New Years is filled with celebrating and big hopes for the year ahead. Although I love to set goals, I don’t believe in New Year resolutions or waiting until January to make big changes. Instead, I try to live a balanced life all year round that includes balanced, home cooked meals as well as yummy treats. I believe food should be shared and enjoyed, not demonized, besides there are too many delicious recipes out there to eat boiled chicken and rice every day in the name of health!
One tool I use to ensure I am eating balanced meals is meal prepping. Having prepped food on hand means that I don’t reach for packaged snacks or order food (is anyone else guilty of a mid day Skipthedishes run when you don’t want to cook?!). I generally like to have a few breakfasts and lunches prepped at the beginning of each week and do a second prep mid week. This not only allows me to switch things up so I don’t get bored of the same foods all week, but is ensures you are always eating fresh food.
Meal prep can seem overwhelming at first but it doesn’t have to be. There are no secret meal prep recipes or fancy containers required. The best way to get started is with your favourite simple recipes that reheat well.
One-pan recipes are some of the best ways to prep. Not only are they a balanced meal with a protein, veggie, and carb to keep you full longer, but just like the name suggests, they only require one pan – less dishes – Yay! These recipes each serve four so they are a great option to either make four servings, or eat a serving for dinner the night you prep and have a few leftover for your week.
- Baked Honey Lemon Chicken with Asparagus and Potatoes
- Crispy Parmesan Chicken with Zucchini and Potatoes
- Honey Garlic Chicken with Broccoli and Potatoes
Once prepared, portion out the servings into individual containers, wait until they cool to room temperature and put in the fridge. They will last in the fridge for 3-4 days.
When reheating in a microwave follow these tips to ensure the chicken stays moist
- Reheat the chicken separate from the other items.
- Cut the breast into smaller pieces. Three or four is enough. This will reduce the time it takes for the heat to penetrate to the center so it doesn’t get dry.
- Add a teaspoon of water to the dish to remoisturize the chicken.
- Microwave while covered to retain the juices.
Salad bowls are another great option for meal prepping because they can be eaten cold if you don’t always have a microwave handy. These are some of my favorite recipes that are not only filling but packed with veggies and nourishing ingredients.
- Quinoa Salad Bowl with Avocado Cilantro Dressing
- Curry Roasted Cauliflower and Sweet Potato Bowl
- Broccoli Quinoa Salad with Sweet Potato
For best results I recommend putting the cooked ingredients in your meal prep containers and having separate containers for fresh ingredients and salad dressings. This will ensure everything is fresh and crisp when you go to eat it. You can also add your favorite protein like chicken breast or a salmon filet.
Last but not least, I love to prep overnight oats for an easy and filling on-the-go meal. These are great for breakfast or even an afternoon snack if you have a sweet tooth like me. Overnight oats are full of fibre and only take 5 minutes to make. For best results let them sit for 6 hours before eating. These are some of my favourite recipes, but you can also have fun with your own creations and ingredients. Sometimes I even add a scoop of protein powder to help keep me full all day.
- Overnight Carrot Cake Overnight Oats
- Overnight Apple Pie Overnight Oats
- Overnight Zucchini Bread Oatmeal
I hope these recipes make your meal prep stress free and most importantly you enjoy the recipes! Tag me in your meal prep photos and let me know what you think!