Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Spring Foward Meal Prep

With the time change this weekend, I wanted to prep quickly and get back to the day.  Losing an hour, on a beautiful Sunday, just plain stinks!  Enter Mason Jar Salads, Eggs with Veggies, Brown Sugar Cinnamon Oatmeal (with banana), and a quick snack of PB with veggies to get me through the upcoming week.  These meals come together quickly, stay fresh in the fridge all week, and help keep me on track.

 First up Balsamic Chicken Mason Jar Salads. They are super easy to make and store in the refrigerator for up to 6 days.  I love being able to just grab and go with these jars.  A quick shake coats my salad with dressing and makes it ready to eat. **Instructions found here**
For a simple mid-morning snack, I enjoy Eggs with Veggies.  These are super easy to make and can be customized to your personal preference/taste.  This week I did a combination of "Fried" Eggs with Cheddar & Broccoli and Scrambled Eggs with Sautéed Spinach.  I top each with cheese and then microwave for 60 seconds when I am ready to enjoy them.  The cheese melts nicely and I have a great mid-morning snack.
  • "Fried" Eggs with Cheddar & Broccoli - Top 1 cup frozen, organic broccoli with 1/8 cup cheddar cheese, place 2 "fried" eggs and top with another 1/8 cup cheese.
  • Scrambled Eggs with Sautéed Spinach - Sautee 1 cup spinach in 1 TBSP olive oil (I use garlic olive oil), top with 2 scrambled eggs and 1/4 cup cheddar cheese.
I round out these meals with a breakfast of Brown Sugar Cinnamon Oatmeal (1/2 cup whole oats with a sprinkle of brown sugar and cinnamon) and a banana.  I simply love how the banana caramelizes when cooked with the oats, but feel free to sub this out for any other fruit you prefer.) and a snack that consists of 1/2 a peanut butter sandwich with 1 cup veggies (carrots, celery, and green beans shown below).
Breakfast: Oatmeal with fruit
Snack 1: Eggs with Veggies
Lunch: Mason Jar Salads with a piece of fruit
Snack 2: 1/2 peanut butter sandwich with 1 cup veggies
Dinner: As usual, dinner is cooked fresh, but will consist of a lean meat (approx. 4 oz), 1 cup of veggies, and 1 cup of carbs like brown rice, sweet potatoes, or 2 corn tortillas.
**I also have a serving of my Superfood shake (extra protein) each day.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Quick & Easy Meal Prep


As a mom to three (seriously, amazing) kids under the age of 12, I don't always have a lot of time available.  Often our days are a blur of activity: work for myself and my husband, school for the kids, exercise, homework, making dinner, baths, good night stories, and closing out the day. Weekends bring lots of family time and a chance to reconnect with one another and get ready for the upcoming week.  Occasionally, Sunday night rolls around and I have yet to prep my meals for the week. *I have skipped prepping before and it just sends me back down a road of poor food choices that I don't care to think about, ha ha!

When this happens, I grab my "go-to" meals and prep away.  It's nothing fancy, but these items ensure that I have healthy meals readily available to me all week.

I keep my pantry and freezer stocked with the following items (and usually pick up extra when they go on sale):
  • Plain oatmeal (quick cook)
  • Halos (small tangerines)
  • Celery
  • Zucchini
  • Frozen broccoli (Publix has a wonderful organic frozen broccoli that cooks quickly in the microwave)
  • Organic green beans (I use Kroger's Simple Truth Organic brand)
  • Chicken breast
  • Raw shrimp (medium)
  • Cooked, ground turkey (I always buy it on sale and portion it into 3-4oz servings and freeze it)
  • Apples (I prefer gala)
  • Trail mix
  • Quinoa (I used Kroger's Simple Truth Organic frozen)
  • Hot sauce
Having these items on hand make it super simple for me to create a weeks worth of healthy, delicious meals.

Sriracha Chicken with green beans
Red pepper ground turkey with zucchini noodles
Shrimp, quinoa, & broccoli
Sriracha chicken, quinoa, and broccoli
So, here is how a typical day plays out:
Breakfast - Oatmeal with 2 halos
Lunch - Red pepper ground turkey & zucchini noodles
Snacks - celery, apple, trail mix
Dinner - Sriracha chicken with quinoa and broccoli.
Check out my other posts for more in depth recipes and more meal prep ideas!

Monday, October 12, 2015

Meal Prep Madness 10.11.15

Sundays are always my favorite day of the week.  I love the extra down time with my family and I love being able to knock out all of my meal prep for the week ahead (plus, I get to rock the super cute apron my brother gave me for Christmas!).  When I first started prepping, it was overwhelming; however, these days it's pretty relaxing.  I've learned what foods I enjoy eating (and which keep all week!), which veggies reheat the best, which combination of foods makes me feel the best, and how to cook it as quickly as possible, so that I can get back to my family time.

My husband and I both LOVE hot & sour soup, so I decided to cook two big batches for us.  He loves mushrooms (me, not so much), so I did one with mushroom and one without.  This smelled SO good simmering yesterday!  (The best part of this soup, is for my 21 Day Fix friends, one serving is 1 green, 1/2 red, and 1 tsp)

I'm still obsessed with omelet muffins, so I made another batch this weekend.  I am slightly addicted to Cajun turkey omelets, so I just took that basis and made these.  (The great thing about this recipe is you can switch them ingredients up to personal preference  in your household - and these freeze really well.  Just pop in the microwave for 45-60 seconds and enjoy!)

This batch was made with 1/2 lb Boar's Head Cajun Turkey (diced), 1 red bell pepper (diced), 3 jalapenos (diced) cooked over medium heat (as you would for an omelet). 

Once cooked, add to greased muffin tin.  Beat 12 eggs, garlic powder, black pepper, and salt together.  Pour over turkey and peppers and cook at 375 for 20 minutes, or until eggs are set. That's it.  Super simple breakfast or mid-day snack! 

Lunch this week consists of zucchini noodles with ground turkey (with red pepper flakes - yum!) and Shrimp salad mason jars.  Both are simple easy to make (seriously, spend the $10 on a Veggeti, lol)

This week, I am rocking oatmeal & banana, omelet muffins, zucchini & turkey, Balsamic shrimp salad, hummus with celery, and hot and sour soup.  As always, dinners will be cooked at home each night, but that's just my personal preference.  I love cooking and really enjoy making dinner with the kids.  I plan our meals out, we just don't pre-cook them. 

I hope this gives you some ideas for your own meal prep! What are you eating this week?

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Momma's Turkey Chili

So it's finally getting a little cooler in the South, so I decided to add some chili to my meal prep routine this weekend.  Man, am I glad that I did!

It's super simple to make and keeps well in the fridge (or you can freeze it for later.)  This recipe makes 8 servings, 1 cup each.

Turkey Chili
1 lb raw 93% lean ground turkey
21medium bell pepper, diced
1 medium onion, diced (I left this out and added a second bell pepper)
1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
3 cloves garlic, mined
2 tsp ground cumin
2 TBSP chili powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
2 (15 oz) cans Organic kidney beans
1 can (15 oz) Organic corn
1 can (28 oz) Organic crushed tomatoes

Dice peppers, jalapeno, and onion.

Heat turkey, bell pepper, onions, and garlic in skillet over medium-high heat. 
Cook, stirring occasionally for 5 to 8 minutes, or until turkey is no longer pink.  Add cumin, chili powder, salt, and cayenne pepper.  Cook for 1 minute,
Add beans, corn, and tomatoes (with liquid).
Bring to a boil.  Cook on low for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
Nutritional Information (1 cup):
  • Calories 239.7
  • Total Fat 4.5 g
  • Cholesterol 42.7 mg
  • Sodium 316.8 mg
  • Potassium 1.9 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate 31.5 g
  • Dietary Fiber 10.4 g
  • Sugars 7.6 g
  • Protein 19.9 g

    I am a HUGE fan of Kroger's Simple Truth Organic products.  I used the above pictured items in my chili, but feel free to experiment and make yours unique to you!!  Simple, easy dish that is GREAT for these cooler days!

    Monday, October 5, 2015

    Run Like A Kid

    Last year, my cousin introduced me to a series of 5K races that benefit local elementary schools in a neighboring county.  Each school hosts their own 5K and 1 mile fun run to raise funds for the school and PTO. They have names like "Cub Run", "Turkey Trot", "Jingle Bell Trail", and "Griddle Gallop" (my personal favorite, as they give you a big stack of pancakes after the race!) I ran my first one a year ago this weekend.  I was hooked from the start. 

    On Saturday, I woke to chilly, rainy weather (as did much of the Southeast).   It wasn't the ideal day for a run, but I wasn't going to let the weather stop me.  I laced up and headed out.  We started in a squishy, wet practice field.  We were to run up three sets of hills before proceeding into a local neighborhood for the remainder of the run, returning to the same field to finish. 
    Feet soaking wet, slipping on the grass, we ran.  We ran the (not even slightly gentle) hills.  We ran in the wet, dreary rain.  We ran up and down paved hills.  We ran.
    Kids of all ages ran as if it wasn't cold, or wet.  They ran as if it was the most wonderful thing in the world.  Which if you think about it, it really is.
    It's humbling to see how quickly these kids finish a 5K!  (First overall was a 5th grader who knocked it out in a little under 18:00).  They remind me not to take this thing so seriously, but to just enjoy the journey. 
    This particular journey led me to a PR and second in my age group.  And while I feel certain that I could have / should have done better, I am just thankful for the journey.  I'm thankful I was able to get my feet wet (literally as well as figuratively) again, and jump back into the racing season.  I didn't fully realize how much I had missed it.   Thankfully, I have another 15 races in this series left.
    Run for yourself.  Run for fun.  Run to benefit the schools.  Run for bling.  Run for whatever your motivation is.  Just freaking RUN!

    Monday, September 28, 2015

    Meal Prep Day

    It’s that time again: Meal Prep Day!  I have come to enjoy my Sundays so much.  I love prepping my foods while relaxing with the family.  It gets me ready for the week to come, ensures that I will have delicious meals all week, and that I will continue to fuel my body so that it doesn’t let me down!

    For breakfast, I’ve been alternating oatmeal and Cajun turkey omelets, but this week I was craving something a little different.  Omelet muffins won out.  These are SUPER easy to make and can be customized to suit any taste.

    (Makes 12 muffins) – Beat 12 eggs with salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste.  I like to do steamed spinach, Cajun turkey, and cheese.  My husband likes sausage in his, so I did a few of those as well.  Spray muffin tin then add in veggies and meat.  Top with shredded cheese. 


    Slowly pour in egg mixture.  Leave a little room at the top, as these expand while they cook.  Cook at 350 for 18-20 minutes.  Allow to cool, then remove from pan. One serving = 2 muffins (only 171 calories for both) these are awesome with fruit or salsa!

    I like lunches that are easy to reheat and include a protein, veggie and carb.  It seems to keep me satisfied so much longer, and it fuels my lunch time runs.  I enjoy alternating between chicken and fish during the week.

    This week, I decided to add sweet potatoes into the mix.  I love a baked sweet potato but it is so hard to bake one then try to reheat it (if you’ve never tried it, I wouldn’t recommend it – not the best quality).  By roasting these sweet potatoes, I can take them with me and enjoy all week.

    I start by peeling the sweet potatoes, then dicing them (I usually slice the sweet potato in half length-wise, then again long ways, then dice).  I tossed these in Tuscan olive oil from one of my favorite local vendors, but an olive oil will do.  Just use enough to coat well.  I topped with paprika, garlic powder, and black pepper.  Feel free to season these to match your preference.  At our house, we LOVE garlic, so it and paprika go on just about everything!
    These will cook at 350 for 15-20 minutes (flipping about 7-10 minutes in).
    Since I seem to not be able to ever get enough broccoli, I have it included as well.  Broccoli is so good for you.  I eat mine plain, but feel free to experiment with different flavor combinations.  Sometimes I enjoy lemon vinegar on mine – it’s delicious without adding a ton of fat.

    My mid-day snack is half a peanut butter sandwich with a gala apple.
    And I have room to have a salad (1 cup spring mix + 2 TBSP dressing) for an additional snack, or add it to dinner.  Dinner is (as usual) a protein, veggie, and carb.

    I absolutely LOVE that a couple hours on Sunday results in meals for me all week!

    Pictured here are my breakfasts, morning snack, and lunch.  Each with a serving of fruit.  Not pictured are my salads, nor my daily superfood shake.
    What are you eating this week?

    Wednesday, September 16, 2015

    Meal Prep Time

    Mmm, meal prep time!  I absolutely LOVE prepping my foods in advance so that I can stay on track throughout the week.  Of course, there are meals I cook "live" simply because I have time (and they are quick and simple meals) at dinner.

    We were on vacation last week and arrived home to a very sparsely stocked kitchen and pantry.  However, since my freezer is filled with fish, shrimp, veggies, and other basics, I was able to toss together a quick week worth of breakfast, snack, lunch & dinner in less than an hour, which is great because I had a ton of laundry to take care of!

    I absolutely LOVE my homemade oatmeal - it is so easy to make a big batch, portion it out, and grab-n-go each morning.  Breakfast is usually oatmeal with a side of fruit (this week, it's canned pineapple, did I mention I hadn't had time to go shopping?)
    My after workout go-to is Chocolate Shakeology  - I blend it with ice & water. My husband likes his with a banana & peanut butter, blended with milk.  Either way, it's a great post-workout treat!
    Another one of my favorite breakfast foods is my Cajun Omelet.  Cajun turkey, broccoli, and Swiss cheese make this a wonderful breakfast (and sometimes even dinner!).  I whisk one egg and 4 egg whites (1 red container for you 21 Day Fixers) together.  Season to taste.  I cook in a non-stick pan, so I don't add any fats.  Let set, then flip. 
    Add 3/4 cup diced Boar's Head Cajun Turkey (1 red) and 1 cup diced broccoli (1 green). 
      Top with 1 oz (blue) Boar's Head Baby Swiss Cheese.  I'm serious - this is AMAZING!!
    For lunch, I alternate between Chicken Burrito Salad Jars 

    And Cajun shrimp (or tilapia) with broccoli & peas.  Nothing fancy, but it gets me a serving of protein (red) and 2 greens!  Plus, this keeps all week without losing its flavor, which is an absolute MUST for me.

    My snacks this week are either Hot & Sour Soup (seriously, WE LOVE THIS STUFF!!  It is super easy to make and we go through it so quickly. It was a great option for coming back home to a very empty fridge!) or an apple with peanut butter.
    Dinner is either the fish/shrimp combo listed above or Parmesan Crusted Tilapia with zucchini & rice (if I have the time once I get home).

    This is one of my favorite go-to meals.  It's super simple, cooks quickly, and requires very little effort, but tastes amazing!  Seriously, look at that bubbly cheese! 

    The great thing about this meal is it reheats well, so if I get tired of my other lunch options, I can always take these leftovers the next day!
    Last but certainly not least, my kids LOVE Taco Tuesday.  The typical options are usually heavy in calories and low in nutrients.  Our spin adds a bit of the good stuff so that I can feel better about what we are eating (and I stay on my meal plan!)
    These are awesome!  We use small corn tortillas (2 count as 1 yellow) topped with chopped romaine (1 green), salsa (1 purple), and some taco meat (1 red).  If I haven't already used my blue container, I also love adding 1/4 sliced avocado and Frank's Red Hot (I seriously put that * on everything!!)  If I am lacking on my green portions, I will add a side salad.  (When we feel like it, we do plain Greek yogurt on these as well - tastes just like sour cream without the guilt!)
    So, what are you eating this week?