Meal prepping may seem like it’s a lot of work. If you’re cooking a few days worth of lunches and dinner, it can seem like it’s taking forever for your 2 pounds of chicken to bake. But, once everything is sealed in Tupperware containers, it’s a rewarding feeling that you don’t have to take the extra time during the week to cook. There are plenty of recipes out there that you can eat days in a row and not get tired of. Here’s some healthy meal prepping ideas to keep you energized and feeling good throughout the day!
1. Salads, but without the greens
Okay, that may not sound entirely healthy considering salads usually have lettuce, kale or spinach. But, it is super easy for greens to feel soggy if you’re preparing a salad to be eaten over the course of a few days. One of my favorite types of salads are with beans. Take some cans of low sodium black beans, kidney beans, and chickpeas and rinse and strain the beans. Add them into a bowl and mix with cucumber, tomato, raw corn, red onion, and peppers. Sprinkle the mix with salt and pepper and add a hint of lemon juice for flavor. Pack containers with this and a side of dressing and you’ll be sure to get your protein and veggie fix for the day.
2. Mediterranean Bowls
Mediterranean bowls are everywhere. They can be found at food chains like Cava, but you can also enjoy them at your house! These protein packed bowls can be versatile but are also easy to make. When meal prepping, cook a good amount of quinoa to last you a few days. Once cooked and chilled, add diced cucumber, red onion, tomatoes, kalamata olives, feta cheese and a scoop of hummus on top to make for the perfect mix of grains and veggies.
3. At Home Breakfast Protein Boxes
Some cafes such as Starbucks as Cafe Nero have easy grabs such as protein boxes filled with breakfast, lunch or snack options but it can add up if you’re stopping everyday for something to eat during your break. You can easily recreate your own at home protein boxes, even ones made for breakfast, and they will be a lot cheaper too. If you are meal prepping for even two days, you can hard boil four eggs to start. Once the eggs have cooled off, peel the shell off and place two of them into a container to carry with you to work or school. Add a handful of granola and berries, grapes or any fruit. If you need something a little extra, add a spoonful of peanut or almond butter on the side. You’ll be sure to kickstart your day with some energy!
4. Grilled Chicken And Veggies
There are so many ways to season grilled chicken, whether you want a sweet and spicy marinade, lemon pepper, or your own combination of spices in your kitchen. Natural and antibiotic free chicken breasts are a great, and healthy addition of protein to any meal. Meal prepping chicken breast is easy after it is grilled and seasoned since it can really just be microwaved over the next couple days. Try baking cubed sweet potatoes and boil green beans to eat along with the chicken and make for a hearty and flavorful lunch or dinner!
5. Homemade Smoothie Packs
If you’re constantly on the go and don’t have time to eat breakfast but want something to wake you up in the morning, homemade smoothie packs are the way to go. If you’re preparing for the whole work week, take as many sandwich bags as needed and fill each one up with your favorite frozen fruits. Wyman’s is one brand that offers sweet frozen fruit without the added sugar. Recreate one of your favorite green juice bar recipes in the comfort of your home or try something new by adding a little greek yogurt to the bag or almond butter. Pour your sandwich bag of fruits and veggies into a blender, move to a reusable cup, and you’ll be set to tackle the MBTA rush hour!
6. Steak And Asparagus
Steak is another meat that can be made super tasty when marinaded and seasoned right. It also makes for a great meal prepping idea during the week for lunch or dinner. Grill and season steak to your liking, and eat along with garlic grilled asparagus, and roasted red potatoes. Separate each of the foods into their own containers with portion sizes you’d want to eat for what ever meal it is. Heat in the microwave and add some A1 sauce!
7. Chicken Sausage And Rice
Chicken sausage is another flavorful meat that can be added into pretty much any meal. One of my go-to meals when meal prepping is chicken sausage, rice and cooked veggies. Al Fresco is a great brand, since their chicken sausage is already seasoned and doesn’t need any spices added to it. You can find chicken sausage at any grocery store and can be found in many flavors such as roasted pepper and asiago or apple maple. Cook chicken sausage on your stove top, cut up into slices and pair with white or brown rice. For added veggies, roasted carrots and broccoli are a great addition to try with chicken sausage. You can easily microwave this for a few days when eating your meal prep at work or on the go!
8. Burritos Without The Wrap
Burritos are a fan favorite, and they can even be made the same without adding the wrap to hold it all together. Think of what you’d order to go inside a burrito, and add it into a bowl and eat it as is. If you like steak or chicken, grill a decent amount that would last you a few days. Once it’s cooked and seasoned, set it aside in a container. In separate containers, add ingredients such as romaine, pinto beans, diced tomatoes, diced red onion, corn, parsley, and shredded cheese. Obviously, that is just an idea, you can add what ever you like inside burritos! Add your protein in the next day to your bowl and top with a spoonful of sour cream, guacamole or both.
9. Baked Fish And Quinoa
When it comes to fish, people have their opinions on what kind tastes better than the other. Although, there has been a lot of meal prepping lately with salmon. Baked salmon, like chicken and steak can be heated up the next day and goes great with grilled vegetables. If you like fish, baking it is a healthy option and way to meal prep in order to have enough for more than one day. Season it any way you want, add quinoa on the side as well as green beans or asparagus and you’ll have a healthy and filling meal!
10. Pinwheel Wraps
Pinwheel wraps, or roll ups are the healthier version of a sandwich and also can be more filling depending upon what you fill them with. Take a wrap of your choice and add a thin spread of hummus, cheese spread, mayo, or mustard as a base – adding too much or something oily will make the wrap soggy for the upcoming days. Add spinach or lettuce, shredded turkey breast or meat of your choice if you want to, a couple slices of cheese and what ever vegetables you desire. A favorite wrap of mine is a wheat wrap with a pepper jack cheese spread (I use Laughing Cow’s), spinach, roasted turkey breast, sliced tomato, red onion, and roasted red peppers. I add a good amount of each ingredient, place saran wrap or tin foil over the wrap once it’s rolled up and cut into pieces. When unwrapped you’ll have portion size sandwiches that are perfect for lunch to go with any snack.