Nurses, are you tired of cooking after every shift? You need to learn how to meal prep! Make any of these 5 recipes in advance from thenursebreak.org, for delicious ready-to-eat meals.
Fajita Meal Prep Bowls
- 3 cups cooked rice
- 1 ½ pounds chicken breasts (about 3)
- 4 bell peppers any color
- 1 onion
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ½ cup salsa
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon oregano
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Cheddar cheese
- Green Onions
- Sour Cream
- Preheat oven to 425°F.
- In a small bowl, combine olive oil and seasonings. Set aside.
- Cut chicken into 1″ pieces. Toss with half of the olive oil mixture.
- Cut bell peppers into strips and cut onions into thin slices. Toss vegetables with remaining olive oil mixture.
- Place on a parchment lined pan and bake 20-22 minutes, or until cooked through, stirring after 10 minutes.
- Lay out 6 containers. Place ½ cup rice in each container. Divide the rice, chicken, vegetables, cheese and salsa evenly between the containers.
- Top with desired toppings and seal. Refrigerate up to 4 days or freeze.
- To reheat, microwave 2.5 minutes (or 3.5 minutes if frozen).
Chicken Tikka Masala
- 2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1/4 cup masala paste
- 1/2 cup plain yogurt
- 1–2 tablespoons oil
- 2 cups tomato puree
- 1 cup heavy cream (or a 14-ounce can of coconut milk)
- 1–2 teaspoons salt
- Rice and cilantro for serving
- 2 onions
- 5 cloves garlic
- 2-inch piece of fresh ginger
- 3 tablespoons garam masala
- 1 tablespoon each: chili powder, turmeric, and cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 2 teaspoons salt
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Juice of one lemon
- For the Masala Paste: Pulse all ingredients into a food processor until smooth. Set aside about 1/4 cup of the paste for this recipe – freeze the rest for your next batch! Boom!
- Marinate the chicken: Cut the chicken into bite sized pieces. Marinate with 1-2 tablespoons of masala paste and the yogurt for about 30 minutes in the fridge.
- Cook the chicken: Heat a large, deep nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Heat 1-2 tablespoons of oil. Cook the chicken in batches, undisturbed, until each piece is nice and browned on the outside. Remove from pan and set aside. (Chicken does not need to be fully cooked at this point.)
- Sauce: Add 2-3 tablespoons of masala paste to the same skillet. Stir fry for a few minutes. Add the tomato puree and browned chicken; simmer for 10-15 minutes. (Chicken should now be fully cooked.)
- Finish: Stir in cream or coconut milk. Season with salt. Let stand for a while so the sauce will thicken up a bit. Serve over rice with cilantro.
Want an easier prep?
Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala: Same ingredients and instructions for steps 1 and 2. At step 3, add chicken, masala paste, and tomato puree to the slow cooker, and cook for 4 hours on high or 6-8 hours on low. Add cream in at the end.
Crispy Sesame Tofu with Zucchini Noodles
Sesame peanut sauce:
- ½ cup Peanut butter
- 2 tablespoons Sesame Oil
- ¼ cup Light low sodium Soy Sauce
- ¼ cup Rice Vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Chilli Flakes
- 2 tablespoons Maple Syrup or Honey
- 2-3 Garlic Cloves roughly chopped
- 1 knob Ginger peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon Oil
- 350 gms Firm Tofu cut into small pieces
- Zucchinis spiralized (or regular noodles)
- Sesame Seeds and Green Onions for topping
- In a blender, add all the ingredients for the sauce along with a splash of water and blend till smooth. Set aside ¼ cup sauce and divide the rest in the mini sauce containers.
- Heat oil in a pan and add the tofu. As soon as the tofu is a very light brown, add ¼ cup sauce to the pan and toss the tofu in it. Cook everything on low heat. The sauce will start to evaporate and slowly it will start turning into golden brown and sticking to the pan and tofu. Cook until you’re left with crispy browned bits of tofu in the pan.
- To assemble the meal prep containers: divide zucchini noodles in the containers. Divide the tofu amongst the containers and place the mini sauce containers on one side. Place the lid and refrigerate for up to 5 days.
Two ways to eat:
- You can either eat these cold like a salad.
- Or you can pour the sauce over the tofu and microwave the meal prep container. Toss everything together for a delicious hot meal.
Turkey Spinach Pinwheels
For one pinwheel:
- 1 slice cheddar cheese
- 2 ounces thinly sliced turkey breast
- ½ cup baby spinach
- 1 8-inch spinach tortilla
- 6 baby carrots
- ¼ cup grapes
- 5 cucumber slices
- Place cheese, turkey and spinach in center of tortilla. Bring the bottom edge of the tortilla tightly over the spinach, folding in the sides. Continue rolling until the top of the tortilla is reached. Cut into sixths.
- Place wraps, carrots, grapes and cucumber into meal prep containers.
Lemon Roasted Salmon with Sweet Potatoes and Broccolini
- 2 medium sweet potatoes, cubed
- sea salt + fresh black pepper
- ½ teaspoon cumin powder
- a few tablespoons of olive oil
- 4 cups of broccolini (or broccoli florets)
- 12 ounces of wild-caught salmon filets
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ⅛ teaspoon red pepper flakes and/or fresh thyme (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 425ºF
- Arrange the diced sweet potatoes on one sheet pan and the broccolini on another sheet pan. Drizzle both with olive oil. Top the sweet potatoes with salt, pepper, and cumin, toss to combine. Toss the broccolini with the salt and pepper. Bake the sweet potatoes for 15 minutes, set broccolini aside.
- While the sweet potatoes are baking, prepare the salmon. In a small bowl, combine the butter, lemon juice, garlic powder, pepper flakes, thyme, salt and pepper. Heat in the microwave for 15 seconds or until the butter melts. Line a small baking sheet with foil, spray with cooking spray. Place the salmon filets on top. Drizzle with the prepared lemon sauce.
- When the timer on the potatoes goes off, remove and toss. Place back in the oven along with the broccolini and salmon for 12-15 minutes. Check on the salmon and broccolini around the 8 minute mark. Salmon is done when firm to the touch. Baking time will vary depending on the thickness of the filet.
- Divide the veggies and salmon into containers and allow to cool slightly before refrigerating.
This coming week, save yourself some energy by prepping your meals in advance. The payoff of having healthy, declicious meals already packed for lunch and/or dinner is worth the dedicated time in the kitchen. Not to mention, skipping the takeout line will help you save your hard-earned cash.
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