Meal Prep: Recipes that are easy, healthy and on budget!

Happy Monday, everyone! Mondays are hard and you don't have to remind me twice. If you missed my recent post where I shared My Five Tips for Getting Organized, you'll get the low down that Sunday's are my days I set aside each week for grocery shopping and meal prepping. I like to start off my week with breakfasts and lunches ready to go when I'm heading out the door for work. 

When I started my new job at Amazon I soon realized my building was farther away from downtown Seattle's food options I was used to. This gave me the opportunity to re-evaluate how much money I was spending on a weekly basis on breakfast + coffee, lunch and often times happy hour after work! Let's just say, it got pricey. Ridiculously pricey. I decided to be adamant on weekly meal prepping healthy breakfasts and lunches so I wouldn't be tempted to spend money on UberEats or other expensive lunch options. So far, I'm on week five of solid meal prepping my breakfasts and lunches and I have to say, it's been so much easier and more enjoyable than I anticipated! Having meals prepped eliminates so much stress in the mornings if I'm running late because I can just grab and go! It also gives me an excuse to seek out healthy meal options by planning what sort of meals I want to try each week.

While I'm constantly adding to my recipes to try list, I've decided to share my go-to breakfast recipe and my Top 4 lunch recipes that are easy to make, full of healthy ingredients and on budget! I'll be sure to share more of my favorite recipes in upcoming posts. 


Basic food prep things you need:

  • Mason jars - I purchased a pack of 6 from Fred Meyer. Mine have handles which are nice for gripping especially if I'm walking to a meeting and eating at the same time.
  • Tupperware - glass or plastic, it is your preference, but I love buying stackable tupperware that is easy to wash and re-use each and every week! I bought a variety pack consisting of circular sizes, larger rectangle sizes and smaller square sizes for sauces/liquids. 
  • Utensils - I pack flatware that I can wash and reuse every week - fork, knife and spoon on the daily! 
  • A reusable tote bag - a sturdy bag to use for your meal prep haul.

BREAKFAST //

PARFAITS - I prep this breakfast every single week. I'm sure I'll eventually get burnt out and want to try something new but for now, I am sold on this recipe! Here's what you need to make your breakfast parfaits + how you make them!

  Picture found on Pinterest.

Picture found on Pinterest.

Things you need: 

  • Granola 
  • Chia Seeds
  • Frozen fruit (I get a variety from Trader Joe's: mango, pineapple, raspberries, blueberries)
  • Greek yogurt (I buy a variety of 5, 6oz cups from TJ's)
  • Milk (you can also substitute this with almond or soy milk!)
  • Mason jar
  • Spoon

How to prep:

  1. Place 1/3 cup of granola into a mixing bowl
  2. Add your full 6oz cup of Greek Yogurt to the mixing bowl
  3. Add 1 teaspoon of Chia Seeds
  4. Add 2 tablespoons of milk
  5. Stir everything together until fully mixed
  6. Spoon 3/4 of the mixture into a mason jar 
  7. Using your 1 teaspoon measure, spoon frozen fruit into the mason jar leaving a little room at the top 
  8. Top off your mason jar with the last little bit of your yogurt mixture 
  9. Screw the lid onto the mason jar and place in the refrigerator to chill.

* On average, prepping all five mason jars takes me about 15 minutes. These breakfast parfaits keep for about five days, so you're golden for five full days of work meal prepped breakfasts! 


LUNCH //

GREEK CHICKEN SALAD

Things you need (quantity is up to you!) 

  • Cucumber 
  • Feta cheese 
  • Tzatziki sauce (I get mine from Trader Joe's)
  • Tomato
  • Red onion 
  • Quinoa 
  • Chicken breast
  • Lemon

How to prep:

  1. Prep the chicken breast. I prefer baking my chicken breast in the oven with spices. Once chicken is cooked, chop up into small, cubed pieces and distribute into tupperware (I prep five tupperware at a time).
  2. Chop up cucumber, tomato, red onion and combine in a mixing bowl with salt, pepper (to taste) and a dash of olive oil. Distribute veggies into tupperware with chicken.
  3. Prep the quinoa. Once cooked, distribute into tupperware with chicken and veggies. 
  4. Sprinkle feta cheese (to taste) on your prepped tupperware bowls.
  5. Drizzle lemon juice over your prepped tupperware bowls.
  6. Bring tzatziki sauce with your prepped meals and apply on top of bowls *You want to apply this the day of because it can make your salad soggy if applied sooner.
  7. Salads taste better heated up but are also fine to eat cold! 

CAPRESE PASTA SALAD

Things you need (quantity is up to you!) 

  • Gnocchi or whole wheat pasta
  • Mozzarella cheese balls
  • Basil
  • Olive oil + Balsamic
  • Cherry tomatoes

How to prep:

  1. Prep/cook the gnocchi or whole wheat pasta. Once cooked place in a bowl to chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour. Once chilled, distribute into tupperware.
  2. Chop cherry tomatoes in half and distribute in tupperware.
  3. Chop the mozzarella cheese balls in half and distribute in tupperware.
  4. Prep a small tupperware of olive oil and balsamic to use as a dressing (if wanted).
  5. Bring basil with you to place on meal the day of, it will get soggy if applied sooner.

TACO BOWLS

Things you need (quantity is up to you!) 

  • Refried beans or black beans
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Cherry tomatos
  • Quinoa
  • Tortilla chips (optional)
  • Onion
  • Kale or spinach
  • Cilantro
  • Avocado
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Lime
  • Chicken (optional)

How to prep:

  1. If you want meat with this dish, I recommend chicken breast. I prefer baking my chicken breast in the oven with spices. Once chicken is ready, chop up into small, cubed pieces and distribute into tupperware (I prep five tupperware at a time).
  2. Prep the quinoa. Once cooked, distribute into tupperware with chicken. 
  3. Add your beans to quinoa/chicken tupperware.
  4. Prep your guac - avocado with salt, pepper and a dash of lime juice. Place guac in a separate tupperware. 
  5. Chop up the tomatoes in half, dice the onion and combine in a mixing bowl. Add a few pinches of cilantro (if wanted). Keep your veggies in a separate, smaller tupperware.
  6. Keep your shredded cheese in a separate, smaller tupperware.
  7. Keep your spinach or kale in a separate, smaller tupperware.
  8. Keep your tortilla chips in a separate, smaller tupperware. 
  9. Once at work, heat up the beans/quinoa/chicken single tupperware then add your veggies, guac, spinach or kale and cheese on after that! Shred tortilla chips on top or use them for dipping if you choose. 

PITA WRAPS

Things you need (quantity is up to you!) 

  • Pita (whole wheat)
  • Garbanzo beans
  • Rice Orzo Pilaf (from Trader Joe's)
  • Cucumber
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Red onion
  • Kalamata olives
  • Mushrooms
  • Hummus
  • Feta cheese

How to prep:

  1. Prep the rice orzo pilaf and place in a separate, tupperware.
  2. Chop up the cucumber into small pieces, cut cherry tomatoes in half, cut mushrooms in half, dice the red onion. Mix up the veggies and add the olives. Put them into a tupperware. 
  3. Place the garbanzo beans into a tupperware.
  4. Bring the tupperware, pita, feta cheese and hummus to work. Once there, you can prep the rest! Open up your pita and fill it with the rice orzo pilaf, veggie medley, garbanzo beans and top it off with feta cheese and hummus!