food-prep-simplywanderfull

Homemade Meal Prep Recipes & Strategy

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Simply Wanderfull

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In the hustle and bustle of life, finding the time to prepare healthy, balanced meals can often feel like a daunting task. However, with the right strategies and recipes, nourishing your body with wholesome ingredients becomes not only achievable but enjoyable.

In this article we will delve into the realm of prepped meal recipes, focusing on healthy home cooked meals that are portion controlled and will also include a nutritious breakfast granola recipe made with nuts and seeds to kickstart your day.

My inspiration for writing this article began when my daughter went off to University. With her busy University life and studies I knew it would be hard for her to eat well. This brought on the whole meal prep idea. 

I would make her my home cooked meals and by using smaller sized containers I would portion out 1/3 sections for a protein, vegetable and a grain. Nicely balanced.  Recently, my brother approached me to help him with his diet and for losing weight. I decided to start making him the same prepped foods. It has been 2 months and he has lost 50 lbs! This was incredible and I am so proud of him and happy to help. 

I am excited to share my strategies and recipes here with you today. 

food-prep-simplywanderfull

Plan Your Strategy:

In order to execute this prepped meal plan we are going to need a strategy for preparing your meals and a good grocery list. 

Step 1: Making The Time

To begin, you will need to set a day when you have at least 3-4 hours of your time to cook your meals. This may seem like a daunting task although you will be so grateful to yourself for taking the time to make all these great meals in advance! Try to get your groceries the day before you plan to do your cooking. It may feel to overwhelming to do it all in one day.

Step 2: Get The Right Containers

I highly recommend purchasing the right sized containers. Finding the right container size is essential for portion control. I love the containers from Dollarama. The Food Storage Containers are 25.3 oz. /750ml. They are microwave safe, BPA and freezer safe. They come in packs of 10. I also like to buy small dipping cups for sauces or dips.

Step 3: Make Your Menu and Grocery List

Make a list of meals that you are going to make and then create a grocery list of all of the items that you will need. I recommend picking 3-4 different protein recipes, 1 grain recipe and then 3 vegetable recipes. When you portion out the container you will be able to mix and match your meals. 

prep essentials:

It is a great idea to have your Kitchen appliances ready to go. I absolutely love these appliances listed below and use them all of the time. For the recipes listed here you will use the following:

  1. łnstant Pot 
  2. Rice Maker
  3. Heavy Braiser Cast Iron Pan
  4. Dutch Oven
meal-prep-simplywanderfull

here is how the meal prep will look:

Now that you have your containers, your appliances and are now  focused and ready to do this we need to make the plan. Here’s how your meal prep day might look like:

Your container will be portioned into 1/3 sections: Protein, Grain, Veggie

Here are the 4 protein recipes that we will make:

  1. Smoky Pulled Chicken
  2. Indonesian Ground Chicken 
  3. Tandoori Chicken
  4. Maple Dijon Herbed Salmon

Here may be your 2 grain options:

  1. Hashweh Rice
  2. Jollof Rice

Here may be your 4 Vegetable options:

  1. Easy Roasted Sweet Potato Cubes
  2. Easy Air Fryer Broccoli
  3. Roasted and Caramelized Sweet Potatoes
  4. Crispy Parmesan Carrots
portioned-containers-meal-preparation

meal prep Recipe Inspiration

Breakfast:

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day in my opinion! I almost always begin my dad with a bowl of plain yogurt and my homemade granola with a drizzle of honey over top! My homemade granola recipe is packed with goodness and nutrients to start the day off right! Some of the key ingredients in my granola include: Oats, chia seeds, ground flaxseed, almonds, pumpkin seeds, pecans, coconut, and dried fruits. It is coconut oil and maple syrup based. It is so delicious. In terms of meal prep, this recipe gets a solid “A”. One batch of my granola recipe will last me approximately 3 weeks. It doesn’t take a ton of time to prepare the granola, I freeze it right away and actually eat it right from the freezer (believe me it tastes great!) and you have a healthy breakfast at your fingertips for weeks! This is an awesome meal prep recipe!

Recipe Link:

JoJo’s Homemade Granola Recipe

Protein Recipes:

I absolutely love this recipe for Smoky Pulled Chicken and have this on my weekly menu rotation. It makes a huge amount and can be used in so many ways! Serve the pulled chicken in tacos, buddha bowls, lettuce wraps, on top of a Mexican salad or even on its own! I love using my recipe for Homemade Ranch Dressing drizzled over top. They pair so nicely together. 

Recipe Links:

Smoky Pulled Chicken Recipe

Homemade Ranch Dressing

Tandoori chicken is a classic Indian dish that is known for its succulent, smoky flavour and beautiful reddish-orange colour. To make this mouth-watering dish, marinate chicken in a mixture of yogurt, spices, and lemon juice for at least a few hours or overnight. I love to make a quick Herb Yogurt Sauce.

Recipe Link: 

Tandoori Chicken Recipe

Herb Yogurt Sauce Recipe

I just love this recipe for ground chicken. It is a simple recipe to make and full of flavour. The real secret here is in the Indonesian sauce. This Indonesian sauce is called Kepac Manis and is basically a sweet soy sauce that can be store bought or made with only two ingredients! The two ingredients are soy sauce and brown sugar. I love to serve this Indonesian ground chicken in a lettuce wrap, mixed into rice or in a taco salad! They are healthy and surprisingly very filling! 

Recipe Links:

Indonesian Ground Chicken Recipe

Sweet Soy Sauce: Kepac Mani Recipe

This is one of my most requested and best loved recipes. Everyone seems to love my bolognese meat sauce. I have tweaked it so many times over the years and now feel satisfied with my recipe. I use this sauce for pasta and even more for my lasagne. Both recipes freeze well and makes a large batch. Pasta or lasagne freezes well and therefore makes a great option for meal prep.

Recipe Link:

The Best Bolognese Meat Sauce Recipe

Salmon is a great recipe for a meal prep option. It is simple to make and takes very little time to bake. It is made with a sweet maple Dijon marinade with a fresh herb topper and then baked in the oven for 15-20 minutes. I love to buy a large salmon piece from Costco for this recipe because it makes approximately 10 portions for our prepped meals. It also freezes great and so this is a great meal prep recipe.

Recipe Link:

Maple-Dijon Salmon With A Garden Herb Topper

I just love this recipe for chili and has become a family favourite in our home. I make it with ground chicken for a healthier version. It is filling and makes a large amount. This is a great recipe for meal prep!

Recipe Link:

The Best Ever Chili Recipe

Have you ever tried Butter Chicken? It is packed with flavour and so easy to make. I love this recipe for meal prep because I can make it all in the instant pot and it makes a nice large portion. It makes approximately 10 meals in one batch! I love to serve butter chicken with a simple basmati rice that I make in the rice maker

Recipe Link:

Easy Instant Pot Butter Chicken

Nothing tastes more like home than a homemade meatloaf! This is a great dish that not only tastes great, but its good for your soul! I love this recipe for meal prep because it makes a good amount and freezes great! I love to serve my meatloaf with my grandma’s scalloped potato recipe! Trust me, this one is a winner!

Recipe Link:

Unbelievably Delicious Homemade Meatloaf Recipe

Grandma’s Scalloped Potatoes

Looking for a vegetarian recipe packed with protein? This Mutter Paneer recipe is a great choice! This is one of my most favourite meals. I absolutely love Mutter Paneer! Made with peas and paneer in a curry gravy sauce and served over plain basmati rice. I also love to serve this dish with grilled naan bread and a dollop of plain yogurt. This recipe makes a large amount and perfect for meal prep. It freezes well and makes a filling meal! If you haven’t tried Indian cuisine I would recommend giving this recipe a try!

Recipe Link:

Paneer Perfection: Get Hooked On Mutter Paneer

This has become my new favourite way of making chicken. I just love my vertical spit roasting pan for chicken. The pan is super simple to use and the result is the most flavourful chicken you could possibly make! It makes a large amount and I love to make chicken gyros, or shawarma with the meat! You can also serve on its own, over rice, or even in a salad. This is a great meal prep option! Healthy and freezes well.

Recipe Link:

Spit Roasted Chicken for Gyros or Shawarma

Grain Recipes:

Here’s a great tasty recipe for a delicious spiced rice. The recipe calls for golden raisins, and toasted almonds and delicious spices. You can eliminate these added ingredients and opt for a simple spiced rice. This recipe makes a large amount and pairs well with everything! I love this recipe for the prepped meals because it freezes well and tastes great!

Recipe Link:

Lebanese Spiced Rice: Hasweh

If you like a spicy rice, this one is for you! Jollof rice is a Nigerian rice is made with basmati rice, tomato stew, beef stock, onions, garlic, and ginger. It has a smoky spicy deliciousness that is so satisfying and delightful. Here is another great recipe for the meal prep as it freezes well and also tastes great!

Recipe Link:

How To Make Nigerian Jollof Rice

Here’s a great recipe for a rice alternative. This recipe is made with a larger size bulgar #3, vermicelli, onions, parsley, garlic and chicken stock. It resembles a rice pilaf however it is more healthy for you. The taste is slightly nutty, fresh, and very comforting. I love using this for the meal prep because it makes a large amount, tastes great and freezes well.

Recipe Link: 

Simple Bulgar With Vermicelli Pilaf

4. Rice Maker Basmati Rice recipe

I love this simple recipe for rice maker basmati rice. For some of the spicer meat and vegetarian dishes I like to accompany it with a simple plain basmati rice. If you do not own a rice maker, I highly recommend purchasing one. They are cheap to buy and really makes your rice perfect. It is also super simple to make and easy clean up!

Recipe:

Easy Basmati Rice Recipe

Here’s an easy rice recipe. You just need to pick up a jar of Goya Sofrito Tomato Cooking base. I cook up some basmati rice in the rice maker and then saute up some peppers and onions and this delicious sofrito sauce and then add in the cooked rice. Easy peasy and tastes delicious! This is another great recipe for meal prep as it freezes great!

Recipe Link:

Easy Sofrito Rice Recipe

Vegetable Recipes:

I just love this recipe for sweet potato cubes. They are not only healthy for you but also taste great! These sweet potato cubes are great for this meal prep because they freeze great, are nutritious and taste great!

Recipe Link:

Easy Roasted Sweet Potato Cube Recipe

Roasted or air fried broccoli is a great meal prep option. It is nutritious, quick to make and freezes great! If you do not have an air fryer you can also make this recipe in the oven. Any which way you should get some healthy broccoli in your weekly diet!

Recipe Link: 

Air fryer Broccoli Recipe

Say hello to your new favourite way to make sweet potatoes! This method is so simple and the result is a really tasty sweet potato! Slice in half, rub with oil and sprinkle salt and bake face down for 45 minutes. Its that easy! I love to drizzle honey over top at the end. It is so healthy for you, tastes great and freezes awesome. This is a great meal prep option.

Recipe Link:

Roasted and Caramelized Sweet Potatoes Recipe

4. Roasted Brussel Sprouts recipe

These garlic parmesan brussel sprouts are so tasty and really easy to make. This dish combines the earthy richness of roasted garlic with the nuttiness of parmesan cheese, perfectly complemented by crispy breadcrumbs and a hint of zesty lemon zest. This is another great recipe for meal prep because its easy to make, tastes great and freezes well!

Recipe Link: 

Garlic Parmesan Brussel Sprouts Recipe

Let's Get Prepping!

So there you have it, a list of meal prep ideas to get you started! Taking the time to make yourself or loved ones some homemade meals is so well worth it!

In today’s age, where eating out is so easy and convenient I believe that it is important to try and eat more homemade meals that are controlled by your ingredients more often than not. Just think a few hours of your time will grant you weeks of healthy convenient  meals! 

I would love to hear from you! If you have questions or are looking for more recipe ideas let me know! You can drop me a comment or email me at simplywanderfullblog@gmail.com. I would love to help you with your meal prep journey. Happy Cooking!

Additional Recipes

creamy-feta-sauce-simplywanderfull

Herb Yogurt Sauce

simplywanderfull
This high protein healthy herb yogurt sauce is a great dip for meats, and vegetables. Easy to make and good for you!
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 3/4 cup Plain Non-Fat Yogurt
  • 2 tbsp. Low-Fat Mayo
  • 1 tsp. Fresh Lemon Juice
  • Dried dill, sprinkle
  • Dried oregano, sprinkle
  • salt & pepper

Instructions
 

  • Mix all ingredients together and serve.
kepac mani

Sweet Soy Sauce: Kepac Manis

simplywanderfull
This simple 2-ingredient recipe is so versatile and can be useful in many dishes that need an umami twist.

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup Tamari or Soy Sauce
  • 1 cup Brown Sugar

Instructions
 

  • In a small saucepan over medium heat add the tamari and brown sugar. Stir until the sugar is dissolved approximately 3-4 minutes. Remove from the heat. Cool
    Store in an airtight container in the fridge. Use it on rice, ground chicken lettuce wraps, marinades and more.
basmati-rice-simplywanderfull

Rice Maker Basmati Rice Recipe

simplywanderfull
I just love this trusted recipe for making basmati rice in the rice maker. Let the rice maker do the work!
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 1.5 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or butter optional
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt optional

Instructions
 

  • Rinse the Rice:
  • Place the basmati rice in a fine-mesh strainer.
  • Rinse under cold running water until the water runs clear. This helps remove excess starch and prevents the rice from becoming sticky.
  • Add Ingredients to the Rice Maker:
  • Transfer the rinsed rice to the rice maker’s inner pot.
  • Add 1.5 cups of water for every 1 cup of rice. Adjust the quantity as needed, keeping the same ratio.
  • If desired, add olive oil or butter and salt to the rice for added flavor.
  • Cook the Rice:
  • Close the lid of the rice maker.
  • Select the “White Rice” or “Cook” setting, depending on your rice maker model.
  • Press the start button and let the rice cooker do its work.
  • Let It Rest:
  • Once the rice cooker switches to the “Keep Warm” mode, let the rice sit for about 10 minutes. This allows the steam to finish cooking the rice and makes it fluffier.
  • Fluff and Serve:
  • Open the lid and gently fluff the rice with a fork to separate the grains.
  • Serve hot as a side dish or as a base for your favorite dishes.
  • Tips:
  • For extra fragrant rice, you can add a few whole spices like a cinnamon stick, a couple of cloves, or a bay leaf to the rice before cooking.
  • If you prefer softer rice, you can increase the water to 1.75 cups for every 1 cup of rice.
  • For a more al dente texture, use 1.25 cups of water for every 1 cup of rice.

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