Sunday Meal Prep March 19, 2017

Hey everyone! Before we get going, I want to talk a bit about meal planning for your prep. This week really reminded me of how important it is to build up a list of recipes you really like! While some weeks you might feel inspired or be craving something in particular, there are going to be weeks where nothing sounds particularly interesting. For those weeks, having your list of go-to recipes helps so much!

This week was one of the uninspired weeks for me. I had a really hard time making my plan for this meal prep. Draz didn’t have any requests this week and nothing was coming to mind that I really wanted for the coming week. Enter Pinterest! This is seriously my favorite tool ever for meal prep. I’ve been menu planning for years and for the majority of it I didn’t use Pinterest. It was all cookbooks, printed off recipes and the occasional Internet search. Now though? When I’m stuck, I just go to my “Recipes Made and Loved” recipe board and pick from there! It’s so much easier. If you haven’t started using Pinterest for your own meal prep planning, I highly recommend it.
And now, on to this week’s meal prep! Enjoy!

Get your week started off right with this healthy and budget-friendly meal prep!

This week’s meal prep was super quick and tasty, plus being pretty budget-friendly too. I don’t know how you can get more of a overall win than that!
I hadn’t made Sweet Potato Banana Bites in a while and I forgot just how much I love them! They are such a dessert-type snack, but still healthy and made with wholesome ingredients. One of the first things I made when I started meal prepping, they have been a favorite of mine for over 2 years now! I also whipped up some more protein balls for Draz, some cinnamon bread for our breakfast, and more Cheeseburger-inspired jar salads! Overall, not a bad set up for our snacks and my lunches for the week.
weekly-food-prep
For our main dishes, I made Slow Cooker Roasted Red Pepper Chicken Chili and Easy Skillet Chicken Cacciatore. I also altered this Kielbasa Hash. Our two chicken dishes both turned out delicious! That chili is still our favorite one and it just makes me happy every time I eat it. Plus is so easy to make and macros-friendly! The chicken cacciatore turned out well, though I kinda wish I had thought to make some rice or pasta to go with it….so much sauce!
healthy-food-prep-main-dishes
For the Kielbasa Hash, I am so happy with how this one turned out! I was honestly a little hesitant about using sweet potatoes. Other than the sweet potato banana bites, I haven’t found many recipes that really make me love sweet potatoes. But this one definitely does! The only change up I made was sweet potatoes for potatoes. Otherwise, I followed the recipe!
breakfast-hash-fried-eggs
I have a serious obsession with all things breakfast foods and this one is by far one of my favorites. Peppers, onions, turkey sausage and potatoes, all combined with fried egg? Perfection! I will admit, this one is a little higher in fat than I would prefer, but it was well worth it! If you are wanting to cut a little of the fat, you could probably forgo the eggs on top. (Which would be crazy and sad, but you could do it!)
Speaking of macros, here are the macros for this week’s meal prep!
healthy-weekly-meal-prep
Want to join in and make this meal prep for yourself? Get your grocery list here!

And that’s it for this week! What are you making for your meal prep this week? Any delicious sweet potato recipes? I would love to hear about them, so please leave a comment below!

Sunday Meal Prep March 5, 2017

Hey everyone!! Ok, so I can’t really contain my excitement about this week’s meal prep. This week has some awesome new recipes full of flavor and everything is super macros friendly. Which is great for me right now, because I just started a 10-week fitness challenge! I’m super excited about it and can’t wait to see how it changes up my progress! So this challenge has me a bit more focused on hitting my macros and eating healthy, energizing food every day and this week’s meal prep definitely satisfies!

Enjoy!

Get your week started off right with this healthy meal prep! Get all the details here, plus your free downloadable grocery list!

So first I want to introduce you to what might be my new favorite salad. Based on this recipe, this cheeseburger inspired salad is delicious! I will be making this again next week (and possibly for the foreseeable future)! It was AMAZING and so different from salads I have made before.

My salads were as follows (in each salad, bottom to top):

  • Bolthouse Farms Honey Mustard dressing
  • red onion, 1 Valsic Zesty Dill Pickle chopped, roughly 7 cherry tomatoes
  • a portion of the meat mixture that is in the recipe above
    • I use reduced sugar ketchup instead of regular ketchup
  • roughly 1 tbsp of fiesta blend shredded cheese
  • spring mixture salad greens

healthy-food-prep-mason-jar-salads-protein-balls-snacks

For our snacks this week I kept things pretty much the same, but I think they are going to be changing up soon too. But for now, our regular protein balls hit the spot (mine and his)! I was planning on making our new favorite muffins too, but sadly realized that I had mis-remembered how much rolled oats we had left….it was very sad and a good reminder to check the pantry when I’m making my grocery list!

For main dishes, this week was a fun mix of old favorites and new recipes! Draz requested this Slow Cooker Island Pulled Pork recipe, so that was automatically put on the menu. And happily, because I forgot just how tasty this one is!

  • For my pulled pork, I make it as a wrap using FlatOut Wraps, so that is what is included in the macros and on the grocery list. Draz likes them with onion hamburger buns, so those work well too if you prefer!

healthy-weekly-food-prep-main-dishes

He also asked for me to make some more Turkey and Bean Burritos. Those went straight into the freezer. They are great to have on hand! Here are the changes I make to this recipe:

  • I use 1.25 lb 97% lean ground turkey instead of 1 lb ground beef. This means that this recipe also makes a few more burritos than the original recipe states.
  • Low fat refried beans instead of regular
  • I don’t butter the tortillas
  • When I make them for me, I use FlatOut Wraps. Draz prefers regular flour tortillas. The macros below are using FlatOut Wraps.

The slow cooker dish of the week was Cashew Chicken. I hadn’t made this one in quite a while and it was a welcome change! I love how the cashews really soak in the flavor of the sauce! When served with jasmine rice they ended up a little higher in carbs than I would prefer, but not too bad. This could be remedied by making cauliflower rice instead if you want to! I thought about it, but honestly, I’m a little frustrated with that right now, so I opted not to make it.

  • I omitted the green onions this time and didn’t really notice much of a difference.
  • reduced sugar ketchup instead of regular ketchup

weekly-food-prep

Our new dish for the week was Skinny Bell Pepper Nachos! This was a nice twist on the normal stuffed bell peppers that I’ve made before and I really liked them! I did make the servings a bit small though and next time, I will probably go with a few fewer servings. I originally made this as 6 servings. Next time I will probably make it as 4, so that is what I’ve listed below for the macros. After all, that is how it ended up being eaten!

  • I used 1.25 lbs 97% lean ground turkey. I did have a little left over at the end
  • 4 bell peppers instead of 3
  • I didn’t measure the cheese and instead just sprinkled a small amount on each. I think it ended up coming out to roughly 3/4 c Fiesta Blend shredded cheese

Here is the macros breakdown for this week!

iifym-sunday-meal-prep

Want to give this menu a try? Get your grocery list here! This week I decided to change things up a little. You have two options to pick from for your grocery list, so you can do what works best for you!

Just the main dishes: 

All the food from this meal prep: 

That’s it for this week! What did you make for your meal prep? Any new recipes? I would love to hear about them, 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.
Share this Recipe

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 8/21/16

Hey everyone! I hope you all are having a lovely weekend! I have had a wonderful weekend, with the first ever Iowa BBG Meet-up, an easy meal prep (remember my posts are staggered by one week 🙂 ), a home movie-date with Draz and a lot of time working on my Etsy store!

Over the past few weeks I have been preparing for a weekend where things will be very off-schedule and I don’t know how much time I will have for meal prep. With a little planning though, we will still have awesome healthy food with very little to do that week! This week was the last of my prep for that upcoming week…. I added in some extra snacks and breakfast burritos for the freezer. And you can be sure that my freezer is pretty packed now!

One of the big advantages of meal prep to me is that I’m already thinking ahead to the coming week. So thinking a little farther ahead and looking at weeks that are going to be extra busy fits right in! Now, instead of looking at the coming weekend with stress about  my routine being all crazy and unknown, I know I am prepared. I can just be excited! This is a pretty big change for me, since I am very routine-based. It’s amazing how being organized can actually make you feel more free and flexible! Do you have any things like this that you do?

Anyways, this won’t be the last time you see me doing extra prep for a future event. This one has gone so well that I think I will be doing something similar for an even bigger event I have coming up next month! I will be attending my first blogging conference, so there will be very little time to meal prep all weekend! Plus I’m going to want to have some healthy food options to take with me for snacks and such, so that will be added in too. I’m so excited!

But now, 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!

For the snacks and treats, I tried a couple new recipes this week. Double Chocolate Dairy-free Ice Cream is a “nice” cream with only four ingredients! It was super easy to make! While Draz and I both say that this doesn’t taste like ice cream to us, we both thought it was pretty tasty! I will definitely be making it again 🙂 It’s a nice dessert that’s still healthy! Plus the fact that it’s made out of things that we always have on hand. (I have SO MANY bananas in the freezer!)protein-balls-sweet-potato-banana-bites-chocolate-nice-cream

The other new recipe was No Bake Maple Vanilla Latte Protein Balls, with a few small changes. I used whole wheat flour instead of almond meal and our protein powder is chocolate, not vanilla. I did add in the vanilla essence that was suggested as optional in the recipe as well. You might be shocked, but I think these might actually replace the Cookie Dough Protein Balls as our favorites! Draz seems to really like them and I love them!chocolate-nice-cream-protein-balls-mini-banana-muffins

Of course, I had to make up our favorites too! One batch of Cookie Dough Protein Balls, putting around half in the freezer to take out next week. Some Sweet Potato Banana Bites for me and I gotta tell you, I am loving the new change I made to this recipe! I was originally adding in Special Dark Chocolate Chips into the mix right before spooning it into the muffin tins. The last couple times I have been taking a square of unsweetened baking chocolate and chopping it up and adding that in instead. It’s not a huge change, but it has made a noticeable difference and I really like it!breakfast-burritos-grapes-cheese-mason-jar-salads

Our salads were pretty much our basic this week, though I did add a few cherry tomatoes into each of mine 🙂 They are tasty! Another two weeks of breakfast burritos and my grapes and cheese for the week were the same as always and just as tasty as ever!healthy-meal-prep-main-dishes

For our main dishes, I tried to keep things pretty basic this week, but I did try one new recipe: Butter Chicken Curry! I have to say, I loved this mild and saucy curry! I picked up some garlic naan to go with it and it was delicious! This will definitely be made again! That being said, we are still on the search for our favorite curry recipe. Draz like this one, but it wasn’t his favorite so far. Any suggestions?

Our other dishes were repeats for us: Thai Peanut Chicken Pasta (anyone surprised? :-p) and Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls. Both turned out wonderful! I did use some extra turkey in the Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls, just based on how the packages were weighed out. I really like how the Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls turned out, though I think I will try to spice it up a bit more next time.

So that’s it for this week! Do you have any events coming up soon where some meal prep in advance could make things easier? Have you ever tried that before? I love to hear your thoughts, so please leave a comment below!

sunday meal prep 8/7/16

Hey everyone! I hope you are all having a lovely weekend. Ours was good! My week has been pretty busy with some fun stuff…I restarted Kayla’s BBG 1.0 and have gotten some new jewelry made too! Our food was pretty simple this week and didn’t take too long to make either.

Enjoy!

Get some inspiration for how you can use meal prep to eat healthier and make more time for the things you love!Read More

Meal Planning: A Beginner’s Guide

Getting-started-meal-planning

So you all know just how much I love meal planning. After all, it’s the first step to meal prep! I’ve been doing meal planning for years! A lot longer than I have been meal prepping. I grew up in a home that did meal planning every week. My parents still do!

I’m excited to say that today I’m talking about meal planning over at Sarah & Co! Head over to her lovely site and check out the full post!

sunday meal prep 7/10/16

Hey everyone! I hope you all had a lovely weekend! We have some storms going on here right now, but otherwise it has been a good weekend 🙂 I’ve been having some slight back issues again, so I’ve taken a couple extra rest days this week. If I take care of it early on, hopefully I will be back to full workouts this coming week! But enough about my week….now it’s time to talk about all the tasty food for this week’s meal prep!

Enjoy!

How to spend a few hours cooking on the weekend and have more time for the things you love!Read More

sunday meal prep 7/3/16

Hey everyone! Happy 4th of July weekend! I hope you are all having a wonderful long weekend (some of us in the US at least). Our weekend was actually pretty much the same as always, but that’s fine. Still got a lot done and had a great time! This week’s meal prep is actually another short one, but not for the same reasons as last time. Yay, I’m not sick anymore! But remember the pretty large amounts of food those quick and easy meals made last week? Well, we ended up with so much food that we ended up not needing as much this week! So I got to enjoy a weekend working on the blog and business, with a smaller amount of cooking 🙂 They were new recipes and turned out delicious!

Enjoy!

Spend less time in the kitchen and more doing the things you love! In 2 hours of active cooking you can make a delicious stir-fry, lentil soup and salads, plus enough snacks to last the whole week!Read More

DIY coffee rack

We all love to make our homes our own. To display the things that we love and create spaces that welcome us. That can be done a lot of different ways…thrift store shopping, antiquing, DIY, just regular shopping and more! And I would guess many of us like to do a mix of all of those. I know I do! For this project I decided to go the DIY route 🙂 It’s no secret that I love DIY decor. What you may not know about me is that I absolutely LOVE coffee! So when I realized I could make a space that combined those loves, I was all for it!
Our kitchen is one of the last rooms in the house that hasn’t really been remodeled. A few changes here and there, most of which were caused by changes in another room, but not an actual remodel. And well…my kitchen is not the prettiest kitchen ever! It’s stuck sometime from the 60s or 70s, with some of the weirdest wood paneling I have ever seen, no windows and dark cabinets. But we have made a few positive changes to it so far and one of them (recessing the refrigerator) opened up a space that I could play with!
DIY Coffee Rack
Super easy to make and gorgeous to look at, this DIY coffee rack is one of my favorite DIYs so far!

Read More