Meal Prep As Easy As 1-2-3

 

Committing to eating healthier is a huge step in a lot of people’s health and wellness journey. One way that a lot of people balance out their diet is by batch cooking their meals. There’s a lot to be said about meal prepping in advance but let’s face it—spending hours on precious weekend day cooking meals for the week simply isn’t possible.  

Whether you’re hoping to prevent the lunch time hunt for food, or take away the stress of having to answer, ‘What’s for dinner?’ we’ve got three recipes that are fast, and super easy. So, you can get out of the kitchen and living life with a week’s work of meals before you know it.

 

Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken

Meal prepping shredded chicken meal prep is the best thing ever, especially if you’re using your slow cooker. You just throw everything in and forget about it for a few hours.

To make slow cooker shredded chicken:

  • Put the chicken in the slow cooker.
  • Add seasoning and chicken broth.
  • Set the slow cooker and forget about it for a few hours.
  • Once the chicken is done, remove it from the slow cooker and shred it.
  • Boom, you have chicken ready for the week.

Trying to determine if you should use chicken breasts or thighs, the short answer is that it’s up to you and if you have any specific nutrition goals. Chicken breasts are much lower in fat than thighs, which is one of the reasons they can be tricky to cook. But we do find that cooking chicken breast on low, in a slow cooker, prevents them from drying out. And, if your nutritional needs call for a little more fat, or you’re just looking for a little more flavor, using some or all chicken thighs is a great way swap. But, ultimately, the choice is up to you.

Once your chicken is cooked and shredded, simply store it in the fridge or freezer, then take out and reheat whenever a recipe calls for shredded chicken. 

What can you use shredded chicken for? Well, tacos and enchiladas, for one. It’s also great in salads and soups. You’re really only limited by your own imagination.

 

Why We Love These Ingredients: 

  • Chicken breast is loaded with protein and amino acids which help to keep bones and muscles solid. One chicken breast without the skin has around 25 grams of protein and only 120 calories. It’s also rich in vitamin B3 which can help lower cholesterol levels.
  • Cumin is high in iron and antioxidants. Research also shows it helps control blood sugar levels. 
  • Limes are not only packed with immune-boosting Vitamin C, but they are also a great source of magnesium and potassium, which promote heart health.

 

SLOW COOKER BASIC SHREDDED CHICKEN

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts (2 large breasts)
  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs (3 thighs)
  • 1/4 cup low sodium chicken broth or water
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Cook on slow and check after 4 hours to see if the chicken is cooked through. If not, cook for an addition 1-2 hours until ready.
  2. When chicken is cooked, take out of the cooker and using two forks, shred the chicken. 

NOTES:

Looking to switch out the flavor of your chicken, it’s as simple as swapping your spices. Below are two more takes on Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken.

  • Slow Cooker Mexican Shredded Chicken
    • 1 tbsp olive oil
    • tbsp tomato paste
    • 1 tsp sea salt
    • 1 tsp dried oregano
    • 1 tsp garlic powder
    • 1 tsp ground cumin
    • 1/2 tsp onion powder
    • 1/4 tsp cayenne Pepper
    • 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
  • Slow Cooker BBQ Shredded Chicken
    • 1 tsp sea salt
    • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
    • 1/2 tbsp olive oil
    • 1 clove garlic, minced
    • oz can tomato sauce
    • 1/4 tsp granulated onion
    • 1 tbsp tomato paste
    • 1 tbsp molasses
    • 1 tbsp raw honey
    • 1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
    • 1/8 tsp sea salt
    • 1/8 tsp ground black pepper

 

Air Fryer Roasted Potatoes 

These roasted potatoes are easy and taste so incredible you’ll want to make them all the time!

The meal prep secret here is air frying.  Air frying cuts the time it takes to roast the potatoes in half versus the oven. The circulating air crisps the outsides with an impeccable golden crust. The insides are soft, tender, and incredibly flavorful. Using the air fryer also reduces the amount of oil you’d need to cook these roasted potatoes, making them a healthier choice. 

They’re also perfect to make ahead a time. Just store in the fridge or freezer and take out what you need when you need it!

 

Even better—potatoes are great for your gut health!  

Potatoes are full of resistant starches, a prebiotic source. Prebiotics act as food for the good bacteria in your intestines, and also increase short-chain fatty acid (SCFA) levels in the gut.

 This is important because low levels of SCFA have been linked to gut dysfunction and other digestive disorders.

 

AIR FRYER ROASTED POTATOES

INGREDIENTS

  • 1-1/2 lbs. potatoes 
  • 2 tbsp  olive oil
  • ½ tbsp. Italian seasoning
  • 1-1/2 tsp minced garlic [2-3 cloves]
  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Chopped parsley for garnish

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Cut potatoes into about 1 inch pieces.
  2. In a medium sized bowl combine the potatoes, olive oil, Italian seasoning, garlic, salt, pepper and Parmesan Cheese.
  3. Add to the basket of your air fryer. Cook at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. 
  4. Toss the potatoes in the basket and continue to cook for 8-10 minutes or until tender and crisp. 
  5. Garnish with chopped parsley.

 

OVEN ROASTED VEGETABLES

Here’s a 20 minute side-dish that is healthy, tasty, and great served alongside just about anything! Oven roasting brings out the natural sugars in vegetables, which adds a delicious depth of flavor. 

And talk about easy meal prep! You can save lots of time by roasting a few large sheet pans of veggies at one. Then, simply reheat whatever you need during the week. 

A large sheet pan [at least 12” x 16”] works best because it give your veggies more room as they roast, which maximizes that color and flavor that we love. All you need to do is arrange the vegetables in one single layer, so they cook evenly and be sure to stir halfway through the cooking to give every side a little love. 

 

Why We Love This Recipe: 

You can really use ANY vegetable you love. Meal preps only work if you actually eat the meals after all. But, for the sake of a recipe, we’re going to stick to some veggies that you can almost always find.

Broccoli and cauliflower are packed with gut-healthy fiber and “good” carbs. It’s also rich in antioxidants and such health-boosting compounds as Sulforaphane, Indole-3-carbinol and Quercetin. 

Mushrooms contain antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. Research shows that deliver great immune and brain support too.

Bell peppers are low in calories, rich in vitamins and high in fiber.  They also help support healthy digestion and blood pressure. 

 

EASY OVEN ROASTED VEGETABLES

INGREDIENTS

  • 2cups broccoli florets
  • cups cauliflower florets
  • cups sliced mushrooms
  • 2-3 Medium carrots, cut into 1” pieces 
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 onion, cut into wedges
  • 1-1/2 tsp. Italian Seasoning
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • Grated parmesan cheese [for garnish]
  • drizzle of olive oil
  • salt and fresh ground pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 425˚F.
  2. Line a large baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.
  3. Add all the vegetables to the baking sheet.
  4. Drizzle olive oil over the veggies and mix until well coated
  5. Add all the seasonings and  gently toss until thoroughly combined.
  6. Arrange all the veggies in a single layer on the cookie sheet.
  7. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring halfway through cooking. You want to roast the veggies until fork tender and lightly browned.
  8. Garnish with parmesan cheese and parsley; serve.

Recipe sources:

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