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

 

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SO Over Salad…On to Sandwiches

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My summer salad binge has come to a close, and now I want sandwiches. Yes, I have been eating sandwiches for lunch, basically since September began. I love Vegetarian sandwiches, I enjoy meat, but I find veggie sandwiches just have a lot more flavor. Plus, I will use any excuse to pile alfalfa sprouts onto a sandwich!

For my sandwiches, I like to start by taking a trip to Whole Foods Market and purchasing a fresh loaf of bread. No white bread for me, I like the nutrients that grain breads provide. Then I head over to the olive bar and pick up Peppadew peppers. If you’ve never had them, go find some, they are divine!

Then I head either to Publix or Trader Joe’s and pick some innards. I like to use Honey mustard or Hummus as a spread for my bread, and I always have a slice of cheese (usually Pepper Jack, Provolone, or Monterey Jack). As stated above, Alfalfa Sprouts are a must. The rest of the ingredients change based on what I am feeling, but its usually some combination of Avocado, Bell Pepper, Cucumber, Pickles, Tomato, and/or Onion. I don’t add any leafy greens, instead I leave those to my daily green smoothie.

I usually take some fruit, veggies and potato chips as a side. I mean, I literally take a Tupperware container and put a little of each into the small container. That strategy tends to keep me from eating too much of one thing. For my next food post, I will compile a list of my summer Mason Jar salad’s, plus I will talk a little about Salad Dressing.

Lunch | Mason Jar Salads

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Its warmer outside, and for the moment, I have had enough of soup and am happy with salads. I saw the Mason Jar salad idea on Pinterest last year and thought that would be the easiest take to work route. I have plenty of pint size Mason Jars, so I cleaned them, dried them with Microfiber towels and filled them to the brim.

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I live in Florida, so I knew that I was going to head to the Farmers Market to pick all of my veggies up at the lowest price.   I purchased Romaine lettuce, baby tomatoes, cucumber, and red bell pepper; I went to Sam’s Club and picked up a pound of Organic Baby Spring Mix; then I went to Trader Joe’s and picked up a whole chicken, gorgonzola crumbles, pecan pieces and almond slivers. With all of this stocked in my fridge and internet research, I put together 5 salads for the week.

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Week 1

I put the salad dressing in a separate little container because I just wanted to be sure my salad didn’t go bad before I was ready to eat it. To cook the chicken, I woke up Saturday, put the whole chicken in my crock pot along with some onion and spices and set it to high. I went for a run, cleaned my house and once finished my chicken was done! I then shredded all of the chicken off the bone, put the bone back in the crockpot, added water and things and made broth for freezing. The next day I took the chicken out, plus the various veggies, cheeses and Voila! I must say that this is working beautifully!

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Week 2

This is my second week of Mason Jar Salads, and boy oh boy is this a winner. I simply take a plastic fork with me to work, paper plates can be found at my job, so this is easier than the soup because I do not have to microwave anything. The possibilities with salads are endless, not to mention salad dressing. I am loving these salad’s and will continue with this route until I want something else. I will share my favorite salad combos and dressing as I go.

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!

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