Meal prepping has become the ultimate source of my self-care in 2023. Inflation is shooting up prices, and as I age, I would like to have nourishing food available to me, even when I’m busy. And I’m also practicing intuitive eating, and I find meal prep is restoring my relationship with food. Instead of thinking “I should/should not have this”, I often think about how to make things and how fun it would be try to make them.
Here are some recipes that have helped me make batch recipes, which are inexpensive to make. And usually I choose recipes I can make a batch up and then use them in different ways to change what I’m eating up.
(If you have a family, double or triple the recipe)
3 cans of canned tuna (any kind)
Salt and pepper
Optional: cucumbers, capers
- Drain your tuna
- Chop up your veggies into ½ inch or smaller pieces (it can be very rudimentary)
- Scoop a 3/4 cup of mayonnaise and mix that with the tuna, relish and veggies. For more veggies, add cucumber cubes if you have any; or add capers for a little extra flavour
- Season with salt and pepper to taste
Things I buy to eat this different ways: bread for a simple meal, spinach wraps, cheese and lettuce for a wrap, and salad mix I can top with the tuna.
Pressure Cooker Chili
A bag of dried beans (whatever’s on sale and its good to have a variety)
Dried red peppers, jalapenos or adobo chili sauce
Paprika, salt and pepper
If you aren’t vegetarian, any protein if you eat meat (we suggest lean ground beef)
- Soak beans over night.
- Place protein in the pressure cooker over medium-high heat; 8 to 10 minutes. Remove meat and drain off excess fat.
- Cut all vegetables down into ½ inch or smaller pieces, tomatoes and bell peppers can be slightly larger; crush the garlic
- Heat olive oil in the pressure cooker over medium heat; stir in onions, cook for about 3 to 4 minutes. Add garlic; cook and stir for about 30 seconds. Stir in protein and the rest of the ingredients.
- Lock the lid, bring the cooker up to pressure, reduce heat to maintain pressure, and cook for 8 minutes. Remove the cooker from the heat, and let the pressure reduce on its own, 5 to 10 minutes.
- Release the pressure, and when it is fully released, enjoy your chili! This freezes very well.
Things I buy to eat this different ways: bread (like bread bowls), cheese, sour cream and cilantro, hot dogs and hot dog buns for chili cheese dogs, mac and cheese mixed in with the chili (extra points if you bake it), and spring mix with chili ontop.
Starbucks Egg Bite Recipe — but it tastes even better!!
12 eggs (or egg whites)
Salt and pepper
Optional: green onion, bacon, red peppers, potatoes, etc
- Crack the 12 eggs into a blender
- Add a cup of cottage cheese and shredded cheese
- Season with salt and pepper
- Blend this mixture together
- Spray or butter a muffin pan
- Pour ¾ at the most full with egg mix
- Optional: you can add scallions ontop, or mix in bacon or red peppers. My friend puts potatoes on the bottom to make this dish more filling.
- Bake for 25m at 350 degrees (add 5 minutes if you added potatoes)
- This will yield a lot of egg (like 2 dozen); you can freeze half
Things I buy to eat this different ways: I usually just eat it straight! But I probably could eat it over bread. I’ve wanted to make a fancy version with salmon lox and asparagus as the topping. One week I got bored and bought salsa (though you could homemake that or serve with tomato)
Garlic Chili Noodles
Udon noodles (1-2 packages)
Dried red pepper
Dark soy sauce
Regular soy sauce
Chinese black vinegar
Any neutral oil
For heat: Chili garlic paste or chili garlic oil
- Chop, then cook the onion and garlic until onion is cooked. (If you’re cooking meat, cook it fully before this step and cook the onion and garlic in its fat)
- On the side, boil or soak the udon noodles with the stock cube
- Add the udon noodles into the pan.
- I season with my heart, but if I were to measure: two tablespoons of dried red pepper, 1/3 cup sugar, 1 tbsp dark soy sauce, 1 tbsp regular soy sauce, 1 tbsp black vinegar, 1 tbsp sesame oil. If I’ve chosen to include some heat, then I’d add some chili garlic oil.
- When serving, top with green onion and sesame seeds
I love this recipe because I can add stir fry veggies, or various types of protein through out the week with just its base. If I reheat it, I can drop a raw egg in and have its heat cook it in. Or I can add pepper beef. Or I can eat a veggie version with veggies and tofu.
(Honestly if you’re lazy, there’s a lot of premix that’s out there – including ones that are organic and don’t use fillers. Check your local grocery store and even some local bakeries will have fun premixes)
1 cup milk
1 cup quick cooking oats
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup white sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Grease your muffin pan or get liners.
- Combine milk and oats in a small bowl; put aside.
- Beat together egg and oil in a large bowl; stir in oat mixture after the oat mixture has sat for 15 minutes. Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl. Stir flour mixture into wet ingredients until just combined.
- Pour batter into pan no more than 2/3 full
- Bake for 20-25 minutes.
Easy to make food: Frozen dumplings with spicy cabbage
This is kind of my easy when I’m lazy meal prepping. I buy a big bag of dumplings and boil them. As they boil, I chop up some napa cabbage and cook it with some rice vinegar, dried red peppers, dark and regular soy sauce, sesame oil and a tiny bit of sugar. I put this all into a bento box when it’s cooked, and divide it across the week.
Easy to make food: Air-fryer chicken wings and veggies
I love Wing Wednesday and discovered how easy it is to make chicken wings in the air fryer. You can season it differently each time, but the simplest would be to use like BBQ sauce or salt and pepper them, with a tiny bit of Frank’s Red Hot Sauce. I cut up celery, serve that with some baby carrot sticks, and I serve with either ranch sauce or some tahini dressing. Or if I need to comfort myself, I cook up fries after the chicken is done in the air-fryer.
I often buy snacks because I know I’ll crave some food in the in between of meals. Usually my bento boxes look like this:
Bento Box One: cheese, grapes and apples (not gonna lie, on some weeks there’s wine here too)
Bento Box Two: almonds (or any nut mix), dark chocolate, dates/raisins, banana or a mandarin
Bento Box Three: egg, peanut butter, crisps, apples
I do buy chips, popcorn and other play foods, so I can enjoy them throughout the week and not randomly buy something that might not be on sale if I’m craving something.