I’m a medical student at UTMB in Galveston, Texas. Cooking has been one of my favorite hobbies for years now. Most of my conversations that I have with my dad on the phone revolve around beer and new recipes or cooking techniques. Whenever I get the chance to visit my parents, I end up spending most of my time in the kitchen cooking new meals. When I’m not in the kitchen or the library I’m playing video games, enjoying some drinks with friends, or exploring all that Houston has to offer. I’m always looking for new recipes or feedback, so head on over to the contact page if you have any comments for me!
Why meal prep?
My meal prep journey began halfway through my first semester of medical school. I may love cooking, but I was struggling to find the time to cook each day. I eventually found the r/MealPrepSunday subreddit, spurring my interest in meal prep. Originally, my meal preps were rather simple and uninspired as I tried to figure out how meal prep worked for me. Over time I have developed my own meal prep habits and figured out how it works best with my life.
As I entered my second semester of medical school, I decided to use meal prepping to alter my eating habits and lead a healthier lifestyle. I gained a significant amount of weight during my senior year of undergrad and I was determined to get in shape and return to the weight I was at the start of college. I attribute most of my weight loss to my meal prepping. The comparison below shows me at my heaviest, around 215 pounds, and me now, around 170 pounds.
So, for a short reasoning, I meal prep because it helps me lead a healthier lifestyle and allows me to enjoy cooking while still having time for my studies and hobbies.
What Sets My Meal Preps and This Blog Apart From Others
When I meal prep I try to put my own spins on dishes and attempt to make different things each week in order to keep my preps interesting. I know I make mistakes in the kitchen, so I’m hoping to point out parts of recipes that I made mistakes on or parts of recipes that you may want to try something differently than I did. Another big thing with my preps is that I make more than is necessary. I love to make extra meals when I prep so that I can freeze them and have them again during a later week. If you do this as well, it is important to make sure that your meals have cooled off before you store them! Eventually I am able to reach the point that I am meal prepping but having multiple different meals each week. Lastly, I am the definition of extra and I’m sure that will make my blog posts at least somewhat enjoyable to read.
Recommended Kitchen Tools
When I meal prep, there are a couple of different tools that I use consistently and recommend to any aspiring chef.
I cannot recommend an immersion blender enough. I use this gadget ALL THE TIME. It’s great for making sauces and curries. I found mine at Bed, Bath, & Beyond in undergrad one day when I was dying to make a vodka cream sauce.
If you haven’t looked into pressure cooking, you need to reevaluate your life. The Insta-Pot makes meal prepping so much easier without compromising the dish. I honestly can’t remember what life was like before I owned an Insta-Pot. I’m lucky enough to have parents that understand my love for cooking, so they surprised me by buying one for me. I’m sure Amazon is great if your local Target or Wal-Mart doesn’t carry them.
For storing your meal preps, you can use whatever food storage containers you have around the house if you like. That’s how I started. Now I use some containers I found on Amazon that stack easily in the fridge and freezer and are microwave safe. I use the original FitPacker containers because I prefer just having one compartment. There are other options such as multiple compartments or different sizes.
Photos of Galveston are courtesy of Meghan McCaskey Photography.