Making meal prep a habit is a great strategy for losing weight and reaching your health goals. It means you’re more likely to increase your intake of whole foods and cut back on pre-packaged ones, which tend to be high in sodium and more processed. However, life can get busy, which is why it’s helpful to have a few healthy prepared options.
These finds from Trader Joe’s provide a good amount of satiating protein, plus fiber and healthy fats.
Why it made the cut: Grilled chicken, spicy arugula, herbed couscous, quinoa and sweet red pepper dressing make for a satisfying combination of flavors and textures in this light and fresh salad. The bowl packs 17 grams of filling protein and plenty of veggies for just 290 calories and 6 grams of fat. It’s one of the leanest salads in the refrigerated section.
Why it made the cut: This vegetarian bowl is crunchy, spicy and packed with fresh herbs and veggies. Spicy tofu adds 14 grams of protein while veggies and rice noodles bring 4 grams of fiber to this 370-calorie lunch. Cutting the dressing in half (the bowl comes with plenty) knocks off about 100 calories and 10 grams of fat. Save the extra for a salad or to dress your protein at dinner and still enjoy a satiating meal at lunch.
Why it made the cut: This hearty soup is the perfect microwaveable meal to keep in the fridge at work for busy days. Each cup contains 8 grams of fiber and 9 grams of protein for just 200 calories, making it a lean and filling meal, especially with a side salad to round things out.
Why it made the cut: This bowl packs brown rice, black beans, veggies, lean chicken and cheddar cheese into a convenient meal with 22 grams of satisfying protein, 9 grams of fiber and 370 calories. It’s a great option for a filling and hearty gluten-free meal that’s chock full of whole grains, veggies and spicy, savory flavor.
Why it made the cut: Rice gets swapped for cauliflower in this veggie-packed vegan bowl. It can be difficult to find convenient and healthy vegan meals to keep in the freezer for busy days, but this bowl checks all the boxes. It combines cauliflower, chickpeas, kale, tofu and a savory tahini sauce for a 280-calorie lunch with 8 grams of fiber and 13 grams of protein.