It’s the New Year: time to embrace meal prep. Like a third of Americans, I’m using the occasion to help me clean up my eating habits. One of the hardest parts of changing the way we eat is figuring out what to eat, and having it ready when hunger is coloring your judgement. When forging a new eating habit, planning is key. It’s easier to eat a salad, for example, when there’s a container of sliced chicken breast, roasted veggies, a pile of greens and an adorable container of delicious homemade dressing ready to pop into my lunch bag.
Half of the twenty one meals that happen every week are weekday breakfasts and lunches. What a perfect way to tackle half of the job. Weekday breakfast has to be quick and nutritious. Lunch has to work at least as hard as you do, and also be portable. You know those fabulous salad places that make it seem so easy? Envision the simplicity and availability of that in your own fridge. That’s what I’m aiming for. So, these recipes are very simple, healthyish and straightforward dishes like tender, poached chicken, perfectly hard boiled eggs, flavorful homemade dressings, roasted veggie chips, and 4 colorful veggie soups in one.
The foods themselves, though you can eat them as is, can be easily dressed up to become other things. For example, the chicken can be part of a salad, tucked into a taco or fanned out on a grain bowl. The soups can be garnished or adapted to fit other flavor profiles. The eggs can be eaten with salt and pepper or combined with the dressing to make a lower fat egg salad.
If you love to cook, you may have already made versions of these foods, but having them all in one place will hopefully give you a break from all the decision-making. If you prep all of them on a Sunday they will let you coast through your weekdays and leave room for a little creativity for dinner. Adjust serving amounts to suit the number of people you are feeding. Each of the components is adaptable, so after four weeks, by the time you’re bored, the habit of planning and prepping may have already taken root! At that point, expand, play, and adapt.