If you follow me on social media, you know I post a lot about meal prepping and cooking. I am by no means a health expert or a diet-follower, I am lazy. I meal prep on Sundays for the pure reason I hate packing a lunch in the morning. I’d rather take 1 to 2 hours on Sunday to cook, cut and package up food than take 15-20 minutes during my morning routine. The positive aspect of this is that I make healthier eating decisions instead of being lazy and grabbing something on my way to work or class.
I was asked this week by my best guy friend to make him a guide to “meal prep.” He’s moving out on his own and wanted ideas for cooking for himself. I sent him a 5 page Google Doc of breakfast/lunch/snack/dinner and dessert ideas. For the past 12 weeks I’ve been doing the BBG fitness program and have been documenting my eating on a spreadsheet. I went through this spreadsheet and pulled some of my favorite meals and snacks for this list. Most of these ideas are from Pinterest or friends. Once again, I’m not trying to present this as “super healthy” or whatever, these are just good recipes that I use all the time.
I told my boyfriend about the list and he said I should blog it because other people (himself included) might want to read about it! So why not! Today I present to you Jessica’s Guide to Cooking for One & Meal Prepping
Toasted 100 calorie english muffin & 2 sunny side up eggs – quick and filling
Toasted 100 calorie english muffin, mash up avocado, put it on muffin, add pepper
Smoothies & Acai Bowls: Keep frozen fruit in your freezer ALWAYS
- Smoothies: Frozen Fruit, Banana, Yogurt, Juice
- Acai Bowls: Frozen Fruit, Ice, Almond Milk, Acai Powder (Amazon), Put half a banana in, half a banana on top, top with any fruit, granola, chia seeds, etc
Lunch – I usually prep for 4 days (Monday-Thursday)
Chicken, Rice and Veggies: My go-to
- Cook Chicken on Stovetop (Olive oil, top with italian seasoning, salt, pepper)
- I usually take Uncle Ben’s instant microwave brown rice and make 2 of them to split into 4 containers
- Veggies: Whatever you’re feeling, I like to steam broccoli (Get a pot and pan set that comes with a steamer, it’s amazing) Broccoli gets steamed for 8-10 minutes. Sautéing zucchini, tomatoes, and onions with seasoning is also yummy. Sometimes groceries sell pre-cut seasoned vegetables which can be a major time saver.
Sheet Chicken & Veggies:
2 medium chicken breasts, boneless skinless cut into ½ inch pieces
1 cup broccoli florets, frozen or fresh
1 small red onion, chopped
1 cup grape or plum tomatoes
1 medium zucchini, chopped
2 cloves garlic minced
1 tablespoon italian seasoning
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper (optional)
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
½ teaspoon paprika
2 tablespoons olive oil
- Pre-heat oven to 450F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and set aside.
- Place the chicken and veggies in the baking dish. Sprinkle all the spices and garlic evenly over the chicken and veggies. Drizzle with the olive oil.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the veggies are charred and chicken is tender.
- Place ½ or 1 cup of cooked rice of choice into 4 individual meal prep containers. Divide chicken and veggies evenly on top of the rice. Cover and store in the fridge for up to 5 days or freezer up to 2 months.
Look at what the meat counter is selling, a lot of times I’ll buy pre seasoned chicken fajita. It comes with chicken and peppers and onions and all you have to do is cook it up on the stove top. Sometimes I’ll buy tortillas and warm up the meat in the office microwave and toss it on a tortilla.
Buddha Bowls – super filling
- Grains ¼ of bowl – I make mine with quinoa but again, you can use instant rice
- Protein ¼ of bowl – I bought pre-grilled chicken strips and tossed them on
- Veggies ½ of bowl – I cut up raw peppers, raw onions, lettuce, steamed broccoli, microwaved corn, and in the morning I put half an avocado on top
- I bought little tiny meal prep containers for sauce and seasonings and packed soy sauce to go on this
- Pinterest has really good ideas for what to put in these so highly recommend
- Pretty intuitive but I put in power greens, tomatoes, cucumber, ham, turkey, literally anything into it for a chef salad.
- Try avocado dressings, they’re lighter and full of flavor
Chicken Ranch Burgers– Me and Anna-Marie’s favorite
1 lb Ground Chicken
1/2 c. Panko Bread Crumbs
1/4 c. Italian Bread Crumbs
1 Tbsp dried onion
1 tsp Seasoned Salt
1 tsp Garlic Powder
2 Tbsp BBQ Sauce
4 Tbsp Ranch Dressing
2 Tbsp Butter
Preheat your broiler on your oven or grill (I use a George Forman, but the oven works too)
In a large bowl mix together everything except ranch dressing and buns.
Form chicken mixture into 4 patties.
Place on grill or greased broiler pan.
Broil/grill for 4-6 minutes on each side or until internal temp reaches 160 degrees. Remove from oven.
Put chicken burger on bun and top with Ranch Dressing (I usually skip the buns)
Sandwich Thin with Avocado, Turkey, Tomato, Spinach, and Cucumber (shout out to Anna-Marie for this idea!)
- These typically have to made the morning of, I haven’t tried to meal prep them, maybe cutting up the stuff on Sunday would be helpful
- I toast the sandwich thin beforehand. I used a Garden Vegetable cream cheese one of the days and it was delicious, other days I just used the avocado as like the “condiment” on the sandwich
I’m a big snacker at work, here are some of my favorites to pack:
- Balanced Break – you can find these near the cheese, they have cheese and nuts and dried fruit and are delicious
- Wheat Thins
- Kellogg “Touch of Honey” granola topped with fruit – my current favorite!
- Cut up raw peppers
- Cashews or other nuts
- Snap Peas
- Special K Protein Bites – sold near granola bars
Cajun Shrimp and Zoodles – I probably make this once a week, I’m not joking
- Get a spiralizer on Amazon, mine was $9 OR you can buy pre spiralized zucchini at the grocery but it’s expensive-ish
- Get a big pan out, put in some olive oil.
- Toss shrimp in (I usually buy half a pound of pre peeled and deveined shrimp)
- When you flip the shrimp over, start spiralizing the zoodles in.
- Put Cajun seasoning on all of it
- Wait for the shrimp to be done and the zoodles to be warmed up
- If you want to be extra cajun, I’ll sometimes buy turkey sausage and add that in
- You can do this with any seasoning, but I prefer Cajun
- I always have whole wheat pasta in my pantry, I cook the noodles and toss olive oil on it with Parmesan cheese and pepper. If I have chicken, I might cook it up for on the side. I usually keep a jar of marinara in my pantry at all times just in case that’s what I’m craving
- Banza Pasta – this is pasta made from chickpeas, this is good if you use a lot of seasons to cover the fact you aren’t really eating carbs. I order it on Amazon
Avocado Turkey Burgers
1 pound ground turkey
1 large ripe avocado – cut into chunks or gently mashed
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp chili powder
½ tsp pepper
⅓ cup bread crumbs if patties are extra moist and having trouble staying together
Add all your ingredients (minus the bread crumbs) to a large bowl and gently mix together. If patties seem really moist and won’t form together well for you, add ⅓ cup bread crumbs.
Shape into patties and grill, making sure to cook the turkey meat completely.
- Cook Ramen noodles without adding the seasoning
- Steam Broccoli
- In a pan, put olive oil in. Cook shrimp.
- Toss the Ramen and broccoli in with the shrimp, add in snap or snow peas (or literally any veggie you want)
- Pour in soy sauce and add ginger seasoning
Chicken Tacos – THESE ARE SO GOOD
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon onion powder
¾ teaspoon paprika
¼ teaspoon cayenne
¾ teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1½ cups diced yellow onion
½ (packed) cup cilantro, diced
1 tablespoon diced jalapeño
Juice from one medium lime
20 mini corn tortillas
Lime wedges, for serving
- In a small bowl whisk together the garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, cayenne and ¼ teaspoon of salt until combined then season the chicken thighs on all sides.
- Heat a medium sauté pan or cast iron skillet over medium heat, add the olive oil and heat through. Sauté the chicken until cooked through and lightly browned, about 8 minutes.
- Remove to a cutting board and let stand for about 10 minutes. Chop the chicken into bite-sized pieces and set aside.
- In a medium bowl stir together the onion, cilantro and jalapeno. Season with lime juice and remaining salt.
- Heat a large skillet or griddle over medium heat and top two mini tortillas on top of each other then warm the tortillas on both sides. Repeat with remaining tortillas.
To serve: Top the warmed tortillas with a spoonful of the chicken and the onion mixture. Serve with extra lime wedges on the side.
Spicy Shrimp Pho
4 ounces whole wheat thin spaghetti
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon jalapeno, minced
2 tablespoons green onion, sliced thin
6 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 cup button mushrooms, thinly sliced (I put snow peas in instead)
12 ounces large shrimp, uncooked
⅛ teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped
- Cook spaghetti until aldente.
- Meanwhile add oil to a large pot
- Add garlic, jalapeno and green onions. Saute for 1-2 minutes.
- Pour in chicken stock Bring to a simmer.
- Stir in mushrooms and shrimp. Simmer until the mushrooms are tender and the shrimp is fully cooked.
- Take off of the heat and stir in pepper, lime juice, and cilantro.
- Divide the noodles among the 4 bowls and pour the soup on top.
- Garnish with extra lime wedges and cilantro if desired.
Halo Top Milkshake
- Scoop Halo Top into blender, add almond milk
- Depending on the flavor, I also add organic PB and a banana
Vanilla Yogurt + Organic PB + Mini Chocolate Chips + Banana
Dole Banana Dippers (Find in freezer section, they’re chocolate covered bananas)
I hope this post has given you some yummy inspiration!
Unill next time,