Meal Prep 5 | Morefitme

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I kept things simple for meal prep because I want fresh ingredients for my meals this week. For breakfast I am having my favorite breakfast bowl (will do a recipe card later this week), which requires a good bit of chopping to save time in the mornings. Otherwise, the meal prep was mostly chopping to skip the prep step in the evenings. I was able to hit my freezer up for beans, rice and meaty marinara sauce, which means my beginning of the month prep is not going to waste. As you can see below, meals this week are best if prepared in the moment:Meal Plan

This time I misspoke in the video. The fajita vegetables I prepared are for burrito bowls, but the same principles apply. Fresh cooked veggies are really the most flavorful and nutritious. Like I stated, this weeks meal prep was simple and finished in under an hour due to frozen ingredients. Details can be seen in the video below:

 

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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

Groceries and Meal Prep | Healthy Eats

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I haven’t shared a grocery haul or meal prep in awhile, so I decided to film my meal prep last week. I prepared for breakfast, lunch and snacks, not dinner. I enjoy cooking, and I have time to cook dinner every day, so I do not feel the need to prepare anything. Instead, I ensure that I have all of the ingredients I need for a simple and enjoyable cooking experience.

The video begins with a grocery haul and goes straight into meal preparation:

Check out my Instagram for pictures of what I am eating on a day to day basis, as well as the fitness I engage in.

Freezer Staples | Making Healthy Eating Easy and Cheaper

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I have come to realize that the most practical way to purchase healthy food on a budget is by purchasing items that will be held in my freezer. This also makes cooking for one easy as well.

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In my last post I spoke about my soup files, which have really made lunch easy. With the remainder of my freezer staples I kept that same meal portions concept in mind.

First up, Chicken Breast. I eat chicken every week in soups, curries, wraps, etc, so I wanted to find a good economical frozen bag of breast fillets. However, I still wanted hormone free, organic chicken packaged with as few preservatives as possible. I went to my three favorite stores for purchasing meat, perused their selection, and chose the best option.
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Of the options, Trader Joe’s won, hands down. This 2lb bag of frozen breast meat is hormone free , there are no preservatives, and is individually frozen (meaning I don’t have to pry stuck pieces of chicken apart. Each breast is 4oz., which for me is a perfect portion. Continuing with meat, seafood and beef.

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I live in Florida with easily accessible, cheap seafood, so it’s a must in my life. I go to the market, buy a few large fillets, cut them into the portions I need and freeze them in water (keeps frost bite away). For example, I bought one sizeable Salmon fillet and cut it into 4 portions ($6.99/lb), a good size Mahi Mahi fillet (9.99/lb, cost $7 that day) and cut it into two portions, and a pound of Bay Scallops (5.99/pound) portioned into 4 clumps. I froze each portion separately and ended up with about a months worth of seafood. I also purchased a pound of lean ground beef from Trader Joe’s (5.99/lb), seasoned and froze it in two separate portions (spaghetti and stuffed peppers).

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Last of the seafood is frozen shrimp. I almost bought shrimp from the same seafood market, but my sister pointed out that the bag from the Publix Frozen food section is peeled and deveined, which will make those tired nights easier, so I splurged and purchased the one pound bag for $18.99. Seems expensive, but when you do the portion math, it’s not so bad, none the less it’s a splurge. Next up was Smoothie fruit:

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My sister kindly pointed out to me that I could purchase a 5 lb bag of mixed fruit from Sam’s Club for $10.98, and that was that. I make a green smoothie daily and this bag of frozen fruit is by far more economical than anything else I was purchasing. I still add a piece of fresh fruit to my smoothie (banana, mango, avocado or pear), and save lots of money. Last but not least is veggies:

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I was hesitant to purchase frozen veggies because they do not have as much flavor as the fresh variety, but the nutritional value is higher, so I decided to give it a try. Economically, Walmart wins with these three pound bags of Bird’s Eye veggies are $2.99 a piece. As you can see I am almost done with one of the bags. These are so easy to steam, throw in a stir fry, noodles or curry dish. They have cut down on cooking and prep time tremendously.

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I have to admit that while economical, they do not have as much flavor as their never frozen counterparts. Plus, pesticides and preservatives, well you decide. None the less, these freezer staples have made life sooooooo much easier. My weekly grocery spending is sooooo much cheaper and meal planning now starts with the freezer!

Meal Planning | Dinners

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I have written about trying out the meal planning idea on ourmindfulhome.com, by prepping my meals each week in the refrigerator. That worked ok for awhile, but it didn’t really allow for much variance. I decided to figure something else out by way of monthly meal planning.

As I have written for the last couple of weeks, I pretty much have breakfast, lunch and green smoothies down. They have a level of variance, but there are always options for those meals in my house, I simply replace ingredients as they run out. Plus, the ingredients for those meals tend to hold up well in the pantry or get used frequently in the refrigerator. That meant that I really just had to figure out dinner.

Accordingly, I decided to plan  my meals monthly, thus having a more global view of what I will need each month. For example, on April 1 I planned 15 meals, which will allow for leftovers, eating out once a week, or choosing soup for lunch. This month the list includes:

April
1. Chicken & Shrimp Stir Fry
2. Wings w/veggies
3. Stuffed Peppers
4. Stuffed sweet potato
5. Veggie Quesadilla
6. Shrimp Scampi or Scallops
7. Chicken and broccoli w/pasta
8. Spaghetti w/beef
9. Chicken Masala w/grains
10. Thai chicken w/grains
11.Mahi w/veggies and grains
12. Salmon w/veggies and grains
13. Tacos
14. Cornish Hen
15. Rosemary Chicken w/grains and veggies

Each week, on Sunday, I pick three meals for the week and begin making my grocery list from there. So far this month:

Week 1
Stuffed Peppers (MT)
Spaghetti (WR)
Thai Chicken (FSun)

Week 2
Salmon (MW)
Quesadilla, Tacos (TR)
Mahi (FSun)

This week will be:

Week 3
Mahi MW
Chicken Masala w/grains (TR)
Scallop & Shrimp Stir Fry (FSun)

I will write about my freezer later as it is stocked full, but this is working well for me. This plan allows for a lot of variety and allows me to use any leftover ingredients that may go bad that week. Plus, my weekly grocery bill has gone down quite a bit. At the end of the month, I think I will find that I have cut it in half! This means that this method is a win for me.

Healthy Eats | Groceries & Meal Plan

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This week I plan to bake a whole Chicken Monday and use it for dinner 5 days out of the week. This will be the first time I try this, but it seems like it will be simple and easy.

Meals 3-2

I had food left over from this past week, so I didn’t need to buy much this week to plan my meals. It is always easier to plan meals when I use what I already have in my pantry.

Posts to come:
Fitness Update

Progress Pics

Yoga

2014 Races

Recipe Reviews

Challenges

Plans

Healthy Eat | Groceries & Meal Plan

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MONDAY

TUESDAY

WEDNESDAY

THURSDAY

FRIDAY

SATURDAY

SUNDAY

Breakfast

Green

Smoothie

w/toast

Green

Smoothie

w/toast

Green

Smoothie

w/toast

Green

Smoothie

w/toast

Green

Smoothie

w/toast

 2 Eggs

w/toast

2 Eggs

w/toast

Snack

Fruit

Fruit

Fruit

Fruit

Fruit

Fruit

Fruit

Lunch

Beef

Rollup

w/fruit

Lentil

Soup

w/small

Salad

Lentil Soup

w/small salad

Lemon

Dressing

Chicken curry

Quinoa

Chicken curry

Quiona

Green

Smoothie

w/beef roll-up

Green Smoothie

w/beef roll

 

Snack

Options:

Granola

Popcorn

Chips&Salsa

Options:

Granola

Popcorn

Chips&Salsa

Options:

Granola

Popcorn

Chips&Salsa

Options:

Granola

Popcorn

Chips&Salsa

Options:

Granola

Popcorn

Chips&Salsa

Options:

Granola

Popcorn

Chips&Salsa

Options:

Granola

Popcorn

Chips&Salsa

Dinner

Spaghetti

Squash

w/red sauce

Steamed
Veggies

Quinoa

Chicken curry

Green beans

Lettuce

Cup

Tacos

Valentine’s

Day

Lettuce

Cup

Tacos

Bean

Soup

Small salad