Ever since I started meal planning, I’ve never looked back. It takes a bit of time and about an hour’s worth of prepping, but it’s worth it in the end. Today I’m showing you what I used to make Overnight Oats, Breakfast Smoothies, Grilled Chicken & Chickpea Salad and Chicken Taco Bowls for a total of 20 meals all stored in a pint-size mason jar.
- Mason Jars (Wide-mouth, regular)
- Measuring Cups and Spoons
- Blender (I use a similar Ninja Blender that isn’t sold anymore)
- Chicken Shears/Knives
- Rice Cooker <- exact one I own (optional since you can cook rice on the stove)
I already have the necessary utensils and appliances, but I recommend discount stores like Ollie’s Bargain Outlet, TJ Maxx, Ross and the clearance section in Walmart to stock up on essentials you might need.
Overnight Steel Cut Oats
I buy mine at Aldi, but you can buy them anywhere. I make these for my boyfriend, Terry’s breakfasts and make them according to the serving size (1/3 cup). These are super duper easy to make and they’re delicious.
- 1/3 cup of steel cut oats
- 2/3 cup of almond milk/whatever milk you’d like (water, if that’s your thing)
- 1/3 cup of frozen fruit (antioxidant blend from Target is my favorite, but any will do)
- 1 to 2 tablespoons of chia seeds
- Honey for flavor
- Cinnamon for flavor
Combine 1/3 cup of oats, 2/3 cup of almond milk, 1/3 cup or more of frozen fruit, and top with chia seeds. Refrigerate and the next day you can reheat in the microwave or eat as is. You can also add a little bit of honey and cinnamon to make them a bit more flavorful. I really like making these because they’re versatile!
Very Berry & Spinach Smoothie With Peanut Butter
I’m not a big fan of eating breakfast, but I have to eat in the morning, so I decided to go back to making smoothies.
- Fresh spinach/kale
- Frozen berries
- Chia seeds
- Peanut butter
- Juice/Almond Milk/Water
I don’t use precise measurements for my smoothies; I just add whatever I want until the jar is filled (leaving out the peanut butter), and then I put them in the freezer. When I’m ready to blend, I dump out the contents into the blender, add half a jar full of juice, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of peanut butter. Blend it all together, pour it back in the jar and drink it down.
*Tip: Run the jar under some hot water to loosen up the contents. This will also make getting the lid off easier.
Chicken Taco Bowls
My crockpot is my best friend, and my mom bought me a smaller 4.5 quart one on sale at Walmart for $18! It also will automatically switch itself to “warm” after it’s done cooking, which is great for those of us who work all day.
- 3 antibiotic-free chicken breasts (we only eat chicken and seafood, so I make sure to buy antibiotic-free chicken)
- 1 packet of taco seasoning
- 1 can of green chilies
- 2 cans of black beans
- 2 cans of corn
- 2 “rice cooker” cups of brown rice
I put the chicken in first, seasoning, green chilies, black beans and then the corn. Depending if I’m in a rush or have the whole day to cook and prep; I’ll set the crockpot to cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours. Before I cook the rice, I wash it thoroughly in a strainer. Then I put in the desired amount (2 cups) and set it to cook. Brown rice takes a little while longer to cook, so once it’s done cooking the first time around, I’ll add some more water and let it cook some more. After the taco mix is done cooking, I’ll have Terry shred the chicken and mix everything together. When everything has cooled off a bit, I fill the wide-mouth mason jars with rice and then layer with the taco-goodness.
Grilled Chicken & Chickpea Salad
I decided to change up my lunch routine and go for something that doesn’t require reheating.
- Frozen, pre-cubed grilled chicken
- Mixed salad bag
- Can of chickpeas
- Small tricolor peppers
- Dressing of your choice
First, I pop the frozen chicken cubes in the microwave to thaw them out and then I start making the salad. I start with the salad mix, chickpeas, two to three peppers (I use chicken shears to cut them into bite-sized pieces), and top it off with chicken and that’s it! This lunch is filling, easy and tasty. I don’t like dressing, so mine’s dry, but I like my salads like that.
If you guys try out any of these meals, I’d love to know!