I feel like I'm always doing things a bit different as I plan for the week but I know eventually I'll find my rhythm and groove. I really am not one to have things plotted out to a T because sometimes you just change your mind..you know? (it's a woman's right you see) I do like to have stuff on hand and at least SEMI prepared so that when I get home I have an idea in mind and have the ingredients on hand or even ready to go already! I'll show you how I'm doing things this week and we will see how it works out!
Meal Plotting this Week
Like I said above I usually have a ROUGH estimation of what we are having for the week but I like to keep my options open! I'm not a HUGE on specific recipe person, but more so like to pair things together always making sure I have a protein + veggie + fat + starch at each meal -
I stared by taking a look in the fridge and cupboards to see what we had on hand. B also mentioned recently a few things he is requesting so that gave me a few ideas too! Usually on Sundays I do some preparation for the week. Taking some meat out of the freezer to thaw, preparing some meat so it is ready to go, clean veggies and I may even pack a couple lunches for the week. It all depends on the given day and what I'm in the mood for.
For example in the meal above: Homemade Chicken Nuggets, roasted beets, zoodles and steamed broccoli all topped with a bit of sprinkled on daiya dairy free cheese. Protein + Starch + greens + Fat (butter on the zoodles) - oh and ketchup. Because well...ketchup.
So after taking inventory I got to work! I had a spaghetti squash that I picked up at the grocery store (on a major sale) so I roasted that badboy last night! I hadn't have one in so long and it was soooo good! Some good tips for how to roast a spaghetti squash HERE
There are multiple ways that this can be used throughout the week!
Stirfry! - Just add a protein, veggies, fat
Top a chopped salad with it and eat it cold
Top with marinara and a protein and eat like spaghetti
Serve as a side dish with your meal and season it as you wish - also great topped with parmesan or if you are dairy free nutritional yeast is a great substitution!
Here is how I ate mine last night! I took one cup of the spaghetti squash and seasoned with garlic powder and butter and mixed in leftover chicken nuggets, steamed green beans and asparagus and leftover pea pods - and can't forget to top with a bit of siracha too! (in case you hadn't noticed I LOVE anything spicy!)
So why the spaghetti squash and not just straight up noodles? For someone that is looking to UP their veggie intake, increased their fiber and cut sugar this is a great substitute. Just to give you an idea in 1 cup of spaghetti squash there are 5 net carbs (mean 6.9 total carbs subtract 1.5 grams of fiber) and 31 calories total. In comparison even whole wheat linguine pasta (one cup) has about 30 grams of carbohydrates and about 170 calories. I have NOTHING against carbohydrates AT all and by no means follow a super low carbohydrate diet, but this is just an EASY way to get in my veggies and I prefer the texture over a squishy blah noodle. (i'm weird I know....but YOU try working at the OG for three years...ha!)
So what are some of the other starches that I have on my list and or in my pantry this week?
Looking to pick up: potatoes, sweet potatoes, joseph's brand pitas, tortillas/wraps, chips (yup! chips!)
This one was a new one for me - I decided to make some stuffed peppers for the fridge! Easy meal that can be packed for lunches OR heated up for at home! Inside the peppers is ground venison, black beans, onions and brown rice. I plan on topping them with cheese, lettuce, tomatoes/rotel and whatever other taco fixings we have on hand. A complete meal in a pepper!
Simply start by browning burger! I used the ground venison we have on hand - all I used was a pound. I browned it and made taco meat using the seasoning that I normally use. NOTHING fancy by any means! I then added some chopped onions, a can of black beans (don't forget to drain and rinse prior to adding!) I also used a brown rice packet (Uncle Ben's brand) that all you do is nuke it for 90 seconds. Cut corners where you need to! After adding it all to the pan I simply mixed it all together. Clean and hollow out your peppers, stuff with your stuffing, add about 1/2 inch water to your 9x13 pan, cover and bake for 40 minutes! You can top with shredded cheese too before you bake. Totally up to you! I had some meat/onion/rice/bean combo left over and plan on using these for burrito bowls this week!
Another protein I made up quick and easily was hard boiled eggs! I used the baking trip. 350 for 30 minutes in a muffin tin. DONE. These will be used as a snack on the go, could be paired for a breakfast or will be topped to a chopped salad this week!
-I plan on picking up some chicken so I can make some more of these homemade chicken nuggets. They were SO GOOD! Ways to eat them: served with a starch + fat + veggie, on a pita/wrap, on top of a salad. I shared this recipe with my VIP group this week and am looking forward to hearing what their kids think too!
Other protein on the agenda:
-Pheasant! So we can make some poppers! (aka jalapenos + cream cheese + bacon) - more to come on that!
- Deli ham - for lunch sandwiches for B OR in an omelette - which is our often go to meal when we don't want to cook
-Turkey - still digging a favorite from Costco! Its a low sodium, no nitrates basically no added BS and it is REAL meat! I love it on pitas, on a salad or rolled up with guac inside of it!
Here is another throw together lunch! Cauliflower rice (starch) + baked chicken breast (protein), steamed broccoli and snap peas (greens) and butter on my broccoli (fat) - not fancy just keeping it simple! and STILL delish! You can find my recipe for cauliflower stir fry rice HERE
Here is another one of my favorite lunches -a chopped salad. It's super easy to throw together and a good way to use up the produce that you have in the fridge! I believe in this one I had a kale salad mix, raw broccoli chopped, chopped onion, chopped radish and carrots, cilantro, peppers and either chicken or turkey. I always make sure to bring along a starch too! Usually it is something like chips, a pita or a wrap!
So what about veggies! You might be surprised at the corners I cut in this department! I don't buy everything organic, fresh, needs to be chopped and cleaned etc - but instead I take a few short cuts! Here are some examples
- premade veggie trays from Costco are amazing
- steamer veggies! I like broccoli, green beans, asparagus
- pre chopped onions and peppers - i'm willing to pay fifty more sense so I don't have to do it myself!
And vegetable wise I usually just grab what is on sale! A bundle of asparagus was this week's excitement. Some of my other favorites include: salad mixes like the sweet kale salad, any other kind of greens, a veggie tray, broccoli, cauliflower, snap peas
A quick side dish is roasted veggies! SO EASY and you can use whatever it is you have on hand like potatoes, peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, beets - you can find the instructions HERE.
Here is another one of my latest obsessions: putting everything on one of these pitas! I'm loving the Joseph's brand that you can find in the deli location of your local grocery store! They are lower in sugar and higher in protein and hold up well baked, microwaved or on the stove top. Here is what I have been doing with them.
Choose a protein - ex: chopped turkey, chicken, egg omelette, ground venison, cut up venison steak
Choose some veggies! ex: onions, peppers, greens, broccoli, steamed asparagus chopped
Seasonings - ex: garlic powder, any of the flavor god brands, pepper
Take your pita and sprinkle a small amount of cheese on it (in my case dairy free!)
top with your veggies - then meat - then more cheese
Microwave for 45 second to a minute
Sprinkle on your seasonings and if you are me you add some buffalo sauce and anything spicy! Guac or hummus is amazing too! and DEVOUR.
So here is my list/braindump/food prep list for the week all summarized!
Stuffed Peppers (already prepped)
Burrito bowls (use up leftovers from stuffed peppers)
Hardboiled Eggs (already prepped)
Steamer veggies (broccoli and green beans)
Spaghetti Squash (already prepped!) - can be paired with chicken for stirfry or as a side
Greens (for a chopped salad with hard boiled eggs)
Potatoes for roasting (both sweet and russet)
Chopped salad with a protein
Leftover from supper
You didn't think I forgot about the sweets did you? Well if you know me at all you KNOW I have a love for dark chocolate, cookies and sweets in general! Here are a few things I pick up to have on hand, prep in advanced or throw in my purse just in case!
Protein bars aren't a super clean food..but oh well! I have a few favorites I keep on hand so that I can have something in my purse if hanger strikes! Remember MODERATION people! I cherish the 80/20 rule. 80% of the time eat pretty clean - 20% treat yo'self!
My favorite bars: Combat Crunch Cinnamon Crunch, Oh yeah Cookies and Cream or Cinnamon Bun - these cake bites were just ok -
I have a batch of Shakeology balls in the fridge too! So easy to make and a great treat to tie you over! They are also super super good in how I make Shakeology ice cream! I'll use a half a scoop of vanilla, 1 tsp pb2, 1/2 cup non dairy milk, ice and blend like crazy! sprinkle in a few Shakeology balls and it's like eating a healthier blizzard... you can't tell me that that doesn't look incredible -
Some of my other favorite snacks I'm digging lately
- Angie's sea salt popcorn with a few shakeology balls or dark chocolate chips mixed in
- Dark chocolate dove promises (I usually have a couple in my purse for that afternoon sweet tooth!)
and a couple or few nights a week I have my favorite - a giant chocolate chip cookie, ice cream or both!
Ok so now that I talked your ear off with the longest post to date...it's YOUR turn!
I'm putting together my next health group for March! I host the accountability groups each month and run them through an app. The focus is a generalized health group with recipe ideas, food prep tips, fitness motivation and a few circuit training ideas and also some mini positivity and emotional health challenges. (because let's face it - you can't be healthy if your head isn't in the right place!) I want to mix things up a bit in March! While I plan on keeping all the valuable tools I give my clients now I would like to hear what YOU struggle with and what YOU would be interested in in a group! Vote HERE and you will be placed in a giveaway for my favorite nutritional supplement and smoothie mix - Shakeology!
How do you meal prep?
What do you struggle with most?
What did you learn (if anything) from this post?
What would you like try?
and as always I love to hear from YOU! Email me here: firstname.lastname@example.org
Cookie and Treats Baker. R.N. Nutrition Nerd. Runner. <3 Coffee. Fitness. Foodie. In pursuit of finding my own kind of balance...
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