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Prep Ahead Meal Plan: Chicken

Posted in Gluten Free, Homemaking, and Photography

Diced Onions and PeppersProject 365 – #134

Have you ever uttered a phrase similar to this: “I bought all of this great food, but we ended up eating out all week due to life”.  I think it’s fairly safe to say that most people have had this happen to them at least once.  You go grocery shopping and pick up all of this fabulous food.  You’ve got wonderful plans for all of the beautiful, healthy meals for the week.  Then life happens and you end up eating take out or junk food.  Your meal plan goes out the window because there isn’t enough time to prepare the dishes you planned on serving.

We can avoid some of these issues by prepping food as soon as we get home from the grocery store.  We pick a day when we know we’ll have a little extra time to do the prep work for the meals.  This means that we dice up the onions and peppers.  We put the meat in meal size serving portions.  (Freeze the meat with marinade if they’re not going to be used right away.)  The fruits like melon and oranges are sliced up into wedges or chunks and put into containers for easy grab and go.  The large bag of baby carrots is divided into snack size portions.  The lettuce is washed and dried, so it’s ready to use.

Another thing we can do is plan our meals in a way that will allow us to maximize our time.  Here is an example of something I did the week of D’s surgery:

Day One:

  • Prep: Put a nice batch of brown rice in the rice cooker using broth instead of water to add more flavor.
  • Cook up 3 to 4 days worth of boneless, skinless chicken breast.  (Chicken can stay good in the fridge for 4 days.)
  • Cook up some hard boiled eggs to use in salads and to eat as snacks for the week.
  • Main meal for the day – chicken and veggies over rice.

Day Two:

  • Slice up the chicken breasts and toss them in a pan with marinara sauce.  Serve chicken with veggies.  (Cook up some extra chicken for tomorrow night.)

Day Three:

  • Pasta night. Serve leftover chicken with marinara sauce from the previous day over pasta.  Top with freshly grated parmesan cheese, if desired.

Day Four:

  • Option One: Shred the chicken breasts and create chicken salad. Place the chicken salad in Romaine lettuce leaves to create chicken salad wraps.
  • Option Two: Slice the chicken breasts and serve over a nice salad.  Use hard boiled eggs and lots of veggies to make a hearty meal.

Day Five:

  • Chop up lots of fresh veggies and lettuce.  Make veggie tacos using corn tortillas. If any chicken is left, shred that and put it in the tacos. Add any leftover rice.

A little extra prep ahead of time can make meal time during the week go much smoother. If the fruits and veggies are prepped, everyone is more likely to grab a healthy snack instead of junk food.

Do you have tricks you use to make it easier to use the good foods you purchase?

This post is featured in The Christian Home issue 15.


  1. Makes cooking so much easier.

    May 15, 2011
  2. Thank you for a real life example of a frugal meal plan in action! It’s awesome to see exactly what somebody does to keep up with ‘life’. Your site is gorgeous by the way 🙂
    Lindsey recently posted..Encouragement For TodayMy Profile

    May 17, 2011

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