Healthy Cooking With An Attitude

Healthy Meal Prep with Lemon Chicken Recipe

Are you ready to start your new WW journey? Is it daunting to think about incorporating counting points into your active or busy lifestyle? Healthy meal prep can simplify your life by having your meal ready for you instead of resorting to fast food or something you can grab quickly on the go. I can't wait to share with you all the reasons why you should meal prep, how to get started and give you a delicious recipe for lemon chicken for your first meal prep!

Healthy Meal Prep is A Step Towards Success

6 steps for healthy meal prep with an image of meals in mason jars

Remember when starting any change in your life that failing to prepare is preparing to fail. Here are some trouble-free meal prep ideas which are here to help you steer clear of dieting difficulties. We’ll touch on the best ideas for meal prepping for success. Let’s get started!

Meal Prepping & Planning Ahead

Spending a little extra time planning and prepping your high-protein, low-carb meals for the week (or longer) makes it easier to accomplish your health goals. Setting aside the extra time to plan ahead really makes all the difference. Get your favorite low-carb recipes together and go from there. Make sure to include ingredients high in protein, healthy fats and lots of veggies. They are designed to help you feel full longer.

Here Are Some Easy Steps to Get You Started

Choices, Choices . . .

Choose a selection of quick and easy WW recipes that excite you to help build a recipe base that motivates you to stay on track. You can use resources like Pinterest, search low-carb Facebook groups, or visit mainstream recipe websites like Delish or AllRecipes. When considering your meal choices, try to find ones to incorporate fresh, organic vegetables, meats, seafood, and eggs. Remember you can always substitute foods in recipes. Be creative.

Need Ideas on what a day of eating could look like?

The WW Blue Plan is the same as Freestyle, I recommend checking out this meal plan by Smiley's Points.

3 meal prep containers

Stay Organized and Make a List

Make a shopping list of the ingredients and quantities you need to prepare your food for the length of time you choose. Your list should include items such as broccoli, spinach, asparagus, cauliflower, and healthy, nutrient-dense foods like avocados. Other great items are eggs, fish such as salmon, and most meats, even including jerky. If you don’t own some already, include quality containers with compartments on your list for your meals. You’ll need enough for the number of meals you are planning to prepare.

Weekly Meal Prep

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Choosing WW Friendly Meal Prep Containers

Good
Better
Best

How and Where to Shop

When shopping, make sure not to go to the supermarket on an empty stomach. You are more likely to buy items that don’t fit into your plan if you are hungry! Shop the perimeter of the grocery store first, where you find all of the fresh items. This will keep you away from a lot of the processed high carb foods. Farmers' markets are a great place to find the freshest ingredients for healthy and flavorful food.

Let’s Get Prepping

Now that you have everything you need, go ahead and get started. Look at your ingredients and work through each meal, prepping them like an assembly line. If you are making two different recipes for which both call for the same ingredient, prep them both at once. This will be more efficient and make your life easier in the long run.

Take it Step By Step

Follow your favorite WW Pinterest-worthy recipe step by step. Make sure to check your ingredient measurements and increase the amounts accordingly for the week. When ready, assemble each container with the correct portion size of each finished dish and store in your fridge for the week. This makes everything super easy.

Channel Your Inner Chef

Always remember to keep it fresh and change up your recipes each week so you won’t get bored. Even if you make a similar meal, use different herbs and spices to make it new and fun. Variety is a big key to success in any diet or lifestyle plan. Low-carb doesn’t have to taste bad or be plain. Be your own chef! There are many unique and innovative ways to prepare foods, and eating on weight watchers is no exception.

What recipes are good for meal prep?

There are a number of different dishes that are great to make ahead and use in meal prep. I would suggest checking out these posts:

Use a Meal Subscription Box

There are a number of different services out there that offer meal kits, but my favorite by far is Home Chef. (Read more about our experience and how to use it for your weight loss). Home Chef helps you learn more creative recipes, portion control, and it's delivered to your front door. It doesn't get much easier than that!

HomeChef with myWW plan

Recipe for Lemon Chicken and Broccoli

Easy Lemon Chicken and Broccoli in a pan

If you have been following my other recipes, you know that I am all about simple. Recipes that only require one-skillet make me do a happy dance. I originally made this with boneless, skinless chicken thighs but you can easily swap it out for boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Chicken Thighs: 5 Points on WW Green Plan
Chicken Breasts: 2 Points on WW Green Plan

Chicken Thighs: 5 Points on WW Blue Plan
Chicken Breasts: 0 Points on WW Blue Plan

Chicken Thighs: 5 Points on WW Purple Plan
Chicken Breasts: 0 Points on WW Purple Plan

Ingredients

  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs(or breasts)
  • 2 medium shallots, sliced thin
  • 1 cup chicken stock, preferably organic
  • 1½ tbsp fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 16-oz. bag frozen broccoli
  • 1 medium organic lemon, sliced and cut into small, thin wedges
  • Butter Cooking Spray
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Heat large skillet over medium-high heat and coat with butter cooking spray
  2. Unroll chicken thighs (or use butterflied chicken breasts*) and season each side with salt and black pepper.
  3. Add seasoned chicken to hot skillet and cook for 4-5 minutes per side, or until chicken is golden brown and releases easily from the bottom of the skillet. Remove from heat and transfer chicken to a plate. Cover and keep warm.
  4. Reduce heat to medium and spray pan again. Add sliced shallots to skillet.
  5. Sauté shallots, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden brown, approximately 4-5 minutes.
  6. Add chicken stock to skillet and increase heat to medium-high. Bring liquid to a boil while using a spatula or wooden spoon to scrape up brown bits from the bottom of the pan.
  7. Add chopped rosemary leaves and continue cooking until liquid has cooked down to about half of what it was, (it should take approximately 4-5 minutes) stirring occasionally.
  8. Add chicken and any escaped juices to the skillet, along with the frozen broccoli and thin lemon wedges. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 10-12 minutes, or until broccoli is tender enough to your liking and chicken is cooked through. (Internal temperature should read 165°F on an instant-read thermometer).
  9. Remove from heat and serve immediately with a spoonful of pan sauce drizzled over each chicken thigh. Garnish with additional lemon wedges, if desired. Enjoy!

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This post was guest written in part by Stefanie Resciniti. Stefanie is a graphic designer and marketing professional with a passion for learning, traveling and trying new things. She is excited about any opportunity to inspire creative content.



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