Meal prep is a great way to have all of your food ready for the week, enabling you to make healthy choices, and save money while you’re at it! Not only does it keep you on track with your fitness goals, but it saves a lot of time. Imagine coming home after a long day of work, your meal already planned and ready to assemble in mere minutes.
Does it sound too good to be true? Don’t worry, that’s why we’re here to send you Meal Prep inspo every week to get you in the kitchen!
We’ll give you a set of ingredients to work with every week and include seasonal recommendations, when possible. The primary goal with our weekly meal prep guide below is to help you focus your meals predominately around a new set of ingredients or theme every week. We’ll give you a plethora of creative ways to prep these ingredients to create healthy, quick, easy and tasty recipes, so you’ll never be bored. Use the hashtag #FoodMonsterMealPrep so we can see your creations on Instagram!
This week’s ingredients are: Chickpeas, Black Beans, White Beans, and Black Eyed Peas!
1. Black Beans
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Black beans are super awesome, they are an excellent source of fiber, protein, manganese, and folate. You can buy them canned and ready to use, but it’s so satisfying to buy them in bulk and make them yourself! Not only is it cheaper, but it’s healthier, less sodium, and you can season them exactly how you want to. Plus it’s less waste. To prepare black beans, make sure you soak them before you cook them. From there, cool them down and store them in the fridge for quick and easy access. Bonus points: black beans have 15 grams of protein per cup and 15 grams of fiber.
Now that you have all these black beans, what are you going to do? For starters, bean salads! This Instant Pot Caviar is a great choice. Use your prepared black beans to create this dish! This is a great dish and worth the effort to plan ahead so that it can be served chilled. Prepare up to 2 days in advance and store in a covered container in the refrigerator. Texas Caviar is said first to have been served on New Year’s Eve at the Houston Country Club sometime around 1940. You can serve this bean-tastic caviar on a bed of massaged kale and have yourself a delicious whole-foods meal.
You can also try this Red Mango and Quinoa Salad, with black beans! This Red Quinoa and Mango Salad with Lime Dressing is a nice combination of sweet, tangy and a little spicy with lots of healthy protein that makes a very satisfying meal. Make the dressing on the side and drizzle it over the salad when ready to serve. You could also make this an even more filling meal by adding it in a tortilla (gluten-free, if needed) and making a wrap with it. This El Fresco Quinoa Bowl is also an awesome choice and protein-packed! This power bowl is a really well rounded, balanced dish that is packed with variety in both texture and flavor. It’s full of fresh vegetables like carrots, broccoli, and zucchini, as well as protein powerhouses like black beans and fluffy quinoa! Balance out all the freshness with some mildly spicy salsa or fresh-sliced avocado and enjoy!
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Chickpeas are a staple in many pantries, whether you’re plant-based or not. They’re simply delicious and works well in so many different recipes! Chickpeas are obviously an excellent source of protein, with about 15 grams of protein per cup! Chickpeas are also a great source of fiber. It’s a very popular food item in many different countries. As far as meal prep goes, chickpeas can take a little longer depending on how you choose to buy them. If you’re buying them in a can, you can simply have the chickpeas drained and ready to be used for anything. You can marinate chickpeas with other vegetables to create a delicious and ready-to-eat meal.
If you’re cooking chickpeas from scratch, you have to soak them, and then boil them. From there, the possibilities are endless, you can mash them up for an easy Chickpea “Tuna” Salad that is easy to slap on some bread or pita, or even scoop right on top of a bed of leafy greens! If you want to get creative with the flavors, you can try making this Espinacas con Garbanzos recipe: Spinach with Chickpeas. Serve on a toasted baguette for a warm and easy meal. It’s super easy to put in the freezer and just warm up when you’re ready to eat. These High Protein Chickpea-Stuffed Sweet Potatoes are also super easy to prep in advance. These sweet potatoes are steamed to tender perfection, stuffed with crispy, zesty chickpeas, and drizzled with a silky garlic tahini sauce. In addition to being tasty, they’re super protein and nutrient-dense. And the best part? Super Easy!
You can even use the aquafaba to create plant-based versions of your favorite mousse, whipped toppings, and other desserts. It’s also great as a binding agent: this Chickpea Loaf With Maple Glaze is a great example! Chickpeas are not only the main attraction of this dish but an excellent source of protein! This delicious and satisfying loaf is also great on a sandwich with some extra maple glaze.
3. Black Eyed Peas
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Black-eye peas are simply delicious. They have a smoky sweetness that works so well all year round, whether you’re going for a comforting winter stew or a thick and hearty summer burger! Besides from being yummy, black-eyed peas have a lot of health benefits. They are anti-inflammatory, an excellent source of fiber, and protein!
To prepare black-eyed peas, you can buy them in a can and just have them ready to go. However, fresh is always best, so to prepare your black-eyed peas from scratch, make sure to soak them in water. Then, boil and simmer until they are tender and ready for your meal prep. Here are a few things you can do:
If you’re looking to put black-eyed peas on top of other dishes (like rice or quinoa) you should try making this recipe for Stewed Black Eyed Peas! A rich, delicious and filling spiced stewed beans; simple and easy to make! This stew is a deeply flavorful and rich comfort food, and also relatively hands-off. Vegetables and legumes are accented with aromatic spices and stewed over time until the vegetables start to break down, meld, and become a thick and deliciously saucy stew. Serve this on its own, over baked potatoes, or on toast.
If you want something to eat in a sandwich, look no further than these Black-Eyed Peas Collard Wraps With Pickled-Vegetables and Ginger Peanut Sauce. Excellent for those trying to get more whole plant-based foods into their diet! These colorful pickled vegetables and black-eyed peas wrapped in a dark green collard leaf make a meal that’ll catch everyone’s eye. Pickling the vegetables adds tanginess, but it’s not necessary — the wraps are amazing as they are, too. They’re also perfect as a make-ahead light lunch that’s light and flavorful.
Don’t forget dips! It’s so easy to add a dollop of hummus to any sandwich, salad, or piece of bread for a delicious and nutritious spread. What better way to reinvent than hummus than with black-eyed peas?! This Spicy Chipotle Black-Eyed Pea Hummus is sure to be a meal prep pleaser. A fun spicy twist on classic hummus with black-eyed-peas in place of garbanzo beans! This healthy hummus packs in some spice and flavor with the addition of chipotle peppers, onion, and garlic. Smokey, creamy, and gluten-free! Perfect option for a quick snack or appetizer.
4. White Beans
White Beans have been a popular choice amongst the plant-based community, and it’s easy to understand why! They add a unique and creamy experience to any dish, taking it to the next level. Not only that, but white beans are packed with fiber, protein, and antioxidants! They’re super simple to prepare from scratch, too. Simply soak them in water until they are about double in size, then cook on medium-low heat until tender and soft. If you want a softer bean to create pastes and dressings, you can cook them longer until they are mushy!
You may be wondering “Wait, you can use beans to make dressings?” Yes, you can! Check out this recipe for Turmeric White Bean Dressing, that is paired beautifully with roasted cauliflower. Meaty cauliflower ”steak” seasoned with a turmeric bean dressing (oil-free), roasted until tender on the inside with a golden brown crust on the outside. It’s cauliflower-sliced lengthwise to create ”steak” shapes that are seasoned and roasted until soft on the inside and crispy on the outside. That’s it! So simple and so delicious.
If you want a thicker consistency for spreads, you can always try making a White Bean Hummus. Tired of eating the same ol’ hummus you always buy? Sounds like you need to try this roasted kumquat and white bean hummus! It’s creamy, nutritious, and super versatile. In this particular recipe, the delicious dip is topped with roasted fruit for a colorful and tasty variation. The kumquat brings about a tart and bright flavor that really makes these beans pop! You can also use white beans to make a delicious Smashed White Bean Avocado Sandwich. This is awesome to make a big batch and have the whole week! Instead of your typical chickpea salad, white beans are the star of this sandwich. They’re mashed together with creamy avocado, whole grain mustard, lemon, and fresh basil. Leaving the beans slightly chunky gives them the perfect texture as a base for creamy avocado and crisp, fresh lettuce. Mixed with all those fresh flavors and tangy mustard, this easy sandwich is the perfect lunchtime staple for anybody.
How about a meal you can freeze for later and enjoy? We got you covered with these White Bean Burritos! This dish is filling, flavorful and you can also feel good about what’s in it. If you look over the ingredient list you will see a whole grain, tons of different colorful veggies, beans, and spices. It’s the epitome of a “well-rounded meal”.
For something a little more comforting for those cooler days, how about a Carrot and White Bean Ribollita? Ribollita is a traditional dish that can be found throughout Tuscany and it is what farmers used to do with whatever vegetables and leftover bread they had. The texture, the flavors, and everything can be surprisingly beautiful! This recipe uses cannelloni beans, kale, and carrots to make a warming, rich meal you will want to throw together every night.Get in the kitchen and get to meal prepping! Check out our last post on meal-planning for more information and the advantages of planning your meals in advance. For more meal inspiration, check out our Food Monster App. With over 10,000 recipes right in the palm of your hand, you’ll always have something delicious and new to try. It’s available for both Android and iPhone, and can also be found on Instagram and Facebook. Full of allergy-friendly recipes, subscribers gain access to new recipes every day. Check it out!>Lead Image Source: Shutterstock