Nope, meal prep is not all chicken and broccoli!

Preparing hearty, healthy meals ahead of time is what keeps me on track in the frantic chaos my work weeks often descend into.

And no, it doesn’t require you to devote 10 hours to slaving over a hot stove. If you’re new to prepping, it can help to start small – like cooking up five meals for your take-to-work lunches. And I guarantee that your home-cooked deliciousness will be miles better than cafeteria food!

Right, on to those ideas – here are a few of my fave prepping recipes. There’s even pasta in here!

Happy prepping!

1. Coriander lime chicken with cauliflower rice

Calling all low-carbers – this Mexican-inspired meal prep dish by @fitfoodiefinds will feel like a lunch-time fiesta. It’s also gluten-free and paleo-friendly, if that’s what you’re into.

Get the recipe here.

2. Lemon pesto penne

Perfect for veggies – and this 20-minute dish by @pinchofyum will have you in and out of the kitchen in under 30 minutes! Get the full recipe here.

3. Tofu and quinoa bowls

There’s a reason Talia Koren (aka @workweeklunch) is the undisputed queen of laptop lunching. Your meat-free Mondays are sorted with this super-simple creation.

Get the recipe in her post below.

4. Steak and potatoes meal prep bowls

These colourful bowls by @jar.of.lemons even *look* perfectly balanced!

Get the recipe here.

5. 10-minute skinny orange chicken

Perfect for when that craving for Asian take-out strikes! Quite aside from the fact that this Asian-inspired dish by @skinnyfitalicious is actually healthy and not loaded with MSG, here’s another bonus: it’ll probably be quicker to prep than getting in your car and driving down the road to the nearest sticky-tabled Chinese restaurant. Score!

Get the recipe here.

6. Protein-packed Buddha bowl

Okay, I’m an unashamed Buzzfeed Tasty junkie – and it’s dishes just like this gem that keep me coming back for more! Watch the video below by @buzzfeedtastyveg to get the recipe.

THIS IS SO GOOD!!! Protein-packed Buddha Bowl Servings: 2-4 INGREDIENTS Marinade 2 tablespoons vegetable oil ½ teaspoon sesame oil 1 teaspoon hot sauce 2 teaspoons thyme 1 teaspoon paprika ½ teaspoon salt 8 ounces tofu 1 sweet potato, peeled and cubed 1 onion, sliced 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 tablespoon oil Salt, to taste Pepper, to taste 1 cup chickpeas ½ teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon pepper 1 teaspoon chili powder 1 teaspoon garlic powder ¼ cup carrots, shredded 1½ cups quinoa, cooked 1 cup greens 1 avocado, sliced Juice of 1 lemon PREPARATION 1. Preheat oven to 400ºF(200ºC). 2. Combine marinade ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to combine. 3. Add the marinade and tofu to a container and marinate for at least 30 minutes, up to a day. 4. Lay sweet potato, onion, and garlic on a baking sheet and drizzle with oil, salt, and pepper. Bake for 20-25 minutes. 5. Add the chickpeas, salt, pepper, chili powder, and garlic powder to a bowl and stir to combine. 6. Transfer chickpeas to a skillet and cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes. Set chickpeas aside. 7. Fry the tofu in the same pan for about 10 minutes on each side. Slice tofu to your preference. 8. Combine the quinoa, carrots, greens avocado, chickpeas, and tofu in a medium-large bowl and top off with lemon juice 9. Enjoy!

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7. Sweet potato breakfast meal prep bowls

If you’re feeling super in-it-to-win-it, meal prep your breakfast too! These sweet potato breakfast meal prep bowls by @denise_sweetpeasandsaffron are just the ticket – and they only come in at 235 cal per bowl.

Get the recipe here.

8. 30-minute chickpea sweet potato Buddha bowls

By now you’ve probably realised I’m a sucker for a beautifully arranged Buddha bowl. Particularly if there are roasted chickpeas involved!

Get the recipe for this plant-based bowl by @minimalistbaker here.

9. Cauliflower fried rice

Another treat for the Chinese takeout lovers! @honeywhatscooking is the answer to your low-carb dreams. Serve this up with your protein of choice, or as a delicious veggie meal all on its own.

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10 Protein pumpkin loaf

Who says you can’t meal prep dessert?

SA’s queen of protein-infused creations @sugarfreesundays knows what’s up! Use this baked delight as the perfect grab-n-go pre- or post-workout snack.

Get the easy-to-follow recipe in her Instagram post below:

Current situation: need to go to gym but overestimated stomach size and accidentally ate half of this pumpkin pie loaf and 1/4 of my coconut chai cake… why does it only hit you like 20 mins later!? 😂 . Anyway HELLOOO PUMPKIN PIE PROTEIN LOAF. Tastes like cake. Pretty sure it is, just without the icing. Although after this pic I added yog and choc almond butter and well… that’s basically icing. Here’s the recipe 👇🏼 it’s so simple and easy, all made in a blender #classicme. Also, im pretty sure you could use smaller quantities and make pancakes. . 🍁PUMPKIN PIE PROTEIN LOAF: •300g steamed pumpkin •100g oats •30g coconut flour •6 eggs whites •50g banana •100ml milk of choice •2 tsp psyllium husk •50g whey protein power (any flavour will work- I used glazed donut) •pinch of salt, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tbsp vanilla extract •1 tsp baking powder, 1/3 tsp baking soda •optional – sweetener of choice (I didn’t use) 🎃🎃🎃 . I didn’t but I would totally add some chopped roasted walnuts to the top of the loaf before I bake it. Blend everything except the husk and protein powder. Add husk and blend again. Stir in protein powder. Bake in greased loaf pan (or muffin tray) for +- 30 mins or until a knife comes out clean.

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Hi, I’m Kirsti and this is my little blog. Tell me what you think in the comments section below!

Hi, I’m Kirsti and this is my little blog. Tell me what you think in the comments section below!

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