food

Meal Prep for the Win!

I used to be the queen of buying my lunch. There’s a cafe that we operate on the ground floor of the office building I work in. The cafe is a mixture between a coffee shop and a fast food operation. I like to think that we are unique in how we operate, so it’s a bit hard to describe us to people when really you just have to see us. We are open Monday-Friday, and as a result, those are my work hours as well.

I never used to be the person that brings their lunch. To be honest, I was lazy. I didn’t want to make my lunch in the morning, and I didn’t want to make it the night before. I just didn’t want to make my lunch. It was as simple as that. I was lazy. It was much more convenient for me to take an elevator down 12 floors, walk down a hall, and into the cafe where 75% of the building ended up during the lunch hour anyway. Unfortunately, a lot of the menu downstairs involves greasy food, and deep fried food. Which have always been my guilty pleasure. Give me french fries over a salad any day.

And then I decided to go on this journey of mine, and eat healthier. Thanks to Pinterest, I have pinned some meal prep recipes to try, and bring my own lunch. I spend Sunday, post grocery shop, prepping my lunches for the week. (Side note: What did we do before Pinterest? Use Google? Seems so foreign now.) I’ve actually started looking forward to it. It’s better than prepping the night before or the morning of. Instead, I prep on Sundays, fill cute little tupperware containers, stick them in the fridge, and I’m set for every day. All I do is pack my lunch bag in the morning. Simple. Easy.

I’ve experimented with a few different lunch meals, but I think I’ve created my absolute favourite. I’ve eaten it all of last week, and I’m eating it this week. It’s delicious. Filling. I eat this and a pear and I’m happy as a clam. Check out below the recipe for the delicious meal I’m eating this week!

Chicken, Veggie & Brown Rice Bowl

Chicken:

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup of greek yogurt
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1.5 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • cooked brown rice (I use about 3-4 cups total in my lunches, but it depends on how much rice you like to have!)

Vegetables:

  • 1 head of broccoli
  • 2 smaller sized zucchinis
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp oregano
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425.
  2. Mix together the yogurt, oil, garlic, lemon juice, red wine vinegar and oregano in a large freezer bag.
  3. Add in the chicken breasts, cover completely, and marinate for 1 hour.
  4. While marinating, chop up your broccoli and zucchini. These are the two vegetables I go with, but I’ve also alternated in some asparagus as well. I stay with the greens, as they mesh the best with this greek-style chicken.
  5. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, and layer the chopped veggies over the foil.
  6. Drizzle oil over vegetables, and top with oregano, garlic powder, and salt/pepper to taste.
  7. Bake for 10 minutes, flip/rotate/mix veggies, and bake for another 10 minutes, or until cooked. Usually while the vegetables bake, I cook my brown rice.
  8. Once the chicken is marinated, heat a small amount of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  9. Remove the chicken from the marinade, drain the marinade off the chicken (I leave a bit of the marinade on, but I don’t want them dripping all over the place).
  10. Fry the chicken in the large skillet, adding salt and pepper to taste. Turn over partway through, fully cooking the chicken.
  11. Once cooked, place on a cutting board and cut into small chunks.
  12. Set up five meal prep containers, and add brown rice on the bottom, then veggies, then chicken. Seal, and place in the fridge.

I would only meal prep this on a Sunday to make it through the week. I wouldn’t eat them on Saturday – Friday is the longest I would go. Sometimes, I even cut down on the amount of chicken I use (aka use 3 instead of 4 breasts) and meal prep for Monday-Thursday, or complete on a Monday for Tuesday-Friday. This would mean I would either purchase a lunch on Monday or Friday (nothing fried!) but to mix things up a little bit so I don’t get too tired of what my lunch is.

I did have this with a side of homemade tzatziki sauce last week as well, and it was a nice touch – but not necessary because I ate it on Friday without it and it was still delicious!

Let me know your thoughts if you try it!

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