This is the secret, my friends. "The secret to what?" you might ask. Well, the secret to nutritious food, a balanced lifestyle, high energy levels, fitness, losing weight, staying healthy... the list goes on and on.
The biggest hindrance for most of us when it comes to those goals is time and preparation. For example...
- Maybe you know you should be eating a healthier lunch, but it slips your mind so you forget to pack something to bring to work and end up settling on grabbing something from Jimmy Johns (note: 95% of their menu is NOT healthy) or Panera (also NOT healthy).
- Maybe you simply can't find the time in the morning to pack yourself a salad.
- Maybe you manage to make yourself lunch one day, but you can't find the time every morning to make it happen.
- Maybe you did a great job on lunch, but by the time you get home, you just don't have the energy to make yourself a healthy meal.
- Maybe you keep buying healthy ingredients, but then you don't use them up before they go bad, so you feel discouraged.
Case in point? There are limitless reasons you might feel discouraged. But guess what? All you need is 1 hour on Sunday. In the morning, in the afternoon, at night. It can even be fun! I did it this week while watching an episode of Nikita on my lap top in the kitchen.
This post will help you pre-cook salads and dinners for the entire work week within 60 minutes.
60 Minutes to Lunch and Dinner for a Week
WHAT YOU'LL BE HAVING: Because this meal plan is optimized for health and fitness, it is high in lean protein and fibers. You'll be making slow-cooked chicken breasts that will stay tender for a week, even if you re-heat them. A few servings of Quinoa to serve as lunches (so you don't get too tired of Salads) and dinner sides, too! You'll also be making delicious salads that have a laundry list of ingredients that will leave you happy and full!
- 6 Large Chicken Breasts
- 5 Lunch/Dinner Salads
- 4 Small Quinoa Servings
HOW TO EAT IT: Distribute evenly throughout the week. Here's an example:
- MONDAY: Salad for lunch, Chicken and Quinoa for dinner
- TUESDAY: 1/2 Chicken Breast and Quinoa for lunch, Salad with 1 Chicken Breast for dinner
- WEDNESDAY: Salad for lunch, Chicken and Salad for dinner
- THURSDAY: 1/2 Chicken Breast and Quinoa for lunch, Salad with 1 Chicken Breast for dinner
- FRIDAY: Salad for lunch, Chicken and Quinoa for
- 6 Large Chicken Breasts, thawed (I used two packages of 3, Organic)
- Olive Oil (to coat the pan)
- Italian Seasoning Mix
- Aluminum foil
- Preheat oven to 325.
- Line a 2inch deep (or deeper) baking pan with aluminum foil. Add a thin layer of olive oil over aluminum foil.
- Arrange chicken breasts in the pan, then sprinkle Italian seasoning over them. Use a fork to turn them over and sprinkle additional Italian seasoning on top.
- Bake for 45 minutes, then turn and bake for an additional 15 minutes. When finished, wrap pieces individually in aluminum foil so you can grab and go!
Note: While the Chicken is baking, start cooking the Quinoa and prepare Tupperware salads!
- 2 cups uncooked Quinoa, rinsed
- 3 cups Water
- 1 tbsp Cumin Powder
- 1/2 tbsp Curry Powder
- 1/4 cup Onion (white or green), chopped
- 2 tbsp Pine Nuts
- 2 tbsp Feta Cheese
- 4 tupperware containers for storage
- Heat water to a boil, then add Quinoa, Cumin, and Curry. Reduce to a summer and heat, covered, for 20 minutes.
- After 20 minutes, stir in nuts. Wait until Quinoa has cooled a bit, then add Feta cheese. Divide cooled Quinoa into 4 small tupperware containers so you can grab and go!
Note: While Quinoa is cooking, prepare salads.
- 1 large bag Mixed Greens
- 2 heads Romaine Lettuce
- Onion (1/2 white onion or 6 stalks green onions)
- 1/2 cup Feta Cheese
- 1/4 cup Sliced Almonds or Pine Nuts
- 1/4 cup Raisins or Craisins
- 6 tupperware containers, for storage
- While the other items are cooking, rinse and pat dry the Romaine lettuce, then chop into bite sized pieces and combine with mixed greens. Distribute evenly into tupperware containers.
- Chop onion and distribute evenly into tupperware containers.
- Add feta, nuts, and raisins/craisins to tupperware containers and store.
And there you have it! 10 meals in 60 minutes!
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Anyone else have a great trick you use to pre-cook?