One of the biggest lessons I've learned on the road to eating healthy is that preparation is key. If you're working early in the morning or late into the evening, you often don't have the energy to prepare meals when you get a breather. You'd rather relax and kick up your feet for a few moments. Even if you manage to cook once or twice a week, having fresh, homemade, healthy meals every day for every meal is pretty difficult for your average American. Even being a SAHM (stay at home mom), I find it difficult to prepare healthy meals for all three of my family members for every meal.
I've found that preparing a few days worth of meals in advance makes it much easier to maintain a healthy diet. I usually prepare 4 days worth of breakfasts and lunches on Sunday or Monday for the rest of the work week. Friday through Sunday are days for unique, healthy recipes and even include a cheat day. Try to pick a day of the week when you'll have 2-4 undisturbed hours. Prepare a menu and list of groceries over the weekend and have everything on hand before you start cooking.
Even if, to you, meal prepping just means washing and chopping all of the fresh produce you buy before your week starts, I guarantee you will see results. Meal prep doesn't only save you the hassle of cooking more than a handful of times a week, it can save money and really jumpstart any fitness goals you have all while helping you keep those few hairs glued to your head. If you don't feel too great about eating the same meal every day, cook a variety of foods or don't prep for one meal a day. That would give you the option eating out or trying new foods during the week.
There are so many healthy and delicious - flavorful, aromatic, and filling - dishes out there! Eating healthy does not mean eating bland chicken night after night. And I'm here to help you find those recipes. Keep a look out for whenever I post meal prep plans and it will save you the trouble of having to make a menu of your own! I know, you love me, right? I love you too. :)
So kickstart your fitness plans today and try some of these recipes. Meal prepping or no, these dishes are hella good. Give them a try and good luck in the kitchen! (I demand pictures and feedback if you try any of them!!)
Breakfast Mediterranean Egg Muffins
High Protein Black Bean and Lentil Soup
Oven Baked Chicken Fajitas
First of all, can we just talk about how cute my hand model is!!!! I'm dying.
Mediterranean Egg Muffins
(Makes 12 muffins)
2 cups chopped spinach
3/4 cup chopped cherry or grape tomatoes (optional)
1/4 cup feta cheese
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4-1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste
splash of milk or water
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Spray a muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
In a glass bowl, microwave spinach, tomatoes, and garlic powder on high heat for 2-3 minutes or until softened.
In another large bowl, whisk together eggs, feta cheese, milk or water, red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper.
Add in the spinach and tomatoes and mix well. Use an ice cream scoop to scoop the mixture evenly into the muffin tins 3/4 way full.
Bake for 18-20 minutes or until fully cooked. Don't overcook the eggs or they will be dry. Store refrigerated for up to 7 days.
Oven Baked Fajitas
(makes 4-5 servings)
1 tbsp chili powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp cumin powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tbsp corn starch
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 lb chicken breast
1 large onion, thickly sliced
3 bell peppers (different colors)
2 tbsp olive oil
handful cilantro chopped
Stir together all the ingredients for the marinade.
Thinly slice the chicken breast into strips. Slice the veggies into thick strips. Toss all the ingredients, chicken, veggies, olive oil, and seasoning, together into a large baking dish. Leave to marinade for 2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Bake the fajitas in the oven for 35-40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain any excess liquid and turn the broiler on high to achieve a crispy brown edge. Make sure to carefully watch the dish to not burn it.
Squeeze the juice of half the lime of the fajitas and garnish with cilantro. Enjoy.
This soup recipe is hands down my favorite recipe of the whole weeks menu!
High Protein Black Bean and Lentil Soup
(makes 6-8 servings)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 yellow onion, diced
2 carrots, peeled and finely diced
1 14 oz can diced tomatoes
1 cup red lentils, washed until water runs clear
1 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
4 cups vegetable broth or water
Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Sauté the minced garlic until aromatic and add finely chopped onion and carrots. Fry till onions are translucent.
Add the remaining ingredients and let it come to a boil over high heat. Then cover and reduce the heat to low. Let it simmer for 25-30 minutes until the lentils are cooked, stirring occasionally. Enjoy!
I hope you can give these recipes a try and enjoy!