Most people love to think of New Year's resolutions or just simply reflect about stuff they wanted to accomplish during last year but for whatever reason did not. (ie. Procrastination).
But don't mind us, we are here to help, not judge.
Anywho, one of the most common resolutions is to start eating and living healthier. At least for a couple of months AKA the first few weeks of the new year.
Again, here to help!
So, Meal Prep, one of the most common concepts for those who want to eat healthier. But, what is it anyway?
Meal Prep refers to ‘meal preparation’ and it is the concept of preparing entire meals or dishes ahead of schedule. A great way to save a lot of time and money as well as ensure you eat healthy foods in proper portions rather than other types of random fast-food that provide crazy amounts of calories, to say the least. Simply put, what makes meal prep appealing is that it is much more satisfying, wholesomer and a lot less processed.
Meal Prep Types
There are some common meal prep types that depend on personal preference. The most common are:
Make-ahead meals: The meals cooked in advance can be put in the fridge and reheated every time when it is mealtime like dinner.
Batch cooking: First, making a large amount of food and then splitting into individual portions to be frozen and eaten over the next couple of months.
Individually portioned meals: Preparing fresh meals and then portioning them into individual grab-and-go pieces that need to be refrigerated and eaten over the next few days.
Ready-to-cook ingredients: Preparing some ingredients that are needed for some recipes in advance to save time in the kitchen.
Meal Prep Guidelines
- Before starting to make your own meal prep, you should have a very good, high-quality food-grade storage container preferably made of tempered glass. Make sure the container you buy is airtight and most importantly reusable! Let's save the planet.
- Also, keep in mind that your fridge should be 40°F/5°C or below, and the freezer 0°F/-18°C or below.
- Cool foods quickly within two hours of purchasing or cooking.
- You should cook fresh meat poultry, fish within two days of purchase, whereas, red meat within 3-5 days. That is why it is important to keep storage times of your meat in mind.
- You should be cooking your meat until its internal temperature reaches at least 165°F/75°C, as this kills most harmful bacteria. Cooking at the right temperature is very crucial not only for the taste but also for the health. This is the part, where an accurate meat thermometer is very recommended. With the help of The MeatStick, the true and smart wireless meat thermometer, you do not need to worry whether your meat reaches safe temperatures or not. You will always know the exact temperature of your meat in real-time!
- Thaw your frozen foods in the refrigerator instead of the countertop to keep its freshness and texture. (Optional)
- Definitely but definitely, reheat your food only once. The more times you reheat it, the higher the risk of food poisoning.
- Another important thing about reheating food is to do so at the right temperature, optimally 165°F/75°C before being eaten. At this stage, again The MeatStick would be highly recommended to ensure the right temp is reached. Frozen meals should be reheated and eaten within 24 hours of defrosting.
- Remember to use labels to consume your foods within a food-safe period.
- Refrigerated meals must be consumed within 3 - 4 days, frozen meals are within 3-6 months.
We can't observe strongly enough not to forget that cooking, storing and reheating food at the correct temperatures can reduce your risk of food poisoning by many chances!
Also, keep in mind that under or overcooked foods have been identified as a probable cause of acute food poisoning and other types of digestive related ailments. That is why guessing the right temps must be dealt with.
Meal Prep Recipe (Roasted Chicken Breast with Veggies)
Here, to get you started, check this quick meal prep with chicken breast. Chicken breast is so easy to cook, is a formidable source of protein and the best part very low-fat.
Keep in mind, there are many recipes suitable for meal prep with chicken breast as the main protein source. Subscribe to our newsletter and we'll let you know every time we post a delicious recipe, so stay tuned!
Here, my personal favorite (it is totally personal preference) meal prep recipe, Roasted Chicken Breasts with Veggies au Poivre (for fanciness).
- 2 medium chicken breasts
- 1 cup broccoli florets either frozen or fresh
- 1 small red onion as chopped
- 1 cup grape or plum tomatoes
- 1 medium chopped zucchini
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon Italian style seasoning
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2-4 cups cooked rice of your choice (optional)
- 4 meal prep containers or more depending on your meal schedule
15 - 20 min, probably much less if you use a MeatStick.
Calories: 524kcal, Protein: 24g, Fat: 11g, Calcium: 82mg, Iron: 2.9mg
- Preheat oven to 450°F/232°C.
- Place the chicken and vegetables in the baking dish. Sprinkle all the spices and garlic over the chicken and veggies. Then, add some olive oil on the cook.
- Setup your MeatStick through the app and then stick it in the chicken breast to track the temp correctly so that we will be preventing over or undercooked which can cause food poisoning.
- Roast for 15-20 minutes. (No worries, The MeatStick will keep its eye on your chicken breast, let you know when it is done, and also show you how your cook goes in real-time as well.)
- Place 1/2 or 1 cup of cooked rice into several individual meal prep containers. Afterward, split chicken and veggies evenly on top of the rice. Cover and store in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months.
Happy Meal Prep!
Get your MeatStick today to start cooking a chicken breast meal prep that is necessary for a healthy life. Let's eat healthy, live healthy!