The days of going out to dinner may feel like a distant memory for many. Even as restaurants have reopened with limited seating and other safety precautions, not all diners have felt comfortable returning. Instead, people have been relying heavily on takeout and delivery. It can be a welcome stress reliever and a break from the grind of cooking every meal at home, but just like eating out, it may be harder to find healthy options.
Everybody likes getting more for less! How about getting more meals from less recipes? With some strategic meal planning and prepping, you can create several days’ worth of meals with just a few recipes and one trip to the grocery store. You can even prepare all of the recipes at once and store meals in single serve containers in the fridge for grab-and-go meals all week.
Diabetes Food Hub can be a great tool for meal prepping! Click here to learn how to use our recipes, meal planner, and grocery list generator to make planning, shopping, and preparing healthy meals a snap! Additionally, we’ll be rolling out a series of meal prepping articles over the next few weeks to show how a little planning can make your meal planning life a lot easier .
First up—chicken, which is a meal preppers dream come true. You can cook one whole chicken on Sunday and use it in recipes throughout the week—toss it in a salad or sandwich for lunch, then shred it, and add it to tacos, soup, or pasta for dinner. Added bonus: Once you’ve removed all the meat, you can toss the bones in a stock pot with vegetable scraps, herbs, and spices for a homemade chicken stock!
Here are 3 recipes to make with 1 chicken:
Main Recipe: Cook Sunday Night
Try something a little different with this sweet and tangy roasted chicken! You can roast the chicken whole, or cut the whole raw chicken into 8 pieces (2 breasts, 2 thighs, 2 drumsticks, and 2 wings). You can ask the butcher at your grocery store to cut it into pieces for you, or buy a whole chicken that is already cut into pieces. Eat some of the chicken for dinner Sunday night with rice and a salad, or save it all for other recipes.
Follow-Up Recipe: Lunch Prep
This recipe makes 6 bowls, perfect for packaging and storing for lunch all week. Save enough of the Cilantro Lime Roasted Chicken to make 2 cups of shredded chicken for these bowls. If you are feeling ambitious, you can start with dry pinto beans, and save the rest for other meals. Canned pinto beans work just fine as well. Either way, you’ve just prepared a week’s worth of lunches in a snap.
Follow-Up Recipe: Weeknight Dinner
Here’s a quick weeknight meal for one! Since you are starting with leftover Cilantro Lime Roasted Chicken, you can skip the first step, meaning this recipe will come together in less than 10 minutes. If you have leftover pinto beans from the Brown Rice and Pinto Bean Bowls, you can use those instead of garbanzo beans in this recipe.
Add these recipes, and any other recipes you would like to cook this week, to your Meal Planner, then click “Generate Grocery List.” You can add, edit, or delete items on the list as needed.
Don’t forget about food safety!
Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for about 3-4 days or in the freezer for 3-4 months. Be sure to date anything that you store in the fridge or freezer. When reheating leftovers, make sure they reach 165 degrees F. Find more food safety tips here.
Want more meal prep ideas?
Check out the other articles in this series: