Weekly Meal Prep: Chicken Salad Recipes & Produce Tips – up your Meal Prep game with easy recipes, tips, and weekly meal prep guides!
Hey there friends! Welcome to the Weekend and my weekly Meal Prep post!
A little background…every week I will be posting a new Meal Prep recipe along with my favorite tips and Meal Prep plan for the week ahead. I started this meal prepping habit last year and no longer stress about packing lunches and last minute dinner plans. Just an hour or two on Sunday devoted to Meal Prep saves on time, money, and stress! Be sure to subscribe here so you don’t miss a post!
This week I’m sharing my #1 favorite Meal Prep tip/recipe along with some suggestions for how to prep and store produce.
#1 Meal Prep Tip
Make a big batch of protein for lunches/meals throughout the week! I like to use my Instant Pot, but a slow cooker works too. Shredded chicken is my go-to, but pulled pork or ground beef are fabulous choices too. I start by throwing 5-6 chicken breasts into the Instant Pot with a little broth or water and usually some garlic. This gets shredded and made into chicken salad for lunch all week long. It’s also great to have on hand for other last minutes recipes like tacos, soup, or a salad add-in.
Check out the instructions here which includes my two favorite chicken salad recipes, Buffalo Chicken Salad and Curry Chicken Salad. These are both Paleo/Whole30 friendly, seriously satisfying, and perfect for easy lunches.
Meal Prepping Produce – Top Five Tips
A big part of my weekly Meal Prep session involves rinsing, chopping, and storing fruits and veggies for easy use throughout the week. Here are my top tips for produce storage:
- Prep a large amount of lettuce for salads (my favorite is green leaf lettuce and red leaf romaine). If you want/need more salad in your life, this step is essential! I took this tip from Aggie’s Kitchen and have been prepping my lettuce weekly. One of my daughters is a big salad lover, so this has made lunch making extra easy for her!
- Chop lettuce, wash it, and use a salad spinner to remove all the excess water
- Place in a large Ziploc bag with a folded paper towel to collect extra moisture and store in the refrigerator.
- Peel and chop Veggies for snacking – I choose carrots, celery, cucumbers, and bell peppers because they are my and my kid’s favorites for adding to lunches and snacks.
- Carrots and celery keep well for at least one week in air tight containers.
- Cucumbers and peppers should have a paper towel added to the container, again to collect extra moisture, or they tend to get slimy over time. Using this technique, they will keep well for up to one week.
- Wash Berries – strawberries, blackberries, and blueberries are my favorite fruits so I always have them on hand for breakfast.
- Wash your berries in a water/vinegar bath (8 cups water to 1 cup white vinegar) by placing them in a large bowl with water/vinegar. Let them soak for a few minutes and help to dislodge any dirt. Place in a colander and rinse.
- Dry berries on paper towels and store in air tight containers (or their original containers) that are lined with paper towels.
- Freeze Veggies & Fruits that are on their last leg – at least once a week I go through my produce drawers/containers and remove anything that is about to turn bad.
- Peppers, celery, onions, etc. can be chopped and added to a large freezer bag for later use in soups, stews, stir fries, and hash.
- Fruit like berries, bananas, mangoes, and kiwi can be frozen for use in smoothies. See this post on how to prep make ahead smoothie packets for an easy breakfast!
- Kale and spinach can be pureed with water (or coconut water) in the blender and poured into ice cube trays for use in smoothies.
- Herbs can be made into pesto and also stored in ice cube trays.
- Make Broth from scraps – as I’m prepping my veggies, I hold onto the scraps to make vegetable/bone broth.
- Keep a large bowl or Ziploc bag handy while prepping veggies and throw in peels, removed ends, etc. from carrots, celery, onions, potatoes, and peppers. I keep the Ziploc in the freezer and continue to add to it until full. See this post for how to make insanely delicious veggie broth in the Instant Pot from just your scraps!
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