Meal prep like a pro with these nourishing, dietitian-approved meals! In 2 hours or less, you'll have delicious meals for the whole week.
We're now on week 5 of my meal prep series! My goal is always to provide the most useful content and recipes so nutrition is EASY. Meal prepping using my strategy is one of the ways I set myself up for success during the week. It just takes some careful planning and time, and suddenly making nourishing choices during a busy workweek seems effortless.
Let's quickly review the basics and then we'll jump into this week's menu.
Why Ingredient Prep?
Traditional "meal prep" might bring to mind boxes of pre-portioned broccoli, chicken and brown rice. Alternatively, you might think of Pinterest-worthy table spreads of 10 different pre-made meals. Those are all great, however I don't have enough time nor do I enjoy eating the same meal for 7 days straight. That's why I use a mixture of ingredient prep and meal prep!
For me, this looks like making a combination of full meals and prepped ingredients, so I can easily throw together new meals during the week. Not only does this take a lot shorter than traditional meal prep, but it gives me the flexibility during the week to listen to my cravings and increase variety.
Easy Meal Prep Formula
When I'm planning my weekly menu, I try to incorporate the following:
- 1x grab and go breakfast - This are meals that I lean on for busy mornings. Muffins, overnight oats, you get the idea! I usually make about 3 portions.
- 1-2 x balanced snacks - Using my balanced snack formula, I try to prioritize snacks that have protein and fibre. Having prepared options on hand makes it so much more convenient to make a healthy choice.
- 1x versatile protein for lunches- Think chicken, tofu, beans etc. or a salad variation like tuna salad, chicken salad, smashed chickpea salad. I go for items that I can use in sandwiches, wraps, salads, and bowls for the most variety.
- 1x fiber-filled carbohydrate source to use as a base of your meals (quinoa, rice, pasta, etc.)
- Properly wash and store your produce- I recommend chopping up 3-4 vegetables or fruits. I like to try and take advantage of swat produce is in season to help save money and support my local farmers! This week I did: carrots, peppers, and snap peas as well as oranges/ grapefruits and cauliflower.
This is the strategy that works for me, but pick and choose the parts that work for your life. Maybe that's the same items I've listed above, or maybe it's just breakfast and chopped vegetables for the week.
Week 5 Meal Prep Menu
- I'm planning to pair two of these with some Greek yogurt and oranges/ grapefruit slices!
- These two are great options as they can be eaten together as a bowl, added to leafy greens or served in a wrap!
- This will be great for a savorysnack paired with while grain crackers and the sliced carrots, peppers and snap peas!
- A balanced option to help satisfy my sweet tooth in the afternoon!
- This will be an easy dinner using the roasted sweet potatoes I made as well as that prepped cauliflower (and any other leftover prepped veggies I have)
P.S. You can make these air fryer potatoes with sweet potatoes too.
- I've really been craving sweet treats after dinner this eke, so as an added bonus I prepped some of this yogurt bark to provide me with a healthier option to snack on after dinner!
Prepped Fruits and Vegetables
I always look for seasonal produce, as these are often lower cost and higher quality. This week, I washed and diced cauliflower into florets. You could eat the cauliflower florets raw with dip, air fry, or toss into a soup, sheet pan meal or casserole.
My fruits of choice were oranges and grapefruit, because vitamin C is so important for immune health during the cold season. I washed and cut these into slices so I can easily add to meals and snacks.
More Meal Prepping Resources
If you find these meal prep guides helpful, I have a full ebook with even more tips, tricks and strategies that I use for grocery shopping and meal planning. It's got recipes, a full detailed meal plan and templates that you can use for your weekly plan and shopping.
Don't forget to check out the past weeks for more free resources!
- Week 1 Meal Prep Round-Up
- Week 2 Meal Prep Round-Up
- Week 3 Meal Prep Round-Up
- Week 4 Meal Prep Round-Up
PS. I love seeing my recipes in action! If you decide to make any of these meal prep recipes, don't forget to snap a photo and tag me on Instagram- @nourishedbynic! I also always appreciate comments on the posts here on the site!