Hey hey! Ok, so there’s a short list of things I have figured out in life but, how to meal prep happens to be one of them. Do I enjoy it, you ask? I’d actually rather have bamboo shoots shoved under my fingernails but, sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do, and meal prep is one of those things for me.
Can you relate? Or are you of that particularly rar breed of woman that actually loves to grocery shop, prep and cook?
If so, could you please make sure to share your best tips in the comments with the rest of us? Because we all welcome your kitchen prowess. Meanwhile, I’ll be sharing my best Meal Prep Tips and Recipes from a domestically-challenged point of view.
Meal prep isn’t just an isolated incident that happens on a Sunday. No no no, sister, sadly we must prep for prep. I know. Ridiculous. But, again – must be done. So here’s how it goes down in Casa de la Riat every week.
Oh oh oh, hold on before I tell you what to do, let me tell you WHY. Ok, so, I grew up a little heavier than your average bear. I always played sports, rode horses, the whole bit but, when I stopped doing all of that…well…you know the rest.
So, in college, I was bound and determined to get in great shape. I read every, and I do mean EVERY fitness magazine I could find, took nutrition courses, you name it. If it had to do with fitness and nutrition – I was on it.
I realized that if you want to lose weight and feel great – it’s literally all about what you put in your body. You’ve probably heard the saying before,
You can’t outwork a bad diet.
You cannot. I mean, maybe if you’re 24 year old male you can but, if you’re a 24 year old male reading my blog, you probably have bigger fish to fry. But, I digress.
Ok, so, since we have to do this. Let’s make it as painless (and delicious) as possible. Shall we?
Here’s the formula for a successful meal prep sesh:
Carb + Protein + Fat + Green Veggies = Success
Step 1: Designate a meal prep day. Which means we have to get our stuff done during the week so that we can make sure that we are able to prep on our designated day. It may mean that we have to get up earlier or stay up later to get dishes, laundry, whatever, done.
You must plan the meals
. I try to do this on Saturday night…I’m literally shaking my head right now. Do you remember on Saturday nights when were were planning on which frat party to attend? And now we’re planning meals?! My younger self would be utterly appalled at this. Any-who…I typically plan 3-4 meals for the week because we tend to eat a lot of leftovers/prepped meals. I absolutely love THIS RESOURCE
for getting healthy, family friendly ideas.
Step 3: Plan to grocery shop, preferably without children because sadly, fruit snacks and Lucky Charms aren’t parta the deal here. This typically happens on Saturday night (you guys, I can’t. I’m getting lamer by the sentence) or Sunday early afternoons. And DON’T GO WITHOUT A LIST! I’ve fallen victim to this, many a time, and it never ends well. “what did I need again? asian parsley root? Wine? Ok, let’s go with wine. Perfect.”
Step 4: Put them away and PREP your veggies and protein as soon as you get everything put away. I cannot tell you how many pounds of brussel sprouts have gone uneaten because I didn’t just prep them when I got home.
Start prepping! I turn Spotify
on and get crackin’. I typically start with what takes the longest to cook (chicken/steak, sweet potatoes, rice). Get that going and then make the non-oven requiring items while the other stuff is cooking.
Here are a few of the things I prep most often. We are simple folk but you guys, you can literally create SO many different options. Here are my favorite MEAL PREP CONTAINERS but, it’s a personal preference. I’ve tried the 3 compartment once and they leaked everywhere so, I’m not a fan of those but, these are great.
My Chicken (because I’m not sure what else to call it)
PSA: you should know that I cook everything on high — because that’s obviously what you do when you’re in a hurry to get something over with? As it turns out, some recipes you should not do on high and this is one of them.
Squeeze lemons into a bowl and make sure there are no seeds in the juice. I used two, two and a half lemons or so if I’m doing 4 chicken breasts. I always like to make a little more so, err on that side. If you don’t use all the juice, that’s ok but, you don’t want to not have enough. You’ll know why after you taste this!
Stir in brown sugar blend. I use about a half tablespoon per two lemons
Add a squeeze of garlic paste, if you’re using that
Season with salt
Here’s about the color you’re looking for.
Heat a tablespoon or so of coconut oil in a sauce pan on medium high
Once hot-ish, throw in cubed chicken and season with salt and paprika
Let it cook for a couple minutes and them flip the pieces over to cook on the other sides
You can season again if you want but, I usually don’t
Once they’re *almost* cooked through, pour the sauce in the pan. It will be pretty liquid-y at first but, it will reduce down.
Turn it down to medium and keep your eye on it, stirring it every minute or so. You’ll see it starting to thicken up and when it’s the consistency you want, voila, you’re done!
Cleaned-up Chicken Salad
This is one of my husband’s favorites and it gets better over the next couple of days, making this a perfect prep recipe.
Drain chicken and throw in a bowl
Add 1/2 cup, or so, yogurt for each can you use
Can add 1 tablespoon of Olive Oil mayo if you want a little creamier. I usually forget to add this and no one notices!
Season with salt
Stir and mix well with a fork
Taste. If it’s a little too ‘zippy’, throw in a packet of splenda mix in. I always do but, up to you!
Add grapes (I just throw a handful or so in there. It will depend on how ‘grape-y’ you like your chicken salad
Add pecans (same as grapes)
I love this recipe because it’s high in protein, lower in carbohydrates (will depend on how many grapes you use so, measure, if your watching your carbs) and fat from the nuts. So a great easy, tasty and balanced snack!
3-4 sweet, or otherwise, potatoes, peeled, cut into 1½-inch pieces
Extra Virgin Olive Oil or Coconut Oil
Cinnamon (for sweet potatoes – optional, but delicious with salt and garlic)
Preheat oven to 450°. Toss potatoes in a bowl with just enough oil to lightly coat. Spread onto a rimmed baking sheet. These
are super helpful for cleanup! Season and then roast, tossing occasionally, until tender and browned, 35–45 minutes.
Green Veggie (typically broccoli but, you could use green beans, asparagus,brussel sprouts, etc.):
I typically steam these because I use a fat on the chicken (coconut oil) and on the potatoes (olive oil) so, I don’t need any on the veggies. Plus, if you serve this with the above chicken recipe, you’ll usually have some extra sauce in the pan that you can drizzle over the veggie and it is the BOMB!
And that’s that!
Make sure you post questions and what you’re cookin’ in the comments! Share the love, sister!