So I’ve decided to try my hand at meal preparation in order to easily hit my calorie goal, save money on lunch, and to be able to not have to make any lunches during the week! I’ve got to say that it was a little bit of work and I wasn’t very efficient with the cooking for the first time, but I think that it came out pretty well in the end. I had 5 meals (plus extra) for the entire week and I didn’t have to worry about lunch each day during the week. I plan on making this somewhat of a weekly series, depending on if I’m trying out a new recipe or not. Hopefully this will help you if you were looking to try out something similar!
Here is the summary for my first meal prep:
- Chicken Thighs
- Brown Rice
- Olive Oil
- Cook your brown rice using whatever method is easiest for you, I used a rice cooker. You can always cook it on the stove or even use instant rice.
- Spread the chicken thighs out on a baking tray and lightly coat them with olive oil
- Use the Rosemary, Garlic, Lemon (or lemon juice) and paprika to season the chicken thighs.
- Cook chicken thighs in the oven for about 40 minutes at 375 degrees, or until they are done and reach an internal temperature of 165.
- While the chicken thighs are cooking, you can steam your broccoli and then season with salt and pepper. I also like to put a little olive oil on. I used the frozen bags of broccoli so I just steamed them in the microwave for this recipe.
- Once the rice is done, I seasoned with lime and cilantro to give the rice a little kick and some extra flavor.
I separated the meal up as 325g of chicken thigh, 100g of broccoli cuts, and 175g of brown rice and a half a tablespoon of olive oil per lunch container. This comes out to be around 650 calories per lunch in my case. This will obviously depend on how you portion your meals out and if you are using skinless/boneless or a different type of chicken. There was also enough chicken leftover to throw together a few extra meals.
- Chicken Thighs @ $0.99/lb = $7.63
- 3 Bags of Frozen Broccoli Cuts @ $0.99/ea = $2.97
- 6 Cups (dry) of Brown Rice = $4.80
- Total: $15.40 or about $3 per meal (ended up with some extra as well – true meal cost may have been even lower!)
This is a super simple meal prep, and doesn’t require much cooking skill. It’s your standard chicken, broccoli, and rice and somewhat boring. I tried to spice it up by adding some unique flavors and honestly I didn’t have any problems with eating these throughout the week. Let me know if you have any questions or if you’ve done your own meal preparation.