Posted on: May 13, 2024 Posted by: Comments: 0

I tend to be very much a creature of habit, and I’ve been leaning into that more to try to make meal planning/prep easier and decrease the amount of times we decide to DoorDash our dinner. Sometimes these aren’t even recipes, they’re just easy, tasty meals or food combinations that are in the mix all the time.

I’ll give my own, but I’m curious to hear yours — what meals do you have on repeat right now? Are there some meals where it’s a bit more like the Girl Dinner trend, i.e. just a snack plate?

What I Have on Repeat…

I’ve written before about how right now I’m focusing on protein, fiber, and water, and also trying to be mindful of calories… so long as I’m meeting my goals for those I’ll eat anything else I have room in my stomach/caloric budget for the day.

I should note that a lot of these meals are things that I’m making like 6 servings of once and then freezing — I like freezing them into big blocks via my Souper Cubes and then sticking them into a gallon-sized freezer Ziploc. For most of them I just take them directly from the freezer, put in a covered bowl, and microwave them at 50% power for about 4 minutes, stir, then 1 minute in the freezer.

(I started doing this to try to make it easier to grab meals with 30g protein, since the prepackaged freezer meals I grab are usually only 15-18g. As a bonus there’s a lot less plastic and cardboard waste, and less preservatives also.)

How do they taste? Um, I’d give most of them a 7/10 for taste — tasty but not the most delicious thing I’ve ever eaten. I’m still in the process of modifying different recipes to add more vegetables and beans (I generally think microwaved chicken is gross, plus meat free is always good and yay fiber), and playing around with different spices to add in after preparing them to give them a bit more oomph. As always, Trader Joe’s Umami seasoning is a godsend.

Meal Prep Things I Freeze

Stealth Health Pepperoni Mac & Cheese — I keep making this with turkey pepperoni and Barilla protein pasta, and the last time I made a batch I threw in a bag of frozen broccoli and spinach as well.

Stealth Health Beefy Cheesy Burritos — I only freeze the filling part of this (into 1 cup cubes, not 2 cups), and then defrost them into a bowl, then plop it on a tortilla and add more cheese for the final microwave step. They’re not very visually appealing, but they’re really tasty. There isn’t a lot of room to add more vegetables to this one because they’re usually a tight fit for a lot of burritos we get. I got some random Carb Counter burrito wraps (18g of fiber!!!) and those guys are huge.

Sean Casey’s Taco Cheesy Rice — this one is greatly improved by adding fresh guacamole or avocado salsa before it’s served, but it’s tasty by itself also. The portions are absolutely huge, so the last time I made it I divided it into 8 servings instead. I also added black beans the last time, which was good — I think the next time I make it I’m going to do half cauliflower rice to get more veggies in. (Maybe adding tiny chopped carrots too? Hmmn.)

Salmon Recipes

We try to eat salmon once a week, so this is a special category for my family…

Ina Garten’s Panko-crusted salmon (h/t to the readers for introducing me to this one!) — we just bake it at 350 but doing it in the cast iron and broiling it is a bit tastier.

Skinnytaste’s Baked Pesto Chicken — we do this one with salmon almost more than we do it with chicken. I think Kalyn’s Kitchen had a very similar recipe involving foil packets, with the salmon laid on top of green beans… we don’t do the foil packets but we always serve this with green beans.

TikTok Salmon Bowl (Emily Mariko) — it really is tasty. This Popsugar article has a good link and description.

Baked Salmon with Wasabi Mayo – We could probably substitute a storebought sauce; we just mix our own with 1.5 limes, .25 cup mayo, .25 cup FFGY, .75T wasabi paste, 2t fresh ginger; we bake the salmon very simply with onion powder and garlic powder on top and serve this on the side. (You can do .5 cup mayo instead, and up the wasabi to 1.5T — but if you’re doing the mix of mayo/FFGY you really have to cut the wasabi down by about half.)

Baked salmon – I like to add garlic powder, onion powder, and then a BUNCH of Lemon Herb seasoning (harder to find than Lemon Pepper, but that would work too if you don’t hate pepper like I do), and then a BUNCH of dried dill. We cook at 350 for about 30 minutes.

Game Time Decisions

These tend to be the things we cook when it’s 5:30 and don’t have dinner planned…

Kalyn’s Kitchen Sesame Chicken and Broccoli — for some reason we always do this one with pork tenderloin instead of chicken, but whatever is defrosted at the time will be what we use. We all like it and it’s really easy; we serve it with plain white rice. Sometimes we do the full marinade, but Trader Joe’s Soyaki sauce or Coconut Secret Organic Teriyaki Sauce are both great cheats.

Kalyn Kitchen Cajun Shrimp — we all adore this one, but especially if we have fresh bread to dip in the amazing sauce. I happen to have fairly unusual baking dishes that are perfect – like ramekins but 3x the size of a ramekin, maybe intended for scalloped potatoes at first?

Frozen chicken breast in the air fryer – you can make a juicy chicken in 15-20 minutes.

Not Really Recipes in the Crockpot

Frozen chicken breast + 1 jar of salsa. Heat on High for 1-4 hours if that’s when you want to eat, or high for 1 hour then Low for 6-8 hours. I’ve added this to tacos, burritos, and put it on top of nachos… not fancy but it is reliably tasty.

Chicken breast + Frank’s Hot Wing Sauce. My recipe includes added 2T white vinegar and “1/8 tsp celery seeds,” then at the end of its cooktime you add in 4 wedges of Laughing Cow cheese. I like to add cauliflower or broccoli to this one to add veggies; the next time I make it I might try to add some white beans also. You can serve it over pasta, or eat it as part of a wrap with lettuce and tomato.

Other Miscellaneous Meal Prep

Protein yogurt – My current mix is 15g protein powder, 24g powdered peanut butter, 19g Fiber One. Why 19g? Who knows. I add 170g of FFGY when I’m ready to eat, if I’m eating this as more of a dessert I might add whipped cream and/or caramel sauce. I try to make 3 servings every time I make these, and then store the dried mix of ingredients in containers that I dump in when I’m ready to eat them.

Overnight oats – I will meal prep these ingredients: 15g CHOCOLATE protein powder, 24g powdered peanut butter, 30g oats. I have tiny glass yogurt containers that are perfect for this so I’ll do 6 dry containers at a time, but I can run hot and cold on these so when I think I might want to eat them within 2-48 hours I only make 2, adding about 10g of chia and 85g of milk. (Too much more and it gets soupy, plus it won’t fit in the container.) I keep my chia seeds refrigerated so I add them at the end, but if you think of those as shelf stable you could add them with the dry ingredients also.

DIY snack bags – I heard this on a podcast and thought it was clever: make your own snack bags to grab easily. I always used to eat a lot of beef jerky and string cheese through the years, but they’re less than 10g of protein each so they’re less of a good snack by themselves, plus I like to portion the beef jerky which takes additional time. So I’ve just starting putting a serving of beef jerky + a string cheese into a tiny snack bag, and doing 2-3 of them at a time, and I’m surprised how often I’m grabbing them. (They’re around 150 calories and 15g of protein each.)

Sadly, I think that’s the entirety of things we have on repeat at the moment… how about you guys?

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