Meal Prep & Menu Plan for One

Well after a week of hotch potch dinners - some of which I am embarrassed to admit consisted of ice cream and crackers it is time to knuckle down and get serious about eating well and this blog.

Because staying motivated to plan, shop and cook for one is hard.

Even me, who LOVES food, enjoys and can cook and let's face it is passionate about eating well for one that I started a blog - struggles to stay motivated.

And right now I'm bearing the brunt of that lack of motivation - I have little energy and am struggling to fit into all my work clothes - so something HAS to be done.

Also I'm not sure about you, but I find a bit of a vicious circle comes into play. When I am eating well, it is easy to think of good things to eat - and indeed I often have more great recipe ideas than nights in the week.

But today, this blog has taken me hours - trying to find inspiration for meals to cook.

So time to inject some discipline about getting to the supermarket into my routine and start the week with a menu plan and some food prep.

Using up ingredients and minimising waste each week

Scroll to the end to a graphic of how 1/2 cuts and 1/2 tins of ingredients are used across the week to minimise waste.

Access this week's shopping list and recipes adapted for one person

Leave a comment if you would like a copy of the recipes adapted for one person and weekly shopping list.

Green Boost

As usual, and as you will see from the shopping list I try to find as many ways to get as many green vegetables into any meal as I can.

Variety and Number of Serves of Vegetables

  • No. serves: 17
  • Variety: 6
  • No. serves as % of recommended weekly intake:  48%

The Plan

  • Sunday l Chicken Biryani with quinoa, broccoli, peas and spinach
  • Monday l Broccoli Soup
  • Tuesday l Chicken breast marinated with lemon, lime, ginger, garlic and yoghurt
  • Wednesday l Steamed salmon and vegetables
  • Thursday l Spiral pasta with tinned salmon or tuna in a tomato based sauce
  • Friday l Chilli Lime Steak Fajitas
  • Saturday l Tuscan Bean Soup

Descriptions & Tips

Sunday l Chicken Biryani with quinoa, broccoli, peas and spinach

A tasty but simple one pan meal to get ready for the week. Original recipe found at The Brown Paper Bag 

  • Prep ahead: Cook extra quinoa (or rice if you prefer) to use on Tuesday and also Thursday and Friday if you prefer not to eat pasta or tortillas.
  • If you are interested see here for my Lamb Biryani recipe

Monday l Broccoli Soup

This is a simple soup to start the week with a dose of greens, I add butter beans for protein and extra bulk.

  • Since you are prepping broccoli anyway, prepare extra to have ready for Tuesday and Wednesday - and if you want, to add to pasta on Thursday
  • Recipe from my blog. Just disregard the horribly dark photos. It still tastes good!

Tuesday l Chicken breast marinated with lemon, lime, ginger, garlic and yoghurt

This recipe was inspired to find a way of using up the yoghurt bought for the Chicken Biryani cooked on Sunday.  I did think of adding a satay sauce but in the end this seemed easier for quick Monday night meal. I will add quinoa, broccoli and spinach to boost the greens.

Uses up half chicken breast and yoghurt from Sunday

  • This recipe from my blog uses prawns not chicken, and coconut milk vs yoghurt, but provides an idea of the flavours and how quick and easy this recipe is

Wednesday l Steamed salmon and vegetables

If you have followed this blog for a while, you will know that this meal appears at least once a week. It is super nutritious, super easy and can be made on autopilot and from walking into the kitchen to sitting down and eating is about 20 minutes.

  • Write up my blog shows that this recipe is quick and easy

Thursday l Spiral pasta with tinned salmon or tuna in a tomato based sauce 'boosted' with greens (spinach, peas, avocado)

This is one of my go-to meals for using up pantry items, or I can't be bothered cooking but want something nutritious.  I haven't written up the recipe for this specific version (leave a message in the comments if you would like it.) but a something very similar can be found here. If you don't like salmon or tuna, substitute poached chicken. If you don't eat or have pasta, serve by itself or with quinoa.

  • The recipe here is from my blog. It isn't an exact match for this one, but it shows the type of meal this is and how easy it is to make. 
  • This is another variation from my blog and another that doesn't require tinned tomatoes

Friday l Chilli Lime Steak Fajitas

I LOVE fajita's. I'm not so sure about the chilli part and will substitute Cumin and the number of coloured capsicum. The original recipe can be found at Cafe Delites.

In my version of this recipe I just use red capsicum so that you don't end up with leftover green and yellow capsicum. It would obviously be a lot prettier with both - so definitely include if you prefer. I add spinach though - makes it prettier and means another serve of vegetables for the week!

Saturday l Tuscan Bean Soup

This is a simple Saturday meal. My 'a-ha' moment was realising it used up most of the left over 'bits' of things - e.g. accomplishing my main goal of this blog! Helping people not only stay motivated by prepare a weekly menu plan that doesn't leave them with a whole pile of leftover bits of things in the fridge - which can often happen when you are adapting recipes from 4 or 6 to one person.

Uses up 1/2 can of butter beans from Monday, and leftover chicken or vegetable stock if you opened a liquid stock, the 1/2 can of tomatoes from Thursday, and leftover capsicum from Friday as well as any leftover onion. As usual I would include spinach just to 'boost the greens.'