Week 2 of meal prepping for my wife, this week I decided to make:
- Breakfast – Whole wheat English muffin breakfast sandwich and a strawberry yogurt parfait
- Lunch – Thai green papaya salad (Som Tum)
- Snack – Hummus with sweet mini bell peppers
- Dinner – Cajun chicken tender pasta / Sun-dried tomato sausage, broccoli and brown rice
Let’s start with the dinner then I will show you the breakfast at the end. This is a super simple Lemon Garlic Chicken Tender Meal Prep recipe because you just need fresh garlic, lemon, oregano, freshly cracked black pepper and some chicken tenders. Before you start focusing on the chicken, bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook up some pasta. I used a brown rice pasta, but you can use any type of pasta for the most part.
Step 1 – Smash your garlic cloves to release the garlic flavor, then mince up the garlic.
Step 2 – Heat up a heavy pan (on high heat) and coat the bottom with a thin layer of cooking oil (I recommend grape seed or avocado oil). Once the oil is hot, turn the head down to medium heat and add in 1/3 of your minced garlic. Immediately add in the chicken tenders on top of the garlic. Add kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper to the top of the chicken.
Step 3 – Once the chicken is cooked on one side, flip them over.
Step 4 – Add fresh ground black pepper to the other side as well. Just before the chicken is done, squeeze some fresh lemon juice onto them. If you are meal prepping like I am, then you will more than likely cook two batches of chicken tenders, in which case you will use the 2nd 1/3 of minced garlic for that second batch. If you are doing a second batch, make sure you watch your pan in between because you don’t want the garlic from the first batch to burn. If you aren’t doing a second batch then skip to Step 5 and do not wash your pan.
Step 5 – Set the chicken tenders aside once they are cooked and turn your attention to the pan.
Step 6 – In the pan you should have crispy garlic and brown bits from the chicken. Add in some chicken stock and oregano, then let the sauce cook for a few minutes. By now your pasta should be finished cooking so strain it and immediately cool down the pasta under cold running water. Normally I would never suggest running cold water on cooked pasta, since the cold water will absorb into the pasta, making it difficult for the pasta to hold onto whatever sauce you are going to add to it. However, since this is for meal prepping, which means the pasta will sit in the fridge for multiple days, we want to hydrate the pasta so they don’t dry out during the week.
Step 7 – In the large pot that you used to cook your pasta, add in about 1 inch of water and bring to a boil. Add about 1 Tbsp of kosher salt into the water to help season your vegetables. Now add in your sugar snap peas and broccoli and let them boil/steam for roughly 3-4 minutes. Use the last 1/3 of your garlic and add it into the boiling/steaming vegetables to add some fresh garlic flavor. Once your vegetables are done cooking, remove them from the pot and add them to an ice bath to shock the vegetables and stop the cooking process. Immediately remove the vegetables from the ice water and set aside. Now it is time to bring it all together, kill the heat on your sauce and toss the sauce in with your pasta. Now just plate your pasta, add your chicken and vegetables. If you aren’t meal prepping then you don’t have to shock the vegetables in ice water, just serve it all hot.
For the sweet bell peppers and hummus, there is no real preparation, other than cutting up the bell peppers. For the Thai green papaya salad I made a separate post for that dish. For the breakfast sandwich it is actually really easy to make as long as you have molds that you can use to shape the egg. If you don’t have molds you can easily make some by using a can opener and opening the top and bottom of a can of tuna.
Heat up a non-stick pan and coat it with a thin coat of cooking oil. Add on two egg molds and make sure they are laying flat in the middle of the pan. Carefully crack open an egg and place it into a small bowl, then beat it with a fork to scramble it up. Repeat with a second egg in a second bowl. Once both eggs are scrambled, pour them into the molds that are within the hot pan.
Cook your eggs until the top of the egg does not look runny, it should basically look almost firm but not too firm where the eggs will over cook. Add fresh ground black pepper and maybe some hot sauce if you are like me. Just hold off on the hot sauce until the eggs are fully cooked. For the bread I recommend a traditional English muffin, but my wife wanted a healthier meal so we went with a whole grain English muffin. Toast up the muffin and spread a thin layer of butter to help protect the bread from any moisture. Add on the egg, some shredded cheese, hot sauce (optional) some thinly sliced turkey (I recommend traditional ham)
Once you’ve put together your little English muffin’s you can freeze them and when you are ready to eat just thaw one and reheat it, it is that simple!