Book cover for SMART MEAL PREP FOR BEGINNERS: Recipes and Weekly Plans for Healthy, Ready-to-Go Meals

SMART MEAL PREP FOR BEGINNERS: Recipes and Weekly Plans for Healthy, Ready-to-Go Meals

Toby Amidor, MS RD CDN

Rockridge Press
July 31, 2018
ISBN-13: 978-1641521253

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Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, is a leading dietitian, recipe developer, and author. As the nutrition expert for The Food Network and a regular contributor to U.S. News and World Report and Today’s Dietitian Magazine, Toby has devoted her career to helping individuals, restaurants, and food brands make wholesome and appetizing meals. Previously, Toby has authored and developed recipes for two cookbooks, including The Healthy Meal Prep Cookbook and The Easy 5-Ingredient Healthy Cookbook.

Smart meal prep means you never have to ask what’s for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. In SMART MEAL PREP FOR BEGINNERS, meal prep expert Toby Amidor makes it easier than ever to start (and stick with) meal prep, so that you have ready-to-go healthy meals every day of the week.

This meal prep cookbook goes beyond general meal prep guidance, and provides a 6-week plan to make a habit of meal prep and keep your fridge full. With specific, step-by-step instructions and meal prep plans that eliminate the guesswork of what to eat and for which meal, this cookbook is your kick-start guide to meal prep like a pro.

The point of meal prep is to set yourself up for success, not stress. This meal prep guide and cookbook gives you the tools you need to make meal prep a regular part of your routine, with:

  • 6-Weekly meal prep plans that progressively ease beginners from prepping breakfast and lunch (2 plans) to a full day’s meal prep featuring breakfast, lunch, and dinner (4 plans)
  • Must-have meal prep tools that include prep day guidance, shopping lists, plus storage and reheating information
  • Meal prep 101 gets you started with need-to-know info about meal prepping, including meal prep Dos and Don’ts and food storage guidelines

SMART MEAL PREP FOR BEGINNERS is a fool-proof plan to meal prep like a pro and have healthy meals ready-to-go, no questions asked.


Serves 4
PREP TIME: 15 minutes COOK TIME: 45 minutes

Potatoes have a bad reputation in some circles, but they actually add quite a bit of nutrition to a meal. One medium red spud contains 154 calories, 3 grams of fiber, 36 percent of your daily vitamin C needs, 27 percent of your daily potassium needs (more than bananas!), and a slew of B vitamins. Many of these nutrients, including fiber and some iron, come from the potato skin, so feel free to keep them on.

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 lemons, 1 juiced and 1 thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs
  • 1 1/2 pounds new potatoes, quartered
  • 5 medium carrots, cut into 1/2-inch coins (about 1 pound)
  • 2 medium parsnips, cut into 1/2-inch coins (about 1/2 pound)

Preheat the oven to 425˚F. Coat a sheet pan with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, rosemary, garlic, salt, and pepper.

Add the chicken, potatoes, carrots, and parsnips to the dressing and toss to coat.

Gently pour the vegetables and chicken onto the prepared baking sheet, making sure they are in a single layer. Top with the lemon slices. Place in the oven and roast for 40 to 45 minutes until the chicken reaches a minimum internal cooking temperature of 165˚F.

Into each of 4 containers, scoop about 2 cups of chicken and vegetables.

Storage: Place airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. To freeze, place freezer-safe containers in the freezer for up to 2 months. To defrost, refrigerate overnight. To reheat individual portions, microwave uncovered on high for 2 to 2 ½ minutes.

TOBY’S TIP: To minimize food waste, add leftover vegetables like carrots, beets, or Brussels sprouts to this mix.

Per Serving (1 container): Calories: 510; Total Fat: 19g; Saturated Fat: 3g; Protein: 33g; Total Carbs: 53g; Fiber: 9g; Sugar: 9g; Sodium: 596mg


Serves 4
PREP TIME: 25 minutes COOK TIME: 20 minutes

Zucchini, carrot, or another spiralized vegetable makes a terrific low-calorie and low-carb substitute for grain pasta. However, you can always opt for whole-wheat spaghetti or any type of alternative pasta like quinoa, bean, legume, or rice. Just follow the directions on the manufacturer’s label for appropriate cooking times. 

  • 1 pound ground turkey (90% to 94% lean)
  • 2 medium carrots, shredded
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 large egg, beaten, 1/2 cup whole-wheat panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 servings (6 cups) Zucchini Noodles with Lemon Vinaigrette
  • 4 servings (2 cups) Chunky Tomato Sauce

In a large bowl, mix together the turkey, carrots, onion, garlic, egg, bread crumbs, parsley, salt, and pepper.

Shape 1 heaping teaspoon of turkey mixture into a ball, and place it on a large plate. Repeat with the remaining mixture to make about 20 meatballs.

In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the meatballs and cook, covered, turning the meatballs occasionally until browned on all sides and a thermometer inserted into the meatball reads 165°F, 15 to 18 minutes.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer the meatballs to a clean plate.

Into each of the 4 containers, place 1 1/2 cups of Zucchini Noodles with Lemon Vinaigrette and top with 5 meatballs and 1/2 cup Chunky Tomato Sauce.

Storage: Place airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. To freeze, place the turkey meatballs and tomato sauce (without the Zucchini Noodles with Lemon Vinaigrette) in freezer-safe containers in the freezer for up to 2 months. To defrost, refrigerate overnight. To reheat, microwave uncovered on high for 2 to 3 minutes. Alternatively, reheat the entire batch of meatballs and sauce in a medium saucepan on the stovetop. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer until heated through, 10 to 15 minutes.

Toby’s Tip: Opt for ground turkey that’s 90% to 94% lean. The little bit of fat will help keep the meatballs moist.

Per Serving (1 container): Calories: 458; Total Fat: 28g; Saturated Fat: 5g; Protein: 20g; Total Carbs: 27g; Fiber: 6g; Sugar: 13g; Sodium: 992mg

These recipes may be reproduced with the following credit:

Recipes from SMART MEAL PREP FOR BEGINNERS: Recipes and Weekly Plans for Healthy, Ready-to-Go Meals by Toby Amidor. (Rockridge Press; July 31, 2018; $15.29/Paperback, ISBN-13: 978-1641521253).

Contact: Eli Becker