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meal planning

When You Don’t Have Time to Cook

Hey, we get it, you’re super busy. We are, too! But that doesn’t mean nutritious eating goals should be tossed out with last week’s rotten produce.

Want to know what a week of stress-free, healthy, ridiculously tasty lunches and dinners could look like? Read on. Prep takes 30 minutes or less on each and every option shown here.

Day 1:
• Lunch – Turkey Apple Cheddar Sandwich with carrot sticks or bell pepper slices
• Dinner – Grilled Pizza with Prosciutto, Corn & Basil

Day 2:
• Lunch – EatingWell Chicken & Fingerling Potatoes frozen entrée
• Dinner – Mediterranean Chickpea Quinoa Bowl (pictured above)

Day 3:
• Lunch – Leftover Mediterranean Chickpea Quinoa Bowl from Day 2
• Dinner – Skillet Chicken with Cranberries & Apples with a side of quick-cooking wild rice

Day 4:
• Lunch – EatingWell Gnocchi with Garden Vegetables frozen entrée
• Dinner – Green Goddess Salad with Chicken (Tip: make the dressing ahead and sub in pre-cooked chicken from the store)

Day 5:
• Lunch – Leftover Green Goddess Salad with Chicken from Day 4
• Dinner – Ravioli & Vegetable Soup

Day 6:
• Lunch – Chipotle Chicken Quinoa Burrito Bowl (Tip: make extra quinoa on Day 2 so you can use it for this recipe, too)
• Dinner – EatingWell Chicken & Wild Rice Stroganoff frozen entrée

Day 7:
• Lunch – Leftover Ravioli & Vegetable Soup from Day 5
• Dinner – Turkey & Balsamic Onion Quesadillas with a side of steamed vegetables (Tip: frozen veggies are A-OK!)

And there you have it. You can totally do this.

For more meal plans and awesome recipes, check out the EatingWell magazine site. For the latest on our frozen entrées, follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Stick to the Plan, Man! Try Weekend Meal Prep

No matter how good your intentions may be, sticking to a nutritious meal plan can be tough. Shortcuts and temptations are EVERYWHERE! The solution? Weekend meal prep.

Don’t be intimidated by planning and prepping meals for a full week. Start with one or two new recipes to keep things interesting, and make sure your kitchen is stocked with ingredients for familiar dishes you already know how to cook. Tuck a few EatingWell frozen entrées in the freezer to fill gaps during the week, or take them to work so you can resist those greasy street tacos at lunchtime.

Break it down
On meal prep day, tackle the basics for both your new and old recipes so on weeknights you can just throw things into a skillet, pot, or oven.

  • Cook a protein. Prepare enough for two recipes, or one recipe plus leftovers. Extra roasted chicken makes a perfect salad topping, or can be tossed into a pasta bake.
  • Cook a whole grain. Prepare a big batch of quinoa or brown rice to use as a base for simple stir-fry or grain bowls.
  • Chop vegetables. Slice and dice so raw veggies are ready to cook, or roast or grill them so they can be easily reheated as a side dish or stirred into an omelet.

Try to knock out one full make-ahead meal, too, so you can just heat and eat during the week. Casseroles and soups work especially well. If you’re really feeling ambitious, double the recipe and freeze half for later!

Get ultra-organized (if that’s your thing)
For a little extra help and inspiration, check out the Menu Planner created by the experts at EatingWell magazine. You can use this tool to create daily or weekly menus, print shopping lists, calculate your calorie intake, and follow your progress toward reaching your personal health goals.

For more tips and ideas, follow EatingWell™ frozen entrées on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.