Easy steps to meal planning for the week.
The week ahead looks busy; each family member has their schedule of events and this means meals on the go. Getting prepared for the week and keeping meals healthy can be a tricky event. When you do find the time, make a creative list of different types of meals you will need to provide throughout the week.
Quick and easy meals made ahead of time.
What you need.
Chicken breasts, each serving per person will be 3-4 oz.
Turkey bacon 1-2 strips per person.
Lean cuts of beef.
Your favorite herbs and spices.
Bread and wraps
Once you have an idea of the types of meals you would like for the week, we can get a few things ready.
Chicken – prepare a baking sheet lined with tin foil for easy cleanup, you may wish to use a rack for any fat to drip through. Be careful not to dry out the chicken. Cook to 165 F each serving per person should be about 3-4 oz. (approx.140 calories each) you can use a kitchen scale or estimate the serving size to be approximately the size of the palm of your hand. You will usually use the chicken throughout the week for several different dishes. The seasoning will depend on the different tastes and the different dishes you will prepare. Below are suggestions of combinations to season your chicken. Store in the fridge until needed, Heat or use cold.
Garlic powder and pepper – great for salads, sliced for sandwiches or wraps.
Chili powder and cayenne pepper – with rice and tomato dishes, wraps, noodle dishes
Lemon pepper – salads
Italian spices – basil, oregano- salads, tomato dishes.
Cumin and curry – great with beans and rice dishes. Tortillas
Thyme and basil – great for any dish
Once your chicken has been flavored, a couple of pieces with different variations, bake at 350 for about 45 min. Do not overcook as the chicken will be dry. Cool and put in the container in the fridge.
Turkey bacon or bacon: Cook a half or full pound of turkey bacon, cool, and put into the freezer. I found press and seal wrap worked great and I could separate each piece. The bacon can be warmed and used for salads, sandwiches, and wraps.
Beef or pork: bake with BBQ sauces, herbs, and spices: ginger, paprika, sage, rosemary, garlic, and pepper. Once cooked, cool and cut up into strips or cubes. Great for tortillas, wraps, fried rice dishes, and stir fry.
Salads: The darker the lettuce the more nutritional value it has. Keep in a container and ready for use. Have on hand: boiled eggs, prepared chicken, mushrooms, carrots, cheese, tomatoes, and onions. If everything is right there ready, it is easy for anyone to prepare a healthy salad for on the go or for a full meal.
Salad dressing: basil, dill weed, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage, thyme, and pepper mixed in a small amount of olive oil, then tossed into your salad will give you the control of keeping your salad away from harmful fats, sugars, and increased calories.
Food Fact: Beware when trying to increase fiber in your diet. Don’t be fooled. Check the ingredients list when buying foods labeled “whole wheat” or “Seven grain”. Many of them are made from a mixture of flours and contain small amounts of bran and fiber.