My simple system to meal prep for the week. Get everything ready on Sunday and enjoy ready-made, healthy lunches all week.
I know I’ve mentioned it before, but I hate to pack lunches.
That is, I used to hate packing lunches until I came up with a weekly meal prep routine that has made lunch prep so easy.
And our lunches have never tasted better!
The basis for my lunches are a cross between a Buddha bowl and a salad.
Or maybe they are salads with hearty stuff in it.
Or maybe they are bowls on top of greens.
Anyway you look at it, these bowls are so easy to assemble, and they stay fresh all week.
How to Meal Prep for the Week:
STEP 1 – COOK YOUR PROTEIN
By far the easiest and cheapest way to have chicken for your lunches is to cook a Whole Chicken in a Crockpot. Once the meat is done, tear it off the bone and sometimes I like toshred it using this trick. I use between 3 or 4 ounces of chicken per bowl. I actually use my digital scale to measure the right portion.
No time to slow cook? Grilling boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs is quick and easy.
Other options for protein:
STEP 2 – COOK YOUR GRAINS
At the same time your meat is cooking, you need to cook up a grain. What type of grain you cook is up to you.
Personally, I love rice or bulgur in my bowls. But any of these make good choices:
Did you know you can freeze cooked brown rice? Double or triple your batch and you won’t have to cook a grain for several weeks.
STEP 3 – FLAVORFUL ADDITIONS
Finish your bowls with any of the following:
Chopped or Shredded Vegetables
Fresh or Dried Fruits
STEP 4 – DRESSING
I use a simple homemade salad dressing for almost all of my salads.
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
If I want a sweeter dressing I add 2 teaspoons of honey. If I want a savory dressing I add 2 teaspoons of dijon mustard. If I need extra flavor, I add them both.
That’s it for the dressing. I’ll just add the ingredients to a mason jar and shake them well. No special equipment required.
STEP 5 – ASSEMBLE THE SALAD BOWLS
You can make your salads to suit your favorite tastes; however, I thought you might like some inspiration.
SALAD BOWL INSPIRATION:
I pack most of our lunches in a stainless steel lunch container. However, I pack up 9 lunches at a time (3 lunches for 3 people). I simply don’t have enough stainless steel containers for all of our lunches. *sigh* And people, they are SPENDY! So I have purchased some of these meal prep containers. If this is what your budget allows, then please use them but DON’T microwave any food in them! Don’t let your budget be a barrier to healthy meal prep.