Sunday Meal Prep March 12, 2017

Hey everyone! Can you believe we are into March already? It seems like this year is just flying by! I am definitely ready for spring though. Iowa has been all over the place with temperatures lately and I just can’t wait until the warm weather gets here!

I don’t always follow seasonal when I’m cooking or cook lighter dishes in the warmer months like some do. However, I think I can see my desire for spring in this week’s meal prep! Lighter dishes and veggies everywhere! Enjoy!

Get your week started right with this healthy meal prep! Get the recipes, details and a downloadable grocery list here!

For my salads, I’m still totally in love with these cheeseburger-insprired salads based off of this recipe from Organize Yourself Skinny! The main changes I made:

  • no cucumbers,  added in red onion
  • dressing was Bolthouse Farms Honey Mustard
  • used a salad mix instead of romaine

And for our snacks we have a recent favorite: 5-Ingredient Banana Bread Muffins! These are so tasty and really hit my desert cravings 🙂 Of course, my favorite, grapes and cheese, was also made. This week’s cheese? Smoked Gouda! I am loving the flavor of this one right now!

food-prep-healthy-snacks-salads

We were also running low on my Healthier Cinnamon Bread, so of course that was made. If you haven’t checked it out lately, there have been a couple small changes to the recipe. I’ve lightened things up a little more by cutting back on the sugar. It’s still plenty tasty, but a little more carb-friendly! We were also running low on Freezer Breakfast Burritos, so a 2-week batch of those got made up too!

food-prep-healthy-lifestyle

For our main dishes this week, we have a couple new recipes! To start with, these Broccoli Quinoa Cheddar Bites are delicious! I love finding new vegetarian dishes, especially since we can be kind of a meat-heavy household. This one will definitely be made again! I did make a small change: The recipe calls for them being made in a mini-muffin pan. Instead I made them as regular muffins and baked them at 350 for 30 minutes. This worked out great! I also used Fiesta blend cheese instead of cheddar, since that was what we had on hand.

healthy-weeky-meal-prep

The other new recipe, and my personal favorite of the week, was this Ham and Cauliflower Chowder based off of this recipe from Damn Delicious. The original recipe sounded, well, damn delicious, but I wanted to lighten things up a bit plus add in more meat than the original called for. I think it turned out pretty great and I will definitely be making it again!

Ham and Cauliflower Chowder
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Servings
6
Servings
6
Ham and Cauliflower Chowder
Print Recipe
Servings
6
Servings
6
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Melt butter in large stockpot over medium heat. Add garlic, onion, carrots and celery; saute until tender, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in cauliflower and bay leaf. Cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp-tender, roughly 4-5 minutes.
  2. Add chicken base, water and almond milk. Cook, stirring constantly, until slightly thickened, about 4-6 minutes.
  3. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until cauliflower is tender, roughly 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to tasty.
  4. Using an immersion blender, blend soup until desired consistency is reached.
  5. If immersion blender is not available, let soup cool slightly and then remove 1 1/2 -2 cups and blend in blender. Return to soup.
Recipe Notes

Recipe adapted from this recipe from Damn Delicious

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healthy-weekly-meal-prep

Our repeat recipe of the week was this Chicken Broccoli Alfredo based off of this recipe from Julia’s Album. Again, I made some changes to lighten things up a bit and I love how it turned out!

Chicken Broccoli Alfredo
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Servings
6
Servings
6
Chicken Broccoli Alfredo
Print Recipe
Servings
6
Servings
6
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Cut broccoli into small florets. Steam and set aside.
  2. Cook chickpea pasta, drain. Set aside
  3. In a large skillet, heat grapeseed oil and butter on medium-high heat. Season chicken breast with salt and pepper to taste. Saute chicken for about 15 minutes, 7-8 on each side. Remove from heat, cover and let rest, until chicken is cooked through. Remove from pan and cut into bite-size pieces.
  4. Using the same skillet, add minced garlic and cook over medium heat for 30 seconds or until garlic is fragrant, scraping chicken bits from pan. Add steamed broccoli and mix; remove from pan.
  5. Add evaporated milk to the same skillet and heat to boiling. Add mozzarella cheese and stir until melted and creamy. Reduce heat and slowly add almond milk in, stirring constantly. Simmer until desired consistency is reached.
  6. Add pasta, broccoli and chicken back to the skillet and mix. Season with more salt and pepper if desired.
Recipe Notes

This recipe was adapted from this recipe from Julia's Album

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Here are the macros for everything for this week! Most of it was pretty macros-friendly, though a few of the dishes were a bit carb-heavier than I aim for.

if-it-fits-your-macros-food-prep

Want to make this for your own meal prep? Get your free downloadable grocery list to get you started!

Just the main dishes:

All the food from this week:

How much do you enjoy altering recipes you find? Do you change them up a lot or make them as you found them? I would love to know your thoughts, so please leave a comment below!

Sunday Meal Prep 2/26/17

Hey everyone! This week’s meal prep is pretty short, but that doesn’t mean it’s lacking in flavor! Draz and I still had some freezer meals left from the previous week, so I opted to only make the one main dish this time around! This worked out especially well since we decided to do an at home date night to celebrate my birthday! Finishing up with our meal prep early gave me more time for him and our fun night!

Enjoy!

Get your week started off right with this quick and easy meal prep!

weekly-food-prep-mason-jar-salads-protein-balls

“Our” salads and snacks this week were limited to MY salads and snacks haha! Draz has decided he is a bit done with the salads (for now at least) so the salads are all for me! And I made some of his protein balls partway through the previous week, so these are just mine!

As for our main dish, this week I picked one of our favorite slow cooker dishes: Slow Cooker Mongolian Chicken! I LOVE this recipe! 🙂 Both because it’s quick and easy and because it’s super tasty and still fits within my macros! I usually add in broccoli at the end to cook for a bit, around 20 minutes or so before the dish finishes.

healthy-meal-prep-main-dish

As for the reason why half of the servings have rice and the other half doesn’t….well, I’m still trying to improve on my cauliflower rice recipe. So far honestly, not a whole lot of luck. It doesn’t taste bad by any means, but doesn’t much seem like it replaces rice either! If you have a good cauliflower rice recipe I would love to hear about it!

That’s it for this week! What are you meal prepping this week?

Sunday Meal Prep – Freezer Edition! 2/19/17

Hey everyone! This week’s meal prep is a bit different than my normal one, because this last weekend was ANYTHING but normal! I knew ahead of time that I was going to have very little time to meal prep last weekend. Instead, I spent all weekend at a market trying to sell my jewelry! Didn’t go so great, but there is always next time!

Anyways….so instead, I planned ahead to give myself some breathing room. I mentioned last week that I had a freezer prep for you this week and this is it! These dishes were prepared during the meal prep I shared with you last week, then put into the freezer to pull out for this week. I was a little nervous about it, but it worked great!

Know you have a busy weekend coming up? Meal prep in advance with this freezer meal prep!

These two dishes actually are from the same source and can be found here. This one is great, because it has some other freezer recipes you could try too! The two that I made are the Beef Vegetable Stew and the Teriyaki Chicken. Both were tasty, but I think my favorite was the chicken (anyone surprised? I didn’t think so 😛 )

freezer-food-prep-teriyaki-chicken

Having the meals already in the freezer and ready to cook in the slow cooker was such a huge load off of my mind. Yes, it did require some extra planning and time during the previous meal prep, but it was well worth it! I was able to focus on the market, which took A LOT of my energy and attention, without having to worry about how I was going to prep for the following week.

If your weekends get a little crazy sometimes too, you might want to consider starting to prep a few extra meals for the freezer sometimes!

healthy-freezer-food-prep

Want to try out this meal prep yourself? Get your grocery list here!

Have you ever done a freezer meal prep before? How did it go for you? Any recipes you really liked? I would love to hear your thoughts, so please leave a comment below!

sunday meal prep 12/11/16

Hey everyone! It’s time for this week’s meal prep! I hope you are all enjoying your holiday season. I know how hard it can be to balance all of the things that the holidays entail…extra family gatherings, more cooking, less available time. This is where meal prep can come in to help! In this week’s meal prep, I’m not only prepping food for this week. I also made up a bit extra for the freezer as well, to help when things get really busy.

Enjoy!

Use meal prep to help deal with your busy schedule and eat healthier!

Our snacks and salads were pretty much the regular line-up this week. Grapes with cheddar and my current favorite protein balls were the highlight and our salads turned out great! Not pictured, I also made an extra batch of our breakfast burritos to make sure we have plenty in the freezer….we now have almost a month’s worth!

mason-jar-salads-healthy-snacks

For the main dishes this week, I stuck mostly to simple ones I know we enjoy! Some Baked Beef Chimichangas (or in our case turkey), Sesame Noodles with Broccoli and Almonds and a relatively new Slow Cooker Red Pepper Chicken Chili were our repeat recipes for the week. Our new dish: Easy Chicken Fajitas, paired with Cauliflower Rice!

Baked-Turkey-Chimichangas-Chicken-Fajitas

I have been working hard lately to try to make things a bit healthier in my diet lately, so that inspired a change up for both my chimichangas and the fajitas! I ended up using FlatOuts wraps on a portion of the chimichangas just for me and those are what I used for my fajitas too. It worked out great! They are a bit pricier than most regular tortillas, but they are quite a bit healthier and, in my opinion, worth the cost.

Baked-Turkey-Chimichangas-Chicken-Fajitas-Cauliflower-Rice

For the chimichangas, I do make them slightly different: I don’t brush them with butter or anything else. I just bake them for 5 min, sprinkle a little cheese on them and then bake them a couple minutes more. I also use a slightly larger package of ground turkey (1.25 lbs), because that is what is usually available for me. So this recipe makes a bit more for me than it says it will in the original.

This was my second or third attempt at making cauliflower rice and I think it turned out pretty good! I didn’t use a specific recipe this time around. I chopped up some cauliflower, tossed it in the food processor and then stir-fried it in a large skillet, seasoning it with a little bit of fajita seasoning towards the end. Still needs some work, but was a pretty good alternative to regular rice!

Red-Pepper-Chicken-Chili-Sesame-Noodles-Broccoli

The Sesame Noodles and the Chicken Chili were both delicious and perfect as pretty quick recipes for the meal prep. This chili may be my new favorite overall…healthy and tasty!

You may end up seeing some changes coming up soon on my meal prep posts. Nothing major, but I have been changing things up with my diet and our meal prep will be a bit along with it. As of last week I started tracking macros! A good friend of mine who is also a personal trainer set them for me and I can’t wait to see how this helps me work towards my fitness goals! (You can learn more about her here!)

I do plan on writing more about that and sharing my progress on here, but for now I’m still learning and figuring things out. So for now, I am going to start including a basic chart with the macro breakdown for each of the foods that I cooked that week! So for this week, here is the macro breakdown:
Dec-11-Macros

Want to follow along with your own meal prep? Get your grocery list for this week’s main dishes here!

Do you track macros along with you meal prep? Or maybe use some other method to eat healthy? I would love to hear about your experiences and thoughts, so please leave a comment below!

sunday meal prep 10/23/16

There are a couple things that I have been trying to focus on more lately in my meal preps: budget-friendly and relatively easy to do. This meal prep succeeds in both! A lot the ingredients are things that I keep stocked in our pantry. And all the recipes were pretty quick to put together and get cooking!

Enjoy!

This quick and inexpensive meal prep makes it easier for you to have more time for the things you love and still eat healthy all week!

I decided to go with some of our favorites this week for our snacks: Cookie Dough Protein Balls, Peanut Butter Banana Oat Muffins and No Bake Maple Vanilla Nut Latte Protein Balls! Other than our regular protein balls, I’m pretty sure that these Maple Vanilla ones are my new favorite! I love the addition of the coffee 🙂

Healthy snacking is made easier with these tasty treats!

For this week’s main dishes, I made a couple new dishes: Slow Cooker Wild Rice, Quinoa & Chicken Soup, and One Pot Chicken and Broccoli Rice! Both were pretty tasty, though Draz and I agreed that we would like the soup to be more flavorful. I think if I make that one again I’m going to be adding a lot more seasoning to it! It was a good base to start with though 🙂 I think the chicken and rice was Draz’s favorite and I will probably be making that one again soon!

The main dishes for our healthy meal prep!

For our other two main dishes for this week’s meal prep, I made Healthy Kung Pao Chicken and more Baked Beef Chimichangas. I think Draz might be a bit hooked on those Chimichangas right now haha! Both of these turned out as delicious as they always do!

Want the grocery list to go with this week’s meal prep? Get yours here!

That’s it for this week’s meal prep! What are some of your favorite recipes to have week after week? Anything catch you recently like the Chimichangas have us? What are you cooking this week? I would love to hear about it, so please leave a comment below!

sunday meal prep 10/16/16

Hey all! I hope you had a wonderful week! Here things went pretty well, with some progress on a few exciting changes I hope to tell you about soon!! Other than that, if you follow me on Instagram you might have seen that I have been back to my workouts and at the gym full-force this week and loving it (despite having a bit of a cold 🙂 )

This week was a perfect example of why I love meal prep so much. Even with work, the gym, my other projects, and not feeling my best, we had healthy and filling meals the whole week! And after the actual cooking on Sunday, all of that required no extra work from me. I don’t think I would be overstating when I say that meal prep is one of the things that makes it possible for me to work towards my dreams! Which is why I love sharing those meal preps with you, so you can do the same!

So with that, enjoy this week’s meal prep (and make sure to get your grocery list)!

Use meal prep and your free grocery list to help you eat healthy all week and have more time for the things you love!

We were running low on breakfast burritos in the freezer, which ended up being perfect timing! Last weekend I went hiking with my parents and they had some extra bell peppers from their garden….so some of them went right into the breakfast burritos! Being able to cook with garden fresh ingredients is great, isn’t it?!

My two breakfast essentials! Breakfast burritos for the freezer and cinnamon bread for the pantry! Plus some roasted chickpeas to snack on :-)

2 sizes freezer breakfast sausage burritos
Freezer Breakfast Burritos
Print Recipe
These breakfast burritos are a staple in our home! Tasty and filling, they are our favorite breakfast. Pair with some healthy homemade cinnamon bread and cottage cheese and you have a breakfast that will start your day off right!
Servings Prep Time
28-30 burritos 45 minutes, split
Cook Time Passive Time
20-25 minutes 10-15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
28-30 burritos 45 minutes, split
Cook Time Passive Time
20-25 minutes 10-15 minutes
2 sizes freezer breakfast sausage burritos
Freezer Breakfast Burritos
Print Recipe
These breakfast burritos are a staple in our home! Tasty and filling, they are our favorite breakfast. Pair with some healthy homemade cinnamon bread and cottage cheese and you have a breakfast that will start your day off right!
Servings Prep Time
28-30 burritos 45 minutes, split
Cook Time Passive Time
20-25 minutes 10-15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
28-30 burritos 45 minutes, split
Cook Time Passive Time
20-25 minutes 10-15 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: burritos
Instructions
  1. Brown sausage over med-high heat in a large skillet. When sausage is almost cooked through, add bell pepper and onions. Saute until tender. While sausage is cooking, beat eggs and any desired seasonings together.
  2. Once sausage and veggie mixture is cooked, add egg mixture. Cook, stirring regularly, until eggs are almost set. Add cheese and salsa; cook 2-3 minutes or until cheese is melted and eggs fully set. Remove from heat and allow to cool, 10-15 minutes.
    freezer sausage breakfast burrito filling mixture
  3. Once mixture is cooled, spoon into tortillas and fold into a burrito. Wrap in cling wrap (my preference) or aluminum foil.
    2 sizes freezer breakfast sausage burritos
Recipe Notes

Our burritos have two sizes. Mine have 1/3 c filling wrapped in a FlatOut wrap. Draz's have 2/3 c. filling wrapped in a larger (burrito-size) white tortilla. This recipe usually makes 30 burritos in total, 15 of each size. If you are just making the smaller burritos, it should make roughly 54 burritos.

To Heat: Remove from freezer and allow to thaw overnight. Heat in microwave 1.5-2 minutes, flipping once. (You can heat straight from the freezer, but I find it's harder to heat evenly that way)

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Healthier Cinnamon Bread
Print Recipe
I have loved having cinnamon bread as part of my breakfast for a long time now, but I wasn't always happy about how healthy it was. Not so with this recipe! After a lot of adapting and experimenting, I created this recipe!
Servings Prep Time
2 loaves 20 min
Cook Time Passive Time
1 hr 10 min
Servings Prep Time
2 loaves 20 min
Cook Time Passive Time
1 hr 10 min
Healthier Cinnamon Bread
Print Recipe
I have loved having cinnamon bread as part of my breakfast for a long time now, but I wasn't always happy about how healthy it was. Not so with this recipe! After a lot of adapting and experimenting, I created this recipe!
Servings Prep Time
2 loaves 20 min
Cook Time Passive Time
1 hr 10 min
Servings Prep Time
2 loaves 20 min
Cook Time Passive Time
1 hr 10 min
Ingredients
Servings: loaves
Instructions
  1. All of these directions are using an electric stand mixer. If you are using something else, adjust as needed.
  2. In your mixing bowl, add bananas, eggs, 1/2 cup sugar and vanilla essence. Mix on low until combined. Add unsweetened almond milk, then lemon juice; continue mixing on low.
  3. One cup at a time, slowly add whole wheat flour while mixing on low, scraping sides of bowl between each cup. After adding the last cup of flour, add the baking soda. Scrape the sides of the bowl, then mix on low briefly to fully combine.
  4. Mix 1/3 cup sugar and the cinnamon to make a cinnamon sugar mixture.
  5. Spray two loaf pans with cooking spray. Put 1/2 of the batter (or a little less) into the loaf pans; 1/4 in each pan. Sprinkle 3/4 of the cinnamon mixture on top of the batter in each pan.
  6. Add remaining batter to pans, then sprinkle with last of the cinnamon topping. Swirl with a knife.
  7. Bake at 350 for 1 hr or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10-15 minutes before removing from pan to cooling rack.
Recipe Notes

Nutritional Information according to MyFitnessPal: 141 calories - Carbs 32 g, Fat 1 g , Protein 3 g , Cholesterol 16 mg, Sodium 116 mg, Potassium 120 mg, Sugars 17 g, Vitamin A 1%, Vitamin C 2%, Calcium 5%, Iron 5%

Nutritional Information is for 1 slice. Each loaf, for us, comes to 13 slices.

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I also made a couple types of protein balls, some roasted chickpeas, salads and cinnamon bread. I’m still trying to get the recipe right for the roasted chickpeas, but you can find the basic recipe below. I will update it when I finally get the seasoning right! (They are still pretty good in that recipe, just vary the seasonings to your liking) Our normal protein balls turned out delicious! The other ones this week were Peanut Butter Brownie Balls and, well, I had some issues. She says at the end to add extra honey at the end if they are too dry….I should have followed that. Instead, I thought they were forming well enough and didn’t. They taste great but are kinda crumbly when I actually try to eat them!

Spiced-Garbanzo-Beans
Spiced Chickpeas
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
4 people 5 min
Cook Time
30-35 min
Servings Prep Time
4 people 5 min
Cook Time
30-35 min
Spiced-Garbanzo-Beans
Spiced Chickpeas
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
4 people 5 min
Cook Time
30-35 min
Servings Prep Time
4 people 5 min
Cook Time
30-35 min
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425. In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients. Spread on a foil-lined baking sheet and roast 30-35 minutes or until crisp.
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Some healthy snacks and lunches!

As for our main dishes this week, I went with a mix of new and old recipes. The old recipes include Garlic Parmesan Pasta, Slow Cooker Chicken, Potatoes & Green Beans, and Baked Beef Chimichangas. For our new ones, I made Red Curry Lentils & Cauliflower, and Spicy Thai Chicken & Veggie Noodles. Everything turned out delicious! I think the one complaint either of us had was that, for the Spicy Thai Chicken, the rice noodles (which I had never used before) soaked up too much of the sauce, making the dish a bit dry later on. I think next time we might go back to our regular chow mein noodles and/or double the sauce.

And that’s it for this week’s meal prep! What did you make for your own meal prep this week? If you don’t meal prep, how do you think meal prep could help you with your current schedule? I would love to hear your thoughts, so please leave a comment below!

sunday meal prep + a grocery list so you can follow along!

Hey everyone! I’m so excited to be bringing you this week’s meal prep! Not only does it include some of my favorite dishes, but now you can use the free downloadable grocery list so you can make this meal prep for yourself! Right now the list is just for the main dishes…I would love to know what you think and if you would like me to expand that to include all of the rest of the prep as well. 🙂

Enjoy!
Meal prep easier than ever with my new downloadable grocery list! Now you can follow along with my prep with ease and eat healthier all week long!

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sunday meal prep 10/2/16

Hey all! I am SO excited to be back to my normal blogging routine and to be sharing this week’s meal prep with you! This week’s prep was full of tasty recipes, both new and old, and a lesson learned. Now, if you have been following along over on Instagram during my absence, you may have noticed that I have been having some fun on Stories each Sunday! I am loving going through each step of my meal prep and giving a behind-the-scenes look at how I prepare our meals every week. If you are wanting some ideas for how to go about your own prep, you should definitely check it out!

And now, on to this week’s meal prep!Use meal prep to save you time and money, plus eat healthier!

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sunday meal prep 8/14/16

Hey everyone! I hope you all are having a lovely weekend! Here things are pretty good…much better than they were during the week at least. I was kinda sidelined this week by a pretty nasty headache and my whole schedule was thrown off. It was severe enough that I actually got sent home due to how light and sound sensitive I was. No workouts and a lot of rest, quiet and dark for a few days and I’m back to normal! But it definitely threw my normal schedule off balance. It’s times like this that I really appreciate meal prep! Even though I couldn’t do much for a couple days we still had good healthy food!

Another exciting thing from the past week: Have you checked out Instagram Stories?! I am loving it! So, you may remember that my meal prep posts are actually staggered by one week from my actual meal prep (this week’s post is of last Sunday’s prep and so on). One thing I am having a lot of fun with on Stories is showing some behind the scenes stuff, including a sneak peek at my meal prep! Last week I did a step-by-step through how I go about my meal prep and what dishes I was making that week. So if you want a sneak peek or some ideas for how to streamline your meal prep, make sure you head over to my Instagram each Sunday for my meal prep process! What do you think of the whole Instagram Stories thing? You enjoying it so far?

Ok, so now that I have rambled on for a bit, let’s get on to this week’s meal prep! Enjoy!

How to use meal prep to plan ahead - Eat healthy, tasty food all week, You can even add in a bit extra to freeze for those future busy week's too!Read More

sunday meal prep 7/17/16

Happy Sunday all! I hope you are all having a lovely weekend! This week’s meal prep is mostly dishes you may have seen before, but there is one new recipe in the mix too! I had a lot going on last weekend, so I knew when I planned this menu that I didn’t want it to take too long. The end result: some recipes that were pretty quick to come together and worked well cooking at the same time. This meal prep ended up taking about 3.5 hours of active cooking time, but only about half of that was main dishes. The rest was  assembling our breakfast burritos, salads and snacks!

Enjoy!
Weekly meal prep can make your life so much easier! You can eat healthy, tasty food all week! It can help you hit your fitness goals and have more time to spend on the things you love! Click through to see my meal prep for one week and get some inspiration for your own!

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