(Insert nostalgic Three Six Mafia throwback and pun that I simply couldn't help myself from writing)
I used to make my lunch every night before work the next morning - this task became a source of DAILY stress for me - as silly as it sounds, I would DREAD doing it, I felt like it was "one more thing" I needed to DO after work, in addition to the 28234932 other things that I wanted to squeeze in before bed time -also, I was having a lot of intestinal issues (oh hey IBS, thanks for flaring whenever you feel like it) so I decided I wanted to cut out processed deli meat - my lunch staple so I SAID NO MORE. And POOF that's when magic happened! Well just kidding - that's when I started to look on pinterest for ideas and saw that most recipes had far too many ingredients or too much effort for something I wanted to squeeze in early on a Sunday morning so I, of course, used my K.I.S.S. method!
This Sunday - like every Sunday for the last two months, I managed to make all my lunches for the week in under 30 minutes and I thought to myself: Amber, you should share this on the blog for your readers and anyone struggling to make healthy choices for lunch consistently.
SO HERE WE ARE --> GET READY TO NEVER MAKE YOUR LUNCH IN A RUSH AGAIN
How to Meal Prep 5 Lunches in Under 30 Minutes (Baked Chicken or Ground Turkey Edition)
Tips for BEFORE getting started
--> Pick up your meat on Friday or Saturday and keep in the fridge so you can wake up Sunday and cook!
--> IF opting for TWO types of meats - make half and half and save those for dinner BONUS time saver!
--> HAVE designated "lunch" meal prep containers - I use a simple multi compartment from Meal Preppies
GROCERY LIST/PANTRY ITEMS TO HAVE
- Pack of Chicken Breasts (at least 5)
- 1 lb of Groung Turkey
- 99 cent bag of steam-able green beans (or veggie of choice)
- 99 cent bag of steam-able butternut squash (or starch veggie of choice)
- Olive Oil
- Pepper (but I hate it and actually NEVER use it unless my husband is eating it too)
- Garlic Powder
- Optional: Grain of choice to add or Marinade for Chicken
- Meat Thermometer - takes out the guessing of "is this raw"
- Clever Cutter for easy slicing and dicing of chicken
- Pre Heat Oven to 365 - for my Baked Juicy Chicken Method
- Line a large rectangular pan with aluminum foil for easy clean up
- WHILE oven is pre-heating, COOK first bag of frozen veggies
- Place chicken breasts (4-5 depending on size) in pan - season with salt, pepper, olive oil
(at this point, your chicken COULD have been marinating, but again, I keep it simple - see above recipe)
--> CHICKEN WILL COOK FOR APPROX 25-28 MINUTES
- In a skillet - brown ground turkey - adding garlic powder
- While turkey is cooking, remove 1st frozen veggie bag & divide at least 1/3 cup each into containers
- Drain any excess fat from turkey - continue cooking
- Cook 2nd frozen veggie bag, when finished empty into containers, at least 1/3 cup each
- Remove turkey from heat - allow to cool
- CHECK CHICKEN'S INTERNAL TEMPERATURE - it must be at least 165
At this point, ALL food will be cooked in UNDER 30 minutes.
NOW you just have to let it cool, which adds another 15 minutes - so in 45 minutes total, your lunches are made, put away and you used only ONE pan so there is minimal clean up. I know, I know, the title said 30 minutes, but in under 45 minutes just wasn't as catchy, PLUS all the cooking truly takes just a half hour! Once the chicken is cooled, I usually take my clever cutter and use it to cut it into pieces for lunch and top it with a slice of swiss cheese for some healthy fat minus the lactose!
Of course I need crunch with my lunch so I usually have some Aldi's gluten free pretzel twists, tortilla chips or Angie's popcorn and for some sweet, half of a chocolate cupcake Lunabar :)
- Would you rather use the K.I.S.S. method to save time or spend longer prepping different meals?
- Can you eat the same lunch every day?
- Bring lunch or buy?
- PLEASE COMMENT BELOW: DO YOU LIKE POSTS LIKE THIS (GUIDES) OR DO YOU PREFER RECIPES?