One of the best was to become healthy is stop ordering take-out food. All those burritos, grilled sandwiches, and Chinese combo platters are draining your bank account and filling your body with processed ingredients. I won’t be naïve enough to tell you that making meals daily to take to work and then having to cook again for dinner isn’t time consuming – it totally is! But the year of meal prep is upon us and it’s time to get on board. Start with these 5 easy staples and build your diet from there!
- Turkey chili: If you can make it in a crock pot, it’s hands down the easiest meal to prepare. Add the ground turkey, tomatoes, peppers, spices, and any other fixings your heart desire! Put the crock pot on to simmer for an hour, stir occasionally, and you’ll have a hot tasty cup o’ chili ready to pack in the morning and for the rest of the week!
- Rice with sautéed veggies: When you sauté vegetables, they pick up a lot of flavor from the season you uses. They only need about 3 minutes of cooking time. By pairing them with rice (make separately for about 20 minutes), the rice then absorbs the remaining sauce that was in the pan. Letting the vegetables and rice soak in those flavors throughout the week makes them even yummier!
- Baked chicken: What’s great about baked chicken instead of fried, other than fewer calories, is that when reheated it doesn’t get soggy like the breading on fried chicken does. If you bake a few pieces (which takes just an hour and 15 minutes) once over the weekend, you’ve got three to four meals more than halfway done for the work week. Chop up a piece to add to your chicken and veggies for well-rounded meal or make a fresh salad as a side!
- Ground turkey with taco seasoning: Cook your meat until it’s browned, then add water and your seasoning, and stir away for just 10 minutes. Chop up all your taco toppings in a separate container; you don’t want the cool lettuce and tomatoes getting soggy due to the heat from the turkey. Grab a bag of taco shells and you can have taco Tuesday any day Monday through Friday!
- Salmon: A wonderful alternative to red meat, fish provides you with omega 3s and a nice little switch up to the norm. Baking it only takes about 20 minutes! If interested in marinating for a sweeter taste, try letting it soak in maple syrup for 30 minutes before cooking. Goes great with rice and veggies or cut up and tossed in a salad! Be careful with leftovers; fish doesn’t stay good for as long so don’t make too much at once.
All 5 of these dishes can be used as a starting point to kick off your meal prep habits. The great thing about getting all of your cooking done at once is that you’ll have more time to enjoy it later on. Once you get the hang out it, you’ll be a professional in no time and on your way to a healthier you!