I cook my own lunches to work and bring my snacks so I am ‘prepared’ when I get hungry. To me there is nothing worse than being hungry. At the beginning I cooked my meals one day ahead. That meant I was cooking basically every evening for my next day. Not a good idea! After the whole day your really don’t have the energy to prepare your meals and cook. That is why I started to prep my lunches ahead, for a few days at least. I do that usually on Sundays because I have a bit more time.
I was thinking of writing a short ‘how to’ meal prep for a long time and here it goes – also included some new recipes and some of my photos of my meal preps that I did in the past months. Nothing fancy, just really the way I do it – no systematic tupperware selection and positioning of the food as you see it on Instagram 😉
What do I do? Let’s go ‘step by step’:
1. Prepare your meat (if you eat it of course!):
I prepare my chicken or turkey filets in advance. Cut them in small pieces, season them with a bit of salt, garlic, curry or sth you like. I prepare it on a stove, nothing special. Usually I have meat 3-4 times a week therefore around 400g of meat. You save A LOT of time with preparing this in advance. Because when you prepare your lunch, you can just put some salad, spinach, olive oil and you’re good to go if you are really in a hurry. A perfect way to prep your meat are these Chicken meatballs, I love them!
I always prepare my veggies in advance because i save a lot of time during the week, because they are ready and no cutting, steaming and baking is needed. I usually steam them or bake them in the oven. in my other post I explained what veggies I usually use. Frozen veggies are also a great thing! Pop them in water, 10 minutes and finished!
Ok, we have veggies and meat ready – half way through. If I have tuna for lunch I use canned one so just stack on them. I have fish usually for dinner so I prepare that the evening I want to eat it!
I eat every 2-3 hours that means at least 2 snacks a day. I usually have some nuts, quark / cottage cheese, greek yogurt or protein shake. That all is already ‘prepared’ and I just grab them when I want it. I also love the combination of carrots and peanut butter! Sounds weird? Well it is not! It’s a perfect snack. I cut some carrots in advance and store them in the fridge until I feel like munching on them! A good snack are also cooked eggs so cook a few of them and have them prepared in the fridge when you feel like putting them on your salad or munching on them besides your veggies. I also love to bake some protein bars like this cinnamon apple bar or last week I made this low carb zucchini quiche! Perfect quick snack full of protein and veggies. I got the recipe here and I changed up a bit the ingredients.
For all my English readers here is the Recipe of Zucchini low carb quiche:
Ingredients: makes 6 servings
- 2 zucchinis
- 1 egg white
- 3 eggs
- 1 TBS (60g) of quark / cottage cheese of greek yogurt
- 3/4 cup milk of choice
- 125g of light mozzarella (grounded – I just blended it)
- seasoning: garlic, salt, parsley, basil
Blend one zucchini and put it in a cloth over a strainer. Leave it there until you make everything else. Mix the eggs, egg whites, quark, milk and seasoning. Cut the other zucchini so you get little circles. Line your baking dish with parchment paper an arrange your cut zucchini as a ‘base’ for the quiche. Strain the blended zucchini so you get rid of the excess water and add it into the milk and egg mixture. Also add half of the grounded mozzarella cheese. Pour the mixture over the zucchini base in the baking dish and put the leftover mozzarella cheese. Heat the oven on 160 Degrees Celsius (320 F) and bake for 50 minutes!
Macros per serving: 100 kcal: 4g of carbs, 5 g of fat, 10g of protein
Beside that I love to cut up some fruit so I have it on hand for my breakfast, smoothies or snacks.
You can also prepare your ‘trail mix’ of nuts – mix some almonds, hazelnuts, cashews maybe some cranberries and arrange them in bags so you just grab them in the morning!
I have a sweet tooth and I prepare a small dessert for after lunch or for a snack because that way I have something healthy and sweet to munch on. This is optional and for me this takes most of my time when preparing my meals in advance but that is just because I like to experiment and bake. I love my avocado cookies, Almond and peanut butter balls, chocolate cookies or just some dark chocolate. My last find are these amazing chocolate moist brownies! O my God – they are amazing! You can have them for snack or dessert – so head over here to find the recipe! I changed up the ingredients a bit but nothing drastic (just lowered the amount of cacao in half and added one scoop of protein powder more).
5. Bread and muffins
I don’t eat a lot of bread. If I eat it then I prepare it myself. I also do that during my weekends so I have it throughout the week. These spelt – cottage cheese buns are perfect! Another recipe for my bread is coming soon! Muffins are also a lot on my list of my meal prepping, especially these peanut butter ones!
6. Side dishes
Rice, quinoa, chickpeas, pasta, sweet potato. You can cook that in advance also! I did that for some time but now I just cook it in the evening because it depends what do I like for the next day. If you are the kind of person that can eat rice every day, then do a batch of rice or risotto in advance and you are good to go!
And that is about it! I prepare my breakfast in the morning because I mostly eat oatmeal or one of my smoothies! I store everything in the fridge and it will last for a few days. I have my prepared meat at least 4 days without any problems and my veggies for about 3 days.
Hope this helps with your meal prepping! I love it and it saves so much time! You just have to get used to it. It takes about 1,5 hours of your time to prepare your lunches for the whole week! It is definitely worth it!