Make-Ahead Meals for MS

See the original blog post by MS Center nutritionist Jessica Bratrude


Meal 1: Chilled peanut noodles with grilled chicken breast and steamed broccoli

Notes from the registered dietitian: The whole-wheat noodles give you a good dose of fiber to help keep you regular and the protein from the peanuts will help you feel full longer than other vegetarian pasta dishes.

Cook enough chicken for you and your family to have a 4 oz. portion both for dinner lunch the next day, plus an extra pound for another recipe later in the week.

This noodle dish can be served room temperature right after it is made. It is also great eaten cold the next day. If you are sensitive to heat and don’t want to heat up you kitchen re-heating food then you will love this dish.

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 10 minutes

Serves: 8 


  • 16 ounces whole wheat spaghetti noodles
  • ½ cup natural crunchy peanut butter
  • ½ cup seasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 4-6 tbsps chili sauce such as Sriracha 


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Stir in the noodles. Cook according to package directions.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk the peanut butter, vinegar, soy sauce and chili sauce in a large bowl until smooth.
  3. Drain the cooked noodles and rinse well under cold running water.
  4. Add the drained noodles to the dressing and toss until coated.
  5. Chill in the refrigerator.

(Adapted from “Chilled peanut soba noodles” courtesy of Claire Robinson on

Meal 2: Slow-cooker vegetarian chili with a whole grain roll

Prep time: 20 minutes

Total time: 8 hours 20 minutes (if slow cooker is set to low. Can shorten cooking time to 4 hours if set to high)


  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 1 28 ounce can black beans, rinsed
  • 1 15.5 ounce can kidney beans, rinsed
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into ½ inch pieces
  • Optional toppings: fat-free sour cream, sliced scallions, sliced radishes, and baked tortilla chips


In a 4- to 6-quart slow cooker, combine the onion, bell pepper, garlic, chili powder, cumin, cocoa, cinnamon, and pepper. Add the tomatoes (with their liquid), beans, sweet potato and 1 cup water.

Cover and cook until the sweet potatoes are tender and the chili has thickened, on low for 7-8 hours or on high for 4-5 hours.

All the ingredients can be assembled in the slow cooker insert ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator. On the day you will be serving the chili, simply take it out set up the slow cooker and go about your day.

(Adapted from

Meal 3: Turkey and roasted red pepper meat loaf with a side salad

Serves: 4

Prep time: 15 minutes

Total time: 1 hr 15 minutes


  • 1 ½ pounds of lean ground turkey
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • ½ cup bread crumbs (try to find whole wheat)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1 7 ounce jar roasted red peppers, cut into ½ inch pieces
  • Pepper


*Tip: to prepare ahead of time, mix the meat loaf ingredients together without the egg. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. When ready to cook, mix in the egg, shape and bake.

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Combine the turkey, onion, bread crumbs, egg, Parmesan, 2 tbsp of the mustard, the parsley, red peppers, and pepper in a large bowl. Shape the meat into an 8 inch loaf pan and place in a baking dish.

Bake until no trace of pink remains (internal temperature of 165 degrees), about 45 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest 15 minutes before slicing.

(Adapted from

Meal 4: Chopped Chicken Salad

Serves: 4

Prep time: 15 minutes

Total time: 15 minutes


  • 1 pound grilled chicken breast (use the chicken you made earlier in the week), chopped
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1 head romaine lettuce, chopped
  • ¼ small head red cabbage, chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 1 15.5 ounce can white beans, rinsed
  • ½ cup chopped parsley
  • ¼ cup store bought Italian dressing


If you make this salad the same day you grill your chicken, let the chicken cool, then chop into cubes.

In a large bowl, combine the romaine, cabbage, beans, peppers, and parsley. Add the cubed chicken.

Store in the refrigerator. Toss with the dressing before serving.

Shopping list:


  • Red onion
  • Yellow onion
  • Green bell pepper
  • Garlic
  • Sweet potato
  • Flat leaf parsley
  • Salad kit (such as Organic Girl “Berries and Balsamic”)
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Red cabbage
  • Lots of fruits your family likes or extra veggies for snacks like baby carrots


  • 2-4 lbs chicken breast (8-16 servings of 4 oz. each)
  • 1.5 lbs lean ground turkey


  • Eggs
  • Parmesan
  • Multiple nonfat yogurts
  • Low fat milk or milk alternative like almond or soy milk


  • Whole wheat spaghetti noodles
  • Whole grain rolls
  • Whole wheat bread crumbs
  • All natural peanut butter (such as Adams)
  • Almonds or cashews (or whatever you and your family like)
  • 28 ounce can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 15.5 ounce can black beans
  • 15.5 ounce can kidney beans
  • 15.5 ounce can white beans
  • Italian dressing
  • 7 ounce jar roasted red peppers
  • High fiber cereal
  • Whole grain crackers


  • Rice vinegar
  • White wine vinegar
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Chili sauce (such as Sriracha)
  • Chili powder
  • Ground cumin
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Cinnamon
  • Black pepper
  • Dijon mustard


  • Broccoli (can use fresh if you like)
  • Optional treat like juice pops