Meal prep tips + recipes, 03/2023

I absolutely agree that meal prep can be a drag, but it’s (unfortunately) just so helpful when I have a full week in clinic. Including a few tips and easy recipes below.

Top meal prep tips:

  1. Shop your pantry first. Choose recipes based on ingredients you already have.
  2. Plan recipes using different kitchen surfaces or appliances. Honestly this is my biggest tip. That way, you can make everything at once, rather than having to wait to use the same surface. For me, this means one recipe using stove top, one using the oven, and one using the crock pot or air fryer.
  3. Start with the recipe that takes the longest, or that uses the most time in the oven/crockpot. That way, when you’re making the other recipes, they’ll often be finished by the time the longest recipe is finished.
  4. Clean as you go. I often clean in between each recipe so that by the end I only have a few pans to clean.
  5. Make a few staples so you can mix and match. Rather than focusing entirely on entire recipes, I’ll batch a few grains, protein sources, and vegetables. This way, I can change up recipes / meals throughout the week, rather than having the same thing over and over again.
  6. Choose ingredients that echo each other so you can use them more than once. For example, below I used dates in my smoothie, as a snack, and in a chicken dish. I used tahini on toast and as a drizzle on stuffed peppers. This helps save money and create cohesion for the week.
  7. Make it fun! Put on music or a show you enjoy and pair something you like doing with something that isn’t as exciting. This way your brain starts to welcome this as something to look forward to rather than dread.

The recipes:

Mint chocolate smoothie:

  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 cup frozen spinach
  • 1 banana
  • 2 dates
  • 1 tbsp cacao powder
  • 1 scoop chocolate protein powder
  • 2 tbsp almond butter
  • 2 tbsp fresh mint

Blend and pour!

Almond butter dates:

A super simple snack! Just put a dab of almond butter in the middle of a sliced date. Top with cacao powder, cinnamon, and a drizzle of chocolate.

Tahini blackberry toast:

Your favorite toast with tahini, blackberries, a drizzle of honey, and a sprinkle of basil. So creamy, savory, bright and fresh!

One pan veggie nachos:

  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 package grape tomatoes
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 1 handful cilantro
  • 1 red onion
  • avocado
  • spices: salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika, chili powder, chipotle powder
  • pre-made queso, salsa, or enchilada sauces
  • taco shells or corn chips to serve

Add tomatoes and cauliflower to a pan. Cover tomatoes with olive oil and cauliflower with olive oil, chili powder, paprika, garlic powder and chipotle powder. Bake at 350F for 30 minutes.

Remove vegetables from oven and add rinsed beans, avocado, diced red onion, and cilantro to the pan. Pour sauce over mixture. Serve with corn chips or taco shells.

Crockpot stuffed peppers:

  • 3 whole bell peppers
  • 1 package ground turkey
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes
  • spices: dried oregano, dried basil, dried thyme, paprika, salt, pepper, garlic powder
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • for topping: tahini, pine nuts

Remove pits from bell peppers. Combine all other ingredients in a bowl, mix well, and use this to fill the peppers. Place in crockpot on high for 4 hours. Serve with tahini and pine nuts.

Date balsamic chicken with farro and asparagus

  • 1 package chicken, cubed
  • olive oil
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup dates, diced
  • 1 tsp harissa
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • farro
  • kale
  • spices: salt, pepper

Cube chicken and cover thoroughly with balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, harissa. Set aside.

On stove top, start sautéing onion and garlic. When fragrant, add chopped dates and stir until onions/garlic are translucent. Add in chicken mixture and lemon juice and saute until chicken is cooked through. In a separate pan, cook farro according to instructions. In separate stove top pan, saute asparagus until bright green.

When all portions finished, build your bowl! I started with a bed of kale, then added chicken mixture, farro, asparagus. Drizzled all with some olive oil and balsamic vinegar on top.

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