If you are trying to lose weight or simply increase the quality of your diet, meal prepping can help with your goals. Making this homemade egg salad ahead of time means that you will not have to think about lunch on busy weekdays. This easy meal prep includes egg salad, cheese, whole grain crackers, and an assortment of colorful vegetables to keep you going strong.
In my excitement for DIY slow food this winter, I’ve largely neglected
This meal prep has all the flavor of my easiest deviled eggs recipe in a form that is much easier to take to work. Keeping the veggies and crackers separate prior to eating keeps things from getting soggy. I use glass Pyrex containers along with a few snack baggies for the crackers.
It may seem like a lot of work to plan, shop, and prep meals ahead. However, I’ve really found it helpful for lunch in particular. Many of us aren’t home for lunch on weekdays; having a meal ready makes it easier to make better choices.
Plus, this meal prep is super simple, and you can make substitutions if you don’t have time to go shopping. For example, you can easily swap out the carrots and celery for other raw veggies. The crackers can be whatever type works for you (homemade, store-bought, gluten-free, low-carb, or something else).
How to squeeze a little extra self-care into your day
When I started this website 1.5 years ago, I included a lot of links to articles that I was quoted in. I’m still contributing to many publications, but I’ve shifted the focus of what I share here to mainly recipes. That said, sometimes an article I’ve contributed to is particularly relevant to a post here and worth sharing.
I feel that is the case with this SparkPeople piece, “17 Ways to Prioritize Wellness When You Have No Time.” This article has some great tips on squeezing a little extra self-care into your week.
Most of the tips are not nutrition-related. It’s important to remember that nutrition is only a small piece of the overall wellness puzzle. If meal planning and prepping feels too overwhelming right now, there are still many things you can do to benefit your health.
I get having time constraints as a barrier. As it stands, I’m currently splitting my time between freelance writing, a research position, and maintaining this website. In addition, I am working (unpaid) on getting a paper on ARFID published in a scientific journal.
Essentially, I am balancing four part-time jobs. Thankfully, they all align with my passions, and I feel blessed that I get to do things I love each day.
In my (limited) spare time, I love cooking. And I’ve managed to work that hobby into the small income I make from this website. A lot of people don’t want to spend their free time shopping and cooking, and that is OK too.
Even though meal prepping is a time investment up front, it can save time in the long run. If you dislike cooking, a little planning can go a long way to minimize the time you spend in the kitchen. Why not give it a shot?
As always, this recipe is not going to be the best choice for everyone
It would be impossible for me to create recipes that are appropriate for every single person. One group that this meal prep isn’t going to be a good fit for is those looking to reduce saturated fat. The egg salad and cheese are the biggest contributors of saturated fat here (though the crackers may add some too).
Personally, I find prioritizing reducing added sugars and refined grains to be more helpful than prioritizing the reduction of saturated fat. Some combination of added sugars or refined grains is in most of the foods folks tend to overeat:
- Baked goods (muffins, cookies, pies, cakes, etc.)
- Refined flour pasta, bread, etc.
- Sugary breakfast cereals
- Soda and candies
These foods are largely empty calories (though sometimes refined grain products are heavily fortified, particularly cereals). On the other hand, saturated fats are present in many healthful foods, such as yogurt, meats, and even olive oil. Moving away from the added sugars and refined grains may help shift your intake away from ultra-processed foods and towards whole foods.
(And yes, saturated fats are also in many baked goods. However, refined grains and added sugars are not naturally occurring in whole foods.)
I try to minimize my intake of added sugar and refined grains, and don’t worry so much about saturated fats in whole foods. However, if I wanted to reduce my blood cholesterol, I would actively limit all three (i.e., added sugar, refined grains, and saturated fat). Here’s a chicken salad lunch prep that is a good choice if your goal is lowering your blood cholesterol.
Sometimes nutrition information online can seem conflicting. In some cases, that is because the information is targeted to different audiences.
Does this homemade egg salad recipe fit your needs? If it does, let’s move on to the recipe!
And now for the disclaimer…
All recipes on this website may or may not be appropriate for you, depending on your medical needs and personal preferences. Consult with a registered dietitian or your physician if you need help determining the dietary pattern that may be best for you.
The calorie information is an estimate provided as a courtesy. It will differ depending on the specific brands and ingredients that you use. Calorie information on food labels may be wildly inaccurate, so please don’t sweat the numbers too much.
For more information on how the three recipe levels may help with a weight management goal, refer to this post. Let’s get cooking!
Homemade Egg Salad Meal Prep
- 6 large eggs, hard-boiled and peeled
- ¼ cup chipotle lime mayo (store-bought or make your own)
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 head butterhead lettuce (or similar lettuce)
- 4 servings whole grain crackers (about 150 calories per serving) (store-bought or a half batch of this recipe)
- 8 small carrots, cut into sticks
- 8 stalks celery, cut into sticks (about 8 ounces/227 grams)
- 6 ounces cheddar cheese, cut into cubes (170 grams)
- Mash the eggs with the back of a fork. Stir in the mayo, salt, and pepper. Package your egg salad into four small serving containers.
- Divide the lettuce leaves, carrots, celery, and cheese evenly between four larger serving containers. Package the crackers separately in small snack baggies.
- To serve, use the butterhead leaves as wrappers for the egg salad. Enjoy the carrots, celery, and crackers with cheese on the side. Wasn't that easy?
This is a level 3 recipe (weight maintenance and active lifestyles). This meal prep gets a bump to level 3 because of the flour (in the form of crackers). If you wanted a level 1 (low-calorie) meal, skipping the crackers would save approximately 150 calories. The butterhead lettuce leaves serve as a wrapper for the egg salad, so the crackers aren’t really needed. (Yes, the method used to lower the calories also made this a low-carb meal. Again. It’s not a coincidence.) On the other hand, if you wanted a higher-energy meal, I’d add an apple or another type of fruit. Fruit is the only food group that is not included here, so that would be my top pick for an additional component.
How are you making time for self-care in 2020? Is meal prepping part of your wellness plan? I’d love to hear about it if you try this homemade egg salad meal prep, so please drop a comment!