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
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.