Buffet Style Meal Prep with Shredded Chicken, Roasted Veggies, and More

Buffet Style Meal Prep with Shredded Chicken, Roasted Veggies, and Sweet Potatoes | BeachbodyBlog.com

The weather is warm, the sun is shining, and the last thing anyone wants to do is spend time in a hot, stuffy kitchen. But unless you have the willpower of Chris Hemsworth training to be Thor, it might be hard to avoid summertime temptations like hot dogs, potato salad, and ribs. Meal prep can help. By arming yourself with healthy food for the whole week, it’s easy to stay on track with your nutrition goals.

And healthy food doesn’t have to take a long time to make! Our resident meal prep master, Social Media Manager Amanda Meixner, is a pro at coming up with yummy menus that follow the Portion Fix container system. Her schedule is packed with yoga teacher training and doing weekend workouts at the beach, and she doesn’t always want to spend her Sunday afternoons creating elaborate meal preps. But instead of skipping it, she just simplifies it.

This week, she made overnight oats with Shakeology for breakfast, and added in a different fruit each day. For lunch and dinner, she prepared roasted vegetables, shredded chicken, hard boiled eggs, and quinoa for a buffet-style meal prep fit for a queen. Throughout the week, she mixed and matched the already prepared food for quick and easy meals. Take a look below to see how Amanda combined the food to make healthy, well rounded meals. She eats at the 1,500–1,800 calorie level, but, depending on your goals, you might need to eat more or less food. Follow your portion plan to map out how you should fill your plate. A good rule of thumb for each meal is to have at least two Green containers, one to two Red containers, and one to two Yellow containers.

Here is what Amanda’s buffet-style meal prep looks like this week:
Buffet Style Meal Prep with Shredded Chicken, Roasted Veggies, and Sweet Potatoes | BeachbodyBlog.com

Here’s what Amanda is eating:

Proteins
Shredded chicken
Hard-boiled eggs
Shakeology

Vegetables
Raw baby carrots
Cucumber and bell pepper salad
Celery
Roasted cauliflower
Roasted broccoli and mushrooms
Sautéed red cabbage
Mixed greens

Fruits (not shown)
Bananas
Apples

Carbs
Quinoa
Baked sweet potatoes
Oatmeal

Healthy fats (not shown)
Almond butter
avocados

Seeds/Oils
Balsamic vinaigrette dressing
Olive oil
Sesame oil

Seasonings
Low-sodium chicken broth

Drinks (optional)
Kombucha (8 ounces count as 1 Yellow on 21 Day Fix)

With buffet-style meal prep, every meal can have variety. Mix and match the foods you want, when you want them. Here’s how Amanda combined these prepared foods into two different lunches:

Buffet Style Meal Prep with Shredded Chicken, Roasted Veggies, and Sweet Potatoes | BeachbodyBlog.com
Meal 1: ¾ cup shredded chicken, 1 cup cauliflower, ½ cup broccoli and mushrooms, ½ cup cabbage, 1 large sweet potato (Portion Fix containers: 2+ Green, 1 Red, 2 Yellow, 1 tsp.)

Buffet Style Meal Prep with Shredded Chicken, Roasted Veggies, and Sweet Potatoes | BeachbodyBlog.com
Meal 2: ¾ cup shredded chicken, ½ cup broccoli and mushrooms, ¼ cup cabbage, ½ cup cucumber, ½ cup bell pepper, ½ cup quinoa (Portion Fix containers = 2+ Green, 1 Red, 1 Yellow, 1 tsp.)

Follow these simple steps to make Amanda’s buffet-style meal prep:

1. First, bake the sweet potatoes. Preheat your oven to 375°F. Scrub four sweet potatoes to clean them, then place on a large baking sheet. Cook the sweet potatoes for about 35 to 40 minutes, or until they pierce easily with a fork. When cool, place sweet potatoes in the refrigerator.

2. Next, roast the cauliflower, broccoli, and mushrooms. Turn your oven up to 450°F. On a large baking sheet, add 10 ounces sliced mushrooms and 12 ounces chopped broccoli. On another baking sheet, add 12 ounces chopped cauliflower. Drizzle with two teaspoons olive oil, and place in oven for about 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from oven and let them cool.

3. Chop half a head of red cabbage. In a medium pan, heat two teaspoons olive oil. Add the chopped cabbage and cook for approximately 10 minutes, or until soft.

4. Place eight eggs in a saucepan, and add enough water to cover the eggs by one inch. Bring water just to a boil over high heat. Remove from heat, cover, and let stand for 12 minutes. While eggs cook, prepare a large bowl of ice water. Carefully remove the eggs from the hot water with a slotted spoon and transfer to the ice water. Place in refrigerator.

5. A rice cooker will make quick work of cooking the quinoa, and will shut off automatically when it’s done. If you do not have a rice cooker, it can be cooked on a stovetop. Cook one cup of quinoa in two cups water and then set aside to cool.

6. To make the chicken, place a 16-ounce chicken breast into a pan with one cup low-sodium chicken broth (just enough to cover the chicken). Add two teaspoons of olive oil and desired seasonings. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 15–20 minutes. Cover and turn heat down to low. Continue to cook for another 45–75 minutes or until chicken shreds when you use a fork. Use two forks to pull the chicken apart. It’s easier to shred the chicken while it’s still warm.

7. Prepare the oatmeal jars. Set out five pint-sized mason jars. To each, add ¼ cup oats, one scoop Shakeology, 1 cup fruit, and water to mix. Cover and place in refrigerator.

8. Slice two cucumbers and two bell peppers. Drizzle with 1 or 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar or sesame oil, mix, and refrigerate.

9. Cut a stalk of celery into smaller pieces and put into a container.

 

Buffet Style Meal Prep with Shredded Chicken, Roasted Veggies, and More | BeachbodyBlog.com

3 Steps for Successful 21 Day Fix Meal Planning

3 Steps to Successfully Plan Your 21 Day Fix Meals

“When it comes to being healthy and fit, it’s not just about what you do in the gym. It’s really about what you do in the kitchen.” – Autumn Calabrese.

Planning your 21 Day Fix meals may seem a bit daunting at first, especially if you’re new to healthy ingredients or portion control, but with a little practice, you will see just how easy it can be to get your clean eating on track. Below are step-by-step instructions for planning your meals and some pro tips on healthy eating.

1. Calculate Your Calorie Level and Daily Container Count
Whether you are trying to lose weight, maintain weight, or gain weight, calculating your proper daily calorie goal is essential to reaching your goals. Here’s how:

1. Multiply your current weight in pounds x 11. This number is your Caloric Baseline.
2. Add 400 (The Fix Calorie Burn) to your Caloric Baseline. The resulting number represents your Caloric Needs to maintain your weight.
3. Subtract 750 (the caloric deficit) from your Caloric Needs. This number is the Caloric Target you should eat to lose weight.

Using your 21 Day Fix Eating Plan Guide, look up the corresponding container count on page 15. Your calorie bracket will determine how many containers of each color you should eat each day.

Here’s an example using a 150-pound person who would like to lose weight.
1. 150 x 11 = 1650 (Caloric Baseline)
2. 1650 + 400 = 2050 (Caloric Needs to maintain weight)
3. 2050 – 750 =  1300 (Caloric Target to lose weight)

Note: If your Caloric Target is less than 1,200, round up to 1,200. If it’s more than 2,300, round down to 2,300. If you are trying to gain weight, add 750 instead of subtracting 750.

2. Write Down A Sample Day of Meals
Now it’s time to start planning. Go to the food lists on pages 24-39. Read through the choices and mark down some of your favorites under every container. Then, using this meal planner, plan a sample day. Think about what types of food you would like to have at each meal and include some of your favorite healthy snacks. Don’t be afraid to keep it simple.

Pro Tip: Choose most of your foods from selections near the top of the list as they are more nutritionally beneficial. Here is a sample day prepared by our Social Media Specialist, Amanda Meixner, who follows the 21 Day Fix Eating Plan.

21 Day Fix Sample Day of Meals

Before you move on to the next step, think about what you would like to eat for the next 3-5 days. Do you want to eat the same thing for breakfast each day, or do you want to switch it up? What about your snacks, lunches, and dinners? Do you have time to cook meals, or would you prefer to eat simply? Write down the variations you’d like, which “free foods” you’d like to add (page 37) and any treats you’d like to substitute for a yellow or orange container this week (page 38 & 39).

3. Make a Grocery List
Set yourself up for success by writing out your grocery list and sticking to it. Base your list on the foods you chose for the next 3-5 days. It’s okay to buy a surplus of these foods so that you have a little extra on hand, but try to stick to the amounts that match your calorie level. Remember that one green container holds about 1 cup or more of vegetables, and that a serving of protein is about 4 ounces (before cooking). If you plan to eat 4 red containers of boneless, skinless chicken breast over the next few days, you would buy 1 pound of chicken. Click the image below to download your Fix-friendly grocery list.

21 Day Fix sample grocery list

10 Time-Saving Tips

  1. Buy pre-cooked chicken breast or fish from the deli section.
  2. Choose canned tuna for quick meals.
  3. Buy pre-cut vegetables. (Just make sure nothing is added to it!)
  4. Hard-boil several eggs at once for quick, high-protein snacks or to add to salads. Here are our tips on how to cook perfect hard-boiled eggs.
  5. Bake all of your sweet potatoes at once.
  6. Pre-cook enough quinoa or brown rice for the week.
  7. Chop all carrots, cucumber, bell peppers, etc. at once for healthy snacks and ready toppings for salads.
  8. Mornings can be hectic. Have your breakfast ready to go by prepping a large batch of oatmeal or these simple egg cups.
  9. Stock up on berries or fruits that don’t need to be cut like apples, oranges, and bananas.
  10. Raw, unsalted nuts make a great, portable snack.

Now that your shopping list is ready and you are set to go shopping for your healthy 21 Day Fix meals! Don’t have 21 Day Fix? Get it here!

Late Summer Meal Prep for the 1,500–1,800 Calorie Level

Late Summer Meal Prep for the 1,500-1,800 Calorie Level

Right now at our farmers markets and grocery stores, we’re seeing a bounty of summer squash, vibrantly-colored tomatoes, and regional fruits and berries that are begging for us to take them home. Because they are at the height of their seasons this time of year, many of these foods are available at great prices, too! We decided to create a meal prep menu that highlights some of this delicious late summer produce. If different fruits and vegetables are in season where you live, feel free to substitute them for some of the side dishes and snacks described here.

This meal prep menu created by Amanda Meixner is based on the Portion Fix nutrition guide and its color-coded portion-control containers that take the guesswork out of healthy eating. Amanda is a pro at creating delectable meal prep menus that fit into the 21 Day Fix eating plan. (Most are also compatible with the nutrition plans for The Master’s Hammer and Chisel and 22 Minute Hard Corps.) She eats at the 1,500–1,800 calorie level, so that means she gets:

  • 4 green containers
  • 3 purple containers
  • 4 red containers
  • 3 yellow containers
  • 1 blue container
  • 1 orange container
  • 4 teaspoons each day.

She also loves her veggies, and sometimes adds more than the allotted amount of green containers to a meal (by the way, that green count is the minimum you’re allowed to enjoy!). She keeps extra vegetables on hand for snacks if she gets hungry. You might notice extra bell peppers and some spinach in the photos that are not included in the menu. If you would like to add more veggies to your meal prep, use these ideas as inspiration.

Keep reading to get all the details on Amanda’s meal prep, see her grocery list, and follow the step-by-step guide below to make these meals as quickly and efficiently as possible.

This Week’s Meal Prep Menu:

Breakfast (M/T/W/Th/F): Chocolate Shakeology with Banana and Oatmeal with Shredded Coconut

Snack (M/T/W/Th/F): Hard-Boiled Eggs and Fresh Fruit

Lunch (M/W/F): Shrimp Coconut Curry with Quinoa and Red Bell Pepper
Lunch (T/Th): Shredded Chicken Breast, Roasted Broccoli and Cauliflower, Mashed Sweet Potato, and Avocado

Snack (M/T/W/Th/F): Roasted Chickpeas and Baby Carrots

Dinner (M/W/F): Spiralized Yellow Squash with Cherry Tomatoes and Chicken
Dinner (T/Th): Baked Salmon with Zucchini Noodles and Cherry Tomatoes

Here’s what your meal prep will look like when you’re done:

Late Summer Meal Prep for the 1,500-1,800 Calorie Level

Breakfasts: ½ cup cooked oatmeal (¼ cup rolled oats) topped with 2 Tbsp. unsweetened shredded coconut, and Chocolate Shakeology made with water and ½ large banana (1 red, 1 purple, 1 yellow, 1 orange)

Snacks: Two hard-boiled eggs with ½ cup strawberries and 1 small fig (1 red, 1 purple)

Late Summer Meal Prep for the 1,500-1,800 Calorie Level Snack of Figs and Strawberries

Lunches:

M/W/F: Shrimp Coconut Curry (or chicken) with ½ cup quinoa and ½ cup chopped red bell peppers (1 green, 1 red, 1 yellow, 1 blue, 1 tsp.)

T/Th: 4 oz. shredded boneless, skinless chicken breast; 1 cup roasted broccoli and cauliflower; ¾ baked sweet potato (mashed) topped with ¼ sliced avocado (1 green, 1 red, 1 yellow, 1 blue, 1 tsp.)

Late Summer Meal Prep for the 1,500-1,800 Calorie Level Lunches

Snack: ½ cup chickpeas roasted in 1 tsp. oil and 1 cup baby carrots (1 yellow, 1 green, 1 tsp.)

Late Summer Meal Prep for the 1,500-1,800 Calorie Level Roasted Chickpeas

Dinners

M/W/F: 1½ cups spiralized carrots and summer squash sautéed in olive oil, topped with 4 oz. sliced chicken breast and ½ cup cherry tomatoes (2 greens, 1 red, 2 tsp.)

T/Th: 4 oz. baked salmon with 1½ cups spiralized zucchini and ½ cup cherry tomatoes (2 greens, 1 red, 2 tsp.)

Late Summer Meal Prep for the 1,500-1,800 Calorie Level Dinners

 

GROCERY LIST
Late Summer Meal Prep for the 1,500-1,800 Calorie Level

Vegetables
1 cup broccoli florets
1 cup cauliflower florets
1 bunch cilantro
1 bunch basil
6 medium bell peppers
3 medium yellow squash
3 medium zucchinis
4 medium carrots
2 bags baby carrots
2½ cups cherry tomatoes
2 small sweet potatoes
1 avocado
fresh ginger
1 head garlic

Fruits
2½ cups strawberries
5 small figs
3 bananas
1 lime (or 3 tsp. lime juice)

Proteins
5 packets Shakeology
8 oz. salmon
20 oz. boneless, skinless chicken breast
18 oz. raw medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
one dozen eggs

Dry Goods
1¼ cups old-fashioned rolled oats
2, 15-oz. cans chickpeas
½ cup dry quinoa (or 1½ cups cooked quinoa)
1 can coconut milk (not coconut milk beverage)
⅔ cup unsweetened shredded coconut

Pantry
ground pepper
sea salt
curry powder
coconut oil
olive oil
raw honey

Your step-by-step plan to assemble the meal prep:

1. Place 10 eggs in a saucepan, and add enough water to cover the eggs by one inch. Bring water just to a boil over high heat. Remove from heat, cover, and let stand for 12 minutes. While eggs cook, prepare a large bowl of ice water. Carefully remove the eggs from the hot water with a slotted spoon and transfer to the ice water. Place in refrigerator.

2. Heat oven to 375°F. Arrange two small sweet potatoes on a baking sheet. Pierce each sweet potato with a fork three times. Place the baking sheet in the oven for 30–40 minutes or until sweet potatoes are tender. Remove from oven and leave the oven on. Cut a slit down the center of each sweet potato, then use a fork to mash the interior. Place in two lunch containers.

3. While the sweet potatoes cook, arrange one cup of broccoli florets and 1 cup cauliflower florets on a baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 tsp. olive oil. Place baking sheet on a second oven rack and roast for about 20 minutes, stirring once, or until veggies are soft and begin to turn golden brown. Remove from oven and set aside to cool. When cool, divide evenly between the two containers with sweet potatoes. Remove from oven and leave the oven on.

4. Spiralize three yellow squash, four carrots, and three zucchinis, or use a vegetable peeler to cut each into long, pasta-like ribbons. Place a pan over medium heat and add 2 tsp. coconut oil. Add the carrots and yellow squash. Cook, stirring frequently for 3–4 minutes, or until soft. Season with salt and pepper if desired. Divide yellow squash and carrot noodles evenly between three dinner containers. To the same pan, add 2 tsp. olive oil and place over medium heat. Add spiralized zucchini, and cook, stirring frequently for 3–4 minutes. Add torn basil leaves and season with salt and pepper if desired. Divide evenly between two more dinner containers. Add ½ cup cherry tomatoes to each of the five containers with vegetable noodles. Set aside.

5. Brush 20 oz. of chicken breasts with 2 tsp. olive oil and season with sea salt and ground pepper, if desired. Bake chicken for 20 minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink in the middle. Remove from heat, and set aside to cool. When cool, cut 12 oz. of chicken into cubes. Divide evenly between containers with yellow squash and carrot noodles. Place in refrigerator. Use a fork to shred the remaining 8 oz. of chicken. Divide evenly between containers with broccoli, cauliflower, and sweet potatoes. Place in refrigerator. Serve with ¼ avocado.

6. Next, cook the salmon. Heat a large pan over medium heat. Pat dry 8 oz. of salmon. Season with salt and pepper if desired. Spray pan with nonstick cooking spray. Place salmon in pan. Cook for 3–4 minutes, then flip and cook 3–4 minutes more, or until fish flakes easily with a fork. Remove from pan and set aside to cool. When fish has cooled, divide evenly between the two containers with zucchini noodles. Place in refrigerator.

7. Next, bake the chickpeas. Drain and rinse two cans of chickpeas. Spread beans out on clean dish towels, and pat dry. Arrange 2½ cups of dried chickpeas on a large baking sheet, drizzle with 2 Tbsp. olive oil, and season with salt or other spices if desired. (Place any unused chickpeas in the fridge.) Gently shake baking sheet to coat all beans with oil and seasoning. Roast chickpeas for 25–35 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, until crisp and golden brown. Remove from oven and set aside to cool. When cool, add ½ cup beans to five snack-sized containers.

8. Prepare the oatmeal: Bring 2½ cups of water to a boil in medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add 1¼ cups old-fashioned rolled oats and a dash of salt, if desired. Cook the oats over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, for 3–5 minutes. Remove from heat. Divide evenly between five small food storage containers, and sprinkle with 2 Tbsp. unsweetened shredded coconut.

9. Next, make the Shrimp Coconut Curry. Chop 1½ red bell peppers, and set aside. Combine ¾ cup canned coconut milk, 3 tsp. lime juice, 1½ tsp. honey, 1½ tsp. curry powder, ½-inch slice of peeled and finely chopped ginger, and ¾ tsp. finely chopped garlic in a small bowl; mix well and set aside. Season 18 oz. of shrimp with ¾ tsp. pepper. Heat 3 tsp. coconut oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add shrimp and bell peppers, and cook, stirring frequently, for 30 seconds. Add coconut milk mixture. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook for 5 minutes, or until sauce is slightly thickened and shrimp is opaque and firm. Remove from heat. When cool, divide evenly between the three containers with quinoa. Garnish with cilantro if desired. Chop another red bell pepper and add ½ cup to each container (these were left raw for this meal prep, but they can also be added with the other peppers and cooked with the shrimp, if desired). Place in refrigerator.

10. Wash, hull, and slice 2½ cups strawberries and 5 small figs. Place in a large container and place in the refrigerator.

Summertime Meal Prep for the 1,500–1,800 Calorie Level

Almost No-Cook Meal Prep for the 1,500-1,800 Calorie Level

Almost No-Cook Meal Prep 1,500-1,800

Last Sunday, a cloudless blue sky and balmy breeze cajoled me out of my house to enjoy one of the last weekends of summer. I was feeling pretty lazy, so it wasn’t hard to convince me to avoid battling the traffic jam of shopping carts at Whole Foods. I decided to postpone my usual Sunday afternoon meal prep session and go read a book at the beach instead. It was totally worth it.

But, in the back of my mind, a little voice chided me that by lunchtime on Monday, I’d regret skipping my meal prep, and probably hit a taco truck. That night, I created a menu that I could easily execute with almost no cooking. I made a quick trip to the grocery store for supplies once the sun had set, which is a much less crowded time to shop as it turns out! The next morning (yes, Monday morning before work), I slapped together this meal prep in record time.

Since no cooking was required, most of the meals are meant to be served cold. But, I wanted to have at least one hot meal, so I created the Shrimp and Veggie Rice Bowl with raw broccoli and snow peas. When you heat it in the microwave, covered with a wet paper towel, the veggies will steam to a perfect tender crisp. You can also heat everything in a pan on the stovetop.

My menu follows the simple, color-coded Portion Fix eating plan at the 1,500–1,800 calorie level. That means that each day I get:

  • 4 green containers
  • 3 purple containers
  • 4 red containers
  • 3 yellow containers
  • 1 blue container
  • 1 orange container
  • 4 teaspoons

Technically, you can prepare this menu without cooking a single ingredient if your grocery store sells peeled, hardboiled eggs (check the deli or salad bar) and pre-cooked brown rice (or hit up any Asian restaurant). I decided to save the extra money and cook these foods myself. Keep reading to get all the details on this almost no-cook meal prep, get the complete grocery list, and follow the step-by-step guide below to make these meals as quickly and efficiently as possible.

This Week’s Meal Prep Menu:

Breakfast M/W/F: Coconut Mango Chia Pudding
Breakfast T/Th: Overnight Oats with Strawberries and Hemp Seeds

Shakeology Snack M/W/F: Blueberry Spinach Shakeology
Shakeology Snack T/Th: Peach and Nut Butter Shakeology

Lunch M/W/F: Tuna and White Bean Salad
Lunch T/Th: Greek Chicken Salad

Snack M/W/F: Hardboiled Eggs, Apple with Nut Butter
Snack T/Th: Greek Yogurt with Berries

Dinner M/W/F: Black Beans and Rice with Veggies
Dinner T/Th: Shrimp and Veggie Rice Bowl

 

Here’s what your meal prep will look like when you’re done:

Almost No-Cook Meal Prep 1,500-1,800

 

These are your meals for M/W/F:

Almost No-Cook Meal Prep 1,500-1,800

 

These are your meals for T/Th:

Almost No-Cook Meal Prep 1,500-1,800

 

Breakfasts

M/W/F: Coconut Mango Chia Pudding made with 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk beverage, 1/2 tsp. raw honey, 1/8 cup chia seeds, 1/2 medium mango (1 Yellow, 1 Purple, ½ Orange)

T/Th: Overnight Oats with Strawberries and Hemp Seeds made with ½ cup oats, ½ cup unsweetened almond milk, 1 Tbsp. hemp seeds, 1 cup strawberries (2 Yellow, 1 Purple, ½ Orange)

Almost No-Cook Meal Prep 1,500-1,800

 

Shakeology Snacks

M/W/F: Shakeology with 1 cup frozen blueberries and 1 cup spinach (1 Red, 1 Purple, 1 Green)

T/Th: Shakeology with 1 cup frozen peaches and 2 tsp. nut butter (1 Red, 1 Purple, 2 tsp.)

Almost No-Cook Meal Prep 1,500-1,800

 

Lunches

M/W/F: Tuna and White Bean Salad made with 1 cup lettuce, ½ cup red bell pepper, ½ cup cucumber, 1 green onion, parsley to taste, one 4 oz. can tuna packed in water, ½ cup white beans, 2 tsp. olive oil, 2 tsp. balsamic vinegar. (2 Green, 1 Red, 1 Yellow, 2 tsp.)

T/Th: Greek Chicken Salad made with 3 oz. rotisserie chicken breast, ½ cup cucumber, ½ cup cherry tomatoes, 1 cup romaine lettuce, 1 oz. crumbled feta, 5 kalamata olives, and dressed with fresh lemon juice.  (2 Green, 1 Red, ½ Orange, 1 Blue)

Almost No-Cook Meal Prep 1,500-1,800

 

Snacks

M/W/F: 2 hard-boiled eggs, and an sliced apple with 2 tsp. nut butter (1 Red, 1 Purple, 2 tsp.)

T/Th: ¾ cup plain Greek yogurt with 1 cup berries (1 Red, 1 Purple)

Almost No-Cook Meal Prep 1,500-1,800

 

Dinners

M/W/F: ¼ cup brown rice, ¼ cup black beans, ½ cup tomatoes, ½ cup orange bell pepper, cilantro, ¼ cup shredded cheddar cheese (or 1/4 avocado), served with ¾ cup low-fat cottage cheese with smoked paprika (or chili powder), and 1 Tbsp. raw pepitas (1 Green, 1 Red, 1 Yellow, 1 Blue, ½ Orange)

T/Th: Shrimp and Veggie Rice Bowl made with ½ cup broccoli (chopped into ½-inch pieces), ½ cup snow peas or green beans (chopped into ½-inch pieces), ½ cup brown rice, ½ green onion (chopped), ½ Fresno chili (sliced), 4 oz. cooked shrimp, 2 tsp. sesame oil, and 1 tsp. rice vinegar. Instructions for heating: cover with a wet paper towel and heat in a microwave for two minutes. (1 Red, 2 Green, 1 Yellow, 2 tsp.)

Almost No-Cook Meal Prep 1,500-1,800

 

GROCERY LIST

Vegetables
3 cups spinach
5 cups chopped romaine lettuce (or two heads)
1 bunch green onions
1 large red bell pepper
2 medium cucumbers
2½ cups cherry tomatoes
1 cup broccoli florets
1 cup snow peas (or green beans)
1 Fresno chili (optional)
1 orange bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper
1 bunch cilantro
1 avocado (optional)
1 bunch parsley

Fruit
2 medium mangoes or 3 cups chopped mango
2 cups strawberries
3 cups frozen blueberries
2 cups frozen peaches
1 lemon
3 apples
2 cups fresh berries

Protein
1 rotisserie chicken or 6 oz. cooked boneless, skinless chicken breast
8 oz. cooked shrimp
3 4 oz. cans tuna packed in water
6 hard-boiled eggs or ½ dozen raw eggs

Dairy and Dairy Alternatives
1 ½ cups Greek yogurt
2 ¼ cups low-fat cottage cheese
2 oz. crumbled feta
3 oz. shredded cheddar cheese (or 1 avocado)
2 cups unsweetened coconut milk beverage
1 cup unsweetened almond milk (or replace with remaining coconut milk beverage)

Dry Goods
1 15 oz. can white beans
1 15 oz. can black beans
1 jar nut butter
10 kalamata olives
1¾ cups cooked brown rice or 2/3 cup dry brown rice
1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
2 Tbsp. hemp seeds (or sunflower seeds)
½ cup chia seeds
2 Tbsp. pepitas
Shakeology (available here!)

Pantry
sesame oil
rice vinegar
olive oil
balsamic vinegar
raw honey

 

Your step-by-step plan to assemble the no-cook meal prep:
1. If you did not buy cooked brown rice, start by steaming the rice. Combine 2/3 cup brown rice and 11/3 cup water in medium saucepan, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to maintain a gentle boil; cook, covered, for 15–20 minutes. Remove pan from heat and let rice rest, covered, for 10 minutes. Do not remove lid. Open lid and fluff rice with a fork; let cool completely. Set aside.

2. If you did not buy hard-boiled eggs, place six eggs in a saucepan, and add enough water to cover the eggs by one inch. Bring water just to a boil over high heat. Remove from heat, cover, and let stand for 12 minutes. While eggs cook, prepare a large bowl of ice water. Carefully remove the eggs from the hot water with a slotted spoon and transfer to the ice water. Place in refrigerator. Serve two hard-boiled eggs with an apple and 2 tsp. of nut butter.

3. Make the Coconut Mango Chia Pudding (we adjusted the recipe to make three servings). Remove the lids from three mason jars. In each, place 1/8 cup chia seeds, ½ cup coconut milk beverage, and ½ tsp. raw honey; stir to blend. Top each jar with 1 cup chopped mango. Seal jars and place in refrigerator.

4. Next, make the Overnight Oats. Remove the lids from two mason jars. In each, place ½ cup old fashioned rolled oats, ½ cup unsweetened almond milk, and 1 Tbsp. hemp seeds (or sunflower seeds); stir to blend. Top each jar with 1 cup chopped strawberries. Seal jars and place in refrigerator.

5. Pre-portioned smoothie bags make it even faster to make your Shakeology smoothie. Fill three plastic bags or other containers each with 1 cup baby spinach and 1 cup frozen blueberries. Place in freezer. Fill two plastic bags or other containers each with 1 cup frozen peaches. Place in freezer.

6. Make the Greek Chicken Salads. Place 1 cup chopped romaine lettuce into each of two food containers. Top with ½ cup chopped cucumber, ½ cup cherry tomatoes, 5 kalamata olives, and 1 oz. crumbled feta cheese. If you bought rotisserie chicken, cut the breast meat away from the bone and remove the skin. Slice each chicken breast and place 3 oz. of meat in each food container. Cut a lemon in half and place one wedge in each container; use it to dress the salad when you’re ready to eat. Place salads in refrigerator.

7. To make the White Bean and Tuna Salads, fill three food storage containers each with 1 cup spinach, ½ cup chopped red bell pepper, ½ cup chopped cucumber, 1 sliced green onion, and parsley to taste. Place in refrigerator. When ready to eat, open and drain one can of tuna; add tuna to the salad. Dress with 2 tsp. olive oil and 2 tsp. balsamic vinegar just before serving.

8. Divide 1½ cups low-fat Greek yogurt between two small food containers. Top each with 1 cup fresh berries. Place in refrigerator.

9. In a large bowl, combine ¾ cup chopped orange pepper, ¾ cup chopped yellow bell pepper, 1 ½ cups cherry tomatoes, ¾ cup brown rice, ¾ cup canned black beans (drained and rinsed), ¼ cup shredded cheddar cheese, and ¼ cup cilantro (optional). Mix well. Divide evenly between three food storage containers. Place in refrigerator.

10. Divide 18 oz. low-fat cottage cheese between three food storage containers. Top each with ¼ tsp. smoked paprika (or chili powder) and 1 Tbsp. raw pepitas. Place in refrigerator. Serve with black beans and rice.

11. Last, make the Shrimp and Veggie Rice Bowls. In a large bowl, combine 1 cup broccoli chopped into ½-inch pieces, 1 cup snow peas (or green beans) chopped into ½-inch pieces, 1 sliced green onion, 4 tsp. sesame oil, and 2 tsp. rice vinegar. Mix well. Divide evenly between two food storage containers. Top each with 4 oz. cooked shrimp and ½ sliced Fresno chili (optional). Place in refrigerator. When ready to eat, place a wet paper towel over the container and microwave for two minutes.

Almost No-Cook Meal Prep for the 1,500-1,800 Calorie Level

Meal Prep Ideas from the Pros

Meal Prep Ideas from the Pros

Beachbody’s resident meal prep pros, Amanda Meixner and Chris Rocchio are tough acts to follow. Each of these fitness fanatics devotes nearly every Sunday to meal prep!

Their hard work pays off in results they can see and feel. Amanda told us, “I make my health a priority and the rest falls into place. Seriously, there is no better feeling than having the right foods to eat and scheduling time for all of my workouts. Planning ahead makes me feel so much better, and helps me get it done.”

And, they’ve both got enviable abs to prove it.

As these seasoned meal preppers know, variety is the key to sticking with the meal prep lifestyle. They keep simple staples such as chicken, sweet potatoes, and lentils in heavy rotation, then work in a variety of different fruits and vegetables as the seasons change. Amanda explained that she sticks to many of the same foods because they are quick and easy to make, but then she works in seasonal produce, and one or two new recipes each week to keep from getting bored. Chris keeps his meal preps exciting by adding tons of flavor and heat with garlic, lots of spices, and hot peppers.

Does your shopping cart look like this? It’s a great place to start. Amanda’s is filled with a spectrum of vibrant colors, mostly fruits and vegetables, and nothing processed in sight. She goes to the store armed with a grocery list for the meals she’s planned, and doesn’t buy anything on a whim. Except maybe a bouquet of flowers.

Meal Prep Ideas from the Pros

Egg cups are an easy, high-protein breakfast that can be made ahead. They reheat well in a microwave, and can be frozen to stay fresh until you’re ready to eat them. Amanda’s are made with egg whites from a carton, which saves her the time and effort of cracking and separating whole eggs. These also contain spinach and cherry tomatoes, but you can use almost any vegetable you like. Try these great egg cup recipes.

Meal Prep Ideas from the Pros

Grab-and-go-breakfast for the win! Chris filled Mason jars with cooked steel cut oats, plain Greek yogurt, chocolate-flavored whey, hemp seeds, coconut flakes, crushed walnuts, and blueberries. Make yours with your favorite combination of toppings, or try this delicious recipe for Slow Cooker Banana Bread Oatmeal.

Meal Prep Ideas from the Pros

Baked oatmeal muffin cups are a great breakfast or snack, and they can be eaten hot or cold. Amanda made hers with bananas and blueberries, just like this recipe.

Meal Prep Ideas from the Pros

This beautiful lunch plate looks like it was a lot of work to prepare, but Amanda didn’t have to do any cooking! She often buys precooked lentils (look for them near the canned beans, or vacuum sealed in the refrigerator section) and chicken breasts to save time. The corn and red pepper salsa from Trader Joe’s is one of her favorite ways to amp up the flavor of chicken breast, but any prepared salsa will do the trick.

Meal Prep Ideas from the Pros

We’re drooling over this beautiful piece of barbecue chicken with spinach, baked sweet potatoes, and asparagus. Chris says, “I usually stay away from most barbecue sauces because of the added sugar and high fructose corn syrup, but I found a great brand with no sugar and legit ingredients.” Psst, Chris, we’ve got a great recipe for homemade barbecue sauce you might like.

Meal Prep Ideas from the Pros

Why would you ever cheat, when you have all of this amazing food in your fridge? This is one of Amanda’s famous buffet-style meal preps. With so much variety, she is able to create different meals every single day. We even spy some yummy pumpkin oatmeal cookies! Get her healthy recipe here.

Meal Prep Ideas from the Pros

See how Amanda combined some of the foods pictured above to create a unique new lunch? She mixed her medley of sautéed shiitake mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, and baby carrots with shredded chicken and lentils. Can we have some, please?

Meal Prep Ideas from the Pros

These Mason jar salads are Chris’s energizing pre-workout snack. He put balsamic vinegar at the bottom of each jar, added the rest of the ingredients, and finished with spinach leaves at the very top. His salads have heirloom tomatoes, beets, cucumbers, bell peppers, chicken, jalapeños, hemp seeds, and spinach. Try some of our Mason Jar Salad recipes.

Meal Prep Ideas from the Pros

This insane, low-carb burger is taking meal prep to another level. Chris slapped his bison burger patty between two roasted portobello mushrooms instead of traditional buns. They’re topped with kale, tomato, jalapeños, Gouda cheese, and red onions. All we can say is, “Wow!”

Meal Prep Ideas from the Pros

By now, most of us have seen the pizza meal prep meme. Well, here’s a way that you can actually pull that off! Amanda made mini pizzas using cauliflower crust topped with chicken and a rainbow of fresh veggies. If this is what meal prep looks like, sign us up!

Meal Prep Ideas from the Pros

Travel can be a diet-killer, but Amanda doesn’t let her nutrition slip when she’s on the road. Check out how she prepared for a weekend in Las Vegas by bringing the buffet with her. She packed an insulated bag from Six Pack Fitness with healthy options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Meal Prep Ideas from the Pros

Horchata Shakeology

Horchata Shakeology

Horchata is a lightly sweet drink usually made from almonds, rice, or tiger nuts and infused with fragrant cinnamon. It has been enjoyed in many parts of the world for centuries, especially in Spanish speaking countries, and each region claims their own recipe is numero uno. The kind that’s most widely drunk in the U.S. and Mexico is made from rice.

Horchata is best when it’s served ice cold on a hot day. So naturally, it’s a delicious idea for an icy, cinnamon-y, Shakeology smoothie!

To create Horchata Shakeology, we blended creamy Vanilla Shakeology with unsweetened almond milk, vanilla extract, and cinnamon. Two full tablespoons of sliced raw almonds give it extra almond flavor and a nice texture. The result is an horchata smoothie that will make you feel like celebrating Cinco de Mayo every day of the year.

Turn this horchata recipe into an especially good Shakeology “milkshake” by doubling the ice to make it thick enough to enjoy with a spoon. Bonus points: sprinkle with cinnamon and sliced almonds and serve with a cinnamon stick.

If you’re feeling extra festive, garnish your shake with a sprinkling of lime zest or a dash of metabolism-boosting cayenne pepper. These are not traditionally served with horchata, but they taste yummy in this smoothie. Top it off with a colorful drink umbrella, put your feet up like you’re on vacation somewhere sunny, and enjoy.

By: Team Beachbody
Prep time: 5 mins

Total time: 5 mins
Serves: 1 serving
Ingredients:
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk (or rice milk)
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 scoop Vanilla Shakeology
  • 2 Tbsp. sliced raw almonds
  • ¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup ice
Instructions:
  1. Place almond milk, extract, Shakeology, almonds, cinnamon, and ice in blender; cover. Blend until smooth.

Calories in Horchata Shakeology Recipe | BeachbodyBlog.com

Pomegranate Salad with Walnuts and Cabbage

Beachbody Blog Pomegranate Salad Walnuts

By: Team Beachbody
Total Time:
35 min.
Prep Time: 15 min.
Cooking Time: 20 min.
Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients:
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. raw honey
1 dash sea salt
½ medium head cabbage, finely shredded (about 5 cups)
2 medium carrots, finely shredded
½ cup pomegranate seeds
¼ cup chopped raw walnuts
2 green onions, sliced thin
12 fresh cilantro sprigs, finely chopped

Preparation:
1. Combine oil, vinegar, honey, and salt in a small bowl; whisk to blend. Set aside.
2. Combine cabbage, carrots, pomegranate, walnuts, green onions, and cilantro in a large bowl; mix well.
3. Drizzle cabbage mixture with dressing; toss gently to blend.

Zucchini Bread

Zucchini Bread Recipe

Try this healthier take on zucchini bread for your next brunch. It’s rich with a moist crumb just like the less healthy versions of this comfort food, but it’s made with all-natural, good-for-you ingredients. It’s still considered a treat, so don’t overdo it.

By: Team Beachbody
Total Time:
 1 hr 10 min.
Prep Time: 15 min.
Cooking Time: 55 min.
Yield: 20 servings, 1 slice each

Ingredients:
Nonstick cooking spray
6 large egg whites
¼ cup melted coconut oil
½ cup unsweetened applesauce
1/3 cup sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
¾ cups all-purpose flour
1¾ cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
¾ tsp. sea salt
3 tsp. ground cinnamon
2½ cups grated zucchini
½ cup chopped raw walnuts

Preparation:
1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
2. Lightly coat two 9 x 5-inch loaf pans with spray.
3. Combine egg whites, oil, applesauce, sugar, and extract in a large bowl. Set aside.
4. Combine all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a medium bowl; mix well.
5. Add flour mixture to egg mixture; mix until just blended.
6. Fold in zucchini and walnuts; mix until just blended.
7. Divide batter evenly between the two pans.
8. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until golden brown and tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
9. Cool bread in pans for 5 to 10 minutes, remove from pans and transfer to rack; cool completely.

Tip: Leftover slices can be wrapped individually and stored in the freezer for future meals.

Zucchini Bread

No-Bake Cinnamon Sugar Donut Holes

No-Bake Cinnamon Sugar Donut Holes

I know what you’re thinking: It’s a trick. Those can’t taste like donut holes.

Wrong! These little treats really do taste like donut holes. A dozen eager taste-testers at Beachbody headquarters agreed, and raved that these are surprisingly close to the real thing.

Now you’re thinking: How’d they do it?

Lots of testing – and sampling – to get the right cakey texture and spiced donut flavor (sometimes our jobs are really hard). We blended Vanilla Shakeology with almonds, coconut, dates, honey, and spices to get a flavor and texture that is authentically donut. The mixture is a bit crumbly after a trip through the food processor, but when it’s squeezed into shape, it holds together nicely. Once it was formed into balls, we rolled our No-Bake Cinnamon Sugar Donut Holes in a mixture of cinnamon, sugar, and coconut for the finishing touch. They’re not too sweet, and have just the right amount of spice.

No-Bake Cinnamon Sugar Donut Holes

Why do you need to soak the almonds? Almond skins have a bitter element, and almonds by themselves make the donut holes too dry. Soaking the almonds in a bowl of water in the refrigerator overnight loosens the skins, and plumps up the nuts to add moisture to this recipe. In the morning, you can easily pinch the almonds out of their skins. If you forget this step, just nuke the almonds and water in a microwave for one minute, let cool, and then remove the skins.

Even though these little delights are a wholesome alternative to actual fried and sugar-coated donut holes, they are still a treat with a fair amount of sugar and calories. That means: Don’t eat them all at once! If you want to reduce the sugar, you can swap one tablespoon of honey for almond butter or unsweetened apple sauce.

No-Bake Cinnamon Sugar Donut Holes

By: Team Beachbody
Prep time: 20 mins

Total time: 20 mins
Serves: 14 servings, 1 ball each
Ingredients:
  • ⅓ cup whole raw almonds
  • Water
  • ½ cup + 1½ tsp. unsweetened shredded coconut, divided use
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1½ tsp. coconut (or palm) sugar
  • 2 scoops Vanilla Shakeology
  • ½ tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp. sea salt (or Himalayan salt)
  • 6 medjool dates, pitted, coarsely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. + 1½ tsp. raw honey
Instructions:
  1. Soak almonds in water overnight to remove skins; drain. Set aside.
  2. Place 1½ tsp. coconut, cinnamon, nutmeg, and sugar in food processor; process for 20 seconds. Set aside.
  3. Place remaining ½ cup coconut in food processor; process for 1 minute to release oils.
  4. Add almonds, Shakeology, extract, and salt; pulse until well blended.
  5. Add dates; process until well blended.
  6. Add honey; process until well blended.
  7. Roll into fourteen balls, about 1-inch in diameter each. Roll balls in cinnamon mixture.
  8. Store leftover bites in an air-tight container.

No-Bake Cinnamon Sugar Donut Holes

Broiled Grapefruit with Orange Liqueur

Broiled grapefruit with orange liqueur and cinnamon

A little orange liqueur and a touch of cinnamon transforms an ordinary grapefruit into a gourmet dessert. Our broiled grapefruit recipe has only 54 calories per serving!

Broiled Grapefruit Recipe

By: Team Beachbody
Total Time: 
10 min.
Prep Time: 5 min.
Cooking Time: 5 min.
Yield: 4 servings, ½ grapefruit each

Ingredients:
2 medium grapefruit, cut in half, sectioned
4 tsp. orange-flavored cognac liqueur (like Grand Marnier)
¼ tsp. ground cinnamon

Preparation:
1. Preheat broiler on high.
2. Place grapefruit halves in medium baking pan.
3. Drizzle grapefruit with liqueur.
4. Position oven rack so that grapefruit is about 2 inches from the broiler; broil for about 3 to 5 minutes, watching carefully so they don’t burn.
5. Sprinkle evenly with cinnamon.

Broiled grapefruit with orange liqueur nutrition facts and meal plan portions