11 Grain Salads to Meal Prep for a Week of Healthy Meals
Grain salads are so easy and healthy to meal prep for the week! Here are 10 of my favorite recipes that the whole family will love.
One thing that I work on with most of my clients is meal prepping. Whether your nutrition goal is weight loss, eating healthier, or following a specific diet plan, meal prepping works for everyone!
Benefits of Meal Prepping
Meal prepping is the process of planning and preparing your meals ahead of time. It involves choosing recipes to make, shopping for the ingredients, and cooking the meals, usually over the weekend. While meal prepping takes good organization and a little bit of time, there are many benefits.
- You save time. Meal prepping requires a few hours to shop and actually make the food, but it will save you hours of time during the upcoming week.
- You save money. Bringing homemade lunches to work is much less expensive than that $15 dollar salad bowl you’re going out for every day. Taking the time to make a grocery list and shop once also eliminates the need to go to the store multiple times per week to buy more food.
- It’s healthy. Meal prepped food is generally healthier than restaurant meals. Of course, it depends on the recipe you choose, but home cooked meals have less added sodium, sugar, and saturated fat than take out.
- You know exactly what you are eating. It’s empowering to know exactly what you are putting in your body, especially if you have a nutrition goal you’re striving to meet. There’s no question about how many cups of rice are in this bowl, how much oil they used, or how much salt they added. You get to dictate what you eat!
- Reduce food waste. You go to the store to buy ingredients for three recipes. Think about it…once the food is already cooked into a delicious recipe, you’re way more likely to eat it! We’re all guilty of those nights we had every intention of cooking, but were too tired and ordered takeout. So that bag of spinach, peppers, and broccoli go bad before we get another chance to use them. Meal prepping ensures you use your food before it spoils!
Why Grain Salads are Perfect for Meal Prepping
Grain salads are amazing for meal prep because they check all the boxes of meal prep benefits. My basic formula for grain salads is as follows: 1 cup of grains, 2-3 types of vegetables, and protein of choice. I also like to add something creamy, like crumbled cheese or avocado. I then mix it in a simple dressing, and it’s good to go for the week!
- Grain salads are easy to make, and not too time consuming.
- Whole grains like brown rice, bulgur, or quinoa are inexpensive and can be purchased in bulk. You can also keep costs down by choosing vegetarian protein sources like beans for your protein!
- Grain salads are a balanced meal all in one. They include vegetables and whole grains for fiber/complex carbs, protein, and healthy fats, which might come from avocado, tahini, or olive oil in your dressing. Because of this, grain salads will keep you full and satisfied through the afternoon.
- When you make your own grain salads, you control exactly what goes into them! You can recreate your favorite takeout grain bowl, but in a healthier way.
- Since grain salads require no assembly once they are made, you are way more likely to eat them!
10 Healthy Grain Salad Recipes
Here are some of my favorite grain salad recipes. Don’t they look so colorful, healthy, and delicious?
Asian Quinoa Bowls with Peanut Baked Tofu from Simply Quinoa
Green Goddess Quinoa Summer Salad from Pinch of Yum
Kale Butternut Squash Farro Salad by Freshly Zested
Summer Grain Salad by Spices in my DNA
Roasted Sweet Potato Black Bean Quinoa Salad by Crunchy Creamy Sweet
Slow Roasted Tomato Farro Salad by How Sweet Eats
Strawberry Quinoa Tabbouleh with Feta by Walder Wellness
Chipotle Black Bean Burrito Bowls with Seared Corn by From My Bowl