As I browse other food websites, more often lately I’ve noticed a category of recipes called “Meal Prep.” I thought I had an idea what that meant, but decided to do some reading and find out what people are saying. I was surprised to learn there are many different points of view on the subject, with some people saying it all boils down to intent. Did you accidentally make too much food or did you intend to?
Some people think it is lining up containers of the same fully-cooked meal in your fridge, ready to eat several days of the week. This could be called intentional leftovers. Others believe it is doing the prep work ahead of time to have an assortment of meals with similar ingredients. The method I’ve been practicing for years is closer to the later. One of my go-to Meal Prep Recipes is chicken salad.
We usually prepare chicken salad the day we batch cook chicken in the oven or purchase a couple of rotisserie chickens and remove the meat. We make enough chicken salad for two or three meals and the rest of the chicken goes in the freezer pantry for later. I always have an assortment of produce on hand in addition to a well-stocked pantry, so once the salad is ready, preparing the meal is easy.
The chicken salad is separated into smaller portions and kept tightly sealed in the fridge. This means eating chicken salad two or three days in a row, but each meal is different. For example, the meal I served one day we made the salad was Chicken Salad in a Whole Grain Wrap with Spinach. Another option could be a Simple Chicken Salad and Veggie Bowl with whole grain bread or crackers.
Another one of my go-to Meal Prep Recipes is egg salad. I prepare enough of the salad for two meals and tightly seal the extra portion in the fridge. Egg salad is versatile and can be served for lunch or dinner as well as breakfast. One of my favorites is Easy Egg Salad Stuffed Avocados with sliced fresh cucumbers. I like to include carbs for a balanced meal and whole grain pita chips are perfect with this.
One more recipe I use egg salad for is Egg Salad on Goat Cheese Toast with Tomatoes. Spread some room temperature goat cheese over slices of toasted multi-grain bread, add a generous portion of the egg salad and sprinkle with sweet or smoky paprika. Serve with sliced tomatoes on the side. If you don’t have your own method for boiling the eggs try my Making the Perfect Hard-Boiled Egg recipe.
NOTE: There are only two in our household now, so you might need to scale up the recipe to fit the size of your family. The following recipe makes four servings, for us that means two servings on two different days.
Meal Prep Recipes or Intentional Leftovers?
- 8 Oz. Cooked Chicken (I Use Already Cooked Rotisserie Chicken or Chicken Batch Cooked in our Oven then Meal Prep Some of it Before Putting the Rest in the Freezer Pantry)
- 2 Stalks Organic Celery (Buy Organic When Possible Because of the High Pesticide Residue on Non-Organic)
- 2 Tablespoon Organic Dill Pickle Relish (Add a Little More or Some of the Liquid if You Like a Strong Pickle Taste)
- 1/3 Cup Mayonnaise (Or More if You Like)
- Salt and Pepper to Taste
- Using my kitchen scales, I weigh out 8 ounces of already cooked chicken in preparation to make the chicken salad.
- Chop the chicken into bite sized pieces and put it in a medium-sized bowl.
- Dice the celery into small pieces and add it to the bowl.
- Add the pickle relish, including a little of the liquid, and the mayonnaise.
- With a fork, combine all of the ingredients together, making sure the chicken is well moistened. Add a little more mayo if necessary
- Divide the chicken salad into two portions, use one immediately and put the second tightly sealed in the fridge for the next recipe in a day or two.
- For example, a meal I served one day we made the salad was Chicken Salad in a Whole Grain Wrap with Spinach. Another option could be a Simple Chicken Salad and Veggie Bowl with whole grain bread or crackers. Enjoy!
NOTE: There are only two in our household, so you might need to scale up the recipe to fit the size of your family. The above recipe makes four servings, for us that means two servings on two different days.
DIANNA’S EASY REAL FOOD RECIPES – easyrealfoodrecipes.com