Meal Prep is an Important Part of Any Recipe. Here's are Some Tried and Tested Meal Prep Ideas That Will Save You Lots of Time (2019)

Meal Prep is an Important Part of Any Recipe. Here's are Some Tried and Tested Meal Prep Ideas That Will Save You Lots of Time (2019)

Meal prep is essentially preparing part or whole of a meal ahead of time. This is a smart approach for ensuring home-cooked healthy and nutritious food is available to your family despite your busy schedule. This BP Guide will share some innovative meal prep ideas which will make your busy life much simpler.

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Benefits of Meal Prep

No Scope for Temptation

There are lots and lots of interesting and healthy meal prep ideas which saves you from getting tempted by unhealthy meal options. If you will have your meal prepared for every single day and every single meal time then there won’t be any other choice but to have healthy meals every single day! This will surely reflect positively on your lifestyle and your health!

Money Saving

There is no doubt in the fact that meal prep comes as an amazing money-saving idea too. You will not be spending your money on the street and junk food and you will have portion control too. Preparing your food in large batches always helps in saving a considerable amount of money which is great for your mental health too.

Hunger Management

Meal prep is a wonderful way to counter hunger management issues. As soon as you feel hungry, you will always have something to eat if you meal prep your food in advance. This way the unnecessary anger, irritation and waiting for your food to be cooked can be avoided. In fact, this somehow prevents you from overeating too.

Time Saver

There are so many clean eating meal prep ideas which not only urge you to eat clean and healthy but also help you in saving a lot of time too. Half of your time can be saved if your meal prep is done. This comes really handy when you are getting late for office or you have little to no time to have your lunch.

Meal Prep Ideas

Bhuna Masala for Literally Every Recipe Ever

When it comes to Indian recipes, masala (spices) is a very integral part. If you want to meal prep for Indian people then you surely need a mix of spices that can add some flavour in the meal. This Bhuna Masala Recipe is simply perfect for your meal prep:

What You Need:

  • 250 gm onion and 300 gm tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil and 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp red chilli powder and 2 tsp turmeric

How to Make It:

  • Grind onions and tomatoes separately and make a fine paste out of them.
  • Heat cooking oil in the pan and pour the onion paste in it.
  • Cook it on simmer and keep stirring then add pureed tomatoes and cook for 10-15 minutes on low setting.
  • Take out of the pan, cool it and store it in the freezer. Use when needed.

Healthy Roasted Chicken and Veggies

If you want a wonderful combination of a healthy meal and something non-veg like chicken then such kinds of meal prep ideas are perfect for you. This Healthy Roasted Chicken and Veggies is a perfect meal prep idea to save time as well as to eat something healthy on an everyday basis. You can prepare this if you have an oven:

What You Need:

  • 2 medium chicken breasts and 1 cup broccoli florets
  • 1 small red onion and 1 cup grapes or plum tomatoes
  • 1 medium chopped zucchini and 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp Italian seasoning and 1 tsp salt
  • Black pepper, red pepper flakes and paprika – ½ tsp each
  • 2 tbsp olive oil and 2-4 cups cooked rice
  • 4 meal prep containers

How to Make It:

  • For the preparations, heat oven to 450°F and line a baking dish.
  • Now, place the chicken and all the veggies in the baking dish, top it off with spices and garlic and drizzle some olive oil at last.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes until the veggies and chicken become tender.
  • Prepare 4 meal prep containers by placing ½ cup of cooked rice and equal parts of veggies and chicken in it. Put it in the refrigerator and enjoy it for 5 days.

Cauliflower Rice Black Bean Burritos

Burritos are quite wholesome and fulfilling too, but making them after coming back to home from office can be quite tiring. Thanks to this meal prep idea, now you can prep for healthy burritos easily:

What You Need:

  • 1 head of cauliflower cut into small florets and 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 red onion and 1 bell pepper - chopped
  • 1/4 cup taco seasoning and 12 large tortillas
  • 530 gm can of black beans and 4 cups shredded cheese
  • 450 gm jar of salsa and avocado slices
  • Commercial yogurt or sour cream

How to Make It:

  • Use a food processor to turn the cauliflower florets into fine rice.
  • Heat oil in a pan and cook bell peppers and onion for 5 minutes followed by cauliflower rice and taco seasoning, then cook for 2-3 minutes.
  • When cauliflower rice turns soft, remove from heat and let it cool.
  • To assemble burritos, use ½ cup of rice mix, 2 spoon black beans,1/3 cup shredded cheese and 2 spoons of salsa.
  • Roll and plastic wrap to store for 2-3 days in the fridge.

Healthy Overnight Oats with Berries

With our healthy meal prep ideas for the week, you can never go wrong with starting your day perfectly, without worrying what to eat. This healthy recipe here is perfect for your breakfast and the meal prep is quite easy too:

What You Need:

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats and ½ cup mixed berries
  • 1/2 cup milk and 1 tsp honey
  • 1/2 tbsp chia seeds

How to Make It:

  • Place rolled oats and chia seeds in a container, stir and then add milk and honey and mix well.
  • Leave the container overnight in the fridge and next day add berries or any other topping of your choice and enjoy it in your breakfast.

Healthy Greek Chicken Meal Prep Bowls

We have got one more chicken recipe which is quite healthy too. You can enjoy it in your lunch or dinner and you will surely have something wholesome to pass the day. In fact, this recipe is quite balanced and would keep you going well for your work:

What You Need:

  • 1 cup whole milk Greek yogurt and 1 cucumber
  • Corn starch, black pepper, onion powder, paprika – ½ tsp each
  • 1 tsp garlic powder and 2½ tsp salt, divided
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil and 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • 1 tbsp dill and 1 cup dried farro
  • skinned chicken breasts cut into small portions and ¾ tbsp Italian seasoning
  • Ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg – 1/4 tsp each
  • 15-20 cherry tomatoes and ¼ red onion diced
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar, 1 lemon juiced and 15-20 pitted and halved black olives

How to Make It:

  • Grate ½ cucumber and strain all the water out of it.
  • Add shredded cucumber in a bowl and add Greek Yogurt, ½ tsp garlic powder, white vinegar, ½ tsp salt, 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, 1 tbsp dill and stir and keep it in the fridge.
  • Preheat oven to 450°F and prepare a baking dish. Now, make Greek seasoning by combining remaining salt, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, all spices, corn starch and onion powder.
  • Lay 4 portions of chicken breasts on baking sheet and coat them with Greek seasoning. Bake for 15-20 minutes.
  • Make Greek Salad by using diced cucumber, quarter of cherry tomatoes, diced red onions, chopped olives and mix in a big bowl. Season it with salt, red wine vinegar, black pepper, 1 tbsp olive oil and one juiced lemon.
  • Make 4 portions of this salad into different containers and add 1 chicken breast, ½ cup cooked farro and some shredded cucumber. Your meal is ready for the week.

Sun Dried Tomato Chickpea One Pot Pasta

Who doesn’t love pasta but making it every single day is a really tiring and lengthy process. But thanks to the meal prep ideas, now you can make this sun dried tomatoes chickpea one pot pasta easily and enjoy it for the entire week:

What You Need:

  • 170 gm mushrooms quartered and ½ cup sun dried tomatoes
  • Salt, pepper and red pepper flakes – ¼ tsp each
  • 530 gm can of chickpeas and 2 cups dried pasta
  • 2 cups vegetable stock and 3 cups spinach
  • 1 cup shredded cheese

How to Make It:

  • Combine mushrooms, tomatoes, chickpeas, pasta and spices in a storage container.
  • Store in the fridge for up to 3 days.
  • For cooking, add everything in a pot with pasta and vegetable stock and follow the procedure.

Italian Couscous Salad

Italian Couscous Salad is not just another plain bland salad but definitely something which can get you going. You are going to find it perfect for dinner if lightweight dinner is your approach. You can learn its meal prep idea as given below:

What You Need:

  • 2 packets roasted garlic and olive oil couscous and 1 can chickpeas drained
  • 140 gm Genoa salami coarsely chopped and 140 gm chopped mozzarella cheese
  • 1 large chopped green bell pepper and 140 gm sliced black olives
  • 2 cups sliced cherry tomatoes and ¾ cup fresh basil
  • For dressing 1/3 cup olive oil and 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • Dijon mustard, honey, minced garlic – 1 tsp each
  • Dried basil, dried parsley, dried oregano – ½ tsp each
  • Fine sea salt and freshly cracked pepper

How to Make It:

  • Use package instructions to prepare couscous mix or you can use your own seasoning too. Let it cook.
  • Place all the dressing ingredients in a jar, add salt and pepper and shake well.
  • Now, for the meal prep, divide the dressing in 6 containers followed by dividing couscous. Now, add equal parts of veggies, salami, basil, chickpeas with some salt and pepper and a wedge of lemon. Add dressing and you are done for the week.

Fiesta Chicken Rice Bowls

You can get tons of options when it comes to finding meal prep ideas with chicken. Chicken and rice are definitely the comfort food for many and with this meal prep idea here, you won’t have to prepare them every single time when you come back from office:

What You Need:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil and 3-4 medium sized chicken breasts
  • Salt, garlic powder, cumin – 1 tsp each
  • 1 tbsp chilli powder and ½ cup corn
  • 2 small red onions sliced and ¾ cup fresh salsa
  • 1 red, yellow and green pepper - diced
  • 1/3 cup cilantro and ¼ cup feta cheese
  • 1 cup dry brown rice and 2 cups water
  • 1 tsp butter

How to Make It:

  • Let the rice cook while you meal prep.
  • Heat olive oil in a large frying pan and stir fry chicken for 3-4 minutes. Add chilli powder, garlic powder, cumin and coat well to cook for another 5 minutes.
  • Add red onions, bell peppers, corn and saute for 2-3 minutes. Now add cooked rice and salsa and mix well.
  • Cook for 5 minutes, add cilantro and sprinkle with cheese to serve.

Grilled Veggies and Black Bean Meal Prep Bowls

If you want to keep it simple and full of veggies for your meal prep then we have one perfect recipe for you. This recipe is perfect for lunch and brings a lot of nutrition too. Despite being purely vegetarian, this recipe is quite fulfilling too:

What You Need:

  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar and 3 tbsp barbecue sauce
  • 2 tbsp honey and 1 tsp lime
  • 1/4 tsp chilli powder and ¼ tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup uncooked quinoa and 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 zucchini, 2 bell peppers and ½ red onion - chopped
  • 530 gm can of black beans

How to Make It:

  • Shake vinegar, barbecue sauce, honey, lime, chilli powder, ¼ tsp salt together and set aside.
  • Cook quinoa and heat barbecue on medium high heat.
  • Take a large bowl and mix veggies with olive oil, salt and pepper. Grill them on the vegetable grilling pan for 10-15 minutes.
  • Divide all the stuff into various containers as per quantity and store them to enjoy for the week.

Almond Flour Pancakes

Pancakes are everyone’s favourite when it comes to breakfasts. And thankfully with this meal prep idea, you can make them instantly without any issues:

What You Need:

  • 6 eggs at room temperature and 1 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour and 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk and ½ tsp vanilla extract

How to Make It:

  • Preheat the electric skillet to medium heat and oil as required.
  • Take a mixing bowl and whisk eggs, milk and vanilla extract together. Now add almond flour, coconut flour and baking powder and then fold until smooth.
  • Take ¼ cup of batter to form pancakes and repeat for the rest of the batter.
  • Cook for 2-3 minute from each sides. You can store them in the fridge for 1 week.

Tips for Easy Meal Prepping

If you are a complete beginner at meal prepping then we have got not only simple meal prep ideas but also some important tips for you. This will help you in adjusting to meal prep in your day to day life and will also be quite helpful in making a big change in your lifestyle.

Start Slow

You need not to start preparing your food for the entire week in the beginning. You can start slow and learn to do meal prep for 2-3 days at a time. You can create a meal plan initially and then prepare all the recipes accordingly. It can be quite daunting at first but slowly you will start liking this way of living.

Organisation Is the Key

Organisation is the key to successful meal prep. You really need to have an organised kitchen and most importantly an organised pantry to ensure your meal prep can take place smoothly. Grocery shopping and fridge management are also an integral part of meal prepping which must be done in an organised way.

Maintain Balance between Food Types

While conceptualising meal prep ideas, you need to ensure that you consider all sorts of food types in your meal. Try to add variety in your meal prep like fruits, vegetables, meat, whole grains, lentils, healthy fat, etc. This way, you will be receiving all sorts of nutrients in your body from different types of sources.

Invest in Quality Storage Containers

If you want to have a successful meal prepping journey then you need to start investing in your pantry and container needs. Opt for good food quality containers with air tight locks. Also make sure that your pantry is always full and properly organised so that you can make easily plan ahead.

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From our editorial team

Meal Prep - Your Key to a Healthy Life

Meal prep essentially involves preparing your meals in a systematic, organised and planned manner. Like any other well planned and organised work, if you start planning and preparing for your meals in advance you will not only be consuming healthy meals but also saving a lot of money and reducing food wastage. We hope this BP Guide would have convinced you as to why meal prep is so important in today's life.