By the time the middle of the week rolls around it can be hard to come up with innovative ideas for dinner. This cheat sheet will help you out with meal ideas from Monday to Friday that can be put together in advance so you never have to worry about cooking.
For many people, weeknights are filled with work, errands, and other obligations that leave little time or energy for cooking a nutritious meal. As a result, it can be tempting to opt for unhealthy and convenient fast food or takeout options, which can take a toll on both physical and mental health. This is where meal prepping comes in as a useful solution.
Meal prepping involves preparing and portioning out meals in advance, usually at the beginning of the week, so that they can be easily reheated and enjoyed throughout the week. This practice can save time, money, and energy, while also providing the opportunity to have more control over what is consumed.
By taking the time to meal prep, individuals can ensure that they are consuming healthy and balanced meals, while also avoiding the temptation of unhealthy food choices. It also allows for more flexibility in a busy schedule, as meals can be easily packed and brought to work or other activities.
Try these 5 meal prep options to save time on your weeknights:
1. Chicken And Veggie Stir Fry
This meal prep idea is perfect for those who are short on time but still want to eat healthy. Start by cutting up some chicken breast into small pieces and cooking it in a pan with a little bit of olive oil. Once the chicken is cooked through, set it aside and add some chopped vegetables to the same pan. You can use any vegetables you like, but some good options include bell peppers, onions, carrots, and broccoli. Cook the vegetables until they're tender, then add the chicken back in and stir everything together.
Divide the stir fry into individual meal prep containers and you're good to go! This meal is high in protein and low in carbs, making it a great option for anyone looking to lose weight or build muscle.
2. Slow Cooker Mutton Stew
Another easy meal prep idea is slow cooker mutton stew. This hearty meal is perfect for colder months and can be made in bulk, so you'll have plenty of leftovers for the week. Start by browning some mutton stew meat in a pan, then transfer it to a slow cooker. Add in some chopped vegetables, such as carrots, potatoes, and onions, along with some water or stock and seasonings. Let the stew cook on low for 8-10 hours, then divide it into individual meal prep containers.
This meal is high in protein and fibre, making it a filling and satisfying option for busy weeknights.
3. Chana Masala
Chana masala is a vegetarian dish made with chickpeas, onions, tomatoes, and a blend of spices. It's easy to make in bulk and can be stored in the fridge for several days. Start by sautéing some chopped onions in a pan with some oil. Once the onions are translucent, add in some diced tomatoes and cook until they're soft. Then, add in some drained and rinsed chickpeas, along with a blend of spices, such as cumin, coriander, and garam masala. Let everything simmer together for a few minutes, then divide into individual meal prep containers.
Chana masala is a delicious and healthy vegetarian option that's perfect for lunch or dinner.
4. Chicken Tikka Masala
Chicken tikka masala is a classic Indian dish that's loved by many. It's a creamy and flavorful dish that's easy to make in bulk and stored in the fridge for several days. Start by marinating some chicken breast in a blend of yoghurt and spices, such as cumin, coriander, and turmeric. Let the chicken marinate for at least 30 minutes, then grill or bake it until it's cooked through.
In a separate pan, sauté some chopped onions and garlic in some oil, then add in a can of diced tomatoes and a blend of spices, such as garam masala, paprika, and cumin. Let everything simmer together for a few minutes, then add in some heavy cream and let it cook for a few more minutes. Add in the cooked chicken and let it simmer in the sauce for a few more minutes. Divide the chicken tikka into portions with rice and store in the fridge.
5. Quinoa Salad
For a lighter meal prep option, quinoa salad is a great choice. Start by cooking some quinoa according to the package instructions, then let it cool. In a separate bowl, mix together some chopped vegetables, such as cucumber, cherry tomatoes, and bell peppers. Add in the cooked quinoa and toss everything together. For the dressing, mix together some olive oil, lemon juice, and honey. Drizzle the dressing over the quinoa salad and divide it into individual meal prep containers.
This meal is high in fibre and antioxidants, making it a healthy and satisfying option for busy weeknights.