Payton Reed

Meal-Prep Ideas

Payton Reed
Meal-Prep Ideas

Why I Meal Prep

When you think of a “meal-prepper” you probably think of someone who is super ripped, only eats plants and probably does yoga every morning while drinking matcha coffee or celery juice. You probably assume that person is super health-conscious and that is why they prep all their meals in advance.

I can truthfully say the only reason I prep is because it saves me time during the week. I work several jobs and when I say I don’t have time to cook a meal every night or prepare a lunch every morning, I truly mean that. If I don’t prepare over the weekend then my weeks are really stressful in the evenings. It puts me in a bad mood, makes me grumpy with my husband and puts me behind with my side-hustles.

So: I PREP! And it makes me life SO MUCH EASIER during the week. I swear. When I am out of town on the weekend and can’t prep my food, it throws me off for days. I will normally cook like 5 days worth of food on Sunday afternoon. It seems weird at first, but it is such a huge help once you get used to it. Here a few of my “go-to” meals that are easy to prep and pretty healthy too!

Breakfast: Casserole Bites

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This is BEYOND simple and so easy to throw in a ziplock for breakfast in the car, at work or at school. Not to mention there are a billion ways you could do this recipe.

Here’s what you need:

Muffin Tin

Olive Oil Spray

Breakfast Sausage

Eggs

Bell Peppers

Salt and Pepper

Here’s what you do:

Spray the entire tin with olive oil

Brown the sausage

While the sausage is browning, chop the bell peppers into small pieces (broccoli florets are also yummy in this)

Fill the bottom of each hole of the muffin tin with sausage (I don’t know what else to call it besides a hole…smh)

Crack an egg into each hole

Sprinkle the bell peppers over the top

Add salt and pepper on top

Bake on 350 for about 20-25 minutes, checking regularly

When the yoke hardens and they look somewhat rubbery (sounds delish right?) then they are done!

I eat 2 of these for breakfast, so if you are cooking for 2 people, you’ll want to make a double batch. It is so easy and doesn’t take much time, especially if you have 2 muffin tins! I have done these with pulled chicken and buffalo sauce and it was really good and different. I have also done ground beef, salsa and black beans for a southwestern take on it. Both were awesome. Be creative with it and use what you like!

Lunch: Salad and Sides

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I think one of the easiest things to make for lunch is a salad. There’s very little prep involved and you can make it different every week when you have several dressings, veggies and meats. I always add something on the side to make sure I get full. This salad I am going to tell you about is somewhat Mexican-style.

Here’s what you need:

Mixed greens

Salsa

Chicken tenders or breasts (could also use beef and do it fajita style)

Crock pot

Taco seasoning

Instant brown rice (I use Uncle Ben’s)

Sweet Potatoes

Slap Ya Mama Seasoning

Here’s What You’ll Do:

Cover the chicken in taco seasoning and place it in the crock pot (add a can of corn if you want)

Pour salsa (about a cup) all over it

Add salt and pepper on top

Cook for 4 hours

At hour 3, open the lid and use 2 forks to pull the chicken

When it is done, store it in its own container (it will make the lettuce soggy if you store them together)

Slice the sweet potato into skinny pieces

Spray cookie sheet

Place pieces on cookie sheet and sprinkle with Slap Ya Mama (or salt and pepper)

Bake on 400 for 20 minutes

Cook instant rice in microwave

Add black beans if you want more flavor on your salad

Portion out lettuce, rice and sweet potatoes into container

Add chicken on top of salad each morning before packing lunch (add shredded cheese for extra flavor)

Put small amount of salsa in container to use as salad dressing

When you prepare a large amount of the shredded chicken, you can use it for other things all week. I will use it to make quesadillas for hunter or to put into a bowl over rice and black beans and corn. It has a great Mexican flavor. I love having it in the fridge to grab and use when I need a quick fix.

Dinner: Stuffed Chicken

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This is the BEST dish to impress someone with “your cooking” but it is seriously so easy. It is a good healthy option but you still feel like you are indulging because it is so yummy. I saw this on Pinterest years ago and it was so simple that I just remembered it and recreated it. It is super easy to get the huge pack of chicken breasts at the grocery store and have them to eat on all week. I made 10 last time lol. We obviously don’t mind eating the same thing throughout the week! Simplicity is key at this point in our lives.

Here’s what you need:

Large Chicken breasts

Fresh spinach

Beefsteak Tomatoes

Provolone Cheese

Couscous or Rice

California Blend Veggies (I get the frozen bag)

Garlic Salt

Salt and Pepper

Here’s what you’ll do:

Spray a cookie sheet

Butterfly the chicken breasts

Add garlic powder and salt and pepper to the inside

Slice tomatoes

Add spinach, tomatoes and one slice of cheese to the inside

Fold the chicken back over

Drizzle olive oil on the outside and top with salt and pepper

Bake on 350 for 50 minutes to an hour, depending on how many chicken breasts you have

Check with a thermometer regularly to avoid overcooking

Cook couscous or rice in microwave or stove top

Drizzle olive oil over veggies and add salt and pepper

Bake veggies on cookie sheet at 350 for 30 minutes or until tender

Store it all!

When you are reheating your chicken, it is best to warm it in the oven for about 10 minutes to avoid drying it out in the microwave. I love to have this on hand for dinners during the week and I really look forward to eating it! It only takes about 10 minutes to prepare the chicken and veggies so it is a really convenient option when you are strapped for time.

Snacks

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Quick and easy go-to snack items in my pantry and fridge are:

Oikos Triple Zero Greek Yogurt (add granola and blueberries for something extra)

Premier Protein Shakes

Turkey Jerky

Rice Cakes with Almond Butter or Laughing Cow Cheese

Almonds

Instant Rice or Quinoa

Guacamole/Salsa and Tortilla Chips

Lily’s Dark Chocolate Chips (made with Stevia!) and perfect to cut the sweet craving

Hummus with Sliced Bell Peppers for Dipping

I hope this little glimpse into my lack-luster meal prepping helps you with your day-to-day life the way it has helped me. I am no nutritonist, but I have found that I feel better and have more strength and energy when I prepare healthy-ish meals and snacks in advance. What is it that they say? If you fail to plan then you plan to fail!? Yeah. I think they are totally right, whoever “they” is!

Be sure to tag me if you try any of the recipes. I love seeing y’alls creations!

Xo,
Payton