Make your lunch in three minutes flat!

Illustration for article titled Make your lunch in three minutes flat!
Photo: LOUISE BEAUMONT (Getty Images)

I am a slow cook. The suggested times on recipes are, for me, always a lie. Something that is supposed to take 30 minutes will take more like 45. This can also be because I spend a lot of time rummaging through cabinets in search of rarely used ingredients. But still. If I am really, really hungry, I usually resort to my stash of Trader Joe’s frozen meals.

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But now there is Redditor zshakked, who promised on the Meal Prep Sunday Reddit that they would come up with a way to prepare meals in 10 minutes or less, with no prep. And they delivered!

In a post called “Zero Cook Meal Prep 10 Meals in 25 Minutes w/ Recipes (no cleanup),” zshakked has provided recipes and pictures. Technically, there are only five meals to prepare—each one has multiple servings. The only utensils necessary are a knife, a strainer, a fork, and, crucially, a can opener and a microwave. (zshakked uses a disposable paper bowl for mixing ingredients, which saves time doing dishes.) If you are philosophically opposed to microwavable rice, canned chicken and vegetables, and pre-minced garlic from a jar, you will not approve of these recipes. But maybe they weren’t intended for you anyway.

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The five dishes are Mexican Burrito Bowl, Greek-ish Salad, Lentil-Tahini Protein Bowl, Tuna Sandwich + Salad, and Chickpea, Rice, Sweet Potato Bowl. They all take three minutes to prepare, except for Lentil-Tahini Protein Bowl, which takes six, and Chickpea, Rice, Sweet Potato Bowl, the true time-waster, which takes eight. (You have to bake the potato in the microwave, and that takes time.) zshakked hasn’t test-eaten them yet but plans to report back on how filling they are. If anybody here would like to try, please let us know how it goes.

Aimee Levitt is associate editor of The Takeout.

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DISCUSSION

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This seems like an interesting premise.

What I’d suggest for anyone trying this is just don’t bother with prepared rice, you can make rice ahead of time easily and then just store it in reusable containers in the fridge or freezer. I’m not some super eco warrior type, but the waste and the price of those microwave rice pouches and cups is offensive when the cost of plain uncooked rice is so low and rice is pretty easy to make on the stove, instant pot, oven, microwave, crock pot, or an inexpensive rice cooker.