Your 2022 Meal Prep Guide: Healthy Dinners
Here at EVER BETTER, we are committed to helping our community members find simple and helpful ways to stay on track with their wellness goals! That’s why we are sharing new ideas for healthy meal prep each week in January. This week, we are focused on easy, make-ahead dinners that you can prep on Sunday and store in the fridge for fast reheating any night of the week.
How to Meal Prep for Dinner
There’s nothing quite like sitting down to enjoy a warm, home cooked dinner with your loved ones – or with yourself – after a long day! Weekly dinner prep is a great way to plan ahead for healthy meals that you can store in the fridge (or freezer) to grab and quickly reheat. This means you’ll spend less time in the kitchen each night and more time enjoying your meals. The key to successful meal prep is selecting healthy and versatile recipes that can be batched small enough for 1-2 people or large enough for the entire family.
Different ways to prep include:
- Pre-portioned meals in grab-and-go containers (be sure to consider how long your meals will last in the fridge based on the ingredients you choose, and plan ahead accordingly)
- Full meals cooked ahead of time, stored in the fridge, and easily reheated (most cooked meals will last all week when refrigerated properly)
- Large batch cooked meals that can be frozen in individual portions for simple grabbing, thawing, and reheating
With make-ahead dinners, you can mix things up, so you aren’t eating the exact same meal every night while ensuring your stored meals stay fresh and ready to heat. Depending on how many people you are feeding, you can batch cook a meal and then pre-portion into containers for each family member or store the larger batch to reheat and serve to a larger group. However, you prep, these meal ideas make sure you cover the most important aspects of a balanced meal: lean proteins, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and a little something to satisfy your sweet tooth!
Make Your Own Fajita Bowls
This make-ahead meal involves prepping a short list of ingredients and either storing them separately so you can create different pairings throughout the week or creating your combo and storing it in a single serve container. Here are some of the ingredients you can cook ahead of time, depending on your preferences and specific dietary needs:
- Cooked chicken breast with fajita seasonings
- Cooked shrimp with fajita seasonings
- Sauteed bell peppers and onions
- Cooked chickpeas, lentils, or black beans
- Cooked whole grain rice OR made-ahead cauliflower rice for lower carbs
When you are ready to serve, you can include fresh toppings such as salsa, sliced avocado, and plain Greek yogurt (a healthier substitute for sour cream). Then, treat yourself to something sweet, satisfying, and healthy for dessert like our Double Chocolate Delight! Protein Cookie Bites for some rich, chocolatey indulgence.
Crockpot Chicken & Veggies
This go-to weeknight meal can be made ahead in a crockpot in a variety of ways – so it will never get boring. Slow cooking lean chicken breasts with fresh veggies and spices results in tender, juicy chicken that can be quicky reheated in the crockpot any night of the week. The meat will be so tender after hours of slow cooking that you can also easily shred it for more versatility. Start by chopping your veggies and adding them to the crockpot. You can mix it up with onions, carrots, broccoli, or sweet potato.
Next, season boneless, skinless chicken breasts to your liking and place them on top of the veggies in a single layer and cook low and slow for 7-8 hours. If you like a little sauce with your chicken, you can add some chicken broth to the pot to drizzle over. For dessert, Don’t forget to include a sweet snack, like our new Chocolate Chip Love! Protein Cookie Bites.
Low Carb Casseroles
Casseroles are an amazing dinner that pack tons of flavor, cook quickly, and can be reheated easily. Traditional casseroles are often loaded with unhealthy fats and carbs, so it’s important to find recipes, or create your own, that fill you up with healthier ingredients. For example, you can swap pasta or other noodles with zucchini, other veggies, or whole wheat pastas. When it’s time to eat, you can serve individual casserole portions with a yummy, veggie-filled salad and top the meal off with EVER BETTER™ Protein Cookie bites to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Need some healthy casserole inspiration? Check out these recipes from Taste of Home.
With these simple, delicious, and nutritious dinner meal prep ideas, you can save time while staying on track with your healthy eating goals in the New Year! Be sure to stay tuned for next week’s meal prep installment which will be all about make-ahead snacks that you can grab from your fridge or take with you wherever you go.
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