Weekly Meal Prep

About a week ago, I was searching through my old blogs on meal-prep to send to someone who had wanted to look into meal prepping. The first thing I realized was that I had a lot of them, but that’s not surprising considering what a popular topic it is for me (and I enjoy talking about it!). But then, I also realized that I never really had an example of a weekly meal prep with what I make. I’ve given y’all meal prep ideas as well as tips. I’ve also provided basic information about meal prepping along with recipes. However, the one thing that is missing is showing you how it can all string together–the grocery shopping/what I buy, what actually prepare for the week, and then the easy, healthy, delicious meals that I make for myself throughout the week. I think this would be really helpful information, whether you’re new to meal-prepping or not, and I know I would’ve enjoyed reading something like this when I first started out. I’m going to break down what I typically buy at the grocery store, the exact foods I meal prep and what I leave to cook until I’m eating it, along with a sample plan of the meals I would make based on what I cooked.

Let’s get to it!

Grocery Store Haul

Here I’m going to break down the foods I bought this week at the store. Every week somethings will change, but more often that not, I typically buy the same things every week (unless I already had it at home such as rice or potatoes)

Carbohydrates:

  • Jasmine rice
  • Sweet potatoes & Russet potatoes
  • Lightly salted rice cakes (a staple for snacks!)
  • Purely Elizabeth Ancient Grain Granola
  • I had the following carb sources at home: Oatmeal, cream of rice, brown rice

Protein:

  • Lean (99/1) ground turkey (I often buy the 93/7 instead)
  • Chicken breast
  • Eggs (also good fat source)
  • Egg whites
  • Plain greek yogurt

Fats:

  • Avocado
  • What I had at home: Olive oil, coconut oil, almond/peanut butter, cheese

Produce:

  • Fruits: strawberries, blueberries, bananas (also good carb source)
  • Vegetables: zucchini, broccoli, grape tomatoes, spinach
  • What I had at home: frozen peas, frozen bell pepper/onion mix, baby carrots
Meal Prep Time

The following are the items I meal prepped and how I did so:

  • Cooked a big batch of jasmine rice on the stove
  • Steamed the broccoli
  • Sautéed the zucchini on the stove
  • Cooked the ground turkey on a pan on the stove
  • Made crock-pot chicken: add chicken, chicken broth to cover it, and spices. Cook on high for 4-5 hours depending on how much chicken you have

I do not meal prep my veggies such as tomatoes, spinach, mushrooms, bell peppers, etc. I either eat these raw or cook as I need them as you’ll see.

1 Day Sample Meal Plan

Meal #1 (pre-workout snack): Rice cakes with peanut/almond butter and banana slices

Meal #2 (post-workout/breakfast): Egg/egg white veggie scramble (bell pepper/onion mix, tomatoes, spinach), Cream of rice (added coconut oil once cooked)

Meal #3 (lunch): Rice “pasta” dish: 5-7 minutes to cook.

In a pan, saute mushrooms, tomatoes & spinach. Then, add the already cooked zucchini and ground turkey (season as you like–I usually use garlic powder). In the microwave, heat up desired amount of jasmine rice. Then, add the cooked veggies/meat to the rice and top with pasta sauce,olive oil, cheese, pesto, etc.

Meal #4 (dinner): Healthy stir-fry: 7-10 minutes to cook

In a pan, I cook the frozen peas and chopped carrots, and add the pre-cooked broccoli and chicken at the end to heat up. I season with Coconut aminos (low-sodium version of soy sauce) and ginger. While cooking this, heat up desired amount of rice up in the microwave. (If I use brown rice, I cook it on the stove at the time I want it.) Add the veggies/meat to the rice. Using the same pan, cook an over-medium egg to add to the top of your dish–the runny egg yolk really makes the dish 100%.

**Another lunch or dinner idea using potatoes**

Using my sweet potatoes, I make my Mexican sweet potato dish found in my meal prep ideas post. Using russet potatoes, I cook it in the microwave (5-7 minutes depending on size). Then in a bowl, I add the cut up potato, meat of choice, veggies, and some kind of fat source for taste (avocado, olive oil) and maybe some slight sauce (not a lot) such as reduced-sugar ketchup or bbq sauce.

Meal #5 (dessert): I always need something sweet to finish off and this is one of my go-tos. In a bowl, mix together greek yogurt and sugar-free, fat-free pudding mix (my favorite is cheesecake flavor). Top with whatever you like–I top mine with strawberries, blueberries, granola, and almond butter.


These are just a few examples. since I am in college, I have time to prepare these meals at my apartment. However, they could easily be made the night before, thrown in a tupperware, and heated up at work, school, after practice, etc. You can also make more than 1 servings of these by adding in more protein and veggies to what you cook. I hope this gave you an idea to try for meals this week, and will give you inspiration to create your own healthy, easy, and delicious meals!

Meal Prep Types

So as you can see from the title, I’m going to do this blog on meal prep “types”.  I know I’ve recently blogged about meal prep (search “meal prep” in), but it is an important topic that people are interested about. I think this short post will wrap up most of what needs to be known about meal prepping, so I hope you learn something from all 3!

When you do meal prep, there are no specific guidelines or structure to it; it really depends on what works best for you, your time, your lifestyle, and your needs. These are just the two main routes people take, or, like me, you kind of mix both depending on the week. The first type is prepping your complete meals for the week, while the second type is prepping parts or components and then making meals throughout the week.

This first type is what I would suggest if you’re new to meal planning, meal prepping, etc. because it’s a simple, think-less way to do it. The first step is to sit down before you shop and write out your meals (breakfast lunch, dinner and snacks) for the week and then make a list from there. Then, decide what needs to be prepped and what doesn’t. For example, if you’re going to have a protein shake or eggs for breakfast, you may not want to prep those days ahead of time. (Although you certainly could make a batch of eggs or oatmeal for the week if you want too.) As for snacks, having fresh fruits and veggies washed, cut, and prepared will make grabbing them for meals and snacks a much easier choice!

Anyway on to meal prepping your main meals. Once you know what meals you are cooking, you cook it all and place in a tupperware in the fridge. You could either have one or two big tupperwares that you serve or pack your lunch from (into smaller containers) or you can put only one serving in each container for an easy, quick, grab-and-go meal. And here your meals don’t have to be fancy, although they can. For example, I’ve just cooked sweet potato wedges, green beans, and chicken before and placed in 5 different containers for the week. But, I’ve also made spaghetti or another big dish rather than just parts–so really it’s up to you and what you like! Mix it up each week too!

The second type is where you instead just cook different components of a meal, leave them all in separate containers, and mix-and-match throughout the week for your meals. So this would look something like cooking up a batch of chicken, quinoa, roasted veggies, and ground turkey. Then throughout the week you make each meal from what you’ve prepped as well as use other foods. One night it might be a veggie and chicken quinoa bowl, a lunch could be chicken and veggies on a bed of greens, and another dinner is making pasta with sautéed veggies, ground turkey, etc. This option allows more freedom, if you don’t want to be eating the same meal all week (although nothing wrong with that and I actually enjoy it sometimes), but it’s a little less planned and prepped too.

Lastly, you can always mix it up, which is what I do most weeks! I’ll give you an example from this past week of my meal prepping to show you what I mean. On Sunday, I prepared white rice, yellow potatoes, steamed broccoli, and ground beef to use for lunches in the week. Then, I also cooked up a big batch of spaghetti (using Banza chickpea pasta) with ground turkey, and veggies to have for dinner every night. So I had components that I used to make lunches each day by adding all the parts into a tupperware container for lunch, but I also had pre-prepared meals for dinner.

This, is just what works for me, but I switch it up week-to-week. Sometimes I’ll cook a meal Sunday night and Wednesday night for the week and just make a batch of chicken or buy lunch meat for lunches. The great thing about meal prep is that it is so versatile that you do it around your schedule and lifestyle. You can also easily switch the foods or routine up if you get bored. I would highly suggest using meal prep in some form because it really can help make living a healthy lifestyle, and eating a wholesome, nutritious diet much easier and happier!

Meal Prep Meal Ideas

So I know I have written about meal planning/prepping tips before, but I wanted to do a little post on some of my favorite “fun meals” that I create from my meal prep. I want to give you some ideas of how to make leftovers or big batches of meal prep fun, quick and easy, healthy, and most importantly, delicious!! I don’t ever usually have specific recipes, but I have some basic meal ideas that you can then take and create using what you have/like. Hope you enjoy these and that it helps make your healthy lifestyle a little easier, and, of course, tastier.

1. Sweet Potato Mexican Bowl

I love sweet potatoes and mexican flavors…so this works perfectly! I typically use ground turkey or rotisserie/baked chicken, but you could also use ground beef, ground chicken, or even lunch meat! For the sweet potatoes, you can bake/steam those ahead of time in your meal prep, or if you have time, cook them as you are making your meal. I try to buy express bake sweet potatOH because they come wrapped in a seal that steams it for you, or just steam your potato in the microwave in about 6-7 minutes. Then, you start assembling. I scoop out the potato into a bowl, add the meat, and then lots of toppings. My go-tos are: bell pepper, tomato, romaine lettuce, red onion, sprinkle of cheese, avocado, and salsa. In the bowl pictured, I also added white rice (I needed more carbs for the day), so you could also add beans or rice to your bowl too. Play around and find what works for you!

2. Asian Stir-Fry

Again, this is a pretty basic meal (we all know stir-fry), but it’s super delicious! The main things you’ll need for this are rice (I typically choose brown), a protein (I use frozen shrimp or ground turkey), and veggies (I use birds eye frozen). Frozen foods are a big help in making these quick meals and just as nutritious, so don’t be afraid to invest in those. I just cook everything up (or have it prepped) and then top it off with a little soy sauce and sesame seeds. Occasionally I’ll also add toppings like avocado or an over-easy egg–super delicious!!

3. Quinoa Bowls

If you follow me on instagram, it’s no secret that I love quinoa and eat it often. It’s so easy to cook up a batch of it on Sunday and have it for the week to use in many different meals. My quinoa bowls are a jumble of foods, usually different every time. I start with a base of quinoa and then add some type of protein (ground turkey, chicken, lunch meat, etc.) and then veggies! I go with PictSweet frozen steamable veggies for convenience, but you could add fresh, raw or cooked veggies–whatever you like. Then, on top of the bowl I add things like avocado oil, avocado, cheese, etc. I don’t have a picture of this one (there’s one on my instagram), but it is so versatile that you could make any variation of it to fit you, your needs, and your tastes.

4. Pizza

You heard me right…pizza! The thing that tops this whole thing off is using FlatOut wraps as the base!! These are by far the best I’ve found and make the pizza great. Again, after you have the base, it’s pretty much up to you for the toppings. In the picture, I used marinara sauce, laughing cow cheese wedge, mushrooms, spinach, chicken and red onion. I’ve also used basil before too! Make the pizza however you like, and the great thing is since each wrap is one pizza, you and anyone you’re eating with can have the pizza they want!

5. Banza Pasta Delight

As you may have seen or read before, I absolutely  LOVE Banza Chickpea Pasta–it tastes great, texture is perfect, and for me, it’s a better option than normal pasta. But of course, you could sub in another pasta into this recipe. While I am cooking the pasta (or if you pre-made a batch, reheating it), I cook veggies in a pan and then add in my meat at the end to warm it up. You could use any veggies or meat (shrimp, ground turkey, chicken, etc.), but some of my favorite veggies to use (depending on what I have) are spinach, tomatoes, mushrooms, broccoli, or zucchini. Then I add this mixture to the top of the pasta and add any cheese, pesto, or sauce you want! Absolutely delicious, healthy and easy!

So there are just a few of my meals I make with meal prep. I also sometimes I just throw random stuff together to make “bulk bowls” which helps make food fun and interesting not to mention allowing me to eat a lot. Try being creative and prepping a bunch of carb and protein sources at the beginning (and even veggies) and play around making different recipes. Healthy cooking is meant to be fun, quick, easy, and delicious!!