Meal Prep Mondays: Quick and Nutritious Back-to-School Eats

Meal Prep Mondays: Quick and Nutritious Back-to-School Eats

Welcome back to another edition of Meal Prep Mondays! As summer draws to a close and the school year kicks into gear, we understand the importance of having a repertoire of quick, nutritious, and kid-friendly recipes to keep your family fueled during busy weeknights. In this installment of Meal Prep Mondays, we've curated a collection of delightful Back-to-School Eats that will make the transition from lazy summer days to hectic schedules a breeze. Join us as we explore delicious dishes designed to ease the back-to-school hustle without compromising on flavor or nutrition. Say goodbye to the dinner dilemma and hello to stress-free, tasty meals that the whole family will adore!

Click on the name to see the full recipe!

Peanut Butter Banana Quesadillas


  • 4 large flour tortillas
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 4 ripe bananas, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons honey (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Cooking spray or butter
  • 2 cups mixed fresh fruits (such as berries, grapes, melon, pineapple, etc.), washed and chopped if needed
  • 1 tablespoon honey (optional)
  • Fresh mint leaves for garnish (optional)


  1. Lay out the flour tortillas on a clean surface.
  2. Spread a generous layer of creamy peanut butter evenly over one half of each tortilla.
  3. Arrange the sliced bananas over the peanut butter on one half of each tortilla.
  4. If desired, drizzle a bit of honey over the banana slices on each tortilla for added sweetness.
  5. Sprinkle a pinch of ground cinnamon over the banana slices. This adds a warm and comforting flavor.
  6. Fold the other half of each tortilla over the side with the peanut butter, banana slices, honey, and cinnamon, creating a half-moon shape.
  7. Heat a non-stick skillet or griddle over medium heat. Lightly grease the surface with cooking spray or a small amount of butter.
  8. Place the folded quesadillas on the skillet and cook for about 2-3 minutes on each side, or until the tortillas are golden brown and crispy, and the peanut butter is melty.
  9. Remove the quesadillas from the skillet and let them cool for a moment. Use a knife or pizza cutter to slice each quesadilla into wedges.
  10. In a bowl, combine the mixed fresh fruits.
  11. If desired, drizzle a tablespoon of honey over the fruits for added sweetness. Gently toss to combine.
  12. Garnish the fruit salad with fresh mint leaves, if using.

DIY Pizza Bagels



  • 4 plain bagels, halved
  • 1 cup pizza sauce or marinara sauce
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Assorted pizza toppings (e.g., sliced pepperoni, cooked sausage, bell peppers, olives, mushrooms, onions, etc.)
  • Dried oregano and red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Olive oil (for brushing)


  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. Lay the halved bagels on a baking sheet, cut side up.
  3. Spoon a generous amount of pizza sauce or marinara sauce onto each bagel half. Use the back of the spoon to spread it evenly, leaving a little space around the edges for the crust.
  4. Sprinkle a layer of shredded mozzarella cheese over the sauce. Feel free to use more or less cheese according to your preference.
  5. Invite your children to join the fun! Let them top each bagel half with their favorite pizza toppings. Encourage them to get creative and mix and match to suit their taste.
  6. If desired, add a bit more shredded mozzarella cheese on top of the toppings.
  7. For added flavor, sprinkle a pinch of dried oregano and red pepper flakes over the pizzas.
  8. Lightly brush the outer edges of the bagels with olive oil. This will help them toast and turn golden in the oven.
  9. Place the baking sheet with the prepared bagel pizzas in the preheated oven. Bake for about 12-15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly, and the bagel edges are toasted.
  10. Carefully remove the bagel pizzas from the oven. Let them cool for a minute or two before serving.
  11. Serve your freshly baked bagel pizzas and let everyone enjoy their own personalized creations.

Hidden Veggie Spaghetti



For the Sauce:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 tsp dried Italian herbs
  • 3 celery stalks, trimmed and finely chopped
  • 2 medium leeks, trimmed and finely chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 medium red bell peppers (capsicum), finely chopped
  • 1 medium zucchini (courgette), finely chopped
  • 2 28oz cans (4 x 400g cans) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste (tomato puree)
  • 2 cups (500ml) stock/broth (chicken or vegetable)

For the Dish:

  • 1 package (16-oz) frozen meatballs (pre-cooked)
  • 1 package (16 oz) spaghetti
  • Grated Parmesan cheese
  • Chopped fresh parsley (optional)


Prepare the Hidden Vegetables Sauce:

  1. Preheat your oven according to the package instructions of the frozen meatballs.
  2. Arrange the frozen meatballs on a baking sheet in a single layer.
  3. Bake the meatballs in the preheated oven according to the package instructions, usually until they are heated through and golden brown.
  4. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add chopped onions, minced garlic, and dried Italian herbs. Stir and cook for a couple of minutes until fragrant.
  5. Add the remaining chopped vegetables (celery, leeks, carrots, red bell peppers, zucchini). Stir and cook, covered, over medium-low heat for about 20 minutes, ensuring they soften without browning.
  6. Prepare spaghetti according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
  7. Add crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, and stock. Stir until well combined. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat.
  8. Allow the sauce to cool slightly, and then blend until smooth using an immersion blender or a regular blender.
  9. In a large pot, combine the cooked spaghetti with the sauce.
  10. Add the pre-cooked baked meatballs to the sauce and spaghetti mixture. Gently stir to coat the meatballs with the sauce.
  11. Serve with a sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese and chopped fresh parsley, if desired.

Mac and Cheese Makeover


  • 1 lb elbow macaroni
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 cup cauliflower florets
  • 1 cup butternut squash, diced
  • 1 cup carrot, sliced
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Cook elbow macaroni to al dente according to package directions. Do not over cook! Drain and set aside.
  2. In a pot over medium heat, combine the water, cauliflower florets, diced butternut squash, and sliced carrots. Cover the pot and cook until the vegetables are tender.
  3. Transfer the cooked vegetables, along with the cooking water, into a blender.
  4. Blend the cooked vegetables until smooth, creating a hidden veggie puree.
  5. Return the blended veggie puree to the pot over medium heat.
  6. Add the milk, shredded cheddar cheese, and cream cheese to the pot with the veggie puree. Stir continuously until the cheeses are melted and the mixture is smooth.
  7. Season the mixture with salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Add the cooked al dente elbow macaroni to the pot. Mix thoroughly to coat the pasta with the hidden veggie cheese sauce.
  9. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and let the macaroni and cheese simmer for about 20 minutes. This allows the flavors to meld and the pasta to absorb the creamy sauce.
  10. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking and ensure even distribution of the sauce.
  11. Once the macaroni is creamy and heated through, remove from heat.

Chicken and Cheese Quesadilla Dippers

For the Quesadilla Dippers:

  • 2 cups cooked and shredded chicken breast
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (or a mix of your favorite cheeses)
  • 8 small flour tortillas
  • Cooking spray or a small amount of oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

For Serving:

  • Store-bought tortilla chips
  • Store-bought salsa
  • Sour cream


  1. In a mixing bowl, combine the cooked and shredded chicken with the shredded cheddar cheese. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Mix well to ensure the cheese is evenly distributed.
  2. Lay out the small flour tortillas on a clean surface. Divide the chicken and cheese mixture equally among four tortillas, spreading it evenly over one half of each tortilla.
  3. Fold the other half of each tortilla over the chicken and cheese mixture, creating a half-moon shape. Gently press to seal. Repeat this process to make a total of four quesadillas.
  4. Heat a non-stick skillet or griddle over medium heat. Lightly grease the surface with cooking spray or a small amount of oil. Place the quesadillas on the skillet and cook for about 2-3 minutes on each side, or until the tortillas are golden brown and the cheese is melted.
  5. Remove the quesadillas from the skillet and let them cool for a moment. Cut each quesadilla into smaller wedges, creating dippable portions.
  6. Serve the quesadilla dippers alongside the tortilla chips with store-bought salsa and a dollop of sour cream.
  7. Enjoy the delicious quesadilla dippers by dipping them into the salsa and sour cream. It's a satisfying and interactive meal that's perfect for a cozy family dinner.

Baked Fish and Chips


  • 4 cod fillets
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup instant potato flakes
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme (optional)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • Cooking oil for frying
  • Your favorite frozen fries (e.g., crinkle fries)
  • Optional: Tartar Sauce and/or Ketchup, for serving


  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C).
  2. Prepare fries according to package directions.
  3. Season the cod fillets with salt and pepper on both sides.
  4. In a shallow bowl, combine the instant potato flakes, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and dried thyme (if using). Mix well to create the coating mixture.
  5. Dip each cod fillet into the beaten eggs, allowing any excess to drip off.
  6. Coat the egg-dipped cod fillets in the instant potato mixture, pressing gently to adhere the coating.
  7. In a large skillet, heat cooking oil over medium-high heat. Once hot, carefully add the coated cod fillets. Cook for about 2-3 minutes on each side until the potato crust is golden and crispy. Transfer the fillets to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  8. Place the baking sheet with the cod fillets in the preheated oven and bake for an additional 8-10 minutes or until the cod is cooked through and flakes easily with a fork.
  9. Serve your Fish and Chips together with your favorite tartar sauce and/or ketchup!

Cheeseburger cups


  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 package refrigerated crescent roll dough (8 count)
  • Optional toppings: ketchup, mustard, diced pickles, lettuce
  • Your favorite frozen fries, prepared to package directions


  1. Preheat your oven to the temperature indicated on the crescent roll dough package.
  2. In a skillet over medium heat, brown the finely chopped onion until it's softened and slightly caramelized.
  3. Add the lean ground beef to the skillet with the browned onion. Cook the ground beef until it's browned and no longer pink. Break it up with a spatula as it cooks. Drain any excess fat.
  4. Stir in the garlic powder, salt, and pepper into the cooked ground beef mixture. Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes to infuse the flavors.
  5. Grease a standard muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray.
  6. Unroll the crescent roll dough and separate it into individual triangles. Place each triangle into a muffin cup, pressing it gently to line the cup and form a small dough cup.
  7. Spoon a small amount of the cooked ground beef and onion mixture into each crescent roll cup. Top the beef with a spoonful of diced tomatoes.
  8. Sprinkle shredded cheddar cheese over the tomato layer in each cup.
  9. Place the muffin tin in the preheated oven and bake according to the crescent roll dough package instructions, typically around 14-16 minutes or until the dough is golden and the cheese is melted.
  10. Carefully remove the Cheeseburger Cups from the muffin tin and place them on a serving platter. If desired, you can add optional toppings like ketchup, mustard, diced pickles, or even a small piece of lettuce for extra flavor.
  11. Serve with your favorite frozen fries, prepared according to package directions.
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