Choosing Meal Prep Recipes
Besides choosing recipes with ingredients that you enjoy eating, look at the preparation method for the meal prep recipes.
You want to find recipes that make it easy to prepare a large batch at one time. Even better is if it requires little oversight while cooking. That way you can do other things while you are cooking. You could even prepare several meals at one time to put in individual containers.
Some of the easiest cooking methods for meal prep are:
- Instant Pot not only does this cook quickly, but you can put a large amount of food in the Instant Pot. Plus, you can set it and forget it!
- Sheet pan sheet pan recipes cook all the ingredients on one pan.
- Slow cooker while this takes awhile, it cooks without any need to watch it.
- One pot soups or other meals that are all cooked in one pot are just as easy as sheet pan recipes.
Three Bean Java Chili
If youre looking for a dish with plenty of flavor and very few calories, then the Three Bean Java Chili is a great meal choice for you. Perhaps one of the coolest things about this recipe is that it incorporates coffee to bring out that flavor. If you love caffeine, then youre in luck.
The recipe contains 270 calories in total, meaning that its a delightful guilt free lunch that you could easily eat at your desk. Its also got 21 grams of protein, so its perfect for after your workout in the gym.
How Do I Make A Meal Plan
First things first planning. Before you start to prep your meals, you need a nice, solid plan. Coming up with a meal plan may sound overwhelming at first, but its not as bad as it may seem. Just take it one step at a time and start with one, simple meal you love and that you know is healthy, and then work your way up. Soon, youll be prepping all your meals! Watch out it gets addicting!
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Bbq Chicken Sweet Potato Toast:
As an easily made healthy appetizer, BBQ Chicken Sweet Potato Toast is a good choice to make. Each serving contains 289 calories.
Ingredients: 4 115gm Chicken Breast pieces, 5 Small Sweet Potatoes, 1 Red Onion , 1/2 Cup of Sugar-Free BBQ Sauce, 1/2 Tsp of Salt, 2/3 Cup of Low Fat Mozzarella, 1/3 Cup of Fresh Cilantro.
How to prepare: Heat the sweet potatoes in the microwave for about 5 minutes. Shred the chicken up as much as possible by two forks. Also, dice the onions. Mix together the chicken, BBQ Sauce , and onions in a bowl. Cut the cooled potatoes into strips to use as the base of the toast. Grill the sweet potatoes until it turns golden brown. Add the mozzarella cheese to the top of the toast and let it melt. Add the chicken-onion mixture to the top of the toast. Top with fresh cilantro. And the toast is ready to eat!
Can You Freeze Meal Prep Food
Freezer meals are a great option, especially when you have extra food you know you wont get to in time before it spoils. Before you freeze any cooked food, make sure to let it cool down completely. You may need to transfer your meal to a larger bowl and place in the refrigerator to cool.
For easy thawing and storage, freeze your meal prep either in airtight freezer-safe containers or freezer bags. If using a freezer bag, make sure to squeeze out as much air as possible before placing your meal prep in the freezer.
When youre ready to eat it, you can either let your meal prep thaw overnight in the fridge and then reheat in the microwave for around 2 minutes or reheat it in the microwave while frozen for 4-5 minutes. Easy peasy!
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Chicken Shawarma Quinoa Bowl
Are you trying to increase your muscle mass? Then youll love this Chicken Shawarma Quinoa Bowl.
The chicken breasts, chickpeas, and quinoa contain tons of protein. And as you know, protein is vital for building those muscles.
But nutrition aside, this dish is super yummy. The chicken breasts are marinated in warm spices like cumin, cinnamon, cardamom, and cayenne pepper.
This makes the chicken juicy and spicy but not too spicy. Then youre topping everything with a creamy, cooling Cucumber Tahini yogurt.
Youre also adding avocadoes, tomatoes, cucumbers, and lettuce. So this dish is not only yummy but healthy too.
Looking for another Mediterranean dish? Give my Herb Chicken Couscous a try.
The chicken breasts are juicy-tender and full of Mediterranean flavor. Thats because youre marinating the chicken breast in olive oil and Mediterranean spices like oregano and basil.
The zucchini, red onions, red bell peppers, and yellow bell peppers add more Mediterranean flavor. You just may picture yourself lying on a Mediterranean Island.just saying.
Youre also cooking your couscous in vegetable broth for added flavor. However, you can use chicken broth for cooking your couscous instead.
It will add even more depth of flavor and is quite good for you. Chicken bone broth contains a ton of bone-building minerals.
And it contains collagen, which helps build your muscles. If you need to stock up on chicken bone broth, you can get some chicken bone broth right here.
Your Time Is Precious
Why spend every single day planning what to cook, buying ingredients and making your meals, when you could be doing something more productive with your time?
Get ahead of the game and meal prep in advance, so you can spend your time doing what matters the most to you.
You can keep your new meals perfectly packed and portioned throughout the week with these slim-design, multiple-compartment .
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Meal Prep Ideas For Weight Gain
Youre probably accustomed to seeing meal prep ideas on the internet all focused on weight loss, but did you ever consider that meal prep can be great for healthy weight gain, too? If youre working on gaining weight the healthy way by adding more protein, calories, and healthy carbs to your diet, meal prepping your lunches, dinners, and even your breakfasts is a great way to make healthy choices without straying. By having all of your meals ready to go at the beginning of the week, you spend less time preparing a new meal every day in the kitchen, which means more time spent with family, working on hobbies, or just about anything else that seems to get pushed aside when its time to whip up lunch or dinner for the day.
Healthy weight gain can be a tough lifestyle change, but with the right tools in your arsenal, youll be fully prepared to improve your body in a safe and effective way. Check out our guide for 12 meal prep recipes for weight gain to find out how you can make each meal of the day a great one ahead of time.
Chipotle Chicken Meal Prep
Prep this chipotle chicken on a Sunday and have lunches all week long that are healthy for weight loss and muscle gain.
Use Meal Prep To Revamp Your Veg
This is where most meal prep falls short. Cucumber slices and carrot batons might make you feel virtuous, but an unsatisfying lunch will only set you up for mid-afternoon snacking. Many vegetables are made more nutritious by cooking and doing so will extend their shelf life, too.
Rapeseed, sesame and olive oils are all good options for sautéing, though extra-virgin olive oil has a lower smoke point . Heat a large pan on medium-high. Add a dash of oil, then the veg, and season. Toss well and then cook until tender.
- Peppers: 6min
Meal Prep Containers
A word on meal prep containers, because youve got to store and transport all those meals somehow. There are a few options available, from glass to multi-compartment plastic, with benefits and drawbacks to each style depending on what youre making. Plastic containers are light and durable, while glass varieties are less likely to stain and keep food fresher for longer. Mason jars are ideal for keeping salads fresh, and Bento boxes make packing snacks and lunches super simple. Stainless steel containers look great, but they tend to be pricy and arent microwave-friendly.
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Increase Your Calorie Consumption
Now since your goal is to gain weight, you need to increase this calorie consumption by 20 to 25% for positive results. Accordingly, you have to monitor if you are able to achieve your daily calorie consumption targets. You can use mobile phone-based apps to monitor your calorie intake and record your meal plans. You can also follow fixed meal plans that are available online and stick to them for constant calorie consumption.
Best Foods For Muscle Gain
In addition to a macro balanced diet, including more quality food choices has some benefits. Nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables provide key nutrients for daily function, recovery, and overall health. Healthy fats are less likely to be stored as body fat and provide heart health benefits. Lean proteins allow you to load up on quality amino acids and nutrients without high amounts of saturated fat. Moreover, some research suggests that a clean bulk – focusing on more healthy, whole foods, may help minimize potential fat gain .
Here are the best foods for muscle gain.
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Create Your Meal Prep Shopping Listed Based On The Meals You Planned
You dont want to be mid-prep and missing an ingredient! Check what ingredients you already have on hand and then add what you are missing to your list. Check out our resource page for multiple checklists, grocery lists , and calendars. If you need a little help with weekly Meal Prep ideas, here is a Week 1 Meal Prep menu that you can reference
Here is an example of a Low Carb Shopping / Pantry List:
French Toast With Bananas:
Loaded with good proteins and low fat content, this high-protein french toast is the perfect way to start your day, and is considered an easy weight gain meal to get the calories in. Each serving contains 400 calories.
Ingredients: 2 slices of bread, 2 servings of egg whites, quarter cup of vanilla soy milk or almond milk, cinnamon, protein granola oats and honey, half banana, syrup, vanilla extract.
How to prepare: Heat the bread in a microwave for 1 minute and let it sit. In a shallow dish, add the milk, vanilla extract, egg whites, and cinnamon. Heat a flat pan. Dip the bread in the mixture and sprinkle granola on one side. Place the bread on the pan with the crumble side down. Once it gets crisp and toasty, flip it. Meanwhile grill the banana similarly and sprinkle with cinnamon. Serve the toast and the grilled bananas together for a hearty breakfast.
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Healthy Weight Gain Meal Plans For People On A Budget
The following meal plans are for anyone who is underweight and looking to gain weight on a budget. They are based on simple foods that should be easy to find in your local supermarket in most countries. They can also be used by people who would like to build muscle if used in combination with an appropriate strength training program. Days 1-5 provide approximately 3000 calories and would be expected to result in weight gain of 1-2lbs per week, depending on gender, body size, and activity level.
Days 4 and 5 are designed for people who would like to cook food in batches for the week to save time. That said, variety is key to a healthy diet, so try to vary your diet as much as possible including different fruits and vegetables with the meals.
Days 6 and 7 are slightly different, providing 4000 calories. These days should only be followed by highly active people who are training regularly and looking to increase their muscle mass significantly. These days should not be followed by people who are not training, as they will result in an unhealthy increase in body fat and over time could increase the risk of health problems associated with eating too many calories. People who lead extremely inactive lifestyles may wish to skip one or two of the snacks in order to reduce the calorie intake to 2500. If in any doubt, please consult a nutritionist, dietitian, or personal trainer for further advice.
Healthy Foods To Eat More Of To Gain Weight
When it comes to gaining weight and building muscle, macronutrients matter. But it’s a myth that you have to go all-in on high-protein foods in order to gain muscle. While protein is vital for repairing the micro-tears that weight lifting and other exercises create in your muscles, carbohydrates and fats continue to serve important functions in your body as you bulk upâso don’t neglect them! Here are some foods to focus on for a balance of healthy fats, complex carbohydrates and plenty of protein.
- Oily fish like salmon, tuna, herring and anchovies
- Meats like turkey, chicken and lean beef, pork and lamb
- Beans and legumes, including chickpeas, black beans, lentils, cannellini beans and hummus
- Nut butters and nuts like cashews, peanuts, almonds, walnuts and pecans
- Whole grains like whole-wheat bread, whole-wheat pasta, brown rice and quinoa
- High-calorie fruits and vegetables like avocados, coconut, bananas, mangoes and dried fruit
- Full-fat dairy, including milk, yogurt and cheese
- 2 servings Philly Cheese Steak Sloppy Joes
- 2 cups fresh spinach & 1 cup shredded carrots topped with Â½ Tbsp. olive oil & Â½ Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
Daily Totals: 2,486 calories, 120 g protein, 298 g carbohydrates, 64 g fiber, 98 g fat, 2,470 mg sodium
To make it 2,000 calories: Omit the hard-boiled egg at breakfast, omit the hummus at the A.M. snack, omit the toast and butter at lunch, and omit the banana and almonds in the P.M. snack.
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Foods To Eat And A Healthy Meal Prep Shopping List
As mentioned above, any healthy diet should comprise mainly whole, nutritious foods like fruits, veggies, whole grains, beans, nuts, seeds, and healthy proteins and fats.
When planning meals for the week ahead, its helpful to create a shopping list. Grocery lists can help you stay organized while at the store and may even help you make healthier choices while shopping .
Think of your list as the first step in your meal planning. Youll want to pick up healthy foods but also have a plan to use them so they dont go to waste. Frozen and canned fruits and vegetables last longer and are typically less expensive.
Heres an example of a meal-prep and weight-loss-friendly shopping list:
This is simply a suggested shopping list. Your shopping list will change weekly depending on the meals and snacks you choose to meal prep.
Focus on consuming whole, nutrient-dense foods like vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, whole grains, beans, and fish. Fill your refrigerator and cabinets with healthy, meal-prep-friendly foods and make a plan to prep them into healthy meals and snacks.
Nutrient Timing Is Everything
Research shows that to get the best out of your training regime, its vital to consume enough protein and carbohydrates at the right time, in order to expedite muscle recovery and growth and prevent muscle catabolism 1.
Preparing your food in advance makes it so much easier for you to consume the food your body requires, at the correct time.
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“If you only prep lunch and no snack options for your day at work, you can be setting yourself up for failure, not success,” Mass says. “One meal is not enough for a 10-hour span. Those cookies in the break room, the chips in the vending machine, and the candy on your co-worker’s desk will call your name.”
An apple and stick of string cheese, banana and almonds, or Greek yogurt with dried fruit are all great snack ideas. After prepping your favorite snacks, divvy them up ahead of time in single-serving containers to prevent overeating, she says.
“Always making the same things can lead to boredom which is the worst, and can lead to giving up on the whole meal-prep thing,” Mass says. “I personally can’t and wouldn’t eat grilled chicken with broccoli and brown rice every day and I wouldn’t expect you to either!”
To avoid boredom and burnout, Daw recommends rotating through recipes that you follow from week to week. Also make sure to prep a few different breakfast, lunch, and dinner recipes during each meal-prep session. That way, if you come home from work and one meal doesn’t strike your fancy, you’ll likely have another one ready in the fridge that does.
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