Meal Prep 4 | Morefitme

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I am thoroughly enjoying this weeks menu! The seafood gumbo is so flavorful, the mini breakfast casseroles are so very easy and filling, and the peanut butter yogurt dip is always a favorite. Last night’s salmon was delicious and I am looking forward to the other meals I have planned.

Meal Plan Template

Meal prep was pretty involved this week, but it is is well worth the labor. I practically made all of my food for the week and so far that is a good thing. I made sure to freeze half of the gumbo for latter in the week and I plan to eat Banana Nut Oatmeal for breakfast over the weekend. The video below shows all of my prep in great detail:

I decided to use quite a few recipes this week. I am still on my quest to try 50 new recipes this year, and this weeks are welcome additions to my arsenal. Below I have included links to recipes from the video as well as on he meal plan above.

Mini Breakfast Casserole

Seafood Gumbo  (I used shrimp, lump crab meat, and andouille sausage for my meat)

She Hulk Green Smoothie

Giada’s Herbed Chicken

Peanut Butter Yogurt Dip

2 cups Vanilla Greek Yogurt
2/3 cup Natural Peanut Butter

Mix well and store. Serves 10 in 1/4 cup portions.

Please feel free to share some of your favorite recipes with me!

#whatiatemonday | Vegetable Fajitas

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This past week, the favorite Instagram post from my #whatiatemonday series was a tie between Vegetable Fajitas and a Green Smoothie. I’ve talked about green smoothies before, so I decided to share a recipe for Vegetable Fajitas. veggie fajita dinner

I reserve two dinners a week as meatless meals, this means that I have really been stepping out of my box for dinners. A couple of months ago, I made fajita vegetables for a burrito bowl. I was rooting through my fridge, saw some tortillas and it hit me, Vegetable Fajitas!!! Well let me say, I haven’t looked back! This delicious treat is a hit not just for me, but for the man in my life as well. fajita veggies

I love to pair a colorful assortment of fajita vegetables with well seasoned beans for a filling delicious treat. I also love pickled jalapeno’s and will take any excuse to use them. Sometimes I top my fajitas with pico de gallo or guacamole or any number of options. The most important ingredients are beans, tortillas, and vegetables. Other than that, the options are endless! This recipe is for two, with 4 loaded fajitas total: Veggie Fajitas rc

I like to use beans that I have cooked in a tomato sauce or a sofrito as the base in my fajitas, but you can still just open a can and season well. I try to stay away from refried beans as a healthier approach to tasty food. Let me know what meatless meals you enjoy as I am always looking for new recipes to try!

Meal Prep 3 | Morefitme

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This meal prep is for week two of my DietBet challenge, and it took a little longer than last week. My homemade breakfast sandwiches were delicious and a perfect compliment to my morning green smoothie. However, the star of the week for me was…..the Taco Salad! I love, love, love Trader Joe’s spice mixture, it is truly delightful. As you will be able to see, the meal prep I did Sunday really helped with my meals for the week (check out the meal plan below):Meal Plan Template

Check out the meal prep video below to see what I made ahead for such an easy week:

Cooking Tips:

  • Be sure not to overcook the eggs, check them at about 10 minutes
  • Cover breakfast sandwiches with foil before putting them in the Ziplock bag to freeze
  • This weeks protein bars hold better at room temperature
  • Check roasting broccoli frequently as it overcooks quickly
  • The taco salad is delicious with Cilantro Dressing

Homemade Protein Bars
2 cups rolled oats
5 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
4 tablespoons Biscoff spread
4 servings Whey Protein

1. Combine all ingredients, mix thoroughly
2. Spread over parchment paper in a shallow baking pan
3. Freeze for 30 minutes or refrigerate for an hour
4. Once set, cut into 12 bars

Puerto Rican Style Beans
2 tablespoons oil
2 tablespoons Recaito
1/2 cup strained tomatoes
1/4 of a butternut squash or calabeza
1/2 cup water
1 can Chickpeas or pink beans
1/2 tsp salt
Jalapeno’s, capers, or olives
Handful of Cilantro
*Optional Sazon Culantro y Achiote

1. Heat oil over medium heat in a skillet
2. Once warm add Recaito and simmer for 1 or two minutes
3. Add strained tomatoes and cook until oils release (about 5 minutes)
4. Add water and squash, cover and cook for 10 minutes or until squash is tender
5. Add, sazon culantro y achiote, salt, beans and jalapeno peppers, mix thoroughly
6. Cover, turn the heat down to a simmer and let cook for 10 minutes
7. Garnish with cilantro

* This product contains msg

Mason Jar Salads | My Favorites

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photo 2-1This summer, up until September I have been eating salads that I take to work in Mason Jars for lunch. I was able to eat a different salad each week, which kept me from getting bored and happy to try this again next summer. I thought I would just share some of my favorite ingredients for those who want to get into Mason Jar Salads.

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Protein:
Chicken
Roast Beef
Quinoa
Black Beans

Veggie’s:
Heirloom Tomatoes
Green Onion
Yellow, Red, Orange Bell Pepper
Cucumber
Avocado

Fruit:
Strawberries
Grapes
Dried Cranberries

Nuts:
Slivered Almonds
Pecans

Cheeses:
Gorgonzola
Blu Cheese
Herbed Feta

Lettuce:
Spinach
Organic Girl Power Green
Romaine

I tried other ingredients, but the above are my favorites. My salad ingredient ratio combo is usually:
Protein
2 Veggies
Optional Fruit
Tablespoon Nuts
Tablespoon Cheese
Serving of Greens

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I never put my salad dressing in the jar, so I will do a separate post about my favorite salad dressings. Plus I always use quinoa and beans together for a great dose of protein. I kept a box of plastic forks and paper plates at work all summer, and was asked just about every day what salad and dressing I was eating that week.  These salads are quite high in good, healthy, sustainable calories. They are multi-vitamins in a jar, they are filling, they look gorgeous and are very easy to take to work.  Give it a try! What are your favorite’s?photo 3-4

The Refrigerator | 90 Day Challenge

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I have decided to take on the idea from my last post for 90 days. Every week I will religiously prep and plan (which I do for grocery shopping anyway).   I plan to use Mason Jars and Glass Lock containers like these:

 

The meal prep containers will contain exactly that, preparatory food for the week. That means that these containers will have the ingredients that I usually use in my dinners plus whatever I need for meals that week, the usual prep ingredients will include:

  • sliced red onion
  • pre-cut broccoli (sprouting lid)
  • pre-cut cauliflower (sprouting lid)
  • cubed bell pepper
  • cubed sweet potato (in filtered water)
  • red cabbage (sprouting lid)

In the eat containers, I plan to keep my regular fruits and vegetables, which include snacks and lunch sides. I LOVE fruit, so I will keep some fruit in my fruit basket on the counter as usual, but I also plan to keep a seasonal berry and another fruit that needs to be refrigerated in the fridge, these include:

  • celery sticks (in filtered water)
  • sliced bell pepper
  • berries
  • pineapple (melons, etc.)
  • boiled eggs

Lastly, the ready to go portion of my refrigerator will include:

  • Curry Sauce (homemade)
  • Vegetable broth (homemade)
  • 5 oz leafy greens
  • Pesto
  • Hummus
  • Lunch (which is often left over dinner)
  • Greek Yogurt

My crisper drawers will hold overflow for refilling, cheese, and herbs. Combined with the changes I have made to my pantry, this should work quite well to keep my eating clean. I tested this idea yesterday for snacks and dinner, I have tangerines and apples lying around, so I snacked on them and nuts (homemade granola recipe review coming soon). My tester began Sunday when I made an Indian curry sauce and put it in my fridge:

curry sauce

I took it out of my refrigerator, a can of beans and my pearl couscous from the pantry. I set the couscous to cooking and threw the beans in a pan covered it in curry sauce for warming, and 5-10 minutes later, I had a complete meal. Next time I will add bell pepper and record the process.

meal prep

It was so easy!!!!!!! My snacking was pretty brainless, and dinner included a grain and protein, next time I will add a veggie for a completely nutritious meal in no time. The great thing about curry sauce is that it can be used on beans, meat, and veggies and I use curry sauce often, so its something I feel safe keeping in my refrigerator. Plus I can make many different types of curry sauces thus keeping things interesting.

I was on the fence before last night, but now, I am pretty sure that this is a good step for me. Anyone else wanna join me and tell me your experience with this method along the way? The original blog that I found this pic on that explains the premise behind this idea is “Our Mindful Home.”

Crock Pot Happiness | Early Christmas Gift

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I was speaking with my mom last week concerning my need for a crock pot because I so frequently make soup. Plus I could throw a whole chicken in there and have one for dinner, and so many other options. Well, my mom knows that I am always making soup, and she wants to partake as well, so she said well, why don’t I buy you a crock pot. I said, please do! So she bought me a crock pot from Kohl’s and I christened it last week with Turkey soup. I kept half and gave half to my parents.

beans

Today I added some beans and things to the pot for dinner. I am making a multiple bean soup, I filmed it so I will post that video eventually. I don’t know what to eat with it, cornbread seems a bit much as far as health goes, but that is what I would usually eat with bean soup. Any suggestions?

The Verdict | Dry Bulk Goods

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I am constantly re-evaluating my bulk goods usage. Using my bulk goods to determine whether or not its worth keeping things in my pantry and recently conclusions have been reached. Let’s begin with the Mason Jars.

1. Red Lentils: Keep

I constantly make a dish with red lentils once a month. They are easy to make, can be used in many ways and are great fillers for meals. I have been through two jars, I currently only have a 1/3 of a third jar left, so I will continue to keep Red Lentils as  part of my bulk food storage.

2. Chickpeas: Re-purpose

I do not soak and cook beans enough to justify their place in a Mason Jar. I more frequently use canned beans because I usually make beans on impulse. I do eat beans a couple of times a month, all different kinds. Resultantly, the beans in my jars rarely get used. Meaning, it makes more sense for me to keep canned beans in my pantry.

3. Popcorn: Keep

This one is a must!  really do eat quite a bit of popcorn and I may buy a large Mason Jar for popcorn storage because I find myself filling my current Mason Jar quite frequently. Its definitely a must have for me.

4. Kidney Beans: Re-purpose

Its the same story here. I like beans and eat them frequently enough, but I rarely soak and cook beans. I will keep canned Kidney Beans on hand, but once these are done, I will put something else in this jar.

6. Wasabi Peas: Keep

I consistently put Wasabi Peas in my homemade trail mix. Its a must! No way will I stop eating this sweet treat, so I will keep my little jar stocked up.

7. Pasta & Rice: Keep

I have brown rice, brown Basmati Rice, and brown rice pasta. All of these work well for me. When I make saucy chicken dishes, Basmati Rice is ideal. When I make dishes where I just need a filling grain side, I read for brown rice or quinoa. I make a pasta dish every couple of weeks with whatever type of pasta I have, and I always try to keep red sauce and spaghetti on hand for last minute food ideas. I also keep Egg Noodles on handle for my frequent impromptu Chicken Noodle soup.

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8. Israeli Couscous: Re-purpose

This jar is just about as full as it originally was. I need to purposefully use that couscous and then not purchase it again. I simply find myself going for the Semolina version of Couscous with much more frequency than I do the large round ball option (Israeli option). Thusly, I will replace that with hemp hearts once I run out.

9. Couscous (Semolina): Keep

I like this version of couscous because it truly takes flavor quite well. Just needs the addition of hot water to be ready for consumption and lasts longer because it is such a fine grainy substance.

10. Quinoa: Keep

I had tri-color Quinoa, and then I move to just one color, but either way, Quinoa is a must in my pantry. Its a great grain that soaks up flavor, is packed with nutrition and is filling. Yep, I will keep this stocked in my pantry.

11. Rolled Oats: Keep

Yea, I need these in my life. Its funny because I do not Oatmeal. Cooked oats does not appeal to me, its a consistency issue. However, raw oats in Yogurt equals breakfast perfection, lunch ease, and a tasty sweet snack. I have yet to get the courage to put oats in my smoothies, maybe one day.

12. Milled Flaxseed: Re-purpose

I prefer to get my flax in Omega pills or by chewable vitamins. I rarely put this in my smoothies because I do not like the affect it has on the taste of my smoothie. Its not nearly as cheap as everything else in my bulk food storage, so I am going to use that jar for something else in the future.

12. Chia Seeds: Keep

I almost always add a tablespoon of Chia seeds to my cream of wheat and my green smoothies. They are so filling, filled with nutrients, and, are for the most part, flavorless.

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So I’m keeping a little over half of the items in my bulk storage and re-purposing the jars for the rest of the items. If I see anything else I want to try, I will, but of the moment, the only swap will be hemp hearts.