Looking for a way to make strides towards your health and financial goals at the same time? Work-week meal prepping is a great place to start! Combine this healthy shredded chicken with frozen vegetables and olive oil and in 30 minutes you’ll have all your lunches for the next two weeks covered. Free your mind to think about more important problems than what you’re going to eat for lunch today!
Ingredients (~12 Servings):
- ~3 lb of preservative-free boneless chicken breast
- 1 cup of chicken broth (I use 1 tsp of Better than Bouillon Organic Roasted Chicken base mixed with 1 cup of water)
- 2 TBSP of turmeric
- 3 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 TBSP of your choice of spice (optional – sweet paprika, chili powder, sage are all great options)
- 6-quart crockpot
- Remove chicken breast from package, rinse, and place into crockpot.
- Add half of turmeric, salt, and pepper.
- Add the cup of chicken broth and enough water to cover about 2/3 of the chicken.
- Set crockpot to “low” and cook for 8 hours. If you’re in a hurry, set crockpot on “high” and cook for 5 hours.
- Once cooked, add remaining spices.
- Shred with two forks, scoop into your reusable lunch containers and enjoy all week!
- Freeze any leftovers for next week!
Total time = 8 hours and 5 minutes (5 minutes prep, 8 hours to cook) + 30 minutes to meal prep your lunches!
Step 2 – There has been plenty of talk lately about turmeric being a miraculous “superfood.” Many of these benefits are claimed but not proven – sort of like the hype around apple cider vinegar. However, I have yet to see any articles about the negative effects of turmeric and apple cider vinegar, so to err on the side of caution and the acquisition of superhuman abilities, I eat and drink plenty of both!
The important compound in turmeric is called curcumin (feel free to do your homework on its plethora of potential health benefits!). In order to prevent your body from breaking down curcumin, it is recommended you eat it with piperine, a compound found in black pepper. Curcumin is also fat soluble, meaning that your body will digest more of it when eaten with a meal that contains fat or oil. To solve this problem, I recommend adding a teaspoon or two of olive oil atop your meal-prepped lunch before closing the lid.
To sum up: Black pepper keeps the potentially great turmeric compounds available for your gut and olive oil helps your body absorb those compounds. Got it? Good!
Step 3 – Your crockpot is a closed system so you don’t have to worry about water evaporating. Roughly 2/3 coverage of the chicken is all you need.
This is an example of how the crockpot looks before I turn it on:
Step 4 – I recommend taking the 5 minutes to prep and turn on the crockpot on after breakfast on Sunday morning so that it is finished and ready to be moved into reusable containers around dinnertime!
- 3 lb of preservative-free boneless chicken breast ~ $15
- 1 cup of chicken broth ~ $0.25
- 2 TBSP of turmeric ~ $0.25
- 3 tsp salt ~ negligible
- 1 tsp black pepper ~ negligible
Total Cost per crockpot ~ $15.50
Cost per serving (~12 servings) ~ $1.25
I could not be more excited to roll out this section and this is the perfect recipe to headline it! Not only is it straightforward to make, it’s made with healthy ingredients at a cost that will help any budget. Paired with $1.50 worth of frozen, microwaveable vegetables and a little olive oil, this 5-minute fix-it-and-forget-it recipe leads to a less than $3 lunch that will help you reach your health goals while saving you money every day. Take the thought out of your weekday meals, save some extra money and spend more time doing the activities you care about (like building a website…)
As always, make informed food decisions. Know your ingredients, know your costs!