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Meal Prep

Yes, you read correctly. I made some buffalo this week. In hopes of impressing my ever-manly fiancé (think Khal Drogo meets Tarzan… that’s him) I thought to myself, what’s a sort of exotic meat I can likely execute in a dish this week? While strolling through Whole Foods over the weekend, I came across some ground buffalo and bam! Inspiration struck.

I’ve never cooked buffalo before, and I can’t really say I’ve ever eaten it either. Foodies everywhere rave about it being a lean, high protein meat so I figured why not give it a shot. I decided to incorporate it into a red meat sauce, adding some chopped spicy Italian sausage for a little kick and some sauteed carrots for a little crunch. I served the sauce over some spaghetti squash, which is delicious and light on it’s own and allows this hearty meat sauce to take center stage on your palette.

Did I mention this wound up being f*&#ing delicious? I mean, geez. I might start using buffalo in place of ground beef any chance I get at this point. And since this sauce is even more delicious the next day, it makes the perfect meal prep or sauce to throw in your freezer.

If spicy is not your thing, you can always swap for a mild Italian sausage, or go ahead and skip the sausage all together if you prefer!

Easy, lean, healthy, and delicious. Serve it over pasta, spaghetti squash, zucchini noodles, or layer it into some lasagna. I’m drooling already….

Scroll down for the recipe!

Prepped! Served over spaghetti squash, this makes a delicious meal prep for the week!

RECIPE:

465 calories per serving: 27g carbs/18g fat/37g protein

 

April 4, 2017
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I’m giving out big secrets to the internet today with this recipe. Well, maybe it’s not really a secret, but it’s been a cherished recipe in my family for decades (and continues to be). My grandmother is an Italian woman from New York – let’s preface this with that. Her cooking is ridiculously good and has inspired me to get creative in the kitchen my entire life.

Her turkey meatballs were always one of my favorite things she made when I was growing up. They are delicious over mashed potatoes (pictured), in red sauce over some pasta, or even chilled on their own as a mid-day protein snack! Seriously, these things are just so damn delicious. So of course I had to snag this recipe from her.

Cooking these bad boys are as easy and mixing a bunch of ingredients together, then popping them into the broiler until they turn brown and are cooked through. I always can’t help but sneak one off the baking sheet to “taste test” while they’re still hot, which always managed to burn my tongue. Happens every time, but these are so good I can’t wait for them to cool off before tasting them. For reals. Meatball crack over here, guys.

I make these meatballs several times a year – not are they just easy, delicious and versatile, but also they will also impress anyone who eats them. Impress some people with you cooking. Make them some meatballs. They might just become one of your family recipes after you try it….

March 6, 2017
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Sometimes you just need to keep it simple. And usually my meal prep is so simple already, but this one is truly as simple as it gets: chicken breast, potatoes and kale. With lots of flavor, of course!

A lot of people use kale in salads, but my favorite way to make it is actually sauteed with a little olive oil and garlic, just for a couple minutes until it’s not so crunchy and you no longer feel like a beaver chewing through wood chips with all that roughness.

For the chicken, I am a fan of using the thin cut chicken breasts. I buy mine from Trader Joe’s, but if you can’t find them cut thin at the store, try slicing a chicken breast in half, covering with a piece of plastic wrap then using a meat pounder (or the bottom of a sturdy glass) to even it out. Not only do the thin cut pieces of chicken cook easier, but I feel like they keep better for meal prep. Nothing I hate more than eating rubbery refrigerated chicken!

Pair the chicken and kale with some fingerling potatoes for a little bit of carbs, and you’ve got yourself a super easy, delicious meal!

Scroll down for the recipe. 

Recipe makes enough meal prep for 5 days for one person (one meal).

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 packages of thin-cut chicken breast
  • 1 bag fingerling potatoes
  • 1 bag kale
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 lemon
  • assorted spices (I used Flavor God lemon pepper spice)

Potatoes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cover a baking sheet with foil. Rinse the potatoes and spread on the baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper and a the juice from half the lemon. Bake for 25-30 mins or until tender.

Chicken

Generously sprinkle the chicken breasts with seasoning on both sides (I love the Flavor God spices – this week I used the lemon pepper one!). Heat 3 tbsp olive oil in a skillet on medium and cook chicken about 4-5 mins on each side or until brown and crispy on the outsides and cooked through. Shouldn’t take too long if you’re using the thin cut slices.

Kale

Mince the garlic. Heat 4 tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet on medium-high. Once hot, add the kale. Mix until covered with olive oil and leaves start to turn darker green. Add the garlic and season everything with salt and pepper. Cook until garlic is fragrant and the leaves are dark green and slightly wilted, about 5 mins. (Be careful not to overcook!)

To plate: Add 4-6 oz of chicken to each container, and evenly spread the kale and potatoes between each serving. Top with a lemon wedge from the remaining lemon. Enjoy!

 

February 20, 2017
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One of my friends introduced me to this recipe awhile back and it stuck with me ever since – the mixture of citrus, tequila, and smoky flavors make for a delicious marinade on pork. Did I just say tequila? Yep. Don’t mind me if I take a little swig as I’m cooking… (I’m kidding. My tequila days are way behind me!)

I love this recipe because the meat is very versatile – serve it over rice with some chopped onions, cilantro and avocado, serve it in corn tortillas topped with some mango salsa for tacos, or put some on top of a salad with some roasted corn, red bell peppers and black beans… so many possibilities!

I can’t take full credit for this recipe because I followed a recipe I found online. However, I did modify it bit to save time and work with personal taste. The original recipe calls for you to grind the spices up yourself, while I wound up buying pre-grinded spices from Whole Foods. Also, while the original recipe calls for 4-6 hours of marinating and 4 hours of being cooked in the oven wrapped in banana leaves, I found using a pressure cooker to be just as effective for getting that super soft, juicy meat as you would in the oven. And it only took 30 minutes!

As a foodie, I definitely appreciate the detail that goes into self-grinding spices, marinading for a long time, and letting something cook slowly in the oven for hours, so I don’t mean to say that my version is better than the original. But as a meal prepper, I also don’t want to have to spend a whole day cooking in order to prep something delicious. So that’s where the pressure cooker comes in for me.

Haven’t used a pressure cooker before? That’s too bad. It’s my favorite meat-cooking method! I highly recommend looking into purchasing one, especially if you’re a fan of shredded, juicy meat!

Marinating the pork butt in the spices, orange juice, white vinegar, chopped garlic, and a generous sprinkle of tequila 🙂

Check out that juicy goodness straight out of the pressure cooker!

Meal prep plated with rice, zucchini and yellow squash and the pork, topped with chopped onion and a lime wedge. Don’t forget to drizzle with sauce!

Don’t forget to drizzle some of the juice from the pressure cooker on top of the meat and rice!

As a side to this meal prep, I cooked some zucchini and yellow squash rounds with some chopped onions in some olive oil over medium heat until slightly browned. I seasoned with salt and pepper to taste. Easy peasy.

I prepped my pork with 1 cup of rice this week, but like I said before, you can eat this meat as taco fillings or even as topping to a salad! I find that tortillas don’t really keep well for meal prep purposes, so rice was a good choice for this. But feel free to prepare it however you wish!

February 13, 2017
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On the menu this week: Ground turkey, brown rice, beans, and salads full of veggies. This might be one of the easiest, leanest meal preps I do. And when I am looking to cut back after a long holiday season, vacation, or weekend of crappy eating, I go straight to this meal prep. Why? The ground turkey and beans are full of lean protein to keep me full, the brown rice gives me energy, and the salads are full of veggies for all those delicious green nutrients. Plus, this meal prep is SUPER easy to make!

This meal prep is ideal for anyone interested in weight loss, gains at the gym, or anyone just looking for a reset with their diet.

I usually wind up cooking high-calorie meal preps for my fiancé since he likes to train heavy in the gym and burns a TON of calories with his workouts every day. However, recently he sustained an injury on his shoulder and needs to take a break from heavy eating. As a result, I have been making him lower-calorie meal preps for the week so he doesn’t over-do it.

A common misconception about meal prep is that it takes a long time or is difficult to make. Wrong! This meal prep took all of about 30 mins or less – most the time was spent chopping the veggies and assembling into the food containers!

For the salads, I chopped up some kale, raw broccoli, white mushrooms, Persian cucumbers, radish, and topped with some sprouts for a nice punch of fresh veggies! Since the meal prep this week was protein heavy with the beans and ground turkey, I chose to not add additional protein to the salad. But feel free to add some chopped chicken or tofu to this bad boy if you wish. When you’re ready to eat your salad, top with some olive oil and a pinch of salt or a squeeze of lemon juice, and enjoy!

And now for the meal prep – check out how easy this recipe is! (Links to the Flavor God spices below).

Flavor God spices:

Garlic Lovers: https://flavorgod.com/shop/product/garlic-lovers-seasoning/#804879389859

Italian Zest: https://flavorgod.com/shop/product/italian-zest-seasoning/#FGS-ITZ-1B 

February 11, 2017
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You know how some people talk about what they would eat if it was their last meal? Well mine would 100% for sure be shrimp scampi pasta. So you’ve got shrimp (yes), garlic (hell yeah), butter (omg yas), pasta (yassss carbssss), and WINE (hallelujah!) all combined into one plate of goodness = pure happiness in my belly.

I’ve cooked scampi so many times, I can’t even count. The pros of this is that I have tested many ways to make this dish, and finally feel I have “nailed” it. So when my fiancé made a special request for shrimp scampi for this week’s meal prep, I was more than happy to oblige. While this meal is definitely not the healthiest if you’re looking for weight loss prep, you can always swap the pasta for some zucchini noodles (my fav!) for a much lower-calorie and veggie friendly option.

Since we decided to go with the regular pasta for this week (we picked fettuccine instead of linguine this time around), we balanced out all the carbs with some huge leafy green salads topped with sliced red bell peppers, Persian cucumbers, radish, and broccoli. Even though this pasta is delicious, you can’t forget to get your greens in!

And now for the main event – the shrimp scampi recipe! I must say, writing this post has made me really hungry. I can just taste all the garlic now…. mmmm….. OK! Go forth and try this recipe – I can’t promise you won’t fall in love with it….

 

 

Try this recipe out? Like it? Love it? Hate it? Leave a comment 🙂

February 6, 2017
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It’s the most important meal of the day, and it’s even better for lunch! This week for meal prep we switched it up the regular lunch meal prep with some scrambled eggs, mixed vegetables, baked sweet potato rounds, and at my man’s request, some oh-so-delicious thick cut slices of bacon. Mmmmmm bacon. 

I might be an early riser during the week (I’m usually out and about by 6:15 am), but I’m not a big fan of eating actual breakfast thing in the morning. I usually opt for a protein shake on my way out the door, then enjoy a heartier lunch closer to noon. Maybe that’s why brunch is so dear to my heart. Well, maybe that and the fact that it’s acceptable to day drink (see: bottomless mimosas).

The real reason why this meal prep is so delicious is the lean protein from the eggs, loads of nutrients from this hearty mix of vegetables, and the creamy carb goodness from the sweet potato. Oh, and the bacon of course. (Sorry, no mimosas!) If you aren’t a big fan of bacon or are trying to cut back on your fat intake, go ahead and swap it in for some turkey bacon or chicken sausage. Or skip the meat all together. Either way, you’re bound to enjoy this meal, whether you have it for breakfast, lunch or dinner!

January 24, 2017
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