There's nothing worse than getting home after a long day and having to worry about cooking dinner, especially if you've got multiple mouths to feed. You're tired, and you don't want to think about how to quickly turn the contents of your fridge into something that's edible and satisfying. That's where meal prep comes in.
This weekly ritual, which involves preparing a week's worth of meals in advance -- usually on Sunday -- boasts a whole bunch of benefits. First, it keeps your eating in check. You know that diet you've said you're going to start every Monday for the past three years? Prepping your meals in advance helps you stick to your plan and reduces temptation when you're starving and stuck on what to eat.
In addition to keeping your snacking on track, meal prep can keep your budget in line, as well. After all, there's no need to spring for a pricey sandwich at lunch when you bring your own tasty, self-prepared meal. Plus, with a set grocery list every week, those impulse buys are less tempting. And maybe most importantly, meal prep saves time. By cramming all of your food prep into Sunday, you free yourself up the rest of the week. When you come home from a long day, dinner will be waiting for you in the fridge. Ah, what a life.
So stock up on your Tupperware, and get ready to make your grocery lists. These nine delicious meal prep ideas are about to transform your hum-drum breakfasts, lunches and dinners.
Brewing a pot of coffee every morning is a big enough challenge without also trying to squeeze in breakfast before rushing out the door -- unless you have these guilt-free muffins pre-prepared. Simply throw seven ingredients, including protein-packed Greek yogurt, omega-3-rich chia seeds and fiber-filled oats, into a blender, pour the mixture into a muffin tin, top with your garnish of choice and bake for 20 minutes. The only thing you'll need to do in the morning is grab and go.
If you have a slight obsession with Chipotle like we do, then you'll love this carnitas burrito bowl. Hints of garlic, smoked paprika, green chilies and lime pack a flavorful punch, and to keep things interesting you can add whatever veggies you want, or even try this recipe with a different protein. Best of all, there's no charge for extra guac. Chipotle's got nothing on your kitchen.
Eating the same baked chicken every day gets old fast. To avoid getting burnt out, dress up your poultry with this mouthwatering teriyaki glaze made from crushed garlic, soy sauce and honey. Pair it with sautéed veggies and rice for a savory stir fry that that's healthy, but won't put your taste buds to sleep.
For some, the predictability of meal prep is comforting. For others, it's totally stifling. If you want to pre-make your meals, but still leave room for spontaneity, try this buffet-style meal prep. Between the fresh veggies, shredded chicken and multiple carb options, you've got a variety of meal combos to work with throughout the week. Mix things up even more by integrating seasonal favorites (hello, oatmeal pumpkin cookies).