- 6 Yukon Gold Potatoes
- 4 large Carrots
- 1 Delicata Squash
- 1 bunch Kale
- 1 clove Garlic
- 1 (boneless & skinless) Whole Chicken Breast
Breakfast & Snacks
- 0.75 cup Old Fashioned Rolled Oats
- 1 cup Kefir
- 0.25 cup Real Maple Syrup
- 0.5 teaspoon Cinnamon
- 1 cup Dried Cranberries
- 0.25 cup Raisins
- 1 cup Pecans
- 1 cup Almonds
- 0.25 cup Pistachios
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Kosher Salt
- Ground Black Pepper
- Balsamic Vinegar
Let’s take advantage of autumn produce to make this fall meal prep.
Starting the week off with meal prep is a big help for any household.
It’s true what they say, it’s better to be over prepared than scrambling at the last minute.
Most of us want to have healthy, home cooked meals.
However, time is money and most days when we get home tired, cooking is the last thing on our minds.
Even if you are a full-time food blogger, like me!
Cooking seasonally is not only better for your wallet but it also allows us to enjoy produce when it’s at its peak.
Seasonal produce tastes and looks better.
For fall, I am loving root vegetables like squash and dark leafy greens.
A full meal prep includes, breakfast, lunch, a snack and dinner.
I always recommend having some vegetables prepared, a protein, a salad, an easy breakfast and snack.
The best snack are nuts, those are pure brain food!
The below is simply a guideline to help all of us be better prepared.
Feel free to swap out the vegetables for anything yummy you see at the grocery store.
Chicken is an easy and lean protein choice but you can use any meat or meat substitute you like!
I love having canned beans on hand instead of meat most weeks.
Glass containers with air-tight lids are also a big part of a successful meal prep.
I love using snapware and mason jars. 16 ounce, wide mouth mason jars have been a game changer for me. I also use the 4 and 8 ounce, regular mouth for salad dressings and sauces. I recommend having a variety of sizes for both the snapware and mason jars.
For this meal prep, I am using:
- Two 16 ounce, wide mouth mason jars
- One 8 ounce, regular mouth mason jar
- Two large rectangular snapware glass containers
- One small rectangular snapware glass container
- One regular round snapware glass container
- and I recommend having an additional round or rectangular snapware glass container for the to-go work lunches!
Along with all of the below mentioned ingredients, I also suggest having a few other things on hand for the week.
Other staples for me are:
- Fruit like berries which are great with the overnight oats or to snack on
- Avocado for salads or avocado toast
- Canned beans like chickpeas or black beans to add to salads
- Eggs for a morning scramble or hard boiled eggs for a snack
- Chicken or vegetable broth for a quick and easy soup recipe (see how I would use it below).
This meal prep serves 2 people and makes 2 breakfast portions, 2 lunch portions, and 2 dinner portions.
Preheat The Oven and Prep The Vegetables
Preheat your oven to 450°F.
Wash and dry your delicata squash, carrots, and potatoes then set aside.
I love delicata squash because you can keep the skins on, they are edible! I do recommend buying organic.
To prep the delicata squash for roasting, cut off the ends then cut lengthwise. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and fibrous flesh. Next, cut each half into finger-width half moon slices.
See video for detailed instructions.
For the carrots, peel then cut into large chunks. A similar thickness to the delicata squash so they roast at the same rate in the oven.
For the potatoes, cut them into quarters or eights depending on the size of your potatoes.
Place all of the prepared vegetables on two parchment lined baking sheets in one single layer and allowing a bit of space in between each vegetable.
Next, drizzle with about 1 Tablespoon of olive oil and season with 1 teaspoon of salt and 1.2 teaspoon of ground black pepper per baking sheet.
Roast The Vegetables
Roast the vegetables in the preheated 450°F for 25-35 minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender.
After the vegetables are done roasting, allow them to cool on the baking sheets for at least 10 minutes before transferring them to your glassware and store in the refrigerator.
Keep one of the baking sheets with the used parchment paper that has oil, salt, and pepper residue as we can reuse it to roast the chicken later!
Make The Kale Salad
First, remove the fibrous stems from the kale leaves and discard. See video for how to remove the stems.
Next, either rip or chop the kale leaves into bit size pieces then add to a large bowl.
Squeeze the juice of half a lemon over the kale leaves then using your hands, massage the kale leaves well for about 1 minute.
Massaging the kale leaves gets rid of the rubbery texture and bitter taste.
Next, add 1/3 cup of dried cranberries then transfer the salad mixture to a glassware container and store in the refrigerator.
Make The Balsamic Salad Dressing
To your small glass jar, add 1 crushed or minced garlic clove, 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar, 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/8 teaspoon of ground black pepper.
Seal your jar well then shake until the mixture is well emulsified. Store the dressing in the refrigerator.
Make The Nuts & Dried Fruit Snack Mix
Make The Overnight Oats
Grab a large bowl then add 1 cup of kefir, 1/4 cup of maple syrup, and 1/2 a teaspoon of cinnamon. Mix well with a spoon.
Next, add 3/4 cup of oats, 1/4 cup of chopped nuts (I love using pecans), and 1/4 cup pf raisins.
Mix well then transfer the oat mixture into one large or two small glass jars. Seal well then store in the refrigerator.
Roast The Chicken
I always tend to my meat last to avoid any cross contamination.
Lower your oven to 400°F.
Using tongs or a fork, transfer the two chicken breasts to your cutting board dedicated for raw meat then cut off any excess fat.
Next, transfer the two chicken breasts to your baking sheet with the previously used parchment paper and coat the chicken in the residual oil, salt and pepper mix that was left on the parchment paper for when you roasted the vegetables.
If the chicken breasts still look a bit dry, add a bit more olive oil, salt and pepper.
Roast the chicken breasts in a preheated 400F oven for 25-35 minutes. The time will depend on the size of your chicken breasts.
The chicken breasts are fully cooked when the internal temperature of the thickest part of the meat reads 165F. I highly recommend getting a meat thermometer.
After the chicken comes out of the oven, allow the chicken breasts to rest for 10 minutes before cutting the meat and/or transferring to your glassware then store in the refrigerator.
What To Make The Next Couple of Days
Breakfast: Overnight oats with berries.
Lunch: Kale salad with roasted delicata squash, roasted carrots, chicken and balsamic salad dressing.
Snack: Dried fruit and nut mix.
Dinner: Add the roasted potatoes, delicata squash, carrots and chicken to your plate then heat up in the microwave for 1-2 minutes.
Or Make The Best Dang Chicken and Vegetable Soup
If you have chicken or vegetable broth handy, make this soup.
Heat up the broth while shredding the cooked chicken and chop the roasted vegetables into smaller pieces.
Add the shredded chicken and roasted veggies to your broth. If you have any kale leftover, add that to the soup as well.
Give the warmed soup a taste and season with salt and/or pepper, if needed. Since both the veggies and chicken are seasoned already, the soup will most likely not need a lot of seasoning.
Add a teaspoon of olive oil if the soup needs a bit more flavor.