Meal prep can be the difference between staying on track with healthy eating choices or going off the rails and finding yourself ordering a Mc whatever through a speaker in the drive-through. Dedicating a few extra minutes on weekends to set up your meals for the week is time well spent. Whether it be lunches, dinners or both – planning ahead is essential.
Trying to figure out what to do for lunches during the week can be a real drag. Especially when you are trying to eat healthy, nutritious food instead of hitting the drive-thru. Stocking up on fresh vegetables and staples like chickpeas, feta and olives make meal prep a breeze. If you aren’t a fan of feta, substitute it for something you like. Ricotta salata is a crumbly cheese similar to feta but milder in flavor. Not an olive lover? Leave them off.
When I’m making a “bowl” like this for meal prep, I usually include a grain. This time, I made roasted chickpeas in place of the grain. Roasted chickpeas are crunchy and delicious when they are warm. After they’ve cooled, they are chewy and nutty which gives great texture to this salad.
I grilled a few extra chicken breasts when I made them for dinner a couple of nights ago. I knew that I was going to do these for lunches for the week, so I planned ahead and made more than I needed. See those two with the chicken meatballs? Same deal. I made meatballs one night and made extra to make meal prep easier. I’m far from consistent on this, but I try. I find that if I have something already prepped for the week, it helps me stay on track with good choices instead of grabbing whatever because I’m starving and I have nothing ready to eat.
With a little planning and a little time spent prepping, you can stay on track and weekday meals become one less thing to worry about.
PIN Mediterranean Chicken Bowls:
Used in this recipe:
- 5 handfuls of spinach
- 20-25 grape tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 English cucumber, diced
- 5 ounces Feta cheese, crumbled
- 1 1/4 cups roasted chickpeas
- 20 kalamata olives
- 1 cup yellow/red bell peppers, diced
- 1 1/2 lbs grilled chicken, thinly sliced
- 5 Tbsp. tahini
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 4 tsp. fresh lemon juice
- 3 Tbsp. olive oil
- 5 Tbsp. water (more or less to achieve desired consistency)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 - 15 oz can chickpeas, drained, rinsed and dried
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Toss chickpeas with olive oil, salt and pepper. Lay chickpeas in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast for 20 - 30 minutes, until crunchy. Set aside to cool.
- Combine all ingredients for dressing and whisk until smooth. You may want to add more or less water depending on how thick you'd like the dressing. Portion dressing into cups and set aside.
- Place a handful of spinach in each of the 5 containers. Top with 4 - 5 tomatoes, diced cucumber, 1 ounce feta, 1/4 cup roasted chickpeas, 4 olives, approximately 5 ounces of grilled chicken and
- some bell pepper. Add a dressing cup to each container, put the lid on and refrigerate.
- Lunches are DONE!