Late Summer Meal Prep for the 1,500–1,800 Calorie Level
Right now at our farmers markets and grocery stores, we’re seeing a bounty of summer squash, vibrantly-colored tomatoes, and regional fruits and berries that are begging for us to take them home. Because they are at the height of their seasons this time of year, many of these foods are available at great prices, too! We decided to create a meal prep menu that highlights some of this delicious late summer produce. If different fruits and vegetables are in season where you live, feel free to substitute them for some of the side dishes and snacks described here.
This meal prep menu created by Amanda Meixner, who eats at the 1,500–1,800 calorie level. She loves her veggies, so she keeps extra vegetables on hand for snacks if she gets hungry. You might notice extra bell peppers and some spinach in the photos that are not included in the menu. If you would like to add more veggies to your meal prep, use these ideas as inspiration.
Keep reading to get all the details on Amanda’s meal prep, see her grocery list, and follow the step-by-step guide below to make these meals as quickly and efficiently as possible.
This Week’s Meal Prep Menu:
Breakfast (M/T/W/Th/F): Smoothie with Chocolate Protein Powder and Banana, and Oatmeal with Shredded Coconut
Snack (M/T/W/Th/F): Hard-Boiled Eggs and Fresh Fruit
Lunch (M/W/F): Shrimp Coconut Curry with Quinoa and Red Bell Pepper
Lunch (T/Th): Shredded Chicken Breast, Roasted Broccoli and Cauliflower, Mashed Sweet Potato, and Avocado
Snack (M/T/W/Th/F): Roasted Chickpeas and Baby Carrots
Dinner (M/W/F): Spiralized Yellow Squash with Cherry Tomatoes and Chicken
Dinner (T/Th): Baked Salmon with Zucchini Noodles and Cherry Tomatoes
Breakfasts: ½ cup cooked oatmeal (¼ cup rolled oats) topped with 2 Tbsp. unsweetened shredded coconut, and a smoothie made with chocolate protein powder, water, and ½ large banana
Snacks: Two hard-boiled eggs with ½ cup strawberries and 1 small fig
M/W/F: Shrimp Coconut Curry (or chicken) with ½ cup quinoa and ½ cup chopped red bell peppers
T/Th: 4 oz. shredded boneless, skinless chicken breast; 1 cup roasted broccoli and cauliflower; ½ small baked sweet potato (mashed), topped with ¼ sliced avocado topped with ¼ sliced avocado
Snack: ½ cup chickpeas roasted in 1 tsp. oil and 1 cup baby carrots
M/W/F: 1½ cups spiralized carrots and summer squash sautéed in olive oil, topped with 4 oz. sliced chicken breast and ½ cup cherry tomatoes
T/Th: 4 oz. baked salmon with 1½ cups spiralized zucchini and ½ cup cherry tomatoes
1 cup broccoli florets
1 cup cauliflower florets
1 bunch cilantro
1 bunch basil
6 medium bell peppers
3 medium yellow squash
3 medium zucchinis
4 medium carrots
2 bags baby carrots
2½ cups cherry tomatoes
2 small sweet potatoes
1 head garlic
2½ cups strawberries
5 small figs
1 lime (or 3 tsp. lime juice)
5 scoops chocolate protein powder
8 oz. salmon
20 oz. boneless, skinless chicken breast
18 oz. raw medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
one dozen eggs
1¼ cups old-fashioned rolled oats
2, 15-oz. cans chickpeas
½ cup dry quinoa (or 1½ cups cooked quinoa)
1 can coconut milk (not coconut milk beverage)
⅔ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
Your step-by-step plan to assemble the meal prep:
1. Place 10 eggs in a saucepan, and add enough water to cover the eggs by one inch. Bring water just to a boil over high heat. Remove from heat, cover, and let stand for 12 minutes. While eggs cook, prepare a large bowl of ice water. Carefully remove the eggs from the hot water with a slotted spoon and transfer to the ice water. Place in refrigerator.
2. Heat oven to 375°F. Arrange two small sweet potatoes on a baking sheet. Pierce each sweet potato with a fork three times. Place the baking sheet in the oven for 30–40 minutes or until sweet potatoes are tender. Remove from oven and leave the oven on. Cut a slit down the center of each sweet potato, then use a fork to mash the interior. Place in two lunch containers.
3. While the sweet potatoes cook, arrange one cup of broccoli florets and 1 cup cauliflower florets on a baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 tsp. olive oil. Place baking sheet on a second oven rack and roast for about 20 minutes, stirring once, or until veggies are soft and begin to turn golden brown. Remove from oven and set aside to cool. When cool, divide evenly between the two containers with sweet potatoes. Remove from oven and leave the oven on.
4. Spiralize three yellow squash, four carrots, and three zucchinis, or use a vegetable peeler to cut each into long, pasta-like ribbons. Place a pan over medium heat and add 2 tsp. coconut oil. Add the carrots and yellow squash. Cook, stirring frequently for 3–4 minutes, or until soft. Season with salt and pepper if desired. Divide yellow squash and carrot noodles evenly between three dinner containers. To the same pan, add 2 tsp. olive oil and place over medium heat. Add spiralized zucchini, and cook, stirring frequently for 3–4 minutes. Add torn basil leaves and season with salt and pepper if desired. Divide evenly between two more dinner containers. Add ½ cup cherry tomatoes to each of the five containers with vegetable noodles. Set aside.
5. Brush 20 oz. of chicken breasts with 2 tsp. olive oil and season with sea salt and ground pepper, if desired. Bake chicken for 20 minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink in the middle. Remove from heat, and set aside to cool. When cool, cut 12 oz. of chicken into cubes. Divide evenly between containers with yellow squash and carrot noodles. Place in refrigerator. Use a fork to shred the remaining 8 oz. of chicken. Divide evenly between containers with broccoli, cauliflower, and sweet potatoes. Place in refrigerator. Serve with ¼ avocado.
6. Next, cook the salmon. Heat a large pan over medium heat. Pat dry 8 oz. of salmon. Season with salt and pepper if desired. Spray pan with nonstick cooking spray. Place salmon in pan. Cook for 3–4 minutes, then flip and cook 3–4 minutes more, or until fish flakes easily with a fork. Remove from pan and set aside to cool. When fish has cooled, divide evenly between the two containers with zucchini noodles. Place in refrigerator.
7. Next, bake the chickpeas. Drain and rinse two cans of chickpeas. Spread beans out on clean dish towels, and pat dry. Arrange 2½ cups of dried chickpeas on a large baking sheet, drizzle with 2 Tbsp. olive oil, and season with salt or other spices if desired. (Place any unused chickpeas in the fridge.) Gently shake baking sheet to coat all beans with oil and seasoning. Roast chickpeas for 25–35 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, until crisp and golden brown. Remove from oven and set aside to cool. When cool, add ½ cup beans to five snack-sized containers.
8. Prepare the oatmeal: Bring 2½ cups of water to a boil in medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add 1¼ cups old-fashioned rolled oats and a dash of salt, if desired. Cook the oats over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, for 3–5 minutes. Remove from heat. Divide evenly between five small food storage containers, and sprinkle with 2 Tbsp. unsweetened shredded coconut.
9. Next, make the Shrimp Coconut Curry. Chop 1½ red bell peppers, and set aside. Combine ¾ cup canned coconut milk, 3 tsp. lime juice, 1½ tsp. honey, 1½ tsp. curry powder, ½-inch slice of peeled and finely chopped ginger, and ¾ tsp. finely chopped garlic in a small bowl; mix well and set aside. Season 18 oz. of shrimp with ¾ tsp. pepper. Heat 3 tsp. coconut oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add shrimp and bell peppers, and cook, stirring frequently, for 30 seconds. Add coconut milk mixture. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook for 5 minutes, or until sauce is slightly thickened and shrimp is opaque and firm. Remove from heat. When cool, divide evenly between the three containers with quinoa. Garnish with cilantro if desired. Chop another red bell pepper and add ½ cup to each container (these were left raw for this meal prep, but they can also be added with the other peppers and cooked with the shrimp, if desired). Place in refrigerator.
10. Wash, hull, and slice 2½ cups strawberries and 5 small figs. Place in a large container and place in the refrigerator.