The best part of fall? The cozy, comfort meals. But as a travel nurse, your busy lifestyle can sometimes make it difficult to sit down and enjoy a healthy, tasty autumn meal. That’s why meal prep for nurses can be a lifesaver, especially during the fall season!
The chill in the air calls for hearty, comforting meals. With a bit of prep, you can enjoy them, even on your busiest days. Keep reading for meal prep tips to help make it happen, plus some of the best fall recipes to try out this season.
Meal Prep for Nurses: 101
Before diving into the ‘pumpkin spice and everything nice,’ let’s go over some basics of meal prep for nurses that will ensure your success:
- Know Your Meal-Prep Goal as a Nurse
There are several reasons why travel nurses can benefit from meal prepping — to save time, eat healthier, save money, or cut back on dirtying the dishes every night.
Knowing your main goal will help you find recipes that cater to your specific needs, whether that’s fast, cheap, or healthy meal prep recipes.
- Start Small
Meal prep for nurses is supposed to relieve stress, not add it. Start small, prepping for your busiest days first. Once you get the hang of it, try preparing more meals.
- Work with Your Kitchen Setup
Your kitchen setup will influence the types of meals you can prep. If you’re a travel nurse in a kitchenette with limited space and tools, you might want to opt for more simple, straightforward recipes.
- Think About Storage
Storage capacity is crucial in meal prep for nurses. The amount of storage you have available will determine how many meals you can prepare, how many servings you can make, and what type of meals are best suited for you.
Make sure you have enough storage containers, too.
Best Fall Recipes for Meal Prep for Nurses
Light a spiced candle, turn on your coziest playlist, and try out some of the best fall recipes. They’re quick, easy to make, and perfect for meal prep:
Flavorful Fall Overnight Oats
Overnight oats are a fantastic time saver, especially for busy fall mornings. Overnight oats check all the ‘meal prep for nurses’ boxes: They take just a few minutes to prep, the main ingredients are cheap, and they leave you feeling full and satisfied.
For basic overnight oats, you need old-fashioned oats and your choice of milk. From there, you can customize the flavor and health benefits with add-ins and toppings like sweeteners, spices, fruits, chia seeds, and Greek yogurt.
Let it sit in the fridge overnight, and enjoy a healthy and filling breakfast all week long.
Add a festive spin with some of the best fall recipes for overnight oats:
Quinoa, Kale, & Butternut Squash Salad
Nothing says fall more than roasted butternut squash. Pair it with greens, quinoa, and dried cranberries, and you have one of the best fall recipes, packed with flavor and nutrients.
This meal lasts 4-5 days in the fridge and is perfect for lunch or dinner. Eat it out of the container cold, or reheat it!
You can customize it to your tastes, too:
- Swap out the kale for spinach or your favorite green.
- Use brown rice instead of quinoa.
- Use your favorite dried fruit instead of cranberries.
- Swap feta for goat cheese (or omit it).
Save time by buying a pre-made dressing from the store. The recipe creator recommends a balsamic vinaigrette, creamy avocado dressing, or lemon vinaigrette.
Prepping this salad is as easy as roasting the butternut squash, cooking the quinoa, and mixing all the ingredients together with the dressing.
Pro tip: Store the dressing on the side to make it last longer!
Find the recipe here: Quinoa, Kale, & Butternut Squash Salad
Harvest Chicken & Vegetable Soup
Nothing screams comfort like a warm bowl of soup during the fall season. This is one of the best fall recipes for meal prep. It calls for chicken, onion, celery, carrots, potatoes, and all the delicious veggies you need.
The best part? You only need one pot!
Prep all the ingredients in 20 minutes, let them cook, and divide the soup into containers to enjoy throughout the week.
Find the recipe here: Easy Fall Chicken & Vegetable Soup
Spicy Chicken and Sweet Potato Bowls
Warm up with this comforting sheet pan meal. Grab your sheet pans, some chicken, sweet potato, broccoli, avocado, and seasonings — that’s all you’ll need.
Sheet pan meals are some of the best fall recipes for meal prep since you can throw everything in the oven at the same time.
Find the recipe here: Spicy Chicken And Sweet Potato Meal Prep Magic Bowls
Pro Tip: Follow the Basic Meal Prep Formula.
Meal prep for nurses can be simple. In fact, there’s a formula:
- Step 1: Cook your protein (chicken, steak, or tofu).
- Step 2: Prep your grains (rice, quinoa, or pasta).
- Step 3: Chop and cook your favorite vegetables (sauté or roast them in the oven).
- Step 4: Buy your favorite sauces to mix up the flavors (BBQ, teriyaki, Italian, Southwest, curry, honey, or more!)
- Step 5: Prep them in containers, and store them for later.
Prep Your Next Travel Nurse Assignment
Now that you have some meal prep recipes to try out, it’s time to find your next travel nurse assignment! Welcome the new season with new benefits, pay, and opportunities.
CareerStaff is here to connect you to unique local and travel career opportunities that meet your personal and professional goals. To learn more, explore travel nursing jobs nationwide, or simply fill out a quick application on our website, and we’ll connect you with a travel nursing recruiter!