5 (probably more) days of breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks are included in this 10 Step Process.
Today's prep took about 4 hours. I've found that if I do 3 recipes for each category, my roommate, husband, and I tend to go through everything without getting bored. Dinners were made to have leftovers for lunch.
- breakfast burritos
- yogurt parfait
- granola & milk
- curry chicken salad
- tofu with rice and veggies
- cheesy chicken salsa rice
- tofu with rice and veggies
- chicken soup
- BBQ chicken with kale chips and corn
- chips & fresh salsa
- fruit yogurt parfait
- veggies and dip
Useful Utensils: cutting board, knives, Tupperware, bowls, wax or parchment paper, colander, pans, pots but I prefer my Instapot tool.
GROCERY LIST (omit things you already have or if you already have something similar; spices omitted)
- Preferred granola
- BBQ Sauce
- Vegetable Oil ( for frying tofu )
- Olive oil for general frying and flavor
- Black beans ( I used a batch I had from the freezer, equivalent to can of black beans )
- Chicken broth ( or bouillon cubes )
- 2 packages flour tortillas ( I've found the flour tortillas are easier for building freezer burritos )
- 4 medium sized tomatoes( or 2 cans diced tomatoes with chili )
- 4 pack of sweet peppers ( I like to get one of each color )
- Carrots ( I get baby carrots to make life easier )
- Sugar snap peas
- Green onions
- Red onion
- Sweet onions X 2
- Fresh cilantro
- Fresh garlic
- 3 lemons
- 1 lime
- Can of corn
- Firm tofu
- Chicken breast X 4 ( I usually get a big, cheap multi pack and freeze whatever I cannot use )
- 12 eggs
- Greek yogurt
- Shredded cheddar ( I get pre-shredded cheese for my freezer burritos to make life easier )
***Groceries are really close to what I used. Some things were substituted.***
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Step 1: Collect Supplies & Recipes
Make sure you get anything on the grocery list that you don't have something similar of. Gallon bags work for Tupperware, cucumber works for radishes, etc.
Set out your utensils, having them easily reached will increase your speed.
Set out spices you know you'll use. For this prep you'll want olive oil, black pepper, salt, and cayenne pepper.
Salsa fresh salsa for snack, salad topping, burritos
- 4 medium sized tomatoes diced (or 2 cans diced tomatoes with chilis, drained)
- 1/2 red onion, diced
- 1/2 sweet onion, diced
- 4 green onions, diced
- 1/2 green, yellow, red, orange sweet peppers, diced
- 1/2 Lime's juice
- Fresh cilantro- to taste
- Cayenne, cumin, and salt to taste
- Fresh garlic is best, but powdered will work
Mix all chopped ingredients and chill; also enjoy
- Massage kale with olive oil, salt, pepper
- Bake for 10 minutes (or less for small pieces) at 300 F
- 1 c Greek yogurt, lemon juice, salt, pepper
Curry chicken salad - based on Mind Over Munch Chicken Curry Salad Recipe
- 2 chicken breasts; cooked and shredded (really any protein can be used)
- 1 c Greek yogurt
- 1/4 c red onion, diced
- 4 green onions, diced
- 1/4 c raisins
- 1/2 c cashews
- 1/2 a lemon, juiced
- 2 tbsp Curry powder (I love a lot more than this)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- hot sauce, soy sauce, rice vinegar, salt, pepper, ginger, honey
- 1 c flour, 2 tbsp cornstarch, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper
Step 2: Start Proteins
- If you are going to use dry black beans (instead of a can) then you'll need to follow those directions which usually involve 8 hours of soaking. I had some in my freezer I got to use up.
- Press tofu early in meal prep--minimum of 1 hour.
- I put the firm tofu onto a cookie cooling rack I layed on a baking sheet. I put a glass pan on top of the tofu with 5 lb. weights to weigh it down.
- Marinate with provided recipe or your choice in refrigerator for 1 hour minimum.
- I love using my Instapot because I can cook 6 large chicken breasts at a time in 40 minutes! You can also use it for rice afterwards (which is what I did).
Step 3: Start Salsa & Veggie Prep
Take this time to cut up and rinse most of your fruit and vegetables.I usually pile my snack veggies in one bowl until I can put them into my food prep containers.
Rinse/ Chop/ Dice/ Etc.
- Sweet Onions - dice 2 ; 1/4 goes to salsa, 1/4 goes to soup, 1/4 goes to burritos, 1/4 in fridge
- Red Onions - dice 1; 1/2 goes to salsa, 1/2 goes to curry salad
- Tomatoes - dice (or open can)
- Sweet Peppers - dice half of each pepper, cut other half into snack sizes
- Green Onions - dice half and cut other half into snack sizes
- Cilantro - remove from stems and chop
- Fresh garlic, if you have it
- Berries - rinse & set aside
- Juice 3 lemons
- Juice 1 Limes
- Mushrooms - Dice 1/2 for stir fry and other half of package for soup
- Carrots - dice a handful for stir fry, leave rest for snacks and a handful for soup
Combine salsa ingredients and put in fridge with label.
Step 4: Make Fruit Yogurt Cups and Veggie Dip
Take about 1/2 c of Greek yogurt out of main container for veggie dip and follow recipe.
Measure about 1 c Greek yogurt into Curry Chicken Salad bowl Use Greek yogurt container and mix in sweeteners - I love maple syrup and vanilla extract.
Portion this among 5-6 small containers and add rinsed berries.My yogurt was too thin but sometimes I'll use silicone cups to keep granola separate from yogurt.
Step 5: Assemble Lunches
I like to use 2 compartment containers food prep containers.
If your chicken, salsa, and rice are ready and cool assemble the Chicken, Salsa, and Rice lunch boxes.
- Lay down bed of rice in larger side of 3 containers; split a chicken breast between the 3 containers, and then put a couple spoonfuls in the remaining space.
- I use silicone cups to separate fruit from veggies on the smaller edge.
Mix chicken curry salad ingredients and distribute among 5 containers.
- You can add kale to the larger side
- Add veggies and fruit to smaller side
Step 6: Stir Fry Veggies, Tofu, and Rice
Fill pan with about 2 c vegetable oil and heat til water drops immediately boil.
Next bread and fry tofu; I did 3 batches because I had about 24 oz of tofu.
- Cook for about 15 minutes and drain on paper towels or curved plate.
To make your life easier you could get a frozen bag of your favorite veggies; I generally use up old veggies or extras from my lunch.
Quickly stir fry onion, mushrooms, peppers and snap peas in same pan ( or veggies of your choice ) diced carrots in olive oil, salt, pepper, and soy sauce.
I put my veggies to the side and stir fried the rice with oil and soy sauce and then scrambled an egg with green onions and some extra veggies I had leftover.
This turned into 5 complete servings, with tons of tofu left over.
Step 7: Breakfast Burritos
- Start by cracking 12 eggs and mixing with salt, pepper, and a splash of milk.
- While the eggs are settling I fry up some garlic and mushrooms (because I had extra to use).
- Scramble eggs.
- Mix scramble eggs, black beans, 1 cup salsa (I used more because I actually had salsa I had to use frmo last week), and kale
I set up my station with multiple squares of wax paper, shredded cheese and my scrambled egg mixture.
- Place 2 tortillas on wax square.
- Put about 2 tbsp cheese on each tortilla.
- Put about 1/2 - 3/4 c egg filling.
- Roll burrito closet to you so seam side is down, with wax paper folded in.
- Roll burrito furthest from you and pull wax paper into middle.
- Push rolled burritos together and place into freezer safe container, with all ends folded in.
- Place in freezer with date.
To Reheat : 1-2 minutes in microwave. (My husband likes to toast them a little because they can be soggy.)
I made 19 burritos (I had extra tortillas to use).
Step 8: BBQ Chicken, Kale Chips, and Corn
Shred remaining chicken and split into two portions (the other half is for chicken soup).
Add BBQ sauce to chosen chicken.
- Serve on bread if you'd like
Follow kale chip recipe
Heat up can of corn, I like to add salt, pepper, and butter to warmed corn kernels. I only did half so I could add the other half to my salsa.
Step 9: Soup Night
If you have room in your fridge for a fully cooked soup I'd say go ahead and use the Instapot one more time.
Saute onions, mushrooms, and carrots in olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic.
Add shredded chicken and broth and simmer for 10 minutes.
Serve with kale salad.
Step 10: P.S. TIPS
Substituting seasonal ingredients makes your meal prep even cheaper. When my garden was in full swing my salsas were loaded with fresh basil, chives, tomatoes, and cucumbers.
Freeze or dehydrate your fruit for later use. Smoothies, yogurt, pancakes and other breads; I especially like dried fruit on my salads.
Canned beans are easy but it is cheaper to make the dehydrated ones; I save the extras in the freezer.
Reduce your waste by starting your own compost pile!