Busy Work Week Meal Prep + Effective Meal Plan Guide and Shopping List

About: We are Alina and Dmitry, a couple that loves creating, cooking, filming, taking photos, and sharing this journey with you! On our Cooking Journey blog you can find recipes for every day or special occasion....

We all have busy weeks, when we don’t want to cook every day. Still, it is important to have at least 3 meals per day – breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as healthy snacks.

One of the best things that we've learned about staying healthy during the week, is to plan all meals ahead of time. This way you won't grab unhealthy snacks or stay hungry and stressful.

It is good to spend more time together instead of cooking every day, right? So let’s prepare the meal for the whole busy week and spend more time in the morning together, while eating the breakfast.

And of course reheat the already-made dinner meal and sit together at the table. Enjoy good food and chat about your plans for the future or just ask how you’ve spend the day.

So meal prep is not only about keeping you fueled, but also about healthy relationship with your family members. And yes, every family member can be involved in prepping the meal!

Here are 2 busy week meal plans with 8 recipes + Effective meal prep guide and Shopping list
that you can download. 1 of the meal plans is specifically prepared for vegans.

Here you will find the recipes and step-by-step processes with effective guide that will help you manage your time. With the help of the guide, you will distribute your time to 3-4 blocks x 30 minutes and multitask, so you can adjust and prepare the meals and snacks for the whole week. The guide also has information about storing prepared meals.

We’ve made 2 plans – one for vegans and one for meat-eaters. Both will fill one person every day for the 5 days, so it is easy to multiply by your family members.

For more delicious recipes and meal ideas visit our blog - cookingjourneyblog.com

Meal prep 1 menu:

Breakfast: Frittata

Snacks: Oatmeal cookies and fruits

Lunch: Turkey wrap with cauliflower rice (you can substitute turkey with chicken)

Dinner: Rigatoni pasta bake with minced beef

Meal prep 2 menu (vegan):

Breakfast: Granola with vegan yogurt

Snacks: Oatmeal cookies and fruits

Lunch: Tofu wrap with cauliflower rice

Dinner: Lentil salad

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Step 1: Meal Prep 1 & 2: Snacks - Oatmeal Cookies

Ingredients

2 cups oats
2 medium bananas (very ripe)
3/4 cup cranberries, dried
2 tsp coconut oil

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 F / 180 C

Mash banana with a fork, add oats and combine together. Add cranberries and coconut oil, mix until combined.

Layer the baking tray with parchment paper.

Use your hands to form a small ball from the mixture. Place them on the baking tray, spacing about an inch in between. Press every ball with your finger to form the cookies.

Bake 15 minutes. Let them cool before transferring to the box. Store in the fridge.

Step 2: Meal Prep 1 & 2: Lunch - Cauliflower Rice

Ingredients
½ cauliflower middle size
2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp salt to your taste
1/2 tsp black pepper to your taste
15 g spinach
2 tsp chili flakes
2 tbs olive oil
½ cup water

Instructions
Cut cauliflower into smaller pieces and blend in food processor until it the texture of rice.

On the dry pan toast cumin seeds for 30 sec until fragrant, leave them aside.

Heat the olive oil on the medium heat and add cauliflower rice. Cook few minutes, stirring.

Add toasted cumin seeds, salt and pepper, stir.

Add water, cover with lid and cook for about 6 minutes until soft.

Chop spinach, add to cauliflower rice and stir for a minute,

Add chili flakes, stir and set aside to cool.

Store in the fridge.

Step 3: Meal Prep 1: Breakfast - Frittata

Ingredients
8 eggs
1/2 cup milk, reduced fat
150 g mushrooms
80 g Brussels sprouts
1/2 tbsp olive oil
8 cherry tomatoes
1/2 tsp rosemary dried
1/2 tsp tarragon dried
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper powder
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp basil dried or fresh leaves

Instructions

Preheat oven to 356 F / 180 C.
Whisk eggs, then add milk and whisk together. Add cayenne, salt, pepper and leave aside.
Cut mushrooms into slices, cut Brussels sprouts in half. Heat olive oil in a pan, add mushrooms, rosemary and tarragon. Keep stirring, for about 5 minutes until mushrooms are browned.
Cut cherry tomatoes in half.
Transfer cooked mushrooms with spices to the oven proof dish and distribute evenly.
Return a pan to the heat and put in Brussels sprouts cut side down. Cook about 2 minutes until Brussels sprouts are slightly browned in the edges.
Transfer Brussels sprouts in the dish along with mushrooms. Whisk again egg mixture and pour over mushrooms and Brussels sprouts. Distribute tomatoes on top of frittata.
Sprinkle dried basil on top or add fresh one. Bake for about 50 minutes or until edges are browned and frittata is golden and set in the middle.

Let it cool, then make 6 slices, wrap them and put in the fridge.

Step 4: Meal Prep 1: Lunch - Turkey Wrap

Ingredients
500 g turkey (or chicken) thighs without skin and bones
1 tsp chili powder
2 tsp granulated garlic or freshly chopped
1 tsp salt to your taste
1 tsp pepper or to your taste
500 g white beans in tomato sauce
5 corn tortillas, medium
Baby salad mix for serving

Instructions
In the skillet, on the high heat cook turkey for 5 min until browned

Add beans with tomato sauce, chili, salt, pepper, garlic pepper, cook 5 min more.

Warm tortillas in the oven, microwave or on the skillet.

Add baby salad on tortilla

Spoon the turkey and bean mixture on the each tortilla and wrap.

Distribute to lunch boxes with cauliflower rice.

Step 5: Meal Prep 1: Dinner - Rigatoni Pasta Bake

Ingredients
250 g Rigatoni pasta
500 g minced beef
2 handfuls spinach leaves chopped
1,5 cup mozzarella shredded
250 g tomato puree
1/4 cup hard cheese grated
1 tbsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp Italian seasoning

Instructions
Cook rigatoni in boiled water with salt at minimum time – about 8 minutes. Drain and leave in the same pot for later.

Heat some olive oil in a pan, put minced beef. Cook it, frequently stirring, separating the lumps. Season it with salt and pepper. Cook 5 to 7 minutes, don't overcook it. Add Italian seasoning.

Preheat the oven to 350 F / 180 C

Gently combine cooked beef with rigatoni.

Add 1 jar of tomato puree and combine it with pasta and beef.

Then add freshly chopped spinach, combine again.

Add shredded mozzarella.

Place pasta in the baking dish. Bake for about 20 minutes.

Now return the pasta from the oven, but don't turn it off. Grate some cheese on top. Bake for about 5 minutes until cheese just melts.

Cool completely, cover with plastic wrap and put in the fridge.

Step 6: Meal Prep 2: Breakfast - Granola With Vegan Yogurt

Ingredients:

2 cups oats
1/2 cup almond flakes
1/2 cup raisins
3 tbsp golden syrup
2 tbsp coconut oil
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Instructions

Preheat oven to 300 F / 150 C

Combine all the dry ingredients – oats, almond flakes and raisins. Mix together, add cinnamon and mix again.

Add coconut oil and syrup and mix to evenly spread around oats. Help with your hands.

Bake for 10 minutes until golden. Stir 1-2 times during the baking.

Let it cool before transferring to the box, covered with a lid. Store at room temperature.

Serve for breakfast with vegan yogurt and defrosted berries.

Step 7: Meal Prep 2: Lunch - Tofu Wrap

Ingredients

  • Tofu filling

1 small pepper red
1 shallot
1 garlic clove
1/3 jalapeno popper
200 g chickpeas undrained
15 g spinach
150 g tofu
1/4 tsp turmeric
2 tbsp oil
5 corn tortillas

Salad mix
cherry tomatoes

  • Tahini paste

1/2 cup sesame seeds
1/2 lime juice
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp water

Instructions

Chop shallot, garlic, jalapeno and pepper. Chop spinach.

Slice tofu in triangles.

Fry tofu 5 minutes on high heat in olive oil. Add turmeric to cover tofu and cook 1 minute.

Lower the heat, add vegetables and cook few minutes until fragrant.

Add chickpeas and cook 3 minutes more. Add chopped spinach, stir for 1 minute and set aside to cool.

To make tahini paste, toast sesame seeds on a dry pan until golden. Set aside to cool.

Transfer sesame seeds to food processor, add lime juice, olive oil and water. Pulse, slowly adding more olive oil until it has a paste texture.

Heat the tortilla wrap, smear sesame paste, add salad leaves, cherry tomatoes cut in half and tofu mixture. Wrap, put in a lunch box with cauliflower rice and leave in the fridge.

Step 8: Meal Prep 2: Dinner - Lentil Salad

Ingredients (5 servings)
100 g rocket leaves
150 g yellow bell pepper
300 g cherry tomatoes
500 g lentils, canned

  • Jalapeno Lime Dressing:

5 tbsp lime juice (2,5 lime fruits)
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
5 tsp olive oil
1 jalapeno finely chopped

Instructions
Stir all ingredients for dressing. Leave to infuse.

Chop bell pepper. Cut tomatoes in quarters. Rinse lentils and combine with tomatoes and bell pepper. Add rocket leaves to salad and gently combine with other ingredients. Mix lime dressing and add it to the salad.

Place in the fridge (Steps shown on pictures for 1 bowl)

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