Day 26: Meal planning and prep

I enjoy making things from scratch, so that’s an easy go-to for me to avoid packaging. But it can be time-consuming and, if you’re trying new recipes or things you haven’t made before, can result in failures.

Case in point: my first attempt at making hoagie rolls.


They’re still edible, so no waste this time. But it is something I take into consideration. If I try making something from scratch and wind up throwing it in the trash, does that help anything? Is it really more energy-efficient for me to bake eight rolls at home instead of buying them from a bakery?

I don’t really have an answer, just some food (hah!) for thought.

I only had a couple of hours for food prep this weekend, but was still able to make roasted vegetable and quinoa bowls for three lunches, whole wheat sandwich bread, hoagie rolls, and seitan. It was also time to make vegetable broth again, since I have collected enough veggie scraps.


Thanks to the miracle of modern technology, my bread machine baked the sandwich bread for me while I roasted veggies in the oven and cooked dry chick peas in the Instant Pot.

My shopping list was once again not 100% packaging-free. I did opt to buy some vegan cheese because I knew I wouldn’t have time to make it myself (and I’ve never made it before, so it will likely go wrong the first time). I also needed olives for a recipe, and the store I was shopping at doesn’t have an olive bar.

So, I’ve been breaking the “no plastic” rule of my challenge far more than I would like, but the only alternatives I have come up with so far are:

  • Make all meals from only beans, fresh veggies, and grains
  • Make other items from scratch, which in itself is a challenge because bulk bins don’t necessarily have the ingredients I need to make those items. Also, time is limited.

While this was technically my last grocery shopping trip of my challenge month, I am going to check out a different local store next week to see if I can discover some new bulk options, particularly oils and vinegars.

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