Sunday, October 30, 2016

7 day meal prep for 2!

Hey friends! Tomorrow starts day 1 of my 24 Day Challenge and so I will be LASER FOCUSED with prepping. I decided to share with you my meal plan & grocery guide over the course of the next 24 days. This blog contains the first week (cleanse approved meals).




Like every week, I search online to find well balanced recipes, and then I plug them into a calendar. I'm a visual person, so this really helps me figure out how many meals I need.


From there I created my grocery list. 


INGREDIENTS

  1. ¾ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  2.  2 teaspoons paprika
  3. 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  4. ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  5. 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  6. 4 cod filets (about 6 oz. each)
  7. lemon, cut into wedges
  8. Broccoli 




INGREDIENTS
  1. 10 Oz Fresh Spinach (or frozen Spinach, defrosted and excess water removed)
  2. 1.25 lbs 93/7 Ground Turkey
  3. 1 Large Egg, beaten
  4. 1/2 Cup Oat Flour or Breadcrumbs
  5. 3/4 Cup Onions or Green Onions, finely chopped
  6. 1 Tbsp Garlic, finely chopped
  7. 1/2 Tbsp Dried Parsley (or 1.5 Tbsp of Fresh Parsely, chopped)
  8. 2 Tsp Olive Oil
  9. 1/2 Tsp Oregano
  10. 1/4 Tsp Red Pepper Flakes
  11. Salt & Black Pepper to taste
  12. Cooking Spray
  13. Optional: 1/2 Tbsp Brown Sugar or Honey (recommended if using oat flour)
  14. Frozen/Fresh veggie as side (I used broccoli)
  15. Whole grain pasta (make sure to measure portion size! :) ) 
  16. Low sugar/low sodium pasta sauce 




INGREDIENTS 
  1. 2 1/2 (14.5 oz) cans low-sodium chicken broth (4 1/2 cups)
  2. 1 (14.5 oz) can petite diced tomatoes
  3. 1 1/4 cups finely chopped yellow onion
  4. 3 cloves garlic, minced
  5. 1 Tbsp chili powder
  6. 2 tsp ground cumin
  7. 3/4 tsp paprika
  8. 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  9. Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  10. 1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
  11. 1 (14.5 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  12. 1 1/2 cups frozen corn
  13. 1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  14. 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro


For serving:
  1. Tortilla strips or tortilla chips **OMIT IF ON CLEANSE**
  2.  Shredded cheddar or monterey jack cheese **OMIT IF ON CLEANSE**
  3. Diced avocado, diced roma tomatoes, sour cream/plain greek yogurt (optional)


·         

Layer bottom to top:Bolthouse Farms Greek yogurt dressing or vinaigrette of choice. 
Chopped Veggies of Choice (I did tomatoes, peppers, onions, carrots)
Romaine/Green leaf/Spring mix (Whatever is on sale. I got a head of Organic Green leaf lettuce for $1.50)



INGREDIENTS

1. 2 tablespoons olive oil
2. 1 pound chicken thighs, boneless and skinless, sliced into strips
3. 1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes, drained of oil, chopped
4. 1 pound asparagus, ends trimmed, cut in half, if large
5. 1/4 cup basil pesto
6. 1 cup cherry tomatoes, yellow and red, halved




INGREDIENTS
  1. 1 pound ground chicken
  2.  1 1/2 cups uncooked quinoa, rinsed
  3. 1 can (15-ounce) black beans, drained and rinsed
  4. 1 cup frozen corn
  5.   1 can (15-ounce) diced fire roasted tomatoes
  6.  2 cloves garlic, minced
  7. 1 medium onion, chopped
  8. 1 or 2 jalapeno peppers, finely chopped (depending o the heat level you want)
  9. 1 cup water
  10. 1 can (10-ounces) enchilada sauce
  11.  2 tablespoons Mexican chili powder
  12. 1 tablespoon cumin
  13. 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  14. 1 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese
  15. 3 green onions, chopped
  16. 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

I compared grocery list to what I had in my pantry/freezer, and went shopping. Here was my grocery haul. All of this food for $77!



To start, I put the ingredients to the Tortilla soup in the slow cooker.

This is a picture when its done 

Next, I started the Parmesan crusted cod with broccoli and put it in the oven. 

Finished! I sampled a piece, its sooooo gooooood! 
While that was cooking, I threw some brown rice & frozen veggies (peas and carrrots) in my rice cooker with chicken broth. I am following the 24DC guide, and so I am trying to eat a veggie, protein, and complex carb with every meal. If you dont have a rice cooker, you can do the same in a pot on the stove. 



While the fish, broccoli and rice cooked, I started prepping for my turkey spinach meatballs. 

Finished product! 
The cod only took 15-20 mins to cook, and so I was able to throw the meatballs in the oven right after. Boil your water for pasta, add your sauce to cooked & drained noodles, and then throw your food in containers. 

**Meal prep hack** Put frozen veggies in your container as a side. When you microwave your food, it will steam your veggies. 

Next up : One pan chicken pesto. This was extremely easy to make! 



Lastly, I made the enchilada quinoa slow cooker meal. In hindsight, I should have started this at the beginning with my other slow cooker meal and had them both cooking at the same time. 



And there you have it! 7 days of meals for 2!

If you'd like, you can also buy the grocery list and cook each meal before dinner and have the left overs for lunch. With Clint working 24H shifts at the fire station and with me working 10s at the urgent care, that is not feasible. 



Well, we are prepped and ready for this challenge! Tune in next week for another meal plan. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Full meal prep with snacks!

Sometimes I am laser focused when I meal prep, and other times I need to just chug a Spark, remind myself of why I need to do this, and get to work. I NEVER want to be the old Jessie again. The always tired, always sick, frumpy, fluffy, Jessie. You'll realize your journey is mostly a mindset shift, followed by a little motivation & a lot of discipline. Just the other day, I was talking to one of my good friends that finished a challenge, and she was shocked at how easy this transition has been. Again, mindset. When you FEEL good, and you see results, you're going to stick with it.


So with a new challenge group launching, I wanted to do a step by step blog of this weeks prep.

Step 1. I looked in my freezer. I had lots of chicken, and a container of turkey burger. I also looked in my fridge and found cauliflower, carrots, and zucchini. Pantry is always stocked with black beans, brown rice, and whole grain noodles.

Step 2. Look at ads. What's on sale? Stock up on things you can put in your freezer and pantry, and any household items. Buy produce that is on sale. Sometimes frozen is cheaper (just buy plain frozen veggies, no added sauces).

Step 3. Recipes. Endless options. My first go-to is Pinterest. Look up recipes utilizing your ingredients. "Black bean and brown rice recipe", "easy healthy chicken recipe" "healthy 20 minute meal", Etc. write them down & create grocery list

Step 4. Store, home, prep.

My Menu:
Buffalo chicken mason jar salad
Taco salad mason jar
Fattoush mason jar
Baked chicken and veggies.
Cilantro lime skillet meal
Frittata
Protein bites!

Before I left for the store, I threw the buffalo chicken in the pressure cooker and started marinating the chicken for my Fattoush. (To make this buffalo chicken recipe easier, follow this link and use a Pre-Cooked rotisserie chicken. It is more expensive this way if you purchased chicken on sale like I did. To cook the chicken like I did-  I placed 3-4 normal sized chicken, 1 cup buffalo sauce, 1/2c chicken broth, some minced garlic, and cooked until done. Then I shredded the pieces. You can follow this same recipe in a slow cooker.) If you don't have a pressure cooker, you can cook basically anything insanely fast and it is still super juicy.  For time sake, I used the pressure cooker. Threw the finished chicken in the fridge, and went to the store.

Marinated Chicken

Buffalo Chicken

**Mealprep money saving tip: since salads are on the menu, buy the heads of green lettuce or romaine vs prewashed lettuce I'm a tub. You'll save $3-4 right there!

Before I started on my meals, I washed my lettuce. I always let it soak in a sink full of water and a cup of vinegar (apple cider or white). Soak for 10 mins and then rinse.  I clean all my fruits and veggies this way. When it's done, I place them on towels and layer with paper towel. It'll dry as I prep my meals.



Next up, baked chicken and veggies. Preheat oven to 400. As my lettuce was soaking, I was chopping veggies. I used cauliflower, zucchini, onion, and sweet potato. Use whatever veggies are in SEASON or on sale.  Place chopped veggies in a ziploc an with a little olive oil/grape seed oil, shake until evenly coated. Placed veggies around chicken and season. I used Mrs Dash salt free herb seasoning. Bake for 20-25 mins until done. At this same time, I also put my marinated chicken in the oven for the same amount of time. (Kill 2 birds with 1 stone, right!?)


As those were baking, the skillet meal was up next! I followed this recipe, and it turned out really well!



Oven is done! The chicken and veggies were placed in Tupperware dishes, as well as the skillet meal.

Chicken & Veggies

Skillet meal

 Bring on the Salad Station! I started the quinoa for the second salad in my lineup.


For the Fattoush salad, I layered Fattoush dressing (basically a lemony vinaigrette), chicken, onion, cucumbers, tomatoes, and then the lettuce. I use the big quart size jars, but if you want to use pint size, make sure you have something else to eat for lunch. (Great place to add in some fruit!)


Next up! Those buffalo salads. Layer quinoa, buffalo chicken, red onion, tomato, green pepper, and lettuce. You can see I changed the recipe a bit. I went with what I had or what ingredients were cheapest.



Last salad, taco salad in a jar. I don't follow a particular recipe for this. First layer is salsa, second layer is ground turkey with taco seasoning, next is toppings of your choice (I used tomato, green pepper, onion, and corn), lettuce, and then crushed tortilla chips.


Ordinarily my husband and I drink meal replacement shakes every morning, but this week we had a house full of guys laying flooring. I decided to give this  frittatta recipe a try to give them some breakfast. I used 10 eggs, 1/4c Almond milk, spicy turkey breakfast sausage, onion, peppers, and kale. It was actually DELICIOUS!



And here you have it! My finished product.


Snacks this week are mixed nuts, tuna packets, Gingerbread bars, AdvoGreens snack shake, hummus and veggies, Greek yogurt, fruit, and pumpkin protein bites!

Well there you have it! A successful meal prep.I am always running challenge groups to teaching others healthy habits & how to incorporate meal prep in your life. What are you waiting for?! It took one friend saying "let me help you" for me to quickly change from restrictive eating to balanced habits. In less than 1 month I felt better, and 4 years later I am still on track.  All it takes is one friend.. and your life can forever change.