5 Quick & Easy Meal Ideas
As a working mom of 3 small kids meal prep and planning is crucial to let's just say, survival! By the time 5PM rolls around and I am done "work" for the day cooking dinner is the last thing I want to do. The other thing I hate doing is meal planning! Maybe it's the idea that every day I am being told what to eat, even though I realize that I'm the one creating the plan. Or maybe it's the fact that it's another thing I have to do and I just don't want to. Either way, I don't meal plan but I do meal prep.
For some, knowing what they are eating every day ahead of time might work but for me it's constraining. I do prep each week though and will be sharing more of my "trade secrets" in another blog post (coming soon). For now I wanted to share some quick and easy meal ideas you can make with just one piece of meal prep.
Every week part of my routine is to cook a big batch of pulled chicken. I'm not talking the pulled chicken lathered in sauce, but rather a simple pulled chicken with minimal seasoning. This allows me to use this chicken in a variety of ways throughout the week and freeze any excess we don't use. You can do this either in the slow cooker or in a pressure cooker, the instructions below are for a pressure cooker and make the most delicious and juicy chicken ever.
I personally use Epicure branded products in all my cooking as I know I can trust the ingredients to be fully gluten free and free of any additives or fillers. You can read more about their products over on this article: What is Epicure - Our Good Food Mission and Promises.
Now with my chicken prepared for the week I want to share with you 5 easy recipes you can make in under 15 minutes.
Pulled Butter Chicken Sandwiches
1 pkg Butter Chicken Seasoning
1⁄2 can (14 oz/398 ml) coconut milk
1⁄2 can (5.5 oz/156 ml) tomato paste
1 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1 lb (450 g) shredded chicken
1⁄2 bunch fresh cilantro
1⁄2 cup 2% plain Greek yogurt
1⁄2 tbsp lemon juice
Sea Salt (Grinder), to taste
Black Pepper (Grinder), to taste
4 wholegrain burger buns, toasted
In Multipurpose Steamer, whisk together seasoning, coconut milk, tomato paste, and butter. The sauce will be thick. Add chicken breasts; press down firmly and flip to coat with some of the sauce. Cover; microwave on high, 9 min, or until cooked through.
Meanwhile, prepare yogurt sauce. Discard cilantro stems. Coarsely chop leaves; place in a bowl. Stir in yogurt and lemon juice. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
Add pre-cooked shredded chicken into sauce mix
Divide chicken mixture on bottom half of each bun; spread top bun with yogurt sauce, then cover.
Per serving: Calories 450, Fat 19 g (Saturated 12 g, Trans 0.1 g), Cholesterol 95 mg, Sodium 340 mg, Carbohydrate 35 g (Fiber 6 g, Sugars 6 g), Protein 35 g.
Pulled Chicken Breakfast Tostadas
Ingredients 1 tsp oil 8 eggs 8 corn tostadas or tortillas 4 cups baby spinach 2 cups shredded coleslaw mix 1 cup prepared Pulled Chicken, warmed Toppings (optional): shredded cheddar or crumbled feta, lime, salsa, guacamole (try Epicure's Poco Picante Salsa Mix or Guacamole Dip Mix)
Heat oil in a large fry pan over medium heat; crack in eggs. Fry until whites are set and yolk is done to your liking.
Arrange two tostadas on each plate. Top with spinach, coleslaw and warm chicken.
Place eggs on tostadas. Garnish with toppings, if desired.
Per serving (2 tostadas & 2 eggs): Calories 360, Fat 13 g (Saturated 3.5 g, Trans 0 g), Cholesterol 365 mg, Sodium 360 mg, Carbohydrate 33 g (Fiber 2 g, Sugars 7 g), Protein 28 g
Pulled Chicken & Black Bean Tacos
Ingredients 1 can (14 oz/398 ml) low sodium black beans 2 cups Pulled Chicken, prepared 1 avocado 8 tortilla shells 1 cup arugula 1 cup shredded red cabbage or coleslaw mix Toppings (optional): Crumbled feta cheese, sour cream, diced tomatoes, pickled red onions
Drain and rinse beans; place in Multipurpose Steamer. Add pulled chicken and stir to combine. Cover; microwave on high until warmed through, about 1–2 min.
Cut avocado in half; discard pit. Scoop out flesh and slice.
To serve, spoon pulled chicken and bean mixture into tortillas; top with avocado, arugula, cabbage, and additional toppings, if desired.
Per serving (2 tacos): Calories 490, Fat 17 g (Saturated 3 g, Trans 0 g), Cholesterol 70 mg, Sodium 510 mg, Carbohydrate 51 g (Fiber 13 g, Sugars 13 g), Protein 36 g.
Pulled Chicken Soup
Ingredients 1 can (28 oz/796 ml) plum tomatoes 4 cups prepared Broth 2 cups Pulled Chicken 2 green bell peppers, chopped 2 cups frozen corn kernels 1 cup cooked brown rice Toppings (optional): chopped avocado, chopped cilantro or green onion, sour cream or yogurt, feta cheese
Pour tomatoes (including juice) into Multipurpose Pot. Using your hands, coarsely crush.
Stir in broth, chicken and peppers. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring frequently. Partially cover; simmer for 10 min.
Stir in corn and rice. Continue to simmer until corn is warmed through, 5 min. Ladle into bowls and garnish with toppings, if desired.
Per serving (2 cups): Calories 260, Fat 3 g (Saturated 0.5 g, Trans 0 g), Cholesterol 50 mg, Sodium 550 mg, Carbohydrate 34 g (Fiber 5 g, Sugars 13 g), Protein 22 g.
Pulled Chicken Nourish Bowl
4 cups mixed greens
1 cup prepared Pulled Chicken, warmed
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 red pepper, diced
1⁄4 cup cooked grains, such as brown rice or quinoa
1⁄4 cup black or kidney beans
1⁄4 cup grated cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
2 tbsp prepared Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing, or your favorite dressing
Arrange first seven ingredients in two serving bowls.
Drizzle with dressing.
Per serving: Calories 370, Fat 9 g (Saturated 4 g, Trans 0 g), Cholesterol 85 mg, Sodium 510 mg, Carbohydrate 38 g (Fiber 2 g, Sugars 19 g), Protein 37 g.