in

5-Day Simple Weeknight Meal Plan

5-Day Simple Weeknight Meal Plan

Whether you’re an athlete, parent of an athlete, or an active individual, finding meals that fit into a busy schedule can be tough. Your meals shouldn’t keep you in the kitchen for hours at a time and having quick and nutritious meals you can rely on will be key to staying on track with your nutrition.

Fueling your body with nutritious meals doesn't have to be complicated or time-consuming, even for busy athletes. With a little planning and creativity, you can whip up quick and delicious dishes that will keep you performing at your best both on and off the field. So next time you're pressed for time, remember these quick and nutritious meal ideas to help you stay fueled and focused on your goals. I’ve put together a simple and nutrient-dense 5-day weeknight plan for you to try. If you are looking for more quick meal ideas, check out my meals for busy athletes series: 30 minute meals, crockpot recipes, one skillet recipes, air fryer recipes, and instant pot recipes.  

Korean Beef Bowl

Makes 4 servings (2 servings for weight gain plan)

Ingredients:

1 lb lean ground beef (93% lean)

1 cup shredded carrots 

1.5 cups thinly sliced cucumbers 

3 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce, tamari, or coconut aminos (divided)

1 cup green onion, chopped and divided 

3-4 cloves garlic, minced

2 Tbsp rice vinegar

2 Tbsp maple syrup

Red Pepper Flakes, to taste

1 Tbsp sesame oil

Sesame seeds (for garnish, optional)

2-3 cups cooked brown rice or quinoa, for serving

Directions:

  1. Heat the sesame oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the ground beef and cook until it is browned. Once beef is completely browned, add the garlic and ½ the green onion and cook for another minute. 

  2. While the beef cooks, mix together the remaining soy sauce, rice vinegar, maple syrup, and red pepper flakes. After adding the green onion and garlic, pour the sauce over the beef and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes, until the sauce is absorbed. Garnish with the remaining green onions.

  3. Serve over rice with shredded carrots and sliced cucumbers.

Sheet pan dinners are a lifesaver for busy athletes. Simply toss your favorite protein, such as chicken breast, salmon, or tofu, with an assortment of vegetables like broccoli, brussels sprouts, onions, bell peppers, or sweet potatoes on a baking sheet. Season everything with some fresh or dried herbs, spices, and a drizzle of olive oil, then pop it in the oven. In just 20-30 minutes, you'll have a complete meal ready to enjoy, with minimal cleanup required.

Honey Mustard Chicken Thigh Sheet Pan

Makes 4 servings (2 servings for weight gain plan)

Ingredients:

1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs

Salt and pepper to taste

⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil (divided)

2 Tbsp dijon mustard

1 Tbsp honey

1 Tbsp lemon juice

3 cups brussels sprouts (trimmed and halved)

½ cup red onion (cut into wedges)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper. 

  2. In a large bowl, whisk together ⅓ of the oil, mustard, honey, and lemon juice. Add the chicken to the mixture, coating all sides. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes.

  3. While the chicken is cooking, toss the onion and brussels sprouts with the remaining oil and salt and pepper. 

  4. Remove the baking sheet and spread the Brussels sprouts and onion around the chicken. Bake for another 15 minutes, until the sprouts are charred and the chicken is cooked through. 

  5. Serve with rice, quinoa, or roasted potatoes.

Chicken Sausage Sweet Potato Sheet Pan 

Makes 4 servings (2 servings for weight gain plan)

Ingredients:

1 red bell pepper

1 zucchini, diced into rounds

2 sweet potato, diced

2 clove garlic, minced

2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 tsp dried basil

1 Tbsp olive oil

4 links Italian chicken sausage

Salt & pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  2. Place the red bell pepper, zucchini and sweet potato in a large bowl. Add in the minced garlic, balsamic vinegar, dried basil and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Toss well and then spread the veggies across the baking sheet in an even layer. Set the sausage on top. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, or until cooked through, flipping the sausage at the halfway point. 

  3. Remove the pan from the oven and divide onto plates.

Sweet Potato Egg Hash 

2 Servings 

Ingredients:

1 tsp avocado oil

2 sweet potato, diced

1 tsp smoked paprika

1 bell pepper, diced (feel free to add additional vegetables like onions, zucchini, spinach)

2 cups baby kale leaves

6 eggs

1 avocado, sliced

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.

  2. Heat a cast iron pan over medium heat and add oil. Once melted, add the diced sweet potato. Cook for about 4 minutes, undisturbed. Once browned, flip the potatoes and continue cooking for 5 more minutes.

  3. Add the smoked paprika and diced pepper. Cook for another 2 minutes. Then, add the chopped kale and cook until just wilted. Remove from heat. 

  4. Make spaces in the hash mix and crack eggs into each space. Season with sea salt and pepper, and place in the oven to bake for 6-8 minutes, or until the eggs are cooked to your preference.

  5. Remove from the oven and garnish with avocado. Divide onto plates.

Note: If you prefer scrambled eggs, scramble them in a separate pan and add to top of hash when serving.

Stir-fries are not only quick to make but also incredibly versatile, allowing you to use whatever ingredients you have on hand. Start by sautéing your choice of protein, such as chicken, beef, or tofu, in a pan with garlic, ginger, and soy sauce. Add in a variety of vegetables like broccoli, carrots, and snow peas, and stir-fry until tender-crisp. Serve over brown rice, quinoa, or cauliflower rice for a well-balanced meal that's bursting with flavor.

Zucchini Chicken Stir Fry

Makes 4 servings (2 servings for weight gain plan)

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces (or sub tofu for plant-based)

  • ¼ cup soy sauce (divided)

  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar (divided)

  • 2 tsp honey

  • 1.5 tsp minced ginger

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 Tbsp water

  • ⅛ tsp red pepper flakes (or more to taste)

  • 1 tsp cornstarch

  • 2 medium zucchini 

  • 1 large yellow onion 

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil 

  • Sesame seeds for garnish

  • Green onions for garnish

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, combine the chicken, 1 tbsp. soy sauce, 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar and 1 tsp. honey. Set aside while you prep the remaining ingredients. 

  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the rest of the soy sauce, apple cider vinegar, sugar, the ginger, garlic, water, cornstarch and red pepper flakes. Set aside.

  3. Cut zucchini in half lengthwise, then slice crosswise into thick half moon shaped slices. Slice the onion into thin strips.

  4. In a wide skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Once oil is hot, add chicken breast and the liquid it has been marinating in. Saute until chicken is fully cooked through, which should take about 3-4 minutes. Move to a plate. Heat another tablespoon of oil in skillet and add the onion, cooking until tender and beginning to become translucent, about 4-5 minutes. 

  5. Add the sauce mixture to the pan and let cook for about 20 seconds, then add in the zucchini. Cook until zucchini begins to soften, about 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat, then stir in the chicken. Serve with an optional sprinkle of sesame seeds and sliced green onion, and your favorite whole grain.

Angie Asche

What do you think?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

GIPHY App Key not set. Please check settings

Any Pitfalls with Restricting Calories?