WHEN IT COMES to meal-prep, you often can’t have it all.
By that we mean that most budget-friendly meal-prep plans often fall short when it comes to flavor (there’s only so much chicken and rice one man can eat). And most flavorful meal-prep plans can cost you—both in terms of money and effort.
That’s why we created 5 for $50, the new meal-prep plan that serves up a week of delicious high-protein meals for right around 50 bucks.
Each plan builds itself upon two base proteins, which you work into meals to reheat and eat throughout the workweek.
This month: steak and eggs—proof that you can eat like a boss on a budget.
We’re guessing you have cooking oil and seasonings. For the rest, we make it easy. Just click this link and Instacart will do the rest.
But if you need the full list:
- 1 (15 oz) can black beans
- 6 eggs
- 10 oz. eye of round
- 1 (8 oz) bag egg noodles
- 1/4 cup unsalted peanuts
- 1 small bag tortilla chips
- 1/2 cup kalamata olives
- 8 oz. mozzarella
- 1 (6-inch) whole wheat hoagie roll
- 1 small sweet potato
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 red onion
- 1 carrot
- 1 bunch radishes
- 1 cucumber
- 1 head bibb lettuce
- 1 (6 oz) bag spinach
- 1 bunch cilantro
- 1 bunch basil
- 1 lime
- 1 lemon
- 1 (1-inch) piece ginger
- 1 (4 oz) jar red curry paste
- 1 (12 oz) jar roasted red peppers
- 1 (13.5 oz) can light coconut milk
- 1 small container cherry tomatoes
- 1 head of garlic
- 1 cant
Cook these key components to set the foundation for your five meals.
Steak Sweet-Potato Curry
1. In a large pan over medium high, heat 2 tsp oil. Add 6 oz eye of round steak (thinly sliced) and 1 red bell pepper (sliced); cook until steak is well browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
2. In the same pan, add 2 shallots (chopped), 1 Tbsp ginger (chopped), and 2 garlic cloves (minced). Saute till soft, about 2 minutes. Stir in 1 Tbsp red curry paste; heat 30 seconds. Add 1 cup coconut milk, ½ cup water, and 2 tsp fish sauce; simmer 1 minute. Add 1 sweet potato (peeled, cubed), bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover, and simmer till tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in 1⁄4 cup unsalted peanuts and 1 Tbsp lime juice.
3. In a blender or food processor, add every-thing except the steak and peppers. Blend till smooth. Store it all in a container.
In a pot of boiling water, blanch 2 cups basil for 30 seconds. With a slotted spoon, transfer the basil to a blender or food processor. Add 2 Tbsp olive oil, 1 Tbsplemon juice, 1 garlic clove (chopped), ¼ tsp crushed red-pepper flakes, and ¼ tsp salt; blend till smooth.
1. Place 4 large eggs in a pot and cover with cold water by 1 inch. Boil, then cook for 30 seconds. Cover the pot, remove from heat, and set aside for 10 minutes. Place hard-boiled eggs in ice water to cool for 10 minutes before peeling.
2. Generously season 4 oz steak with salt and pepper. In a pan, heat 1 Tbsp oil over medium high; add steak Cook for 10 minutes for medium rare, turning once. Let rest 10 minutes, then slice.
3. Cook 2 oz egg noodles according to package directions and drain well.
Now store the food you made to reheat different meals all week.
1. Curry Steak Noodles
Pack half the curry and 2 cups spinach together. In another container, add the noodles. Reheat the curry and spinach till hot and combine with the reheated noodles. Pack a handful of cilantro to add on top.
Nutrition per meal: 763 calories, 39g protein, 86g carbs (9g fiber), 31g fat
2. Mediterranean Egg Salad Bowl
In a container, layer 2 cups spinach, 1 cup black beans, 2 hard-boiled eggs (sliced), ½ cup cherry tomatoes (halved), ½ cup cucumber (diced), 1⁄3 cup radish (sliced) , 1⁄3 cup roasted red pepper (sliced), ¼ cup red onion (sliced), and 2 Tbsp Kalamata olives (sliced). Pack half the basil sauce separately and drizzle on salad before serving.
Nutrition per meal: 868 calories, 47g protein, 112g carbs (33g fiber), 29g fat
3. Steak Pizza Wraps
In a container, add 4 oz cooked steak slices, ½ cup cherry tomatoes (halved), ½ cup roasted red pepper (sliced), 3 Tbsp Kalamata olives (sliced), and 1 cup shredded mozzarella. Separately, pack 3 bibb leaves and half the basil sauce. Stuff steak into lettuce and top with basil sauce.
Nutrition per meal: 806 calories, 53g protein, 25g carbs (2g fiber), 52g fat
4. Curry Steak Sandwich
Pack the other half of the curry and 1 sliced whole-grain hoagie roll separately. In another container, pack ½ cup shredded carrot, ½ cup radish(sliced), and ¼ cup cilantro. Reheat the curry, stuff into the roll, and top with the vegetables.
Nutrition per meal: 804 calories, 39g protein, 96g carbs (14g fiber), 33g fat
5. Loaded Nachos
In a container, layer 2 cups tortilla chips, 2 hard-boiled eggs (chopped), ½ cup black beans, 1 cup shredded mozzarella, ½ cup roasted red pepper (sliced), and ¼ cup red onion ( diced). Pack 2 cups bibb (shredded) separately. Microwave tortilla mixture until cheese is melted, top with lettuce and hot sauce.
Nutrition per meal: 843 calories, 51g protein, 63g carbs (12g fiber), 41g fat
A version of this article appeared in the October 2022 issue of Men’s Health.
Paul is the Food & Nutrition Editor of Men’s Health. He’s also the author of two cookbooks: Guy Gourmet and A Man, A Pan, A Plan.