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How to Begin Your Meal Preps

CollegeQuest
Macmillan Employee
Macmillan Employee
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Calm the whirlwind of constant cooking with this simple recipe.

cq-post-banner-How-to-Begin-Your-Meal-Preps

Constantly cooking can get tiring and it may mean spending your money on new ingredients each night. An innovative way to save money and time is to begin meal prepping by cooking enough food one night to last you for the rest of the week. Meal preparation is a way to plan ahead to prepare breakfast, lunch, or dinner to eat whenever you are ready. Through this, you have the opportunity to know what you are specifically eating and how it was made -- and to save money every night!

Here are my tips to get started with meal prepping:

Choosing a specific day to plan and cook your meals is the most useful way to begin your week. I'd recommend preparing two different meals on a Sunday in case you don't want to eat the same food throughout the week. If you begin to prep your meals on Sunday, it's likely you will have enough food to last you for half of the week.

When choosing the meals you want to cook, you shouldn't immediately begin with new recipes that you haven't tried before. Start with recipes you know and love as a way to ease yourself into meal prepping. Also, think about the type of foods you typically eat. Are they healthy or could they use some improvement? Meal prepping is a great way to adjust to eating healthier meals over time.

When preparing and storing your meals, it isn't best to combine all your food in one container. You'll want to make sure you have storage containers that separate your carbs from your proteins and vegetables.
You can also prepare fruit snacks to bring along with you to class or to work. Carrying along fruit snacks to eat between meals will allow you to gain more energy throughout the day and will help you fight your cravings.

Are you ready to get started with meal prepping? Try two of my favorite recipes below!

Baked Lime Chicken Bowls*
Cook time: 20 mins
Total time: 20 mins

Chicken breasts are cubed and marinated in a chili-lime marinade and then baked and paired with quinoa and green beans for make-ahead healthy meals!

Ingredients:
2-3 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into cubes
6 Tbsp. olive oil
3 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
Juice from 2 limes
2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. kosher salt
Fresh cracked pepper, to taste

Instructions:
In a large resealable bag, combine olive oil, vinegar, lime juice, chili powder, paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
Cut chicken into cubes and add to marinade. Toss to coat. Marinate for 2 hours or up to overnight.
Preheat oven to 400ºF. Pour marinated chicken onto baking sheet and bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through
Serve with cooked quinoa and Lemon Green Beans Amandine or Roasted Brussels Sprouts (or other green vegetable). Enjoy!

*Nikolaus, Jen, "MEAL PREP BAKED LIME CHICKEN BOWLS." Yummy Healthy Easy, https://www.yummyhealthyeasy.com/meal-prep-baked-lime-chicken-bowls/. Accessed 11 January 2019.

Homemade Turkey Chili*
Prep Time:5 minutes
Cook Time:15 minutes
Total Time:20 minutes
Servings:4

Ingredients:
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 onion
2 garlic cloves
1 lb ground turkey
1 14-oz. can corn kernels
1 14-oz. can black beans
1 14-oz.can kidney beans
1 14-oz. can diced tomatoes
2 tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 tablespoon hot chili powder
1/2 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Instructions:
On a large cutting board, chop onion into small pieces.
Mince garlic cloves.
In a large pot, over a medium heat, add olive oil.
Add onion and garlic to the pot. Cook for 3 minutes.
Add ground turkey and break it up with a spoon. Brown the turkey for 5 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper.
Add diced tomatoes and tomato paste and stir.
Then add corn kernels, black beans, and kidney beans, stirring as you go.
Add chili powder, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper. Stir until all ingredients are mixed evenly.
Cover the pot with a lid and cook for 10 minutes.
Add shredded cheese and mix everything well.
Remove from heat and serve.

*Cozza, Steph, "Homemade Turkey Chili in Under 20 Minutes." Spoon University, https://spoonuniversity.com/recipe/20-minute-homemade-turkey-chili. Accessed 11 January 2019.


kristen-rossette-cq-authors-community-headshot.pngWRITTEN BY
Kristen Rossette
Cristo Rey New York

Kristen Rossette is a high school student at Cristo Rey New York graduating in 2020. She is currently an intern at Macmillan Learning in the Marketing department. Born and raised in Bronx, New York, you can usually find her in the city seeking opportunities in the fashion industry or for new places to eat!