Post-Grad Essentials: 8 Easy Meal Prep Recipes! - Prep Essentials

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Post-Grad Essentials: 8 Easy Meal Prep Recipes!

One of the things that took me the longest to master after graduating was grocery shopping and meal prepping my (healthy) lunches for the week. It would seriously blow your mind how much money you spend if you go out to eat every day (and if you don't know what you're spending, you need to visit this post on creating a budget ASAP!)

It can feel a little daunting to figure out a lunch recipe that is easy, healthy, and affordable to take to lunch with you every week, but once I started embracing the idea of spending an hour or two every Sunday on making lunches I could not believe how much time and money I started saving! 

Not having to spend time every single night after a long day at work scavenging through the fridge for something to take with you the next day is a major time-saver, and leaves you free to go exercise, Netflix binge, or explore the city as much as you want in the evenings. 

I wanted to share my top eight meal-prep recipes that I make for lunches at work that check off all of those boxes: healthy, affordable, and delicious! If you're still sorting out what kitchen tools and pans you need for your new apartment, I've listed out some of the best ones to start with right here.

PS - I've also shared all of my favorite healthy snacks to pack with you, if you're anything like me and need to be eating practically all day long!


1. Superfood Salad

This is not only my favorite lunch that I make, but it has rapidly become one of my top three favorite meals of all time. It's nothing extravagant, but it's just insanely delicious and thankfully - filling. Nothing drives my crazier than being starving again at 3pm (and knowing I wont be home until 7:30pm after my workout).

2. Arugula + Spinach Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

I'm a huge fan of pretty much anything with a lemon dressing or sauce, but this one is so great because it couldn't be easier to make. I used to use store-bought dressings, ad after making this one I've never gone back. SO much healthier, and honestly? Way more delicious.

3. Honey Garlic Chicken with Rice

I flip-flop between making this for dinner and my lunches, and it honestly works great for both. I usually pack a tiny bit of extra soy sauce on the side for after I heat it up just to pour it over the top of the chicken and rice.

4. Asparagus Sweet Potato Chicken Skillet

This recipe is one of the easiest ones, and it doesn't get much simpler than three ingredients. When in doubt - I combine chicken, 1-2 types of vegetables, and either diced sweet potatoes or rice with whatever sauces I have on hand (teriyaki, barbecue...). It's my go-to when I'm running low on time, ingredients, or if I'm frankly just lazy that day!

5. One Pan Chicken Pad Thai

Don't be intimidated - while this one may have a longer ingredients list, it's still super simple! Take it one step at a time and I promise you'll be a pro in no time. Truth time: I was so proud of myself the first time I made this...it was half hilarious, half pathetic but hey - I'll take my wins where I can get them! PS - my biggest time-saving secret? I buy these pre-cooked diced chicken frozen bags, and then just blacken and cook them in a pan with olive oil. It's perfect!

6. Strawberry Summer Salad

I've been trying to soak up as many of the fresh fruits I can now that they're in season and more affordable, and strawberries are my absolute favorite. The homemade balsamic dressing that comes with this makes it ten times better.

7. Ground Turkey Lettuce Wrap Tacos

This one is our favorite, and we just made it for dinner twice last week! It's insanely simple. Buy the ground turkey, cook accordingly in a pan, mix in a bag of taco seasoning of your choice, and then add whatever toppings you want! We usually do lettuce, tomato, guac, and cheese. Pro Tip: to make this easier for packed lunches, buy these mini guac container packs- that way it doesn't go bad, and you just use up one per day!

8. One Pan Roasted Chicken and Veggies

Another super simple one with very minimal cleanup. You can pretty much swap out the vegetables for whatever your favorites are - my go-to includes broccoli, zucchini, tomato, and squash. I usually make a big batch of rice to add to each container and give the meal a little more substance!

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