This week’s Foodie Friday is all about the meal prep! No time like the weekend to get yourself ready for healthy meals all week! We’ve got a couple of easy cooking methods to help you get it done.
Your Meal Prep Mission is to prepare:
1. Some fruits and veggies (wash, chop, and, cook, if needed)
2. A versatile protein
3. Something for breakfast
This week we chopped up a fresh pineapple, sliced some red bell peppers, roasted sweet potatoes, roasted a chicken, and hard boiled some eggs. BAM!
There are lots of different ways to use these items beyond healthy snacks or lunch box sides. Fresh fruit is great with yogurt for breakfast. Veggies can be quickly steamed, stir fried, or made into a hash or omlet. There’s a million and one uses for precooked chicken: soup, chicken salad, heated up with jarred salsa to make tacos, mixed with peanut sauce and steamed veggies for an Asian inspired meal…
Sweet, right? But what if you’ve never roasted a chicken or sweet potatoes before? No problem. Here’s the method we used to cook the chicken and the sweet potatoes. It’s so so easy, and will make you a meal prep hero. Of course, these are just some ideas. Substitute whatever you like to eat, just get in the kitchen!
1 (3-4 pound) chicken (you can certainly use a larger one, cooking time may increase)
Olive oil or softened butter
Salt and pepper
Optional: fresh herbs or spices
Preheat the oven to 400. Pat chicken dry with paper towels inside and out. Rub the skin with a couple tablespoons of olive oil or softened butter. Season with a generous amount of salt and pepper and your choice of herbs or spices if you like.
Place breast side up in a large roasting pan and cook for 50-80 minutes (this is a big range-roasting time will depend on size and type of chicken) until a meat thermometer measures 165 degrees in the thickest part of the thigh and the juices run clear. If the skin starts to get too brown before the chicken is done, loosely cover the chicken with foil.
Once chicken is cooked, remove and let rest for 10 minutes before carving. Cut all the meat off the bones once cool and you have your protein ready to go!
Vegetables of choice
Salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 425. (400 will work if you’re cooking the chicken simultaneously.) Wash and dry your vegetables, peel if desired, and cube into even sized pieces. The bigger they are, the longer they take to roast, but very small pieces burn easily. We recommend ¾”-1″ cubes.
Toss the cubed veggies on a rimmed baking sheet with enough olive oil to lightly coat them and a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Spread them out into a single layer.
Cook for 20-45 minutes until tender and browned to your liking. Every 5-10 minutes give the veggies a toss using a spatula or tongs.
The cooking time will vary depending on the type of vegetable and how large you cut it. If you find the veggies are browning too fast, turn down the oven temp. Things like broccoli and asparagus will be at the lower end of the range and sweet potatoes will be at the higher end with eggplant, zucchini, and bell peppers somewhere in the middle.