Meal Prep 2 | Morefitme

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Another week and a new meal prep video. Instead of cooking meals, I like to prepare ingredients to make putting meals together simple during the week. I like cooking fresh meals each day, so I pretty much always cook dinner, with the exception of bean or curried dishes as they taste better once they sit for a day. This week’s menu is as follows:Meal Planner

 

I added my list of groceries and headed to the store. Once home, I made a list of what I needed to prep for a quick and organized Sunday. I filmed my meal prep, video is below:

Cooking Tips

  • Leave chicken to brine for at least an hour, but no more than 2.5 hours
  • Frequently check roasting vegetables, flavor is lost if overcooked
  • For eggs, I heat water with eggs until it boils, then turn off and let sit covered for 13 minutes
  • I freeze extra rice in two portions in Ziplock bags

Recipes
Banana Nut Oatmeal (link will be active tomorrow)

Chicken Brine
1/2 c Salt
1/2 c Sugar
1 tblsp Pepper
3 tblsp Mrs. Dash Onion & Herb Seasoning
3 Cloves Garlic
2 Quarts Water

1. Dissolve sugar and salt in water
2. Marinate chicken in brine for no more than 2 hours and 30 minutes
3. Remove chicken from brine and cook as desired

Protein Bars
5 tblsp Creamy Peanut Butter
2 c Rolled Oats
1/2 c Almond milk
4 Servings Protein Powder

1. Mix ingredients thoroughly
2. Flatten mixture on parchment paper
3. Freeze for 30 minutes or refrigerate for one hour
4. Once set, divide bars and store

 

In the Kitchen | Mom’s Chicken & Rice

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I made my mothers chicken and rice the other day and I decided to film and share. This is a delicious one pot meal that also works well within meal prep with protein, carbs and veggies.  This is also a meal that cooks itself, I often go for a quick run while my food simmers away. I hope you try the recipe, and please share your recipes for Chicken and Rice with me!

Mom’s Chicken & Rice

Serving Size: yield’s 4 portions

Ingredients:

2 tbsp OliveOil
4 Chicken Thighs
1 cup Brown Rice
1 medium Onion
2 stalks of Celery
2 cups Chicken Broth/Stalk
2 tsp minced Garlic
1 tsp Poultry Seasoning
2 tsp Thyme
1 tsp Garlic Powder
1 tsp Onion Powder
1 Bay Leaf
1/2 tsp Turmeric
Salt and Pepper to taste

1. Warm olive oil in pan over medium heat.

2. Salt chicken on both sides and add to warm pan. Let the chicken brown on both sides (about 3 minutes per side).

3. Remove chicken and set aside. Add onion, celery, and garlic to the pan and cook until the onions are translucent.

4.  Add brown rice and spices. Stir continuously for one minute.

5.  Add chicken broth, bay leaf and chicken. Bring the mixture back to a boil.

6. Taste. Cover and turn the heat down to a simmer. Simmer for 30-40 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed and the chicken falls off of the bone.

Fluff the rice and Enjoy!!!

Tip: If you want the recipe to be even simpler, add 2 Tablespoons of Poultry seasoning when you add spices, but don’t forget to salt the chicken.

Meal Prep | 7.20.2014

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Last weekend I was able to prep for the week in about two hours. It was quite interesting to see the amount of fruits and vegetables I was going to consume for the next week laid out on my table.

veggie table

I can say that I ate quite clean last week, and I enjoyed my food. When all was said and done I ended up with lunch for the week, green drinks prepped for the week and two meals (a total of 5 meals).

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This made my week so very very breezy! It was my first time fully preparing dinner for the week, and it worked out very well. All I had to do was warm things up! After a long day, it was quite refreshing to come home to a tasty prepared meal. Anyways, the video is below:

Breakfast: Ceareal in Almond Milk

Lunch: Mason Jar Salads (Cobb inspired)

Dinners: Vegetable curry, Salmon and veggies, Mahi Mahi and veggies

Green Drink: Mean Green

Healthy Eats | Red Lentil Soup

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Yields: 4 servings

Ingredients:

1 tblsp Oil

1 cup red lentils

1/8 cup brown rice

1/2 medium onion

Chili pepper to taste

2 /12 cup water

3 cloves garlic

1 tsp Coriander

1 tsp Turmeric

1 tblsp Cumin

1/4 Chili powder (Ideally Kashmiri)

1 tsp Salt

Lemon juice to taste

Directions:

1. Heat the oil over medium heat.

2. Add onion, chili pepper and garlic. Let cook for a minute or until the onions begin to sweat.

3. Add spices and let cook for 30 seconds.

4. Add rice, lentils, and water; bring to a roiling boil.

5. Reduce heat to a simmer and let the lentils cook for 30-45 minutes or until done

6. Add salt and blend

Optional (highly recommended): To serve drizzle a bit of oil on top, lemon juice and cilantro

 

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.

 

 

Healthy Lunch-To Go

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As I’ve stated before, I do not always bring my lunch to work. Sometimes I order something from a nearby restaurant, or I stop at a grocery store on my way in to work.  For example, today I had yogurt and rolled oats for breakfast and I had no prepped lunch to take to work, so for lunch I called the Chinese restaurant near my job and asked for “Chinese” vegetables and brown rice. They said sure, it will be ready in a couple of minutes. This is no different than the vegetable medleys I make at home, I specifically call Chinese restaurants because the vegetables are not pulverized or covered to death in sauce which leaves them healthy. The brown rice is added as a filler, grains are filling. The vegetables alone would not leave me satisfied for more than an hour, but with the addition of brown rice, I have a healthy meal that will satisfy for hours.

chinese vegetables

Other options include:

-Sandwiches in lettuce wraps or on wheat bread (from Jimmy Johns, Subway, etc.)

-Soup from Panera, Publix, Whole Foods, Earth Fare, etc.

I am not into salad as a lunch entree as I do not find salads alone to be satisfying in the long term, but I do not mind soup and salad as a lunch option.

-I also enjoy Green Smoothies from Planet Smoothie, Tropical Smoothie, my local health food stores, with a side of fruit, the greens in the smoothie make it more satisfying in the long term

-Stir Fry’s are another great option, meat with veggies is never a bad idea.

The only things I stay away from are fried foods, sodas, and sugars. I firmly believe you can easily eat healthy away from home, it may cost a little more (although it doesn’t have to), but in my book, its work any extra cost.

 

*On a side note, I am going to start posting my tastier green smoothie recipes as I make them under the Favorite Recipes tab above.