Cookbookmarked! is our new series where we review the latest cookbooks from the foodie influencers you follow. Check back often to find out which new releases are worth your hard-earned cash and the recipes you should try first from each.

If your meal prep routine needs a shake-up, one new cookbook will prove that a Sunday spent shopping, chopping, and cooking is well worth the payoff. Damn Delicious Meal Prep ($30) by Chungah Rhee, the blogger behind Damn Delicious, will instruct you on how to prepare exciting, nutritious meals that you can happily tote to work all week. When your copy of the cookbook arrives, don’t be surprised if you immediately book your meal calendar through March with cool smoothies, colorful bowls, and comforting freezer recipes. For a taste of what can be expected, Rhee provided her recipe for mason jar chicken and ramen soup (AKA way-better-for-you Cup Noodles).

You’ll drool over 115 vibrant, healthy meals from breakfast (mini egg muffins, protein power waffles, and an entire chapter of smoothies) to lunch (spicy tuna bowls and a very green mason jar salad for post-holiday detoxing) to dinner (sheet pan miso salmon and cheesy chicken and broccoli casserole). Even if you’re new to meal prep, don’t worry about overbuying groceries and wasting produce. Damn Delicious Meal Prep efficiently organizes recipes into one of four themed menus, such as the Mexican menu, which utilizes one grocery trip of ingredients to make chicken burrito bowls, breakfast quesadillas, and more.

Want more variety while still keeping the shopping to a minimum? Just plan to cook recipes that have a common thread, like sweet potato grain bowls and honey-mustard chicken stuffed sweet potatoes. Rhee’s cookbook is of the choose-your-own-adventure variety; her versatile recipes are easily customized, so you’ll never feel trapped by a strict routine.

Rhee’s second cookbook is not a weight-loss plan, but if you’re counting calories or simply trying to eat more mindfully, Damn Delicious Meal Prep is an incredibly helpful tool. Each recipe includes full nutrition facts, and none has more than 500 calories per serving. When you’re craving Chinese, you can just as easily grab a Damn Delicious mason jar Chinese chicken salad from your refrigerator as you could order takeout — and with none of the sodium-induced regret. “Eating right for me wasn’t just about saying no to the unhealthy stuff,” Rhee says about why she embraced meal prep in the intro. “It was about saying yes to the just-as-delicious alternative that was already prepped and waiting for me.”

We had a very hard time deciding which Damn Delicious meal to prep first. The mason jar chicken and ramen soup, healthified with fresh spinach, carrots, and mushrooms, seemed like a delicious start. Check out the recipe below.

mason jar chicken and ramen soup RECIPE

(Serves 4)

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Recipe Notes: Yakisoba are ramen-style noodles that can be found in the refrigerated section of your local grocery store, such as Maruchan Yaki-Soba.

Nutrition Facts: Calories: 324 grams / Total Fat: 12 grams / Saturated Fat: 3 grams / Cholesterol: 86 grams / Sodium: 867 grams / Carbohydrates: 31 grams / Fiber: 2 grams / Sugar: 1 gram / Protein: 23 grams

Cup Noodles was a staple in our home. I think it’s a staple in most Korean households. There are just so many varieties and tastes to choose from, and all you do is add boiling water. They are also a staple for many college students, myself included. Unfortunately, they are also laden with sodium and are high in calories. But don’t worry, guys. I found a DIY instant version with fewer calories,less preservatives, and less “instant” ingredients — if you know what I mean.

Instead of all those dehydrated vegetables typically found in the seasoning packets, we’re using real chicken, fresh spinach, carrots, mushrooms, cilantro, green onions, and sesame seeds!

Yet we’re not sacrificing the convenience of Cup Noodles. To serve, simply add hot water and microwave for 2 to 3 minutes. That’s it!

Ingredients:

  • 2 (5.6-ounce) packages refrigerated yakisoba noodles, seasoning sauce packets discarded
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons reduced-sodium vegetable broth base concentrate (we like Better Than Bouillon)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 2 teaspoons sambal oelek (ground fresh chile paste), or more to taste
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 2 cups leftover shredded rotisserie chicken
  • 3 cups baby spinach
  • 2 carrots, peeled and grated
  • 1 cup sliced shiitake mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds

Directions:

1. In a large pot of boiling water, cook the yakisoba until loosened, 1 to 2 minutes; drain well.

2. In a small bowl, combine the broth base, soy sauce, vinegar, ginger, sambal oelek, and sesame oil.

3. Divide the broth mixture into four (24-ounce) wide-mouth glass jars with lids, or other heatproof containers. Top with yakisoba, chicken, spinach, carrots, mushrooms, cilantro, green onions, and sesame seeds. Cover and refrigerate for up to 4 days.

4. To serve, uncover a jar and add enough hot water to cover the contents, about 1 1⁄4 cups. Microwave, uncovered, until heated through, 2 to 3 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes, stir to combine, and serve immediately.

For other highly prep-able meals, follow Brit + Co on Pinterest.

Brit + Co may at times use affiliate links to promote products sold by others, but always offers genuine editorial recommendations.

(Excerpted from DAMN DELICIOUS MEAL PREP: 115 Easy Recipes for Low-Calorie, High-Energy Living. Copyright © 2019 by Chungah Rhee. Reprinted with permission of Grand Central Publishing. All rights reserved.)