Every Friday night before I go to bed, my husband and I discuss the dreaded question about what to meal prep for the upcoming week.
As someone who eats more protein and vegetables than the average woman, I decide my protein options first, then pick out my vegetables and starch.
Often in the interest of time, I will make the same recipes twice in a month for the week because I already have the ingredients from the first time I made it.
The recipes in this article are staples in my household because they taste delicious, are easy to scale to make larger portions, refrigerate well so they taste great as leftovers, and most importantly they are healthy.
I do apologize that these are not vegetarian friendly and are geared towards someone who is looking to incorporate more healthy high protein options into their life. Hope these healthy eating recipes jazz up your household menu!
1. Chicken Piccata
Often times the leanness of chicken breast makes it difficult to swallow because it’s so dry that I like to add a sauce of some sort to make it more palatable. Piccata sauce is an absolute favorite and requires only 4 ingredients to make the sauce. Enjoy this simple, easy, and delicious recipe!
2. Chicken Teriyaki
This is a local favorite of mine growing up in Hawaii where Asian influences are everywhere. You can use either chicken thighs or chicken breast for this one and if you don’t have a grill a hot, nonstick pan can be substituted. Great recipe to pair with some Jasmine rice for a scrumptious lunch!
3. Turkey, Spinach, and Cheese Meatballs
Classic dinner recipe that everyone will love and you can easily scale up and freeze for future meals. The recipe does call for ground turkey and Italian sausage but when I’m lazy I just use ground turkey. The addition of mozzarella cheese keeps the meatball moist so you don’t have to worry about drying it out and it’s a great meatball to just eat by itself without marinara.
4. Pounded Lemongrass Chicken
This recipe reminds me of my vacation in Chiang Mai. The lime juice, lemongrass and fish sauce will make you house smell just like the street food in Thailand.
It’s a simple marinade that you can make ahead of time and store in the fridge when you’re ready to cook. If you’re using chicken breast make sure to use the meat pounder to help tenderize the meat and help marinate infuse its flavor more easily. A recipe staple in my household!
5. Parmesan Crusted Chicken
Who doesn’t love a delicious parmesan chicken? This recipe teaches you how to make it right without a lot of added oils and with ingredients you have right in your kitchen. I like to eat this with a good Pesto sauce to kick it up a notch. Makes my mouth water just thinking about it!
6. Skirt Steak
Being on a high protein diet can get expensive so I try to buy what’s on sale at my local grocery store and plan my weekly meals around it. A few weeks ago, skirt steak was on sale at Whole Foods and I found this awesome, simple, delicious recipe for marinating skirt steak.
Skirt steak is definitely a tougher cut of beef can but the secret is to cut the skirt steak against the grain when you eat it. After I found this recipe, I’ve been loving skirt steak!
7. Low Carb Shepard’s Pie
If you’re time starved in the kitchen, skip this recipe because it takes more prep work. But if you want a delicious, hot meal at the end of a long work day, this recipe is worth making ahead of time and cooking when you’re ready to eat.
It’s healthy, satisfying and wholesome. Perfect meal on a Friday night with your favorite episode of Netflix.
8. Italian Meatloaf
Nothing like a hearty marinara with a slice of meatloaf to start out the day and this is one of the best recipes out there! I would advise that you pull out the ground beef at least an hour before you make this recipe because your hands will freeze from mixing ground beef with the rest of the ingredients.
9. One Pot Basil Bison Chili
When you cook as much as I do in the kitchen, it’s all about time management and planning ahead. One less pot or pan to wash makes it that much easier to clean up. If I can make a meal using one pot, this recipe is it!
You simply cannot go wrong with good ole fashion chili. This recipe calls for bison which is leaner and lower in calories than beef. Bison is raised in a safer manner and have less of an environmental impact.
In addition, you can guarantee that your bison is free from antibiotics and hormones because it is illegal to administer it on them.
10. Bison Burgers with Cabernet Onions and Wisconsin Cheddar
Sometimes what I crave is a burger but I hesitate to eat burgers at restaurants because I know they are loaded with fat and grease so I prefer to make my own.
This recipe makes your burgers taste as good as if you got it at a high end restaurant but keeps ingredients list simple. The Wisconsin cheddar and Dijion mustard makes this burger recipe stand out.
Fish and Seafood Recipes
11. Baked Salmon with Honey Mustard and Pecan Panko Crust
I’m honestly not a fan of salmon and would prefer to get my omega-3s through a can of sardines. But once I found this salmon recipe, salmon disappears in my household. This recipe is a salmon game changer and I will only eat salmon when I make it this way.
The prep is simple and cleanup is easy making this my #1 go-to fish recipe. Go ahead and try it maybe it’ll be your #1 go-to as well.
12. Southwestern Smoked White Fish
If you’re not a fan of the fatty fish, then try this recipe! You can use your favorite white fish. I prefer cod or rockfish but halibut works just as well.
Requiring just 5 seasonings, this is another healthy delicious recipe that requires one pan and easy cleanup.
13. Hi Protein Hearty Tuna Salad
When I was working with my coach, I needed to eat 175 grams of protein daily. I was very meticulous about planning to get the most protein out of my food choices.
Yellow fin tuna was one of the high protein foods I incorporated into my diet. I found this recipe helps to add a little variety than just mixing it with mayo though I intentionally omitted the celery because I just don’t like it.
The rest of the ingredients like cranberries help to keep tuna an interesting snack in my repertoire.
14. Nobu’s Miso-Marinated Black Cod Recipe
This is one of my childhood favorites that my grandma used to make. The cod comes out so buttery that it will melt in your mouth when you eat it.
It is a simple four ingredient recipe that requires marinating the fish overnight and baking it in the oven. Another one pan recipe with easy clean up!
15. Honey Garlic Shrimp
I’m normally not a big fan of shrimp but this recipe kicks butt! To make it a little bit spicier, I will add additional garlic and a hint of chili pepper flakes.
You can either marinate the shrimp with the shell on or off. I usually always peel it off beforehand so I won’t have to worry about it when I eat it.
16. Roasted Broccoli with Parmesan
Remember those overcooked broccoli you got at school lunches? Well this recipe is 100 times better! For the most part, I will steam a big bag of broccoli and salt it for flavor if I’m in rush. But if I’m tired of steamed broccoli, this is my go to recipe.
The extra touch of lemon juice, parmesan and chopped garlic brings out an amazing flavor in this vegetable!
17. Eggplant Side Dish
I have always been a fan of Chinese eggplant dishes until I realized how much oil it took to cook eggplant until it was soft. Not anymore when I realized that the secret to soften eggplant is in steaming it beforehand!
Add some garlic, chili pepper flakes, soy sauce and fish sauce; you will have a fragrant delicious Asian style eggplant. This is not to miss if you love eggplant but don’t want the fat!
18. Beet Carpaccio with Goat Cheese and Mint Vinaigrette
I got to admit that when I first bought a beet at a farmer’s market, I had no idea what to do with it and figured that I’d roast it. Many years later, I realized how delicious beets are when you steam them instead.
Though this recipe calls for baked beets, you can just as easily steam them for 30 minutes for a tenderer, smoother texture.
If you love beets like I do, this recipe will make you feel like you’re eating a slice of heaven.
19. Sauteed Kale
My favorite green leafy vegetable is kale. Although the most common ones you see in your grocery stores are the common curly versions, my favorite is the Red Russian kale. It cooks faster and when you use this recipe and combine it with beet greens, this dish tops my list as my favorite vegetable dish.
I always add lots of extra garlic because I love it but this recipe helps to cut back on the cooking time that kale takes because of its leafy texture.
20. Piquant Bell Peppers
Nothing is more colorful than a dish of sautéed peppers! One thing I found that really helped with the long cooking time peppers usually take is that the addition of sugar helps get it wilt faster on the stove.
If you love the sweetness of peppers, then you will love this recipe for a fast, easy side dish of vegetables.
Hopefully your tastebuds will enjoy these recipes as much as I do!
At the start of the year, if you had asked anyone if they could do their work from home, many would have said no. They would have cited the need for team meetings, a place to be able to sit down and get on with their work, the camaraderie of the office, and being able to meet customers and clients face to face.
Almost ten months later, most of us have learned that we can do our work from home and in many ways, we have discovered working from home is a lot better than doing our work in a busy, bustling office environment where we are inundated with distractions and noise.
One of the things the 2020 pandemic has reminded us is we humans are incredibly adaptable. It is one of the strengths of our kind. Yet we have been unknowingly practicing this for years. When we move house we go through enormous upheaval.
When we change jobs, we not only change our work environment but we also change the surrounding people. Humans are adaptable and this adaptability gives us strength.
So, what are the pros and cons of working from home? Below I will share some things I have discovered since I made the change to being predominantly a person who works from home.
Pro #1: A More Relaxed Start to the Day
This one I love. When I had to be at a place of work in the past, I would always set my alarm to give me just enough time to make coffee, take a shower, and change. Mornings always felt like a rush.
Now, I can wake up a little later, make coffee and instead of rushing to get out of the door at a specific time, I can spend ten minutes writing in my journal, reviewing my plan for the day, and start the day in a more relaxed frame of mind.
When you start the day in a relaxed state, you begin more positively. You find you have more clarity and more focus and you are not wasting energy worrying about whether you will be late.
Pro #2: More Quiet, Focused Time = Increased Productivity
One of the biggest difficulties of working in an office is the noise and distractions. If a colleague or boss can see you sat at your desk, you are more approachable. It is easier for them to ask you questions or engage you in meaningless conversations.
Working from home allows you to shut the door and get on with an hour or two of quiet focused work. If you close down your Slack and Email, you avoid the risk of being disturbed and it is amazing how much work you can get done.
An experiment conducted in 2012 found that working from home increased a person’s productivity by 13%, and more recent studies also find significant increases in productivity.
When our productivity increases, the amount of time we need to perform our work decreases, and this means we can spend more time on activities that can bring us closer to our family and friends as well as improve our mental health.
Pro #3: More Control Over Your Day
Without bosses and colleagues watching over us all day, we have a lot more control over what we do. While some work will inevitably be more urgent than others, we still get a lot more choice about what we work on.
We also get more control over where we work. I remember when working in an office, we were given a fixed workstation. Some of these workstations were pleasant with a lot of natural sunlight, but other areas were less pleasant. It was often the luck of the draw whether we find ourselves in a good place to work or not.
By working from home we can choose what work to work on and whether we want to face a window or not. We can get up and move to another place, and we can move from room to room. And if you have a garden, on nice days you could spend a few hours working outside.
Pro #4: You Get to Choose Your Office Environment
While many companies will provide you with a laptop or other equipment to do your work, others will give you an allowance to purchase your equipment. But with furniture such as your chair and desk, you have a lot of freedom.
I have seen a lot of amazing home working spaces with wonderful sets up—better chairs, laptop stands that make working from a laptop much more ergonomic and therefore, better for your neck.
You can also choose your wall art and the little nick-nacks on your desk or table. With all this freedom, you can create a very personal and excellent working environment that is a pleasure to work in. When you are happy doing your work, you will inevitably do better work.
Con #1: We Move a Lot Less
When we commute to a place of work, there is movement involved. Many people commute using public transport, which means walking to the bus stop or train station. Then, there is the movement at lunchtime when we go out to buy our lunch. Working in a place of work requires us to move more.
Unfortunately, working from home naturally causes us to move less and this means we are not burning as many calories as we need to.
Moving is essential to our health and if you are working from home you need to become much more aware of your movement. To ensure you are moving enough, make sure you take your lunch breaks. Get up from your desk and move. Go outside, if you can, and take a walk. And, of course, refrain from regular trips to the refrigerator.
Con #2: Less Human Interaction
One of the nicest things about bringing a group of people together to work is the camaraderie and relationships that are built over time. Working from home takes us away from that human interaction and for many, this can cause a feeling of loss.
Humans are a social species—we need to be with other people. Without that connection, we start to feel lonely and that can lead to mental health issues.
Zoom and Microsoft Teams meeting cannot replace that interaction. Often, the interactions we get at our workplaces are spontaneous. But with video calls, there is nothing spontaneous—most of these calls are prearranged and that’s not spontaneous.
This lack of spontaneous interaction can also reduce a team’s ability to develop creative solutions—there’s just something about a group of incredibly creative people coming together in a room to thrash out ideas together that lends itself to creativity.
While video calls can be useful, they don’t match the connection between a group of people working on a solution together.
Con #3: The Cost of Buying Home Office Equipment
Not all companies are going to provide you with a nice allowance to buy expensive home office equipment. 100% remote companies such as Doist (the creators of Todoist and Twist) provide a $2,000 allowance to all their staff every two years to buy office equipment. Others are not so generous.
This can prove to be expensive for many people to create their ideal work-from-home workspace. Many people must make do with what they already have, and that could mean unsuitable chairs that damage backs and necks.
For a future that will likely involve more flexible working arrangements, companies will need to support their staff in ways that will add additional costs to an already reduced bottom line.
Con #4: Unique Distractions
Not all people have the benefit of being able to afford childcare for young children, and this means they need to balance working and taking care of their kids.
For many parents, being able to go to a workplace gives them time away from the noise and demands of a young family, so they could get on with their work. Working from home removes this and can make doing video calls almost impossible.
To overcome this, where possible, you need to set some boundaries. I know this is not always possible, but it is something you need to try. You should do whatever you can to make sure you have some boundaries between your work life and home life.
Working from home can be hugely beneficial for many people, but it can also bring serious challenges to others.
We are moving towards a new way of working. Therefore, companies need to look at both the pros and cons of working from home and be prepared to support their staff in making this transition. It will not be impossible, but a lot of thought will need to go into it.