10 MINUTE MEALS – Easy Meal Prep Ideas

(energetic music) – Hey, munchies, welcome to the channel if you’re new or if you’re not. I’m Alyssia and I am stoked you’re here! Today I am changing up the
type of meal prep game. I often show full meal preps for the week, and that is how I used to meal prep when I first started almost 10 years ago. I was in college, I was trying
to lose the freshman 15, or more like the freshman 25, and meal prepping everything was a must because I didn’t have time
to cook along the way, being so busy with school. But over time, my meal
prepping methods have evolved, and now with my current
lifestyle and my needs, I don’t want or have to
prep every single thing, but prepping some things
still sets me up for success. So today I am showing
you a minimal meal prep, which is how I actually meal prep now, and how I use those
components throughout the week to make easy 10-minute meals. So I think of most of my meals as being broken up into components. I don’t usually do full
recipes for meal prep because it’s so much work
and so much planning, and I would rather have
the components ready to go, that I can throw together along the way throughout the week. My meals are typically composed of veggies, proteins, carbs, and fat, and of course, I want to season
those differently sometimes so I’ve got a variety in flavor. For veggies, I have got a lot of hacks to keep meal prep quick. I don’t wanna spend a
ton of time chopping, so I buy pre-chopped produce. Onions are one thing I always get, shaved brussels sprouts are another, chopped cauliflower and broccoli, which sometimes I’ll cut
down a little bit more, depending on how big the florets are, and sometimes I’ll get pre-made mixes like stir-fry or chopped veggie
mixes, that sort of thing. I also usually have some chopped spinach or mixed green on hand. Frozen veggies, like cauliflower rice, I always have on hand, too,
and some frozen mixed veggies make weeknight meals easier. Don’t worry, I’m gonna show
you how I use this stuff, too. Now, if this doesn’t look like meal prep in the way you’re used to, you’re right, but meal prep doesn’t have to be what Instagram makes us think. Meal prep is, to me, peace of mind. Having items prepared
for my meals for the week so I can easily stay on track is what makes meal prep work for me, and again, that’s changed over the years, so be open to that shifting for you, too. For carbs on my plate, you
know, you can do what suits you, but for me, it’s rice, on the stove, or another time-saver
is to have frozen rice to cook during the week. I am not huge on quinoa so
I don’t usually prep that, but you could. I also do pre-cut butternut
squash and/or sweet potatoes. I haven’t worked with a
whole butternut squash in a long time, because it is
so much work to get it cubed, and it isn’t much cheaper
to buy it pre-cut. But you’ve gotta find what works for you. Some people really prefer
to avoid the plastic. I get it, and I do try to go
with less plastic when I can. You have to weigh out
what’s worth it for you, and there’s no right or
wrong here, let’s be clear, this is not an ethical or a moral battle, it’s just what you need. I need healthy food
available to eat healthy because I know if I don’t, it’s Postmates all day, every day. I know that having this food
available will encourage me to eat it, and my health is
the most important thing to me, even though I wanna help the Earth in whatever way that I can. But if to you, the most
important thing is plastic, which is also totally allowed, then the time preparing the food is the compromise that
you might have to make. We’ve all got to compromise
somehow, and it comes down to which compromises are worth it to you. One compromise is not
better than the other, and it doesn’t mean that
we make that compromise always and forever. Maybe on really busy weeks,
I buy the cubed squash, but on less busy weeks, I
get sweet potatoes as a carb and I cube them myself,
because it’s not that much work and I’m willing and
have the time to do it. So do the best that you
can with what you’ve got. Sometimes I will cook the
squash or sweet potato on meal prep days so it’s
already cooked for me to use during the week, and
sometimes I’ll leave it raw and cook it throughout the week. It depends on what I need that week and how much time I have. Remember, fruit is another great way to get carbohydrates on
the plate in a healthy way. It doesn’t have to be grains
and bread and pasta and beans. It can be but it doesn’t have to be. Sometimes a side of fruit is my carb, and it doubles as a sweet and I love it. There’s nothing wrong with that. Okay, protein is the
most work of meal prep, but I’ve found ways to make it easier. Pulled pork in the slow
cooker is my current go-to, it’s so easy, so tasty,
salt and pepper on the pork and into the slow cooker
it goes for nine hours and that is it, I shared that in a video a couple weeks ago. Rotisserie chicken is
another, pull the meat off the bone and you’ve
got meat ready to throw in a variety of meals. Another easy one is to put ground meat and a jar of salsa into a slow cooker. Two ingredients, one versatile meat. A cleaner sausage, like a
chicken apple or Italian, these are convenient, pre-cooked, I can serve them warm or
cold and add flavor, protein, and texture to dishes. Seafood, fresh or thawed,
fish and scallops, they don’t last long so they’re
not great for meal prep, but having them available
to cook throughout the week is easy enough, since
they cook so quickly. Just because a food doesn’t last long doesn’t mean you can’t design a meal prep that includes those foods. Just because you don’t like leftovers doesn’t mean you can’t meal prep. The key is learning to meal prep in a way that works for you. This is literally what I teach in my Meal Prep Ignite course,
which is closed right now, but I’ll link it below
if you wanna check it out and add your name to the list so that you can be notified the next time that it opens up for enrollment. Eggs, I always have eggs in the fridge. They are a super easy
and fast protein to cook. Scrambles are a weekly go-to for me, and I will put a fried
egg on almost any dinner. Canned beans and bean
salads are another way to have protein ready for meals. You can prep an easy bean salad. I’ll link all of the stuff
that you’re seeing below, if you want the specific recipes, but that bean salad can be used as any other protein
would throughout the week. Okay, so that is a lot of
minimal meal prep protein ideas. Let’s be clear, I am not
using all of these things every single week, I’ll choose
one or two or maybe three, depending on how busy I
am and how many people I’m prepping for and
what I need that week. For fat on my plate, we have
already got some fat covered. Most proteins have some fat in them, so the pulled pork, ground
meat, salmon, or eggs, but I almost always have
avocado on my plate, half of one is perfect for me with a meal. I know avocado seems like it isn’t a meal prep friendly food, but plastic, please close your eyes,
I put a piece of plastic on the other half and it
will literally stay green for another one to two days in the fridge. Storing it with the pit always helps, so eat that other half first. Another option is to
store half of the avocado with a wedge of onion. The sulfur gas helps to
keep it from browning. Or you can just eat it brown. It tastes fine like that, too, it just doesn’t look as appealing. I also buy coconut pieces,
and I love adding these to my plate as a fat to
snack on with my meal. For flavor, I have got some
go-to seasoning combos. First, never underestimate the power of simple salt and pepper. Some of the best meals are simple, and salt goes a long way if
you know how to use it right. I teach you that in my
Kitchen Confidence course, where I teach cooking skills as well as how to cook without recipes. I discuss this in great detail. I teach you how to season appropriately and help you feel more
confident in the kitchen without having to listen to someone else or follow instructions. Sometimes, salt and
pepper really is enough, but I have a couple of
easy flavor combinations to switch it up for
regular weeknight meals. One is an Asian-inspired flavor profile, a simple combination of
soy sauce and sesame oil can transform a plain protein and veggies to make them taste like a
fun and inspiring stir-fry. I’ll also often use coconut
aminos in place of soy sauce. For a more southwestern-inspired dish, I’ll add a classic combo of
salsa, guac and/or sour cream, and taco seasoning. For a creamy and rich
profile, using mayo as a base and mixing in some citrus
and/or coconut aminos can elevate the texture and flavor. Balsamic and olive oil is
another super easy combo that can be added to protein on its own, or veggies and grains. And then there’s always
Christian’s favorite, burger night! It is funny how ketchup and
mustard with pickles and mayo can make just about anything
taste like a burger. Some individual flavors
I’ll use sauces for are barbecue sauce and hummus. Either of those can add flavor and variety beyond the basic salt and pepper, too. Okay, so that is kinda
my basic minimal prep and some staples that I’ll keep on hand. How do I use those items
throughout the week? The key to minimal prep working for you is finding confidence to not need recipes. And it’s not a, some of us
have got the magic cooking gene and some of us don’t thing, it is a skill that can be learned, and I teach that in my Kitchen Confidence course. I’m gonna give you four
10-minute meal examples using minimal prep items in this video, but you can do so much
more than this on your own because your combinations are endless. I have a mix and match PDF that is from my Meal Prep Ignite course that you can download for
free in the description. It gives inspiration for
combining these meal components in different ways for endless variety. First, let’s do an Asian pork bowl. My base is cauliflower
rice, fresh or frozen rice. I usually do frozen because
I don’t have to worry about it going bad. I start with onions in
a pan with cooking fat and I let those start to get tender. In goes the sweet potato
cubes because I know that these are gonna take time to soften. A few minutes later, I add
in my cauliflower rice, which I prefer frozen and thawed. While that goes, on another burner, I have some chopped chicken apple sausage. or your favorite pork sausage. It is precooked, but I’m gonna char it up in some oil or ghee because
it adds so much flavor. My pulled pork is already
meal prepped for the week, so I can add that to my
cooked cauliflower rice and sweet potato mixture,
along with some snow peas, which I know don’t need much
time, so I’m adding them last, as well as some sesame oil and
soy sauce or coconut aminos. Let that integrate for a few
minutes and get all delicious, and don’t forget to add in that sausage. Season to taste. This will depend on your prepped items, so how salty is your protein? Are your fresh or frozen
veggies pre-seasoned? This is why you have to
learn to salt to taste. And there is my first
meal, the Asian pork bowl. I’ve got veggies, proteins, carb, fat, and delicious flavor in 10 minutes. Seriously, I prefer this to
meal prepping the full meals because I get a fresh cooked
meal at a very little time. Again, there’s no right or wrong. If you like leftovers,
then just spending a minute reheating the cooked
food can work for you. Spend more time on prep day
and less during the week. I prefer to spend less time on prep day, I probably spend an hour prepping all of the items on Sunday, and
then I only spend 10 minutes getting the meal together during the week because everything’s ready to go, ready to be thrown together,
and most importantly, I am confident that I can make it work with my basic cooking skills. Okay, the next meal I’ll show
you is a chicken burrito bowl. This one is done as a sheet pan meal, which is another way I keep
meals quick during the week. I start with pre-chopped broccoli and then I cut some red
onion into wedges on a pan and season with oil and Trader
Joe’s chili seasoning blend. (upbeat music) For protein, I usually use
boneless chicken breast or thighs, I prefer thighs for flavor. I pat them down with a paper towel. Getting them dry will help
them crisp up a bit more in the oven, and it’s
definitely a good idea with a dry rub, which
is essentially what I do when I sprinkle on some taco seasoning. How easy is that? And it can totally go on the
same tray as the broccoli. This is why confidence in
the kitchen is important. Once you understand that
it doesn’t actually matter what the oven temperature
is, but more importantly, what you’re cooking, what
you’re pairing it with, and then how long you need to leave it, you can pair items together
so that they can go into the same oven at the same time. In my Kitchen Confidence
course, I have a cheat sheet that shows which veggies and
proteins pair well together and at which temperatures they best cook. It’s pretty cool, but the
more confident you get, the more you won’t even
need the cheat sheet. Now, yes, that has to cook
for more than 10 minutes because I want it fresh, but
it took like five seconds to prepare, and I can be doing
other stuff while it cooks. So the payoff for getting
to eat a fresh cooked meal is worth it to me, it might not be to you. You could totally have
those sheet pan items already cooked on meal prep
day and just reheat them. I just don’t prefer to eat
my meal prep leftover-style. While that cooks, I get
my meal prepped rice and heat it on the stove
and add a little bit of lime juice, cilantro, and canned corn, a super easy addition that took no time and adds flavor and variety, boom. And when my sheet pan is done,
I can serve my entire meal, maybe add a little
salsa and cotija cheese, and I have got a Mexican or
southwestern-inspired meal. Okay, next is a salmon
salad that is so dang quick. (upbeat music) I add salt and pepper to my salmon. (upbeat music) Heat a pan with some ghee
and then I get that salmon in there, skin side up, letting it sear for about two minutes,
and then I just flip it and let it cook another two minutes or so, and this really depends
on how thick the salmon is and how rare or done you like it. I tend to prefer it less
done, but it’ll only take another two minutes or so
if you want it more done. While that’s cooking, I combine the salad, which is just arugula, red onion, which I can either buy chopped
in advance or chop that night if I have the time, some
meal prepped butternut squash that I roasted previously. I am serving it cold in this salad. And I top that off with a bit
of olive oil and balsamic, tossing to coat. Then I add the salmon on top
with a lemon and avocado, and like I said earlier, I will often put an egg on anything. I didn’t do it here, but a
yolky egg on top of salmon is one of my favorite things. Plus, on salad, that egg yolk becomes like a part of the dressing, which I know is hit or
miss for some of you, but I am all about that yolk. I have got one more
meal to show you today, and it’s a veggie scramble, which I make almost every single day in some variety. You can really use whatever
vegetables you have on hand. Today I start with oil and onions in a pan and let them soften. Then I add in some other
veggies, and just like before, I’m considerate of how
long they’re going to take. So if I’m going to add potatoes or squash, those will take longer, and
I wanna get those in first. Today, I’m gonna start with
broccoli for a few minutes and then add in bell peppers, which are softer and need less time. Confidence in the kitchen
will help you make that choice without needing a recipe,
and that makes it easier to use up vegetable you
already have in your fridge. I am not telling you
this so that you’ll go and enroll in my course. Actually, you can’t enroll
in either course right now, because we’re not open for enrollment. But I’m telling you that
because once I realized that having meal prepped food available wasn’t what actually helped me succeed, but rather it was the confidence to make the day to day
choices and decisions in the kitchen about what
I need and how to cook, that made a meal prep
so much less stressful. I have got my eggs scrambled
in a measuring cup, and then I add them into
the cooked vegetables, letting the egg cook
as it hits the hot pan. I can top it off with cheese if I want, or maybe avocado or salsa,
it depends on the day, but this is a great combo for variety, because you can add in cooked protein or veggies or any toppings or seasonings, there are really endless possibilities. And if you don’t want to
add carbs into your scramble like I’m doing today, why not
serve some fruit on the side? I love it. I hope you’ll get creative with these easy mix and match meal ideas and that you’re finding some inspiration for a minimal style meal prep
that might work better for you than prepping every single thing. For most people, prepping
everything isn’t just more work, it’s also more than they need. I hate it when I prep food for the week and then I don’t eat it and it’s wasted. It took time and practice
for me to realize that actually prepping
less serves me more. I just had to find the
way that worked for me, and you have to find the
way that works for you. Let me know if you like this kind of video and wanna see more of it. I want to start sharing more about how my own relationship
with food and meal prepping has evolved over the last few years, because I think it is a much
more sustainable way to do it, and I hope you’re open to seeing it. Remember that you can get the
free mix and match download in the description, and
feel free to put your name on the waitlist for the
courses if you’re interested in being notified when they open up again for enrollment later this year. I’ll be back next week with another video, and remember, it’s all a
matter of mind over munch. (upbeat music)

About the author


  1. What a beautiful salmon, Alyssia. You keep getting more adorable every day. What's your best tip for making lemon chicken?

  2. What style of meal prepping helps you most? Prepping more? Less? Every meal? Only one meal? Recipes? No recipes?

  3. Yeah better lock the house up!
    I’m real hungry😳🗽🇺🇸👩🏻😎👋😉👍👊🎥🙈🙊 i’m coming over!

  4. Thanks for the video! I used to buy precut butternut squash from TJs (so convenient) but recently it goes bad so quickly (usually within a day or two after I buy it) that I started getting it whole and I cut it up myself.

  5. No Sicilian would like your way . We like fresh fresh fresh homemade meals. But what ever works for you and people like you

  6. Great video, showing what actually works. Honesty will make people, like me, actually try what your proposing/ showing.

  7. Loved this! I don't mind spending extra time meal prepping everything, but I haven't had as much time during the weekends to do it, and find myself doing it at night, leaving me with less time to do other work I have – so this is a great option. I also feel like I eat more so to not waste the food! Could you do something on portions? (Or provide a link if you've already done this) I feel like I'm completely clueless about portions, and just guess and cross my fingers.

  8. Love this! I have to meal prep lunch and snacks at least to take to work to stay on track… I portion four lunches a week and meal prep one dinner I’m spending about 2 hours and getting bored eating the same thing each day. I love cooking but would love to cut down Sunday meal prep to an hour. I’m so going to try meal prepping components for quick week night meals. This will allow me to make at least two lunch and dinner options each week. Random question I can never get my parchment paper on the sheet pan evenly…is there a brand that you recommend?

  9. For me I have off Sunday so I take 2-3 hours and meal prep breakfast/lunch/dinner/snacks for Monday -Wednesday. It is great to get home to food all ready. It is also nice to spend time with my husband rather than having to cook. Thursday I’m off again so I meal prep the same way for Friday and Saturday. It seems like a lot but getting home after 8 pm I am so happy I made time on Sunday to do it.

  10. Hi Alyssia, just wondering if you have ever tried or could you do a short video / review on alternatives to nuts and nut butter? recently had to stop nut and peanut butter tear lol. due to allergies, so i'd like to knw if one can often use things like sun-butter and even new things i've seen recently like pumpkin seeds butter!

  11. That's the conundrum. Save money and the environment by chopping up your own veggies, but that can be super stressful and time consuming. OR pay more money and create more waste by buying pre-chopped veggies and have less stress and more time. Ugh…too bad there's not a better way!

  12. Thank you so much for this video! This is the kind of meal prep that works for me. I’m not the type to take however many hours meal prepping on the weekend. This to me, is much more practical! 💗👍🏼

  13. This is how I like to prep also! Though I still love watching all of your other meal prep videos, too. 🙂 My weekly prep almost always includes hardboiling a half dozen eggs, roasting cubed sweet potato and sliced mushrooms, steaming a green veggie as well as some rice or quinoa, baking some chicken or hamburgers, and having some prewashed baby spinach or salad greens on hand.

  14. Haven’t watched in a long time I was pregnant and had a baby a little while ago. But girl your hair is awesome love it. And the food looks so good thanks for all the ideas

  15. i love this style of meal prep so much! i find myself doing this more than the 'traditional' meal prep style it works so well <3

  16. Great video !! For the salmon salad if I cooked the salmon the night before and wanted to heat it the next day can I just microwave it? A bit of a basic question but not sure if ok to reheat it. Also how long will cooked salmon be ok for in the fridge?

  17. I like both styles! As someone who has more time for meal prep/cooking but wants to have no food waste its great tips! 👌🏽

  18. Wow, I've just started doing a sort of meal prep more like this because I hate eating leftovers/the same thing everyday and I graduated college almost a year ago so now I have a more consistent schedule to actually cook, and of course you come in clutch with another inspiring video. I had no idea trader joes had the cauliflower rice frozen like that (I don't have a food processor and it's too expensive to buy fresh at stop nd shop) and I've been a little scared of cooking salmon but I think I'm gonna give it a try. Awesome video, thank you!

  19. I save the bones from rotisserie chickens, and throw them in a crockpot with veggies trimmings (carrot tops! celery tops. greens stems. An onion, etc.) to make broth. I keep them in a bag in the freezer until I'm ready.

  20. I am glad I caught this… I was so on the meal prep bandwagon to keep myself on track. But felt very wasteful and it didn't seem sustainable and I feel off track for my health goals. This has just inspired me to get back on track and gives me ideas on how I can meet my goals. THANK YOU

  21. This is my meal prep style and I think this video really helped me understand myself better and see some of the thinks i'd like to improve from my habits as well. Thank you💙💙💙💙💙, your videos are always amazing

  22. all that plastic though.. when you can just buy a food chopper. it takes 30 seconds to chop an onion or really any vegetable. what we NEED is a planet to live on. That's 'Merica for ya. The recipes look delicious though!

  23. My early attempts at meal prep weren't so good, especially after day 3 or 4 but over time you get better at it.
    Thanks for some great tips and recipes Alyssia:)

  24. You first told me the idea of meal preparation and I love it, although some things you use are not available in Germany like frozen cauliflower rice or frozen rice. Please let us see more😍and I can’t find your mix and match.. where is it?

  25. Thanks, this is definitely how I prefer to cook unless I'm deliberately making batches for lunches and leftovers. More of these will be enjoyed though that cooking combo cheat sheet looks handy for cooking times / pairing the stuff I'm not as familiar with

  26. I am so sorry that you e been harped on for buying plastic. We appreciate your recipes. People seriously need to just work on them and quit cramming their own ideals into other’s lives. You are such a blessing!!!!

  27. I really like how you are more reasonable about what you seem to consider “healthy” food. Some of the current diet fads I’ve tried were stressing me out too much. Your recipes/ style are a lot easier to follow!

  28. What vegan options would you substitute for the proteins in the four dishes you showed us? The only thing that came up in my head is tofu 😅 Love your videos! 👍✨

  29. In regards to your small discussion about plastic: I agree with you. However, I would like to suggest to you, asking the grocery store(s) you shop at, to reduce THEIR plastic waste. Or even simply, try shopping at a local food market!

  30. What worked for me the past couple weeks is Monday I make something like spaghetti Siri ground turkey. After I brown it I put half the meat in the fridge. Then the next night I use that for taco bowls adding canned tomatoes and taco seasoning. The rest of the week is 12+ hour days so that’s my lunch and dinners. I’m still working on it

  31. Thank you for this Alyssia! I really need this sine my schedule for the next couple of months will be insane.

  32. Loved this video (but being honest, I don’t think you could ever make a bad video). Might attempt to make some of these for my fiancé.
    Rice is my FAVORITE thing. You can totally make a big pot of it and use it for about 3-4 days.

  33. Am I the only person that finds the TJs Taco seasoning spicy? I made taco bowls yesterday seasoned with it and it was so spicy I couldn't finish it. Since it was mentioned in this video I thought I would ask.

  34. You are absolutely right. The confidence and knowing quick tips in the kitchen by heart is just as or more important than recipes and protocols for eating healthy throughout the week.

  35. I’m having to give myself the “ do the best you can” talk a lot this week. My fiancé and I usually cook our lunches for the week from scratch. I try to avoid most premade prepackaged foods. However, when in the middle of a kitchen remodel, we did the best we could. We resorted to many of the things I tend to avoid.

  36. When will the class open? I've been on the list for a while. I love your cooking. I work fulltime with a husband who is picky. I need these skills. Linda

  37. This is exactly how I 'meal prep' and have been doing it for years. Having bulk carbs, protein, and fat on had allows me variety AND convenience throughout the week to make whatever I want. Thanks for the recipes!

  38. I went a full circle with meal prep myself. These days, my prep ends with chopping and prepping some staples but for the most part cook and assemble the day of. I love more of inspirational types of videos like you and The Domestic Geek put out.

  39. Hey Alyssia, could you please do a meal prep for a low FODMAP diet or just meals that are low FODMAP friendly?! Or even do a video on all the best foods for gut health and some meal ideas

  40. This is a weird video. Normally the editing is great, but the beginning when you're talking with the sudden change in zoom ins/zoom outs is pretty distracting. Also sad that you have to sit there and go over a plastic/not plastic spiel.

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