Week 1 Lunch and Dinner Meal Prep

See below for recipes for lunch and dinner to get you through Monday-Friday. Prepare all ahead of time or break them up throughout the week!

Lunches For The Week:
Monday- Apple Turkey Sandwich + baby carrots
Tuesday- Buffalo Turkey burger on whole wheat bun + roasted broccoli
Wednesday- Turkey meatballs + whole wheat pasta + asparagus
Thursday- Buffalo turkey burger + brown rice + parmesan green beans
Friday- Apple Turkey Sandwich + baby carrots

Dinners For The Week:
Monday- Buffalo Turkey burger (no bun) + brown rice + roasted broccoli
Tuesday- Turkey meatball hoagie + side salad
Wednesday- Chicken Teriyaki stir fry + brown rice
Thursday- Buffalo turkey burger  + sweet potato fries + side salad
Friday- Lemon Ranch chicken + brown rice + side salad

Grocery List for Lunch and Dinner (all recipes serve 2, except turkey sandwich):

Turkey breast lunch meat (1/2 lb.)
Lean ground turkey (93/7) (2 lbs.)
Chicken breast (16 oz./1 lb.)
Whole-grain bread (4 slices)
Whole-wheat buns (2 buns)
Hoagie roll (2 rolls)
Whole-wheat breadcrumbs (3/4 cup)
Whole-wheat pasta (about 2 cups, cooked)
Brown rice (6 cups)
Green apple (1 small)
Lemon juice (2 tbsp. and 2 tsp.)
Sharp cheddar cheese, thinly sliced (2 slices)
Skim milk (2 tbsp.)
Egg (1)
Grainy mustard (1 tbsp. and 1 tsp.)
Light mayo (1 tbsp. and 1 tsp.)
Olive oil
Garlic powder (1 tbsp. and 2 tsp.)
Ranch dressing seasoning (2 tbsp.)
Dried parsley (2 1/2 tbsp.)
Minced garlic (1/2 tsp.)
Hot sauce (1/4 cup + 2 tbsp.)
Pasta sauce (24 oz. jar)
Teriyaki sauce, low sodium (1/4 c.)
Parmesan cheese, grated (1/2 c. + 1 tbsp.)
2 bags of Romaine lettuce (for salad and sandwiches)
Assorted fresh vegetables for salad (6c. total salad min.)
Mixed vegetables, fresh (carrot, snap pea, broccoli blend) (2 c.)
Baby carrots (2 cups)
Broccoli, fresh (4 cups)
Green beans, fresh (about 2 cups)
Asparagus (2 cups/1 bunch)
Alexa sweet potato fries (2 cup)


Apple Turkey Sandwich ( serves 1) + Baby Carrots (make this recipe twice during the week):

Ingredients x 2 (make this recipe twice during week):
2 slices whole-grain bread
3 oz. thinly sliced turkey breast
4 slices green apple (about 1/4 medium apple)
1 thin slice sharp cheddar cheese (1/2 oz.)
2 tsp. grainy mustard
2 tsp. light mayo
Romaine lettuce

Slice apple into thin slices. Add all ingredients between 2 slices bread. Serve with 1 cup of baby carrots or vegetable of choice. Add hummus, light ranch, or guacamole for dipping.

Nutrition Facts for sandwich:
Calories: 430 kcal
Carbs: 53g
Pro: 32g
Fat: 9g

Buffalo Turkey Burgers (serves 2):

1 lb. lean ground turkey (93/7)
1/2 c. whole wheat breadcrumbs
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tbsp. dried parsley
2 tbsp. skim milk
1/4 c. hot sauce
Whole wheat bun
Alexa Sweet potato Fries (1 cup per person)
Brown rice ( 1 cup per person)

1. In a large bowl, whisk together milk, hot sauce, salt, pepper, garlic powder. Add ground turkey and bread crumbs. Mix well.
2. Divide into 6 patties.
3. Cook on skillet, bake in oven, or throw on grill until fully cooked to 165 degrees.
4. Top with cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, as desired.
5. Serve with sweet potato fries (bake according to package directions), on a bun, with brown rice, and/or side salad.

Nutrition Facts (without bun):
Yield 6 burgers-
Calories: 135 kcal
Carbs- 5g
Fat- 12g

Roasted Broccoli (serves 2 people):

4 cups broccoli
1 tbsp. garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp. lemon juice, or about 1/2 lemon juice
1 1/2 tbsp. olive oil

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Cut broccoli from stems, wash, and dry.
3. Add broccoli to large bowl. Toss with salt, pepper, garlic powder. Drizzle lemon juice and olive oil over top. Continue to toss until well combined.
4. Spread evenly over a greased baking sheet. Roast for 15-20 minutes until tender and slightly browned.

Nutrition Facts (per 1 cup serving):
Yield 4 cups-
Calories- 75 kcal
Carbs: 6g
Pro: 3g
Fat: 5g

Parmesan Green Beans (serves 2):


2 cups fresh green beans
1 tsp. olive oil
1 tsp. garlic powder
2 tbsp. grated parmesan cheese
Salt and peper to taste

Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees. Place green beans in large bowl spread garlic powder, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper over top. Add olive oil, mix with hands. Spread on large greased baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, flip with spatula, bake for another 5 minutes.

Nutrition Facts (per cup):
Calories: 80 kcal
Carbs: 8g
Protein: 4g
Fat: 4g

Turkey Meatballs (serves 2 people for the week, cut recipe in half for 1 person):


-Served with whole-wheat pasta or on a hoagie roll

1 lb. lean ground turkey, 93/7
1/4 c. whole wheat breadcrumbs
1/4 c. grated parmesan cheese
1 egg
1/2 tsp. minced garlic
1 1/2 tbsp. dried parsley
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
24 oz. jar pasta sauce
Whole-wheat pasta (1 cup per person)
Hoagie roll (1 roll per person)

1. In a large bowl, mix turkey, breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, egg, garlic, parsley, salt and pepper.
2. Add entire jar of pasta sauce to crock pot.
3. Roll meat mixture into 12 large meatballs and add to sauce in crock pot.
4. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.
5. Serve with pasta (cook according to package directions) or on a hoagie bun.

Nutrition Facts (Per meatball):
-Yield 12 meatballs (3 meatballs per meal)
Calories: 70 kcal
Carbs: 1g
Fat: 4g
Pro: 9g

Garlic Parmesan Roasted Asparagus (serves 2 people):

2 cup asparagus, fresh (about 1 bundle)
1 tbsp. garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
3 tbsp. parmesan cheese, grated
1 tbsp. olive oil

1. Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees. Rinse asparagus and cut off white stems. Spread evenly on greased baking pan.
2. Spread olive oil evenly across asparagus. Sprinkle salt, pepper, garlic powder, and parmesan cheese evenly across.
3. Bake in oven for 8-10 minutes.

Nutrition Facts (per cup):
-Yield 2 cups

Chicken Teriyaki (Serves 2 people):


2, 4 oz. chicken breasts
2 cups fresh vegetables of choice (used mixed of carrots, snap peas, and broccoli)
1/4 cup,  low sodium Teriyaki sauce
2 tsp. garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
Brown rice (1 cup per person)

1. Spray a large Wok or frying pan with non-stick cooking spray.
2. Cut each chicken breast into thin strips. Add to frying pan over medium-low heat.
3. Sprinkle with garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Toss in pan until chicken is almost fully cooked.
4. Add fresh vegetables of choice, stir in with chicken. After 2-3 minutes, drizzle teriyaki sauce over chicken and vegetables. Let cook until vegetables are slightly tender and chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
5. Serve over brown rice.

Nutrition Facts (per serving, not including rice):
-Yield 2 servings
Calories- 300
Fat- 5g

Lemon Ranch Chicken (serves 2 people):


2, 4 oz. chicken breasts
2 tsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. ranch dressing mix
1 tsp. garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup assorted vegetables for salad
1 cup brown rice
1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray. May use grill if desired.
1. In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, ranch mix, garlic powder, and a dash of salt and pepper.
2. With a spoon, spread mixture on each chicken breast evenly.
3. Bake chicken in oven at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until reaches internal temperature of 165 degrees.
4. Serve with 1 cup brown rice (cook according to directions) and side salad with dressing of choice.

Nutrition Facts (per chicken breast, not including rice or vegetable):
Calories- 245
Protein- 35g
Fat- 11g


Weekly Meal Prep Set-Up

I can’t stress to my clients enough the importance of being prepared. When you are prepared you can make a better decision. It takes the guess work out of what to make and takes you out of situations where you are stuck and are forced to make a bad decision.

Even if you can’t prepare your whole meal ahead of time, I think it can still be extremely helpful to at least do what we call, “meat” prepping. Preparing your meats in advance allows you to take away the most time consuming part of the meal. Dinner on a week night should not take you more than 20-30 minutes,unless you are someone with a more flexible schedule who can balance cooking dinner on a regular basis. I recommend spending the bulk of your work on the weekend. After grocery shopping, it should only take you 1-3 hours to clean, cut, and cook. For some people, breaking apart the cooking into a Sunday and Wednesday night can better maintain freshness of meals but still create some ease during the week.

Think about what you have going on that week. Do you need to prepare breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day? Think about events you have going on that week or potential nights you may be eating out where you can save yourself time and wasted food. Don’t cook food for nights you won’t be home. Consider weekend dining out, lunches with co-workers, birthday dinners, days you can work from home, etc.


Rather than cook separate meals for each night think about ways you can repurpose your ingredients. For example: If I buy ground turkey I can use that to make taco meat, meatballs, burgers, meatloaf, etc… Maybe you use half of the meat to make one thing and half to make another. Maybe you want to eat the same thing for dinner for 3 days but include different side dishes. You could create turkey burgers on a bun, over rice, and one night in a wrap or on a salad? Can you make a larger pot of rice and use it in 2-3 meals? These are all things to consider that may be specific to your tastes/preferences.

One of the main things to remember when prepping meals is to create a balanced meal. We need a carb, protein, and a vegetable at each meal (vegetable can be omitted from breakfast). It is important to remember that portions will vary slightly per person and based on their specific health goals (weight maintenance, weight loss, weight gain, etc.). A rough guideline to follow is one fist of carb, one palm of protein, and 1-2 fists of vegetables (non-starchy). This combination creates a balanced meal that will stick with you for hours and not leave you counting down the minutes until your next meal. Think of it like this- Protein takes longer to digest, carbs give us our energy, and vegetables add fiber and bulk to our meals.

Portion sizes hands

When you are ready to start- make a list of all the ingredients you will need for the week. Make sure to check what you already have before heading off to the store. Buying in bulk can be a great way to allow you to prep for future weeks. Also- think of emergency foods that can save you when you don’t have a chance to prep. Some examples- some pre-made low-fat chicken salad, turkey breast, tuna, low-fat cheese, etc.

When utilizing the freezer to freeze meals for a later time, make sure to either cook in smaller portions or freeze in individual portions to prevent having to thaw the whole dish for only one meal. For example, make meatloaf into small muffin tins so they are pre portioned and ready to go. Or if making a large meatloaf, cut into slices and freeze individually. The freezer can also be beneficial even if you don’t plan to freeze ahead. Sometimes, last minute plans come up and we don’t get to eat the lunches or dinners we prepared for a day or two. Why not freeze the meal to utilize in the next few weeks or save for the next emergency.


If prepping the whole meal has you feeling a little skeptical of the process, try at least cutting up your vegetables, marinating your meats, and pre-portioning your ingredients. Then you can utilize time in the morning to throw all ingredients in the crock pot or when you get home you are not measuring out individual ingredients- they are ready to throw in your pot or pan to cook.


I hope these tips have given you the basics to get started. Follow these ideas so you can cook once or twice and eat well all week!

Allison Wade MS RD LDN

Week 1 Breakfast Meal Prep

Below are overnight oat recipes for breakfast to get you through the Monday-Friday. Some recipes are doubled and are to be made for multiple days of the week!

Grocery list:

Dry oats (2 1/2 cups)
Skim milk (2 1/2 cups)
Chia seeds (1 tbsp. and 2 tsp.)
Honey (3 tsp.)
Walnuts (2 tbsp.)
Chocolate chips (2 tbsp.)
Banana (1 medium)
Natural Strawberry Jelly (2 tbsp.)
Mixed berries-fresh or frozen (1 cup)
Natural peanut butter (2 tbsp.)
Apple (1 small)
Cinnamon (1/4 tsp.)

Banana Chocolate Walnut Overnight Oats (2x/week):


1/2 c. dry oats
1/2 c. skim milk
1 tsp. chia seeds
1 tsp. honey
1 tbsp. walnuts
1 tbsp. chocolate chips
1/2 medium banana, sliced

Add oats, milk, chia seeds, and honey to container of choice. Mix until well combined. Top with walnuts, chocolate chips, and banana. Refrigerate and let sit overnight.

Nutrition Facts: (Yield- 1 serving)
Calories: 410 kcal
Carbs: 65g
Pro: 13g
Fat: 13g

Peanut Butter and Jelly Overnight Oats (2):


1/2 c. dry oats
1/2 c. skim milk
1 tsp. chia seeds
1 tbsp. natural strawberry jelly
1/2 c. mixed berries
1 tbsp. natural peanut butter

Add oats, milk, chia seeds, peanut butter and jelly to container of choice. Mix until well combined. Top with mixed berries. Refrigerate and let sit overnight.

Nutrition Facts: ( Yield 1 serving)
Calories: 390 kcal
Carbs: 56g
Pro: 14g
Fat: 12g

Apple Overnight Oats (1x/week):


1/2 c. dry oats
1/2 c. skim milk
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. chia seeds
1 small apple, diced
1 tsp. honey

Add oats, milk, chia seeds, honey, cinnamon to container of choice. Mix until well combined. Top with diced apple. Mix well and refrigerate overnight.

Nutrition Facts:
Calories: 280 kcal
Carbs: 54g
Pro: 10g
Fat: 4g

Apple Oatmeal Bake


2 c. dry oats
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 medium apple, diced
1 egg
1/4 c. honey
2 c. skim milk
2 tsp. vanilla extract

1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Spray an 8×8 baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.
3. Combine oats, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl.
4. Dice apple in small bite sized pieces.
5. In another medium sized bowl, whisk together egg and honey. Add milk and vanilla extract. Whisk until well combined.
6. Spread half of the oat mixture into the 8×8 pan evenly distributed. Add half the apple pieces.
7. Add the other half of oat mixture, then top with the rest of the apples.
8. Pour liquid mixture over oats in the baking pan so it is evenly distributed.
9. Bake at 375 degrees for 35 minutes.

Nutrition Facts:
Yield- 12 servings
Calories – 100
Carbs- 20g
Protein- 4g

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese


1 small butternut squash
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic
2 c. skim milk
nutmeg, pinch
cayenne pepper, pinch
1 c. reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 c. grated parmesan cheese
1 lb. whole wheat macaroni noodles, dry measure (whole box)
1/2 c. whole wheat breadcrumbs
salt and pepper to taste
parsley, to garnish

1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add pasta and cook according to package directions. Drain pasta and set aside.
2. Cut squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out seeds. Place on baking sheet with parchment paper.
3. Drizzle 1/2 tbsp. olive oil over each half of squash, sprinkle with salt and pepper, place 1 clove of garlic in each bulb of squash.
4. Bake in oven for 25-30 minutes. Re-set temperature to 350 degrees after cooking squash.
5. Let cool slightly, scoop insides of squash into large bowl and mash with fork.
6. Add squash and 2c. skim milk to large pot, whisking until well combined. Add a pinch of nutmeg and cayenne pepper while stirring.
7. After a few minutes, add cheddar and parmesan cheese. Continue to stir to combine and melt cheese.
8. Spray a large baking pan with non-stick cooking spray. Arrange pasta noodles evenly over bottom of pan. Pour squash/cheese mixture over noodles. Mix until well combined.
9. Spread 1/2 c. whole wheat bread crumbs over top of mac and cheese dish.
10. Bake for 20-25 minutes until warm and tender. Garnish with fresh or dried parsley.

Nutrition Facts (per 1 cup serving):
Yield- 10 servings
Calories- 280
Carbs- 45g
Protein- 12g

Overnight PrOats


1/2 c. dry oats
1/2 c. unsweetened almond milk
1/2 c. mixed berries
1 tsp. chia seeds
1 scoop protein powder (chocolate or vanilla both work great here)
1 tbsp. natural peanut butter

Mix all ingredients in a mason jar or tupperware container. Let sit in the refrigerator overnight. Enjoy cold in the morning!

Nutrition Facts:
Yield- 1 serving
Calories- 390
Carbs- 40g
Protein- 25g
Fat- 15g

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Banana Muffins


2 c. oats
2 ripe bananas
2 large eggs
1 c. plain greek yogurt
3 tbsp. honey
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. chocolate chips

1. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. Spray a muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray.
2. Throw all ingredients, except chocolate chips into a blender or food processor. Blend until batter is smooth. Stir in the chocolate chips.
3. Divide batter through 12 muffin tins.
4. Bake for 15 minutes or until tooth pick comes out clean.

Nutrition Facts (per muffin):
Yield 12 muffins
160 calories, 25g CHO, 5g pro, 5g fat

Student Spotlight: Shed 3 Myths in Less Than 10 Minutes by Therezia Alchoufete

Obesity and the Mind

Some research is suggesting that obesity can be associated with “addictive” qualities related to the stimulation of the reward pathway in our brains – somehow, food becomes the drug. However, to rid the body of a drug, the drug itself must be identified. It is still unclear what the exact culprit may be in the case of obesity, but here are some common weight-loss misconceptions that can be avoided by “detoxification” methods.


This idea of quitting an addiction “cold turkey” is common – but it is not effective. Usually, it will work for a short amount of time, and then old habits return. It is possible to “quit” a certain food for a few days, but you may begin to notice that you’re compensating with other types of food or constantly feeling hungry. Rather than give-up your favorite food completely, reduce your “dose”, or portion size, and train your body to eat less.


There is no “one-size-fits-all” approach to weight-loss, and fad diets can create the illusion that there is a trick to seeing quick results. In reality, water-weight is being lost, and we may see the number on the scale decreasing rapidly – this makes the reward center in the brain happy. Then, suddenly, the number stops changing, and the withdrawal symptoms set in. That is when people relapse and find themselves returning to their tried-and-trusted methods of happiness – their usual diet.


It is not uncommon for obesity to “run in the family”, but that does not mean a healthy weight cannot be achieved. There may be unhealthy food habits that are ingrained since childhood, and it may take some extra work to modify these ideas in the brain. Maintain those family traditions by making small recipe modifications to reduce fat content or eat less of Mom’s famous stuffing. Rather than re-training your mind to disassociate the food with the reward, modify the food itself and keep the reward.




Therezia Alchoufete

Coordinated Master in Nutrition and Dietetics

Department of Sports Medicine and Nutrition

School of Health and Rehab Sciences

University of Pittsburgh

Stuffed Peppers


5 large green bell peppers
1 lb. lean ground beef (93/7)
2 c. wild rice, cooked
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
16 oz. diced tomato
1 tsp. italian seasoning
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
Shredded cheddar cheese, optional for topping

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Remove tops of peppers and any remaining seeds. Add to large pot of boiling water for 5 minutes to blanch peppers. Remove and lay on towel to remove any remaining water.
3. Cook wild rice according to package directions.
4. Sautee onion and garlic until becomes translucent. Add ground beef until cooked thoroughly.
5. In a large bowl, mix together rice, diced tomatoes, ground beef, and seasonings until well combined.
6. Stuff mixture evenly into 5 large peppers.
7. Bake in oven for 25-30 minutes. Can top with cheese about 10 minutes before end of cooking time. Add tomato sauce over top if desired.

Nutrition Facts (per pepper):
Calories: 240 calories
Carbohydrates: 24g
Protein: 24g
Fat: 10g

Buffalo Chicken Pasta Salad

2 c. chicken breast, cooked
1 lb. rotini whole wheat pasta, dry
1c. celery, chopped
1/2 c. hot sauce
1/2 c. Bolthouse Farms yogurt ranch dressing
salt and pepper to taste
Blue cheese crumbles to garnish

1. Boil pasta according to package directions.
2. While pasta is cooking, mix together yogurt ranch and hot sauce.
3. Drain pasta, and stir in yogurt ranch and hot sauce. Stir in chicken, and diced celery.
4. Refrigerate until ready to eat.
5. Garnish with blue cheese crumbles.

Nutrition Facts (per 1 cup serving):
Yield- 10 servings
Calories: 240
Carbohydrates: 36g
Protein: 15g
Fat: 5g