As a busy working woman, I often found myself struggling to maintain a healthy diet. After a long day at work, the last thing I wanted to do was spend hours in the kitchen preparing a meal. I found myself reaching for quick and easy options like fast food or frozen dinners, which left me feeling sluggish and unwell.
But one day, I decided enough was enough. I knew that my body deserved better than a diet of processed foods and empty calories. So, I set out to find healthy meal prep ideas that would work for my busy lifestyle.
The first thing I did, was to invest in some good quality food storage containers. I knew that if I wanted to make meal prep a habit, I needed to have the right tools on hand. I also stocked up on some basic ingredients like brown rice, quinoa, chicken, vegetables, and fruits.
Meal prep has been a game-changer for me. By dedicating a few hours on the weekend to prepping meals for the week, I have saved time and reduced stress during the workweek. I no longer have to worry about what to eat for lunch or dinner or spend extra money on takeout.
Some of the Best and Healthy Meal Prep Ideas are mentioned below for you to enjoy.
Healthy Meal Prep Ideas:
Meal Prep Ideas for Healthy Breakfasts
Having healthy breakfasts in morning to kick start the day is highly important for both body and mental health. Since, in morning, we get a gap of around 8-10 hours over our last meal, nourishing our body with a healthy food is very much important. Some of the best and quick morning healthy breakfasts are mentioned below for you to try.
Overnight oats are a perfect breakfast meal prep option. Overnight oats are not only convenient, but they’re also a great source of fiber, protein, and healthy fats to keep you full and energized throughout the morning. Give this recipe a try and see for yourself how easy, healthy and delicious breakfast can be!
Meal Prep Recipes for Overnight Oats:
• 1/2 cup rolled oats
• 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (or any other milk of your choice)
• 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
• 1 tbsp. chia seeds
• 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
• 1-2 tbsp. honey or maple syrup (optional)
• Toppings of your choice (e.g. fresh fruit, nuts, seeds, etc.)
- In a jar or container with a lid, combine the oats, almond milk, Greek yogurt, chia seeds, vanilla extract, and sweetener (if using). Stir everything together until well combined.
- Place the lid on the jar/container and refrigerate it overnight (or for at least 6 hours).
- In the morning, take the jar/container out of the fridge and give it a stir. Add your desired toppings and enjoy!
You can also prepare multiple servings of overnight oats at once by using a larger container and adjusting the ingredients accordingly. This recipe is versatile and customizable, so feel free to experiment with different flavours and toppings to find your favourite combination.
Overnight oats are not only convenient, but they’re also a great source of fiber, protein, and healthy fats to keep you full and energized throughout the morning. Give this recipe a try and see for yourself how easy and delicious breakfast can be!
Quinoa and Black Bean Bowls:
Quinoa bowls are a versatile and nutritious meal prep option. Quinoa is a great source of protein, Start by cooking some quinoa on the stovetop, then mix it with your favourite vegetables, proteins, and toppings. Some of my favourite combinations include roasted sweet potato, black beans, avocado, and salsa, or grilled chicken, broccoli, and a lemon tahini dressing., and you’ve got a tasty and healthy meal.
Meal Prep Recipes for Quinoa and Black Bean Bowls
• 1 cup quinoa
• 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
• 1/2 red onion, diced
• 1 bell pepper, diced
• 1 avocado, sliced
• 1 tomato, chopped
• 1 lime, cut into wedges
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 1 teaspoon cumin
• 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
• Salt, to taste
- Cook the quinoa according to the package instructions.
- While the quinoa is cooking, heat up the olive oil in a pan over medium heat.
- Add the diced onion and bell pepper to the pan and sauté until tender.
- Add the black beans to the pan and stir everything together.
- Season with cumin, chili powder, and salt to taste.
- Once the quinoa is done cooking, divide it into bowls.
- Top the quinoa with the black bean mixture.
- Add the sliced avocado and chopped tomato to the bowls.
- Squeeze a wedge of lime juice over each bowl before serving.
This dish is not only delicious, but also packed with nutrients like protein and fiber. Plus, it’s easy to customize by adding your favorite ingredients. Give it a try and enjoy!
Healthy Meal Prep Ideas for Lunch
Mason Jar Salads
Mason jar salads are the perfect lunchtime option for busy working women. They’re easy to prepare, portable, and customizable. To make them, start by layering your ingredients in a jar. Begin with your dressing at the bottom, followed by your grains, proteins, and vegetables. Top it off with your greens, then screw on the lid and store it in the fridge. When you’re ready to eat, simply give the jar a good shake and enjoy.
Meal Prep Recipes for Mason Jar Salads
• 1/4 cup balsamic vinaigrette
• 1/4 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
• 1/4 cup cucumber, chopped
• 1/4 cup red onion, chopped
• 1/4 cup bell pepper, chopped
• 1/4 cup chickpeas, drained and rinsed
• 2 cups mixed greens
• 1 quart-sized mason jar
- Begin by pouring the balsamic vinaigrette into the bottom of the mason jar.
- Next, layer the cherry tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, bell pepper, and chickpeas on top of the dressing in the order listed.
- Finally, fill the rest of the jar with mixed greens, making sure to pack them in tightly.
- Secure the lid tightly on the jar and store in the refrigerator until ready to eat.
- When you’re ready to enjoy your salad, simply shake the jar to distribute the dressing and pour the contents into a bowl.
This recipe is easy to customize by using your favorite salad dressing and vegetables. Plus, it’s perfect for meal prep and can be made ahead of time for a quick and healthy lunch on-the-go!
Grilled Chicken and Roasted Vegetables
I would typically make a grilled chicken salad with roasted vegetables. This grilled chicken and roasted vegetables recipe is a perfect meal for lunch or dinner, and it’s also great for meal prepping. Simply grill the chicken and roast the vegetables in advance, and store them in separate containers in the fridge. When you’re ready to eat, just heat up the chicken and vegetables in the microwave or oven, and you’ve got a healthy and delicious meal ready to go!
Meal Prep Recipes for Grilled Chicken and Roasted Vegetables
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced
- 1 yellow bell pepper, sliced
- 1 zucchini, sliced
- 1 yellow squash, sliced
- 1 red onion, sliced
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 2 tsp. dried Italian seasoning
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat your oven to 400°F.
- Season the chicken breasts with salt, pepper, and 1 tsp. of Italian seasoning on both sides.
- Heat a grill or grill pan over medium-high heat. Grill the chicken breasts for about 6-7 minutes on each side or until they are fully cooked.
- While the chicken is grilling, toss the sliced vegetables with olive oil, salt, pepper, and 1 tsp. of Italian seasoning.
- Spread the vegetables out on a baking sheet and roast them in the preheated oven for about 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they are tender and lightly browned.
- Once the chicken and vegetables are cooked, serve them together on a plate and enjoy!
Healthy Meal Prep Ideas for Dinner
Turkey chili or Lentil soup
For dinner, I would often make a big batch of turkey chili or lentil soup. These were hearty and nutritious meals that I could easily reheat throughout the week. I would make sure to pack some extra veggies on the side to round out my meal.
meal prep recipes – Turkey chili
Meal Prep Recipes for Turkey chili or Lentil soup
- 1 lb. ground turkey
- 1 can of kidney beans
- 1 can of black beans
- 1 can of diced tomatoes
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp. chili powder
- 1 tsp. cumin
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup of water
- In a large pot, brown the ground turkey over medium heat until fully cooked.
- Add the diced onions, red bell pepper, and garlic to the pot and sauté for a few minutes until they are softened.
- Add the chili powder and cumin to the pot and stir to combine.
- Drain and rinse the kidney beans and black beans and add them to the pot along with the can of diced tomatoes and 1 cup of water.
- Stir everything together and bring the chili to a simmer. Let it cook for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
Meal Prep Recipes for Lentil Soup
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 carrots, diced
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 cup of green lentils, rinsed and drained
- 4 cups of vegetable or chicken broth
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp. dried thyme
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a large pot, sauté the diced onion, carrots, and celery over medium heat until they are softened.
- Add the minced garlic to the pot and cook for another minute or so.
- Add the green lentils, vegetable or chicken broth, bay leaf, and dried thyme to the pot and stir to combine.
- Bring the soup to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer.
- Let the soup cook for about 30 minutes or until the lentils are tender.
- Remove the bay leaf and season the soup with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot.
I found that by taking the time to meal prep on Sundays, I was able to save myself a lot of stress and anxiety during the workweek. I no longer had to worry about what I was going to eat for lunch or dinner, and I knew that I was fueling my body with wholesome and nutritious foods.
If you’re a busy working woman like me, I encourage you to give meal prep a try. Start small by prepping just one or two meals a week, and see how it feels. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different recipes and ingredients to find what works best for you and your schedule. Your body will thank you for it in the long run.