Plug and Play Protein Hack and 3 Meal Ideas

As I'm sitting down to a dinner that was prepped over the weekend, I can't help but to think back to a time when I was able to just eat food 'on the fly'.

Post grad school and even into my career I could work all day and then get home with zero plan and just wing it for dinner. Or skip it all together. Whatevs.

Now that I'm an adult, nutrition coach, business owner, wife and now a mom if I get home and food isn't prepared, zero plan turns into zero chill. Mama's hungry!

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I don't know about you, but when I get home from work the LAST thing I want to do is cook a meal.  Even on my best days when I've slept eight hours and perfectly timed my meeting to coffee intake ratio, I still need easy options for meals.

Below is my FAVORITE food hack and it takes little prep on the weekend and less than five minutes to throw together something delicious on the go.

The best part?

You can make a variety of meals, snacks, and dishes from one base. Today we're using....chicken.

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Here is my favorite slow cooker pulled chicken and 3 plug-and-play meals using that chicken as the base!

P.S. There will be nachos!


Slow Cooker Pulled Chicken

*For this example we are using chicken, but you can use any type of meat you wish.  With pork I add a bed of onions to keep everything hydrated. (I almost used the word, moist... Doh!)

Ingredients

  • 1 lb mixture of chicken breast and skinless thighs
  • 1-2 servings of chicken stock (you can use ANY type of stock)
  • Water

How To:

  1. Add meat to slow cooker
  2. Add stock and water enough to just cover the meat
  3. leave on low for the day or night, drain off most of the liquid and shred with a fork
  4. Store in the fridge for the week. Bam!
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Easy peasy!  And, yes, the slow cooker meat is meant to be cooked in a bland way so you can use it in a variety of different meals.  Like nachos! Did I mention there will be nachos?


Chicken Pepper Nachos

"I hate nachos"....said no one ever! 

Nachos are great for get togethers for game night, Super Bowl parties, group marathon of RuPaul's Drag Race and yes even dinner for one. They allow dinner to be tasty, pretty healthy and down right fun. (Note: I'm thinking like a mom now and this is definitely a kid favorite)

Below is our favorite Healthy Nacho recipe to kick off your night!

Chicken Pepper Nachos

Ingredients:

  • 2 cloves garlic
  • bunch of green onions (roughly 6)
  • 3 TBS oil
  • 2-3 cups shredded slow cooker chicken
  • salt and pepper
  • 1-2 cups fresh salsa
  • 1 pack of mini bell peppers (halved)
  • 2 cups cheese (I like Jack)

How To:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 
  2. Cook garlic and onions in a skillet, add in chicken and salt and pepper
  3. Arrange peppers on a baking sheet (use foil to line the sheet for easy clean up)
  4. Top with chicken mixture and cheese
  5. Bake for 10min or until desired crispiness!

BBQ Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Who doesn't love a quick easy wrap?

Kids and parents alike love the ease and fun of wraps and add a yummy pre-made BBQ chicken to it, well you have an easy slam dunk for lunches.

We're going the with super-healthy, calorie-saving, trainer-recommended lettuce wraps here but you can absolutely sub meat and veggie holding vessel.

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Ingredients:

  • 2 heads of butter lettuce
  • 2 cups of cabbage or broccoli coleslaw mix
  • 1/3 cup sliced green onions
  • 1/3 cups BBQ sauce
  • Shredded Monterey Jack Cheese
  • 2 cups Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken
  • Salt and pepper

How To:

  1. Heat pan and add oil, coleslaw mix, green onions, cook until veggies are tender
  2. Mix BBQ sauce with Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken
  3. Separate Butter Lettuce leaves, add veggie and meat mixture to each
  4. Top with cheese

Schnazzy Schicken Shalad

Chicken Salad Sandwiches are one of my top summer meals.  It stores for a while, takes zero reheating time and is a nice cool meal on a hot day.

There are so many ways to make chicken salad but below is my favorite way to prepare my Snazzy Chicken Salad. 

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Ingredients:

  • 2-3 lbs of slow cooker shredded chicken
  • 1/2 cup of diced seedless grapes
  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 1-2 celery sticks diced
  • 1/2-1 TBS fresh dill
  • 1/2 TBS Fresh Parsley
  • 1/2-1 cup Mayo
  • 1/2 TBS dijon mustard
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

How To:

  1. Mix shredded slow cooker shredded chicken with grapes, almonds, celery, dill and parsley
  2. In a separate bowl mix Mayo, lemon, mustard, salt and pepper
  3. Combine both bowls, cover and refrigerate or use immediately
  4. Serve however you like it!  I Enjoy toasted bread with avocado and spinach and a juicy tomato slice.  

Wrapping It Up! Get It?

If you prep the protein ahead of time you can have delicious meals ready to rock without much effort all week long. More protein = more gainz!


Want more nutrition tips like this? We've got you!


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Lindsay is the co-founder and First Lady of AMP Fitness as well as the head nutrition coach in our AMPed Nutrition coaching program. Lindsay implements a body-positive strategy to help each member and coaching client NAIL their health and nutrition goals. She's also a SUPER mom and is a pre- and post-natal coach for all things fitness.