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  • Writer's picturelifeofandra

Meal Prep Ideas (3 Easy Recipes)

Updated: Dec 5, 2023

Meal prepping has definitely made my life easy and if you're not sure whether to try it or not, maybe give this a read. I try to cook at least three types of meal at once and with this combination, you have a bit of variety for your upcoming meals: potato, pasta and rice.

To begin with, try to make your life easy. All 3 recipes require onions so you can chop them all at once. The first and third recipe need chicken breast so dice it all at the same time and so on. This will reduce the time of preparation. Before you start cooking anything make sure you get out all the required ingredients from whatever cupboard/fridge/freezer they live in and put them on the table or countertop. It will save you from running around in circles looking for that tin of chopped tomatoes you forgot you needed to add.

1. Paella-style Rice

This is not a recipe for Traditional Spanish Paella, It's just an easy and tasty dish to make when you want to meal-prep.

You will need:

Paella-Style Rice with spinach or peas
  • 1kg chicken breast fillet, cut in 1-2 cm cubes

  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme

  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 300g rice

  • 400g chopped tomatoes

  • 2 onions, chopped

  • 100ml white wine

  • parsley to finish

  • 60g fresh spinach

  • 80g peas

  • 900g chicken or vegetable stock

  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed and diced

For this recipe, I use 2 frying pans so I can have a tiny variation when cooking for the week. One of the pans will have spinach and one will have green peas, I know it doesn't make that much of a difference to the whole thing when it comes to taste, it mostly just makes me feel better because they look different. So if you try this my way, please split all your ingredients in half, one for each pan.

Heat up one tablespoon of olive oil in each of the pans and add the chopped onion.

Leave it to soften for 3-4 minutes then add the rice (150g/pan), paprika and thyme.

After another 3-4 minutes add the white wine (50ml/pan) then stir for 2-3 minutes.

Add the chopped tomatoes and the garlic and leave to simmer for 3-4 minutes

Add the vegetable or chicken stock.

Cook for about 15 minutes, stirring every once in a while then add the fresh spinach to one pan and the peas to the other.

Cook for another 5 minutes and then add the parsley.

Leave to cool completely then add to your containers of choice. It weighs about 2400 g in total so you can divide it into 5X480g portions or 6X400g, depending on your needs.

400g of this meal contains 550 Kcal, 9.5g Fat, 48g Carbs and 46g of Protein.

paella-style rice meal prep

2. Spaghetti and Meatballs (Turkey)

Spaghetti and Meatballs (Turkey) close-up

For the Meatballs:

  • 500 g turkey mince

  • 1 ts parsley

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika

For the Sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil

  • 2 peppers (my choice is one green, one red ) diced

  • 2 medium-sized onions, diced finely

  • 200 g sliced mushrooms (fresh or from a tin, as you like)

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1 jar of pasta sauce or 500g tomato passata

200 g Gluten-free Spaghetti, prepared according to the instructions on the package

Mix all Meatball ingredients and make 2cm balls (If you dip your fingertips every now and again in a bowl of water the meat will stick less to your hands). Fry them in vegetable/sunflower oil until brown - about 10 min, but not fully cooked.

In a big pan or wok fry the peppers, onions and mushrooms in the olive oil, and then add the sauce or passata, simmer for 2-3 minutes then add the meatballs and cook for another 5-8 minutes.

Add the cooked spaghetti and take off the stove.

Leave to cool then transfer to your containers.

You should have enough for 5 X 400g portions.

400g of the Spaghetti and Meatballs contain about: 350 Kcal, 12g Fat, 38g Carbs, 24g Protein

3. Chicken and Potato Stew

This one goes particularly well on those rainy days when you need some food to warm up your body and soul.

You will need:

  • 500g chicken breast or chicken thigh fillet, diced in 1-2 cm cubes

  • 1kg white potatoes, chopped in 2-3 cm cubes

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 onions, chopped

  • 3 carrots, chopped

  • salt, pepper, paprika

  • parsley

In a pan, heat up the olive oil, add the onions, carrots and chicken and fry for 4-5 minutes. Add the potatoes and simmer for another 4-5 minutes. Add salt, pepper and paprika to taste (about half a teaspoon each should be fine) then add 700-800ml water or vegetable stock. Leave to simmer until potatoes are fully cooked. Just before you take them off the stove, add fresh, chopped parsley, or dry parsley if that's what you have in the house.

If you simmer it for too long or stir too many times it ends up quite mushy and it looks like the first picture below, still tasty, just a bit mushy, and, I'll admit, looking less fantastic than it should. If you don't add meat it will look like the second picture below (and pretty much how the first one should have looked like...oops. When I make this dish again I'll change the picture, I promise).

You should have enough for 5 X 400g Portions.

400g of this Potato Dish contains approximately: 350Kcal, 9g Fat, 35g Carbs, 28g Protein.

After they're all portioned up you should have 16 meals to keep you going through the week. you can keep 6 of them in the fridge, for the upcoming days and freeze everything the rest of them (and label them to make things easy).

Rice with spinach and meatballs in the first day, potato stew and rice with peas in the second one and meatballs and potato stew in the third one, as an example of alternating them. you can add one or two fried eggs when you're having the potato stew or a bit of salad on the side. If you choose to portion them as I have you can keep some in the freezer for next week.

The usual recommendation is to have 400Kcal for breakfast, 600Kcal for lunch and 600Kcal for dinner. I like to make the meals having less than 600 just so there's plenty of room for snacks, fruit or dessert.

If you're vegetarian or vegan, you can replace the chicken or turkey with the soy alternative, be it mince, meatless meatballs or 'chicken' strips, according to the recipes.

If you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact me.

I hope life is treating you well.

Take care

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