Where my meal preppers at?

goal06082021 Posts: 2,130 Member

I've been meal-prepping my lunches for work for a while now - I make a big batch of something on the weekend, then pack up 5 servings into containers that I can just grab and toss into my lunch bag along with a side or two (generally fruit and/or Greek yogurt) and a beverage (usually flavored seltzer). I also recently started prepping breakfast - I've found I can make 10 breakfast burritos for about a dollar and ~550 cal apiece, enough for me and my husband for the week. I usually just cook dinner, but in recent weeks I've been gravitating toward recipes that will yield leftovers so I don't have to cook every night, LOL.

But, this is a forum, not my personal blog. SO! If you also live that mealprep life, what are your go-to recipes? Where do you find your inspiration? Any recommendations for gear, storage, shopping tips?


  • breefoshee
    breefoshee Posts: 398 Member
    • Homemade Starbucks eggbites-- I make them in the instapot and they are so good and reheat so well.
    • Chicken and Burgers on the Grill
    • Chicken Fajitas (It tastes better cooked on a cast iron skillet)
    • Burrito Bowls-- I cook chicken, salsa, beans and corn in a crockpot and put it over rice with cheese.
    • Salmon and Broccoli
    • Sometimes I find that if I just grill some chicken, I can easily pair it with things like salad, chicken sandwich, Chicken wraps, or just plain.
  • goal06082021
    goal06082021 Posts: 2,130 Member
    I've made the egg bites in the oven, how do you do them in an instant pot? Ramekins on the little PIP insert? I've found them a little challenging - not sure if I'm baking them too long or too hot, or using too much/not enough nonstick spray, or what. They just tend to fall apart when I try to either take them out of the muffin tin or peel off the liner, and I find them to be dry and crumbly after reheating. What sort of mixins do you put in yours? I've done spinach and mushroom with feta, along with bacon and cheddar.

    I'm actually planning on burrito bowls with carnitas for next week, lol! Love that instant pot, it's been a game changer. Gonna have some carnitas over rice with fajita veggies, salsa verde, and possibly queso fresco if I can find it. Chipotle who?

  • breefoshee
    breefoshee Posts: 398 Member
    edited November 2020
    This is the container I bought for the instapot:

    This are some recipe options-- I love the bacon and gruyere. I think cottage cheese is what helps get that really good texture.
  • goal06082021
    goal06082021 Posts: 2,130 Member
    Oh, that's adorable! Thanks for the tips!
  • acpgee
    acpgee Posts: 6,902 Member
    I make egg custards au bain marie in the microwave. Haven't tried the savoury ones but I do custard bases for creme brulee regularly. I place in individual containers in a pyrex dish in the microwave, then pour boiling water from the kettle into the pyrex dish. Zap at 300 watts for about 20 minutes until egg sets. If you have a meat thermometer this is useful to keep at hand, remembering that eggs set at 70C and curdle at 80C.

    For creme brulee, per serving I whisk together 150ml whole milk, 1 tablespoon sugar or splenda, 1 egg, and pour into individual pyrex bowls. Once cooked I chill until needed, top with a thin layer of sugar and then sear with a blow torch to make a caramel crust. Apparently you can also do this under the broiler, though it helps to raise the custards on an upside down casserole dish to increase the intensity of the broiler.

  • Mouse_Potato
    Mouse_Potato Posts: 1,458 Member
    I made a batch of this today in my IP: https://www.skinnytaste.com/easiest-crock-pot-salsa-verde-chicken/

    I add sour cream to the sauce and serve either over rice or in a wrap. 2 pounds of chicken tenders makes about 8 lunches for me.
  • sytar7
    sytar7 Posts: 29 Member
    If you are looking to start prepping dinners below are two really easy ones that can go from freezer to crockpot and cook for the full work day on low 8-10 hours.

    Slow Cooker - Pineapple Curry

    15oz can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
    1 fresh pineapple, cored and chopped into 1-inch pieces
    1 pound sweet potatoes (2 med or 1 large), peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
    1 green bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
    1 small yellow onion, chopped (about one cup)
    2 large cloves of garlic, minced
    13.5oz can of unsweetened coconut milk
    3 tablespoons curry powder
    1.5 teaspoons salt
    1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

    Add to slow cooker and cook for 6-8 hours on “low” setting or until onions and peppers are tender.

    Slow Cooker - Butternut Squash Risotto

    1 1/4 cups arborio rice
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    4 cups vegetable broth
    12 oz bag frozen butternut squash
    1 small onion (chopped)
    2 cloves garlic (chopped)
    1 teaspoon dried rubbed sage
    1 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon pepper
    3 tablespoons Gorgonzola cheese
    3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
    2 tablespoons butter

    Add ingredients except for the cheese and butter, stir and cover.
    Cook on high for 2 - 3 hours
    Add cheeses and butter and stir to combine, let sit to melt
  • MsCzar
    MsCzar Posts: 848 Member
    Veggie Egg Cups: In a food processor, chop 8 oz. frozen broccoli, 8 oz. frozen cauliflower, 1/2 medium onion, 1 coarsely chopped carrot, 1/2 c chopped tomatoes or hot salsa. Finely chop, then add in 4 eggs, 1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese, salt & pepper.

    Divide evenly into a 12 cup silicone muffin pan. Bake at 350F for 30-40 minutes or until knife comes out clean. I microwave two whenever I have no time to make breakfast. Fast, filling and they last all week.
  • goal06082021
    goal06082021 Posts: 2,130 Member
    I guess I could contribute some ideas to my own dang thread...

    Sometimes I'll put together "adult lunchables"/"charcuterie boxes" for my lunches. I'll grab some sausage, salami, or cold cuts; some cheese; some fancy crackers; and maybe a pickle or olives or fresh fruit/veggies to round it out. I bought some little silicone cupcake liners to use in my lunch containers to keep things from getting soggy. The crackers do soften a little bit in the fridge by the end of the week, but I'm also a heathen who likes that, so it's not a problem for me.

    I mentioned breakfast burritos in my first post, so this is what I've got for this week:

    10 flour tortillas
    12 eggs
    1/2 package bacon (literally, cut the package in half - the slices fit better that way)
    3-4 red potatoes
    1 bell pepper
    8oz habanero cheddar cheese, shredded

    Dice potatoes and peppers to about 1/2" pieces, toss to coat in a little olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Bake 400F for about 20-30 minutes.
    Cook bacon however you like, I baked mine, about 20 minutes at 400F.
    Scramble and cook eggs however you like, I did mine on the stovetop.
    Shred cheese.
    Once all ingredients are about room temp, assemble burritos: egg, bacon, veg, cheese. Roll tightly but be careful not to tear the tortilla.
    Wrap in parchment paper and freeze in a single layer on a baking sheet overnight before transferring to another container. 10 burritos fit perfectly on my cookie sheets.
    Heat one at a time - microwave 1 minute, flip, microwave 1 more minute.
  • acpgee
    acpgee Posts: 6,902 Member
    I made tourtiere and there was a ton of meat mixture leftover so rolled that in Chinese spring roll wrappers into a samosa shape. Brushed with melted butter, frozen in trays and ready to go into ziplock bags to cook in the air fryer about 15 minutes as needed. Useful for a quick midweek meal in combination with a large salad and maybe a fruit chutney or commercial salsa. I've got leftover apple and onion chutney from tonight's meal in the freezer too. It's a French Canadian and Chinese mash up.

  • acpgee
    acpgee Posts: 6,902 Member
    Tried cooking one of my tourtiere filling samosa/spring rolls in the air fryer. Defrosted apple and onion chutney to have as a dipping sauce.

  • goal06082021
    goal06082021 Posts: 2,130 Member
    @acpgee how creative! Was it good?
  • acpgee
    acpgee Posts: 6,902 Member
    They were nice. Pop any leftover meat pie fillings into spring roll wrappers is my recommendation.
  • MsCzar
    MsCzar Posts: 848 Member
    edited November 2020
    Thank you! I have a whole restaurant package of wrappers in my freezer. Since I no longer fry them, I usually only use them for pork wonton soup and dumplings - but never thought of baking with them. Great suggestion!
  • kah46
    kah46 Posts: 9 Member
    I started prepping about 3 months ago and I eat this crockpot salsa chicken for lunch everyday! I love that I can par it with a wrap or just put in romain lettuce leaf, put on top of a baked potatoes, the list is endless😊

  • acpgee
    acpgee Posts: 6,902 Member
    MsCzar wrote: »
    Thank you! I have a whole restaurant package of wrappers in my freezer. Since I no longer fry them, I usually only use them for pork wonton soup and dumplings - but never thought of baking with them. Great suggestion!

    I had three spring roll wrappers leftover so as an experiment cut the sheets into quarters and layered them in a silicon muffin tins with a spritz of oil between layers to make tartlet cups for canapes. I blind baked and filled mine with a little quiche lorraine mixture because I had the ingredients for that lying around. The texture is a little more crispy but you can use the spring roll wrappers the same way as phyllo sheets.


  • goal06082021
    goal06082021 Posts: 2,130 Member
    Those look ADORABLE. And also delicious. I have a package of empanada wrappers in my freezer, maybe I'll do something with those soon.
  • acpgee
    acpgee Posts: 6,902 Member
    Those little meat filled pastries wrapped in spring roll wrappers and stored in the freezer are a handy dinner to have your sleeve when there is no time to cook. Tonight we had tickets to a robotic art installation performance at 19:00 so needed to throw together a dinner quickly. It took 15 minutes to bake the little samosas in the air fryer. In the meantime salad with pre-made ranch I keep in the fridge in a squeeze along with other frequently used homemade sauces (salad dressings, marinades, stir fry sauces). A tomato based pasta sauce I pulled out of the freezer and warmed up in the microwave served as dipping the samosas.

    If you are planning to do something with the empanda wrappers make a big batch, freeze excess on a tray and pack into ziploc bags for when you need a quick weeknight meal that can be baked from frozen in the air fryer or oven.

    I don't really meal prep, but if I happen to make anything that can be stored for a while in the fridge or freezer I will triple the quantity because prepping a triple batch is usually not triple the work, especially if you use a food processor for tasks like chopping onions.

  • acpgee
    acpgee Posts: 6,902 Member
    Another useful partial prep I do is caramelized onions.

    On a weekend, thinly slice 6 peeled and halfed onions in the food processor. Pop them into a rice cooker or slow cooker with a tablespoon or two of butter and a generous pinch of salt. Turn the machine on. This turns a recipe that normally takes an hour of standing and stirring into a 4-5 hour procedure that is more turn it on and forget about it. After a couple of hours of slow cooking check whether the mixture is too liquid. If so, cook a little longer with the lid open. The onions will be surprisingly sweet at this point so you might want to add extra salt.

    Freeze in silicon ice cube trays or muffin tins and transfer to a ziplock bag once frozen. You can also freeze a thin slab in a ziplock bag to break off as much as you need when cooking.

    Useful for adding flavour to soups, sauces, braised dishes. Defrost a little in the microwave to use as a onion marmalade type spread that goes well with cheese sandwiches.
  • weatherking2019
    weatherking2019 Posts: 943 Member
    edited December 2020

    Broccoli, peppers, chicken thighs and barley with lemon juice.
    I whipped this one up for grab n go today.