Hey Everybody! So, Meal Prep is this big new thing, and although I have done it before, I had never done it quite to this magnitude. Since I am back at school and have started this program, Optavia, I thought it would be a good idea to really have all those meals ready in my fridge/freezer and have nothing else in my apartment that I am tempted to cheat with.
With Optavia you get five of their feelings everyday and then one lean and green meal a day. Basically 3 servings of certain vegetables and a substantial amount of protein. So, for my meal prep I made a whole bunch of the fueling you can normally do in the microwave, I baked them all ahead of time to be in my freezer and ready to go. I also made close to 80 lean and green meals.
Here are some of the things that I learned from my meal prep!
- Buy more than you think you are going to need! You can always make extra meals.
- Cook your protein first . It is really the base of all your dishes.
- Many of my dishes had cauliflower rice and chicken in them. So I just made a huge bowl of that mixture and put it on top of the other things and added seasonings once they were in individual containers.
- Once your oven is on, be prepared for the next thing to go in. It is much easier to get stuff baked then put it in containers later.
- Put masking tape labels on your containers. They come off easy, but the sharpie stays on.
- Look for the sales. I needed egg whites and there were big containers and small containers. Two small containers was the same amount as one big container, but each big container was 5 dollars and each small container was 2. So by getting eight small containers instead of four big containers I saved four dollars. There are many things with buying in bulk too, that can make things cheaper, and with making so many meals in the long run it can save you a significant amount of money on your overall bill.
- Amazon has great meal prep containers. These small one a pretty small, but the medium ones are a great size. I ordered one package of both and ended up using them all and others I had lying around my house.
- Snack size baggies are the best. They are a little bit more environmentally friendly and they make your food look bigger.
- Clean as you go. If you are waiting on something, get rid of something that is cluttering the kitchen or start to pick up the area. Otherwise it can become an even bigger chore when you are ready to be done and are tired of being in the kitchen.
- Lastly, just keep moving. As soon as you stop it won’t get done. Just keep pushing through, and it will be all worth it because of the time and money you will save in the long run!
The meals I made
- Taco Chicken Cauliflower Rice Bowls
- Zucchini Chicken Alfredo Lasagna
- Zucchini Lasagna
- Broccoli Chicken Alfredo
- Spaghetti Squash Chicken Parm
- Stuffed Mushrooms
- Stuffed Peppers
- Spinach Chicken Pizzas
Optavia feelings I made ahead
- Sweet Blueberry Biscuts
- Chicken Noodle soup Biscuits
- Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Chocolate Brownie
- Chocolate Chip Pancakes
Just to add… By Popular request a quick recipe!
The first one is the Broccoli Chicken Alfredo
First I baked the chicken with the chicken from the rest of the recipes. What I normally do is pre-heat the oven to about 400 degrees, it can depend on how warm your oven cooks if you go higher or lower. I find that if I put one layer of chicken in a sprayed (with Pam) Pyrex glass 9×13 dish then it takes about 20-25 minutes for the chicken to cook, that depends on the thickness of the chicken. Most of the time I season my chicken before I bake it, but since I was using the chicken for so many different meals I decided to season later. Just make sure to cut into the chicken and check to see if there is any pink left. You do not want any pink in your chicken.
I then cubed up the chicken and put it off to the side for my dishes.
Then for the broccoli Alfredo I put 1 and 1/2 cups of chopped frozen broccoli in each meal prep container. I then put a heaping 1/2 cup of chicken on each one. Then I put an eighth of a cup of Ragu Light Alfredo Sauce (It has the lowest amount of carbs in it) over the top a long with some Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb seasoning and about an eighth of a cup of mozzarella cheese.
Now when I pull the meal prep container out of the freezer I microwave it for about 3-4 minutes and my meal is ready to go!