Hi friends! I'm here, barely surviving end of quarter at work. While I suffer through a webcast during lunch, I thought I would take a few minutes to share my most recent weekly meal plan. We've actually been doing this for all of June, and it has been a huge success. I'll share more about that next week when work is absolutely dead, and I'm trying hard to look busy at my computer.
On to the food....
Here is a link to the actual document that I use to stay organized, but I wanted to include more info about how I actually handle the planning and prep. On Friday morning (or Saturday, depending on my schedule) I'll thumb through Pinterest recipes that I've saved and start making a list of the meals I want to make. I try to cook once/eat twice for at least one dinner and one lunch, to limit how many things I buy and how much time I spend in the kitchen. So I keep my eye out for recipes that I can divide into two containers, or that would make for good leftovers.
Next up is shopping. Lately I have been making a quick stop at Trader Joe's for a few favorite items. I love their Greek yogurt, Verde Sauce, Corn Tortillas, Wheat Bread, and a frozen Multigrain Veggie Mix. I do the bulk of my shopping at HEB though (either Saturday or Sunday morning). Once I have my meal plan in place, I'll start with prepping and cooking.
**If I can offer any advice- it would be to start small. Don't try to jump into meal planning all at once- it will be overwhelming. If you can work on one breakfast, one lunch, and one dinner to get a head start on the week, then you'll be in good shape. Once you collect recipes that are easy and that you like, it gets a lot easier to rotate and figure out a schedule that works for you.
(Keep in mind that I'm cooking for two. Some of the recipes can be modified to make more or less, depending on your needs.)
Overnight Blueberry Almond Oats (I made 4 containers worth on Sunday)
Egg Muffins (This is enough to make 12-14 muffins, depending on how many veggies you add)
1/2 small carton organic Egg Whites
6 free-range eggs
1 cup Greek yogurt (I use 2%, but you can use non-fat too)
2 cups spinach, chopped
2-3 roasted red peppers (I use ones in a jar)
1/2 small log goat cheese, crumbled
1) Line a cupcake pan with foil cupcake liners. Set oven to 350.
2) Mix the first three ingredients into a small bowl.
3) Combine veggies only into a separate bowl (or just go straight from the cutting board)
4) Fill cups half full with egg mix. Then top with veggies.
5) Add remaining egg mix to 3/4 full, and then sprinkle with goat cheese.
6) Bake for 20-25 min, until the muffins no longer "jiggle" in the middle.
7) Let cool completely, and then store in an airtight container.
**Please note that you can use any veggies you want.
Vegetarian Chickpea Spread, makes about 6 servings (I subbed Greek yogurt for mayo, and served it on wheat bread with spinach and tomato)
Butternut Squash and Broccoli Chicken Pasta, makes 4-6 servings (I tried to copycat one of my favorite Snap Kitchen meals)
2 chicken breasts, cooked and finely diced
1 bag whole wheat pasta, cooked (I like to use fun shapes like bowtie or fusilli)
2 cups cubed Butternut Squash, roasted (I buy it already cut at Trader Joes)
2 cups broccoli, roasted
1/2 small log of goat cheese, crumble
1/2 walnuts, chopped
2 Tbs olive oil
2 Tbs balsamic vinegar
chopped basil to taste
nutmeg to taste
**There is a lot of prep to put this dish together, so spread it out if needed. Roast your veggies together. Cook pasta and chicken at the same time. When all ingredients are ready to go, toss the pasta with oil, vinegar and a sprinkle of nutmeg. Then portion out pasta into your containers, add chicken, veggies, and then top with goat cheese, walnuts and chopped basil. It will keep for up to 4 days.
Crockpot Verde Chicken, makes 2 servings (I use 2 skinless, boneless, organic chicken breasts for this, and the Trader Joe's Verde Sauce. We shred the chicken and serve on corn tortillas with a small scoop of greek yogurt, and sautéed zucchini on the side)
1-2 zucchinis, cut in half lengthwise and then sliced
1 Tbs olive oil
1 Tbs red wine vinegar
red pepper flakes to taste
1) Heat olive oil in a sauté pan. Add zucchini and stir to coat. Once they have started to cook through (2-4 minutes is good), add a few splashes of red wine vinegar, and a dash of red pepper flakes.
Black Bean and Quinoa Enchilada Bake, makes 8 servings (This is hands down one of our favorite dinners, and makes for excellent leftovers the next day. I divide the whole recipe into 2 square foil containers so that I can bake them on two different nights. Makes it so easy to come home from work, throw it into the oven for 30 minutes, and then sit down to eat.)
Baked Chicken with Trader Joe's Frozen MultiGrain Veggie Mix, makes 2 servings (Pretty self explanatory. We bake or grill two chicken breasts lightly seasoned with olive oil, salt and pepper. Serve the veggie mix on the side. Not exciting, but it gets the job done.)
If you've never tried to meal plan/prep before, I hope that some of this helps. I'd love to know if you try any of these and if it helps make your week a little easier. I realize it will take up a few hours over the weekend, but I'd much rather do that than get home after work and stress about how to get a decent meal on the table. Feel free to share your feedback or questions in the comments section!