Do you want to eat healthy but are too busy during the week to cook? It may seem impossible to try meal prep in Vancouver, but if you have a few hours on the weekend to prepare your meals in advance, you can save a lot of time cooking or ordering takeout throughout the week.

      If the thought of cooking fancy meals puts you off, understand that meal prep isn’t about cooking a five-course meal. You only need some basic ingredients and several medium size Tupperware containers you can store in your fridge. To get you started on your journey, we’ll discuss the benefits of meal preparation in advance and seven quick and healthy meal prep ideas perfect for busy people.

      Why should you meal prep?

      Living a fast-paced life, it’s easy to get caught up in the cycle of buying take-out, processed foods, and fast food. However, not only is this unhealthy, but it does become costly. So, to get you motivated to start meal prepping, here are some of the reasons why it’s worth doing so.

      Eat a Well-Balanced Diet

      If you’re thinking of eating clean and healthy, you should start meal prepping to help you stay on track with your health goals. The main benefit of meal prepping is that it can help you maintain your ideal weight. This is because you will know what nutrients, vitamins, and calories you consume weekly.

      Save Time

      The second benefit of meal prepping is that you will save a lot of time. Instead of going to restaurants to pick up food or lining up at fast food drive-throughs, you can spend that time meal prepping in Vancouver.

      Moreover, if you spend at least 1-2 hours on the weekend preparing your meals, you can save time cooking in the kitchen during the week. With more free time during the week, you can relax, exercise, or enjoy moments with your family and friends.

      Save Money

      Do a rough estimate and think about how much money you currently spend on takeout and fast food per week. Now, imagine cutting that amount in half because prepping your meals in advance means you’ll spend almost nothing on takeout.

      Additionally, when you plan your meals, you can decide exactly what you want to eat and create a grocery list. Instead of wasting time in grocery aisles thinking about what food items you need to buy, you can bring your grocery list, grab what you need, and spend less.

      Reduce the Stress of Last-Minute Cooking

      With juggling work, family, and running errands, cooking dinner on a weeknight can be stressful when you’re exhausted. Preparing meals in advance makes it faster to assemble a quick and healthy meal and eliminates the stress of cooking at the last minute.

      7 Quick Meal Prep Ideas

      Now that you know the benefits of preparing your meals in advance, these seven recipes can be readied in less than 30 minutes and enjoyed for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

      Breakfast Ideas

      1. Egg muffins

        If you like eggs for breakfast, you’ll love these healthy egg muffins! All you need to do is mix some eggs in a bowl, add a little milk, and throw in your favourite chopped vegetables. Coat a muffin pan with extra virgin olive oil, put the mixture in each round pocket, and bake them in the oven at 400° F (200° C) for 30 minutes.

        Let them cool for 15 minutes, and you can store them in the fridge in tupperware for up to four days or place them in the freezer for up to three months.

      2. Overnight oats

        Meal prep in Vancouver has never been this easy, as this overnight oats recipe takes 5 minutes to prepare. Gather a few mason jars and fill them with rolled oats, chia seeds, flax seeds, and milk, and place them in your fridge overnight.

        The next day, throw on healthy toppings like strawberries, blueberries, and some Greek yogurt, and enjoy! You can store overnight oats in the fridge for up to five days, but they’re so delicious to enjoy every day.

      Lunch Ideas

      1. Spicy chicken with rice and beans

        This spicy chicken with rice and beans is so delicious that it’ll become your go-to dish, and it’s also easy to prepare. First, cook the rice in a pot of water. Next, place 3-4 chicken breasts on top and sprinkle some salt, pepper, and spices like garlic powder or turmeric. Cook for 25-30 minutes. When done, remove the chicken, place them on a plate, and mix the black beans with the rice.

        From there, you can divide the rice and beans into 3-4 plastic containers, cut the chicken breast into small pieces, and place them on top with a sprinkle of cilantro and your favourite sauce. Seal the lids and place them in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.

      2. Shrimp and multi-grain pasta

        Instead of regular pasta, try multi-grain pasta as a healthy alternative. This quick lunch can be prepared in less than 30 minutes. In a large pot of boiling water, cook the multi-grain pasta for 15 minutes, drain, and set aside.

        In a medium skillet, put some olive oil and some small pieces of garlic for 2 minutes; then, add the shrimp and cook for 5 minutes on each side until both sides are cooked.

        Set aside and season it with a little salt and black pepper, and spritz with lemon juice. From there, you can place them in two plastic containers and store them in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.

      Dinner Ideas

      1. Turkey meatballs with brown rice

        To prepare the turkey meatballs, in a large bowl, mix breadcrumbs, green onions, eggs, ground turkey, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper until well mixed. Shape the mixture into 1½-inch balls with your hands, place them on a baking sheet, and bake them in the oven at 375° F for 20 to 25 minutes until browned and cooked through. Put the meatballs aside. You can serve these delicious meatballs with brown rice or store them.

      2. Pesto chicken pasta

        If you want to enjoy pasta during the week, this pesto chicken pasta dish takes less than 30 minutes to prepare. In a large pot of boiling water, cook your pasta for 15 minutes, drain, and set aside in four Tupperware containers. While boiling the pasta, heat olive oil in a large non-stick skillet, place pieces of chicken breast, garlic, and onions, and sautée it for about 5 minutes.

        Remove the chicken pieces and place them on top of the pasta. Pour on the pesto and stir thoroughly in both bowls until all the pasta and chicken are coated with the pesto. You can top them with parsley for a little flavour. Snap the lids on them and refrigerate for up to four days.

      3. Fiesta salmon rice bowls

        Try to eat salmon once a week, as it’s filled with nutrients and omega-3s that will benefit your health. With two to three pieces of salmon filet, sprinkle a little salt, black pepper, and a teaspoon of olive oil. On a stovetop, cook brown rice for 20 minutes and put portions in 2-3 containers of Tupperware.

        Grill the salmon pieces on the stovetop on a pan-sear over medium heat for 5 minutes. Then, flip, and cook them for another 5 minutes. Remove the salmon from the pan-sear and place them on top of the brown rice, seal, and refrigerate them for up to 2-3 days.

      Contact Citizens Table

      Are you located in Vancouver and interested in getting some help with meal prep? Want to know which meal options are suitable for your lifestyle? If you have any questions about our meal plans, call Citizen’s Table at 604-330-0708 or contact us here, and we’ll get back to you within 24-48 hours!

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