I don't have a lot of time for cooking, as I imagine most people don't these days. I frequently get home at 9 or later at night just because of what I do. Logically, this means I need to do at least some of my food preparation ahead of time unless I want to rely on takeout all the time.
I don't like spending a ton of time on meal prep though, because frankly I have better things to do than chop vegetables all day! I get so mad at the "5 ingredient" cookbooks because they usually have a list of 20 or so "staples" that somehow "don't count" in the 5 ingredients because you should just have them lying around anyway. So really, the recipes have closer to 10 ingredients that I have to buy, store, measure out, etc. False advertising!
So anyway, I take serious shortcuts when it comes to meal prep. I buy pre-cut vegetables. Thin-sliced boneless skinless chicken breasts that cook faster. Microwaveable rice in a bag. Single serve greek yogurts so I can divide one cup in half to put in my overnight oats instead of trying to find a container that will measure it out without it getting all over me. I know it's more expensive that way. I don't like the plastic packaging, though I do recycle everything. But for me, these shortcuts are the difference between preparing food at home and relying on much less healthy or environmentally friendly restaurant options. Judge me if you want to, I'll be over here doing me.
So, if any of that resonates with you, I give you permission. Do the slightly lazier, slightly more convenient thing if it gets you to where you can put in the effort to do a little better. It doesn't have to be all or nothing, You don't have to be Martha Stewart to cook at home.
That said, here's a thing I did last week that turned out great - feel free to copy or adapt for yourself!
Super Lazy Sheet Pan Roasted Chicken & Veg (adapted from a recipe I found on Pinterest, because of course it was on Pinterest)
Preheat oven to 500. Yes, 500.
Spray your sheet pan with cooking spray.
Get yourself a pack of pre-chopped veggies. I used Trader Joe’s Asian stir fry veggies and a pack of pre-sliced white mushrooms cuz I like a lot of mushrooms. You can use what you like. Pour that on the pan and spread em out.
Get yourself some thin cut boneless skinless chicken breasts (even easier to cut into small pieces than the non thin cut). Cut em up in small pieces. I just cut the breast lengthwise and then across 2-3 times each chunk. Spread those chunks throughout. (And yes, you will want to cut them up so they cook faster)
Dump a bunch of Italian seasoning on top. If you want to add other spices, great, go for it.
Gently drizzle olive oil. I got a thin stream going and did like 5 diagonal stripes across, then a couple tiny splashes where it seemed dry. Don’t overdo it, which is easy to do.
Put the whole thing in the 500 degree oven for 15 minutes.
That’s it! I divided and packed this in 4 Pyrex containers to eat for lunch throughout the week. Packing it in smaller containers instead of one big one helped it cool faster too, so I could stick it in the fridge pretty quickly. When I felt like it I warmed up some of that Trader Joe's frozen Jasmine rice (3 minutes in the microwave) to go with it.
Hope this was helpful! Are you doing any meal prep this week? Let me know in the comments.