There are days when cooking dinner just isn’t in the cards for me. Maybe I was in meetings all day, or I spent 8 hours recipe-testing brownies and I can’t fathom being in the kitchen for one more minute, or maybe I just am feeling a bit lazy… it happens! Lucky for me, and my husband, I do a big meal prep every Sunday night and get some staples ready for the week. It only takes an hour and I find that if I roast off some veggies, cook a grain, and have some protein ready to go, then I can whip up just about anything in a moment's notice. Here's how I do it each week.
This past weekend I made:
- Roasted Chicken
- Ground Chicken Tacos
- Sweet potatoes
- Brussels sprouts
- Roasted Peppers
It took literally no more than 50 minutes and I have endless possibilities for recipes. I keep a few other staples on hand at all times like:
- romaine lettuce
- spinach (I always buy the triple washed kind from the market so I can just throw it into a salad and go)
- avocado (we go through at least 5 a week!!)
- basil vinaigrette
- chipotle salsa
- canned black beans (be sure to drain them and give them a good rinse before using)
- tortillas (corn or flour!)
- chips (whatever kind you prefer for nachos)
- your favorite kind of cheese
So with all of that prepped and ready to go, here are some of my favorite combos:
- Roasted chicken spinach salad with roasted peppers
- Quinoa ground chicken taco salad with black beans, avocado, and salsa
- Nachos—either with roasted chicken, taco meat or veggie style with roasted peppers and cheese, avocado and salsa
- Sweet potato and/or Brussels sprouts quinoa bowl with a fried or poached egg on top (great with a spoonful of basil vinaigrette on top)
- Roasted pepper quesadillas (with chipotle salsa)
- Roasted vegetable spinach salad (use up those peppers, brussels and sweet potatoes)
There you have options right off the bat without even having to think!
Here are some of my tips and tricks for meal planning:
- Roast vegetables and proteins with other things that take similar cooking times. I slice my chicken breasts in half so they are a bit on the thin side, then add them to a baking sheet with sweet potatoes and brussels. Everything gets seasoned with salt, pepper, and olive oil and then I jazz up seasonings from there. You can add Italian seasoning to the chicken, paprika, and garlic salt to the sweet potatoes, and then hit the brussels with some lemon juice and red pepper flakes! 20 minutes at 425° F and you’re good to go.
- Grab some ground chicken, ground turkey, or ground beef and sauté it with an onion, some garlic, and taco seasoning. I always add a squeeze of lime juice before mixing it into one of the ideas above.
- Pick up a variety of bell peppers and cut them into large 1-inch pieces. Season them with the obligatory salt, pepper and olive oil and then throw on some dried oregano, parsley and thyme for an extra punch of flavor!
- Depending on what’s in my pantry, I throw some quinoa, farro, or rice into my rice cooker and steam it to perfection.
- ALSO - major note - everything should be at room temp before you put it in the fridge. So let things cool down for a bit before packing it up and storing it.
Are you guys into meal prep? Would love to hear your tips and tricks in the comments below. And if you have any questions just shout them out and I can help as needed!!
xoxo - Gaby