Comprehensive Meal-Prep Guide for Beginners ( Plus Recipe Ideas)

Trust me when I say that if you don’t organize your kitchen and meal-prep over the weekend, this blog post won’t help you for long. Recipes help you temporarily and eventually it becomes a cumbersome job to look up for recipes every now and then. One can share 5, 10, or 20 recipes and still you would have to keep browsing for more. However, if I share with you easy organizing tips using which you can assemble a healthy meal in a matter of minutes, you need not reach out for the recipe before every meal. You can browse through for inspiration once a while but it doesn’t hold you back in cooking healthy meals every day. That’s what I aim to do with this blog post. Having said that, towards the end of this blog post I’ve given few of my favorite meals, which I end up making quite often for the simple reason that they are very quick to make if the meal-prep is done right. No fancy stuff, simple home-cooked healthy meals.

Most of us are usually running against time and last thing we want to do is to spend hours in kitchen. We are tempted towards the convenience of store bought fast food, which usually scores very low on the healthy meal scale. One of the changes I have made over the past few years is that, at least one of my meals in a day is an assembled meal – just put together stir fried veggies, noodles/rice and salad in a bowl, add some sauce or hummus or sour cream to make it a delicious and nutritious meal. Assembled meals are quick to put together, almost as fast as ‘fast food’ and gives you complete flexibility to adjust the macros (carbs, fats, proteins) of your meal bowl. Not sure if it gathers your fancy, but I totally love colorful meal bowls, nutritious and instagrammable!

If you haven’t yet read my previous post on meal-prep, you can find it here. It is one of the most popular posts of my blog.

My Meal-Prep Staples

  • Boil eggs, refrigerate, and use it throughout the week. Eggs are the main source of my protein intake so I boil 8-10 eggs and reheat the eggs as and when I want to consume. To reheat, place the egg in a deep bowl, pour boiling water over it, and let the egg sink in water. Wait for few minutes and then crack, peel and eat.
  • Boil ahead – chickpea, kidney beans, potatoes, noodles, keep them in fridge in airtight containers.
  • Cut, chop/ slice vegetables and salad things. Wash and dry all greens.
  • Make dips, hummus, chutneys, pasta sauce, salad dressings over the weekend. I usually make coriander chutney, basil pesto sauce, red-pepper dip, guac, and hummus and use it thru the week.
  • Set curd, make nut milk (coconut and almond are my fav) and make fruit yogurt.
  • Wash and marinate chicken/meat portions to be used up to Wednesday. Prepare another batch on Wednesday evening for rest of the week.
  • Shredded chicken and boiled soy nuggets have a permanent place in my weekly meal prep. Add these in any usual meal to level up the protein value. I love shredded chicken salads, so easy to make and easy to put together.
  • Make veg/chicken stew and store. It can be used in pasta, pulao and curries.

Meal-prep is not just limited to cooking. Meal planning for the week as to what all shall be cooked throughout the week and stocking up pantry with the ingredients is another key aspect of a meal-prep. Few hours spent doing meal-prep on a Sunday evening, goes a long way in having an organized week.

Recipe Ideas in pictures

Sautéed Chicken Breast – Using meal-prepped marinated chicken and salad greens
-Proteins – Marinated Chicken breast
-Carbs – Grains (Rice/Chapati/Wheat or Egg Noodles)
-Fats – Cook chicken and grains in ghee
-Assembled Salad (with or without dressing)

Marinated Chicken Breast with veggies – Can be prepped and stored in fridge for upto 2-3 days.

Pulao and Sautéed Paneer – Using meal-prepped veggies in pulao and salad greens
-Proteins – Paneer, Yogurt
-Carbs – Grains (Rice/Chapati/Wheat or Egg Noodles)
-Fats – Cook paneer and grains in ghee
-Assembled Salad (with or without dressing)

Simple lunch levelled up with an assembled fruit salad

Breakfast Jar – Meal-prepped this jar on a Tuesday night after dinner
-Proteins – Yogurt, Chia Seeds
-Carbs – Fruits

Learn fun ways to create meals in a Jar here.

Portable breakfast Jars

Breakfast Granola – Homemade granola
-Proteins – Yogurt
-Carbs – Granola, Fruits
-Add honey, maple syrup

Homemade Granola

Pepper spiced Chickpea – Using meal-prepped boiled chickpea
-Proteins – Chickpea
-Carbs – Grains (Rice/Chapati/Wheat or Egg Noodles)
-Fats – Cook chickpea and grains in ghee/ vegetable oil
*Tip – I added spinach in rice to level up the nutrient value of the meal. Spinach was cleaned during meal-prep Sunday.

Chicken Rolls – Using meal-prepped marinated peri-peri chicken and chopped veggies
-Proteins – Peri-Peri Chicken
-Carbs – Wheat Flat Bread
-Fats – Chicken sautéed in ghee
-Salad greens and veggies for the crunch in the roll

Kidney Beans Salad – Using meal-prepped boiled Kidney Beans and chopped veggies
-Proteins – Kidney Beans
-Carbs – almost none
-Salad veggies for the crunch ( Dressing – EVOO+Lemon+Herbs )

Chickpea Quinoa Salad – Using meal-prepped boiled chickpea and chopped veggies
-Proteins – Chickpea, Quinoa
-Carbs – Quinoa
-Salad veggies for the crunch ( Dressing – EVOO+Lemon+Herbs )

Breakfast Oats – Using meal-prepped overnight oats

Boiled Egg Sandwich and Salad – Using meal-prepped boiled eggs and salad greens
-Proteins – Eggs
-Carbs – Bread
-Added veggies in the egg sandwich for the crunch

Sautéed Fish with Peas Pulao – Using meal-prepped lemon marinated fish and chopped veggies for salad
-Proteins – Fish
-Carbs – Peas Pulao
-Assembled Salad (with or without dressing)

Sautéed Broccoli and Paneer – Using meal-prepped grated broccoli, salad and salad dressing
-Proteins – Broccoli , Paneer
-Carbs – Bread
-Fats – Broccoli and Paneer sautéed in ghee –Assembled Salad (with or without dressing)

There you have it, friends, I hope this article helps you take the steps you need today to improve your meal planning skills. If you need any more help, use the comment section to start a conversation. Also, join me on my Instagram page and follow me on the stories as I regularly post amazing recipes. Xo!

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