• Tara Simone

5 Minute Meal Prep using Frozen Foods


Only five minutes to a healthy meal using these frozen foods. Lots of veggies and protein without hours of cooking or meal prep Sunday's. Click here for quick and healthy meal prep recipes!

We LOVE a quick and healthy meal without the price tag of Whole Food salad bar. With Sasha being a night shift nurse, I eat all my meals alone Sunday-Wednesday. If you're like me, you won't just cook for yourself which is why I love doing a little meal prepping and relying a lot on frozen meals. No, not frozen pizza and ice cream. Real healthy meals like Cauliflower Gnocchi from Trader Joes or frozen stir fry mixed with pre made proteins. Here is how I meal prep in just 5 minutes a day with my microwave!


My main focus each week is getting in as many veggies as I can! My nutrition plan 2B Mindset always says "water first, veggies most" which is exactly what I do. Before every meal I drink 8oz of water and aim for at least every meal to be 25% vegetables and 25% lean protein. Here is how I do that without just eating chicken and broccoli this week using mostly frozen foods.

 

Protein Bases

This literally takes 5 minutes of prep every week! I prefer Sunday's, but it truly doesn't matter. All I do is bake some chicken breast with this seasoning in a 350F oven for 20 minutes (or until internal temp is 165F). I also cook up ground turkey meat in a skillet with the same seasoning.


Some weeks I prep some fresh veggies for snacks and cut up all my lettuce, but otherwise that is all I do other than these delicious egg cups and Shakeology I always have for breakfast.


You can store both proteins in the fridge inside airtight containers like these. The inner nutrition major in me wants to say eat within 3 days of cooking, but unless it smells or is slimy we still eat it up to a week later. Do with that what you will haha.



Frozen Favorites

Now to make those proteins a full meal! Luckily, frozen veggies still hold a lot of nutrients even sometimes better than fresh. With all my meals my goal is veggies most so here are my absolute favorites!



Cauliflower Rice

I put that sh*t in everything - burrito bowls, stir fry, turkey chili, EVERYTHANG for extra veggies.


Here's a few of my favorite recipes:

  • Burrito Bowls:

  • heat cauliflower rice in bowl according to bag

  • cut pre-cooked chicken or turkey, add to bowl, and heat for 30 seconds

  • add cheese, salsa, sour cream, tomatoes, lettuce, and/or avocado


  • Stir Fry:

  • heat cauliflower rice in bowl according to bag

  • add frozen stir fry like this one and heat according to bag

  • cut pre-cooked chicken, add to bowl, and heat for 30 seconds

  • top with soy sauce, sesame seeds, or your favorite asian inspired sauce


  • Turkey Chili

  • sauté onions and garlic with olive oil in the bottom of a large pot until tender about 1 minute

  • add precooked turkey (or add raw and cook)

  • add 1 can (15oz) of diced tomatoes

  • add 1 can (15oz) of crushed tomatoes

  • add 1 can (8oz) of black beans

  • add 1 bag of frozen corn

  • add 1 bag of cauliflower rice

  • season with paprika, salt, cumin, pepper, to taste


  • As a side

  • Just cook according to the bag and add some fresh herbs to serve in on the side of a pre-cooked protein


How to find healthy meals in the frozen aisle! These are my favorite quick and easy meal prep go tos when life is busy. Super healthy and only takes 5 minutes to make dinner.

Cauliflower Gnocchi

  • a Trader Joe's favorite! Just pan cook them according to the bag and add some ground turkey to red sauce like this one or pesto and chicken. Of course, a little parmesan never hurt anyone either!

Cauliflower Pizza Crust

  • Cook crust according to package and add red sauce, ground turkey, veggies, mozzarella. Heat in oven for a few more minutes to heat and enjoy!

Roasted veggies

  • Did you know you can roast frozen veggies! Just microwave them for 2 minutes, strain out or wipe off the extra water, and roast in a 425F oven with olive oil and salt until golden. Use it as a side to precooked chicken and enjoy!

Frozen Zoodles

  • I LOVE zoodles but not making them so I get them frozen! Just heat according to the bag and top with protein and sauce. I personally love pesto with zoodles but any jarred sauce will do!

Frozen fruit

  • Stock up your freezer with frozen berries & fruits to make smoothie bowls with or to snack on for dessert. We always have frozen strawberries and bananas for my morning shake (and for our pup! Frozen banana is a kong keeps her busy for hours haha)

Add ons:

I have a few things always in my pantry or fridge to add on to these protein bases and frozen favorites!

  • Pesto

  • Red Sauce

  • Avocado

  • Organic ranch

  • Balsamic vinegar

  • Honey Mustard (homemade is best! Just mix 2 parts greek yogurt, 1 part honey, and 1 part yellow mustard. Add a little garlic powder and salt to taste!)

  • Salsa

  • Hummus (mix with water or lemon juice to make a dressing)

 

If you noticed, I tend to avoid pre-made frozen dinners because many have hidden sugars and tons of sodium. If you are looking for a complete frozen meal here are a few things to pay attention to when looks at food labels:

How to read food labels and what to look for such as high sodium, hidden sugars, and ingredients. Some processed foods may be healthy but check these things on nutrition label first!
  1. Ingredients: my Poppop has this saying "if I can't identify it, I don't eat it" I believe he was making fun of bad cooking, but it is true when it comes to nutrition. If you can't identify what the ingredient is, most likely you shouldn't eat it. Also pay attention to number of ingredients. I usually say more than 10 is a no go unless it is like "10 green goddess veggie melody" than by all means eat that sh*t up!

  2. Sodium: This is a sneaky one people usually ignore but should never glance over again! High sodium means short term water and long term high blood pressure. Let's not do either. Aim to keep sodium under 2,300mg (according to the CDC) a day which divided by 5 for meals and snacks means less than 460mg per meal.

  3. Sugar: Even sneakier that salt and might be worse for your health too. I could write an entire blog just on hidden sugars dangers such as appetite increasing and insulin resistance, but I'll leave you with my personal rule for this: more than 5g of added sugar and its a NO! (unless I am indulging on Ben & Jerry's. I am talking every staple meals for this rule)

  4. Servings: Many packages will say "entire bag" now, but be careful to look at the serving size when comparing products. Smaller servings always appear better, but be real with your eating habits. If you eat half the bag, do the math for more than their suggested serving.

  5. Fiber: This is a good one we want a lot of! Fiber fills you up so you don't get hungry again quickly, slows down the absorption of sugar so you don't crash in a few hours, and may help you lose weight. High fiber foods - such as fruits, veggies, and whole wheat grains - are amazing for you! The nutrition course I follow recommends 1 gram of fiber per 10 grams of carbohydrates (aka what your body turns into sugar) Many Americans only get half their recommended daily fiber intake (25-30 grams) which is why I HIGHLY recommend a fiber supplement containing chia seeds, flax seeds, and psyllium such as this one I add to my shakes and this one I drink every morning!

A few brands that tend to be really healthy with clean ingredients includes evol, Kashi, Healthy Choice, and Trader Joe's brand but check each meal's ingredient list to be sure!

 

I hope this blog was helpful! This is basically what I eat majority of the time with an almost weekly pizza and ice cream date as well as treats here and there. Check out my Pinterest board I use with my clients for more healthy meal ideas and recipes. If you need more support on your journey, simply check out this blog for more details! See you over on Instagram!


Massive love,

Tara Simone



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