One of the most common things I hear when it comes to eating healthy is that it takes too much time or it’s too expensive. While meal prepping can take more upfront planning before you head to the grocery store, it takes a lot less time to cook your own meals than you may think. You’ll also save a lot of money in the long run – eating out for 3 meals a day can add up quickly. On average, a day of eating out can cost you anywhere from $20-$40. A full week of groceries for my boyfriend and myself typically costs us $70. That comes out to about $5 a day per person for 3 meals. The costs savings of cooking at home should be enough to convince you that eating at home is best!
I don’t meal prep for the entire week – I find that after 2 days of eating the same dinner I start getting tired of it. Breakfast is a different story, I can eat the same bowl of oatmeal everyday or switch it up every now and then with some eggs and toast. So instead of meal prepping the typical grilled chicken breast, brown rice, and vegetables that has become the poster child for meal prepping healthy food, I choose 2 recipes a week – each recipe will yield enough for 2 nights of dinner that I eat from Monday-Thursday and Fridays are my treat-your-self and eat out nights. The weekends can be a little unpredictable, sometimes I have dinner plans with friends or family, or i’m not sure when I’ll be home so if I do end up cooking at home on a Saturday or Suday then I’ll make something quick like spaghetti and turkey meatballs or turkey burgers – both are quick and healthy (yes, pasta is good for you! we need carbs, don’t listen to any fad diet that told you to completely cut out carbs)
This week I started every morning with a bowl of hot oats, chia jam, and fruit on top:
To make this bowl of oatmeal, I start by using a serving size of rolled oats (40g, or 1/2 a cup) I then add a cup of water and heat it in the microwave for 2 minutes. I add a few dashes of cinnamon and a splash of almond milk and mix it all up. I then add about 2 tablespoons of chia jam (recipe below), a sliced banana, 1/2 a cup of strawberries and 1/2 a cup of blueberries. Sometimes I’ll add a spoonful of peanut butter or some granola – the toppings are endless! Add anything you want to customzie your oats however you’d like.
Chia jam recipe: 1 cup of frozen berries, 1 cup of hot water, 3 tbsp of chia seeds, a little bit of vanilla extract (I don’t measure this but i’d say about 1/2 a teaspoon). Stir and let sit in the fridge over night – in the morning you’ll wake up to berry chia jam!
For lunch, I made a simple stir fry. I started by throwing some chicken breast into the crockpot with chicken broth on high for 4 hours. Once the chicken was fully cooked, I shredded it in the crockpot – once it’s shredded you can remove it from the crockpot. I also had some leftover white rice from the night before (leftover rice is the best for stir fry) but you can make some white or brown rice if you don’t have leftovers.
I then added some olive oil and some minced garlic to a skillet. Once the garlic began to brown, I added my white rice and shredded chicken to the skillet and scrambled an egg on the side. Once the egg was cooked, I combined the rice, chicken, egg and added in some peas and carrots. I stirred all of the ingredients together until combined and top with a generous amount of soy sauce (I love soy sauce). This meal is filling, quick to make, and best of all it’s cheap!
For dinner I made this Chickpea Salad from SkinnyTaste and these Sheet Pan Chicken Pitas from PinchofYum. Both were soooo good and made the perfect combo – I will definitely be making both of these recipes again.
I find the majority of my lunch and dinner recipes from SkinnyTaste.com and PinchofYum, what are some great websites you use to find new recipes?