Meal Prep Basics:
Why? Cook once and eat multiple times throughout the week! Save time, money, and most importantly, help you reach your health and weight loss goals!
30 minutes of weekend meal prep, can save 4 hours of weeknight prep.
If cauliflower can become pizza, gnocchi, and rice, you can DO anything!
Let's talk meal prep.... You have the groceries, now what?
Step 1: Choose 1-2 days out of your week where you can dedicate time to prep what you've bought.
Let's start with STARCH/GRAINS:
Grains can double, triple, or quadruple in size after cooking. Every week make 2-3 cups for quick meals throughout the week.
Examples of grains to cook: quinoa, wheat berries, farro, bulgur, freekeh, teff, amaranth, buckwheat, brown rice -- cooking instructions are indicated on the package.
How to use: Add to soups; Use as rice alternative; Use as morning breakfast bowl with honey and seeds; Add to salads; Serve grain as a side with sun dried tomatoes, spinach, and goat cheese; Make stuffed peppers with quinoa, beans, spinach, goat cheese, and dried apricot
Other starches: Cook multiple servings of potatoes and use in different ways throughout the week potato skins, mashed potatoes, fully loaded breakfast potato
1. Cook a rotisserie chicken in slow cooker or bake multiple chicken breasts in oven. Uses:
Toss in a salad
Strip apart and make pulled chicken sandwiches with BBQ sauce
2. Cook multiple servings of fish: flavor in different ways – coconut secret, Gold’s honey mustard, wasabi powder, tomato salsa, mango salsa
3. Make bean burgers or falafels as a grab and go lunch
4. Cook multiple hard boiled eggs
5. Make egg muffin or egg bake (recipe below)
6. Chicken, tuna, or salmon salad with hummus and chopped veggies.
Roast multiple servings of veggies per week
Cook squash - like butternut, kabocha squash, spaghetti squash, acorn - to use throughout the week. Winter squashes last about 3 months in your pantry.
Keep frozen veggies on hand as a safety stock! Microwave frozen cauliflower, blend in food processor and use as mashed potato replacement.
Now, let's look at some sample menus:
Quinoa can be used a side, added to soups, used a rice alternative, OR as a high fiber, filling, protein boost breakfast bowl.
Quinoa Breakfast Bowl
1 cup cooked quinoa + flavor add-in's, here are some suggestions, but use what's in your pantry
Spices: cinnamon, nutmeg, sea salt, cocoa powder
Sweeteners: fruit (bananas, frozen blueberries, dates) honey, pure maple syrup, coconut sugar, or skip!
Veggie add-in's: pumpkin puree, sweet potato, beet root powder
Protein/healthy fats: chia seeds, nut butters, avocado, Greek yogurt
Directions: Warm up quinoa and add in remaining ingredients. Enjoy!
Nutrition: Quinoa is a complete source a protein, meaning it contains all the amino acids your body needs. ½ cup is 155 calories, 6 grams of protein, 3 g of fiber
hard boil a dozen eggs, make egg muffins, or a delicious egg bake!
1 cup unsweetened nut or oat milk
1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic or 1/4 tsp garlic power
1/4 tsp salt
2-3 cups veggies you have on hand: ex. frozen spinach, broccoli, bell peppers etc.
Optional: sun dried tomatoes, cheese or dairy free alternative
Directions: Heat oven to 350°F. Coat bottom of 13x9-inch baking dish with oil.
In large bowl, beat eggs and nut/oat milk with whisk. If frozen, microwave veggies. Add all ingredients to egg mixture. Pour into baking dish. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until eggs are set. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
Sick of them? Add to tortillas with salsa and black beans for a Mexican style dish.
Cook multiple potatoes to use throughout the week. Tired of them as a side dish? Here’s how to enjoy them a little different!
Sweet Potato Pie Oatmeal
1/2 cup cooked and mashed sweet potatoes 1 tbsp sweetener of choice 1/2 cup cooked old-fashioned oats or quinoa 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract, if available Tiny pinch of salt Drizzle of nut or seed butter
Steps: Add all ingredients into bowl. Heat up and enjoy!
Need other recipes? Just warm up your potato, drizzle some peanut butter, add blueberries, and crushed cereal for a sweet potato breakfast bowl. OR use as potato topping for Shepard’s pie.
Oats, how healthy are they?
Oats contain soluble fiber which has shown to reduce cholesterol levels and can help stabilize blood sugar. Eating oats can reduce total cholesterol levels by 5-8%. In addition they have b vitamins, magnesium, and antioxidants! *oats have been shown to contain glyphosphate or RoundUp, choose organic varieties to reduce exposure.
Most grains double, tripe, or quadruple when cooked.
1 cup dry steel cut oats = 4 cups cooked (serving size 1 cup = 150-170 calories)
Slow Cooker Steel Cut Oats
1 cup organic steel cut oats
4 cups liquid of choice (water or nut/oat milks)
2 Tbsp cinnamon
2 Tbsp unsweetened 100% cacao
4 Tbsp powdered peanut butter
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
¼ tsp sea salt (optional)
1 apple, chopped
Sweetener (1/4 cup dates, 2 tbsp honey, or ½ cup prunes)
Optional toppings: almond butter, powdered peanut butter, yogurt, dried fruit
Directions: Place all ingredients in slow cooker. Place on low and cook for 6-8 hours or 3-4 hours on high.
Make it ahead and reheat leftovers: refrigerate leftovers, and reheat individual servings in the microwave. Spoon a 1-cup serving of cooked oatmeal into glass bowl, cook on high for 1 minute. Breakfast is ready!
Eat it cold? Studies show eating certain starches cold, can lower blood sugar spikes because they contain more resistant starches .. the starch is resistant to digestion
Freeze & reheat. Make a double batch and freeze it in individual portions. To reheat, cook on half power for 1 minute. Use a fork to break it apart into smaller chunks, add 1/3 cup milk, and microwave approx. 1-2 more minute more, or until heated through.
Lunches & Dinners that save $$$$$
Lentil Sloppy Joe's
1 cup lentils
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 red onion, chopped
1 Tbsp chia seeds
¼ tsp cumin
½ cup organic ketchup
1 cup spinach (fresh or frozen)
1 cup water (reserve from lentils)
¼ cup tomato paste
2 carrots, chopped
½ cup mushrooms
Place 1 cup lentils in pot with 3 cups water. Bring to boil. Simmer covered for 20 minutes.
While lentils are cooking, sauté garlic, onions, spinach, and carrots in pot.
Once lentils are done cooking reserve 1 cup of excess liquid. Drain remaining liquid.
In pot with sauté mix, add in drained lentils, ketchup, hot sauce, reserved water, tomato paste, cumin, and chia seeds. Let simmer for 15 minutes or until sauce thickens.
Enjoy on whole wheat bread!
LENTIL TACO TUESDAY
Left over lentils
Onion & garlic
Spices: ½ tbsp Mrs. Dash fiesta lime seasoning, ½ tbsp cumin, 1 tsp chili powder
1/2 cup Greek or Icelandic yogurt (recommend Siggi's or Fage)
1 cup salsa
1-2 tbsp guacamole per serving
Serve: whole grain tortillas or taco shell
On high heat, sauté onion & garlic, add water as needed to prevent burning. Add spices and cooked lentils. Add 1/2 cup lentil mixture into tortilla or taco shell. Top with yogurt, lettuce, salsa and guacamole.
Spicy Lentil Burgers
Double the recipe to save even more time for your hectic work week!
1 cup cooked lentils or any bean you have in your pantry
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 red onion, chopped
2 Tbsp fresh basil
1/3 cup raw oats
¼ tsp cumin
3 Tbsp organic ketchup
1 Tbsp Frank’s RedHot original
Place lentils, garlic, onions, and basil in food processor. Blend until smooth. Add in oats, cumin, ketchup and hot sauce, egg. Mix well and form into patties. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 mins!
1 cup fresh parsley
½ cup fresh cilantro
1/2 red onion
3 large cloves garlic
1 large lemon, juiced
1/4 tsp sea salt + black pepper
1- ¼ tsp cumin
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1 can chickpeas, drained
½-3/4 cup ground raw walnuts OR raw oats
1 egg yolk
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Add parsley, cilantro, onion, garlic, lemon juice, cumin, cinnamon, and a pinch each salt and pepper to a food processor and mix to combine.
Add chickpeas and pulse until incorporated but still slightly chunky.
Transfer to a mixing bowl and add nut meal or oats mix until a loose dough is formed that's firm enough to be handled. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Once done, add in egg.
Take 1-2 tbsp and form into balls OR form into 4 large patties about 1/2-inch thick.
Place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper and refrigerate or freeze for 15 minutes to firm up.
If balls, bake for 15 mins if patties bake for 30-40 minutes. Flip once at the halfway point for even cooking.
Serve with Toufayan whole wheat organic sprouted pita pockets, chopped tomato, lettuce, sweet onion, parsley, and tzatziki
Protein (choose 1)
¼ cup of tuna in water
¼ cup wild salmon
½ cup mashed beans