A meal is the amount of food that is ready to be eaten on regular occasions. What is the name of such amount of food that is ready to be cooked, one step before it is actually a meal? According to the Oxford Dictionary:
- Meal: the food eaten on regular occasions.
- Ingredient: any of the foods or substances that are combined to make a particular dish.
- Foodstuff: a substance suitable for consumption as food.
Since meal is directly eatable, it's imply that the food is cooked. Ingredient is the food to make a particular dish, not a whole meal; a meal can have a couple dishes. Foodstuff or food aren't imply anything about the cooking process.
If there is no word that satisfies completely, which of these words can be a good substitution? I guess it's meal, but I'm not sure.
A related question from mine: Is there an idiom or set phrase for “all you need to do is just cook it”?