In this weekly series, “Meal Prep Friday,” I want to show you how do-able it is to eat healthfully throughout the week with wholesome meals if you put a little effort into planning and prepping in advance. I will share with you my weekly “game plan,” my purchases at the store, and any helpful tricks and tips I’ve learned along the way. Let’s get cookin’!
If there’s one thing I’ve realized since I first started this Meal Prep Friday, it’s how insanely fast the week flies by! I seriously feel like I worked on my last post just a couple of days ago. I’ve also discovered how much I enjoy sharing my daily eats with you, and I’m so encouraged by your awesome comments and emails. I shall continue as long as you find this helpful ;).
// Total: $58.43
As you can see, the grocery bill was A LOT higher than it has been in the previous weeks. That’s because of my monthly CostCo visit, not to mention I’m slowly replenishing my rather sad-looking pantry. We go to CostCo mainly for toiletries and other hygiene products that keep us and our house squeaky clean, but, of course, we always manage to pick up some food items along the way. I say “we” bc I hardly ever go there by myself…CostCo = our date. The Hungryman helps me lift all the heavy stuff, and I buy him a slice of pizza. What you see above are the things we love. And yes, I do eat that HUGE tub of Greek yogurt all by myself (still trying to get the Hungryman on board). Just wish they had the 2% one, though (Why? Learn more about fats and why they are important in this post – Stop Labeling Fat as “Good” or “Bad”).
Over the weekend: I just prepped all the veggies – washed, chopped, dried, and either roasted (beets, carrots, sweet potatoes) or left raw.
During the week is when I did the actual cooking. However, it didn’t take long to have something on the table since I had prepped everything in advance. I don’t know about you, but the majority of the battle is in prepping all the veggies required to make a meal.
In case you were wondering, here’s how I roasted the veggies: I like to vary up my spices to keep things interesting ;). As a general rule, I roast my veggies at 400F for about 25-45 minutes, flipping halfway. I normally use either coconut, avocado or olive oil. This time, I used coconut oil for everything.
- Sweet potatoes: Seasoned with 1 teaspoon of chili powder and cumin (I knew I wanted to add some to my Southwestern Mason jar salad)
- Carrots: Seasoned with 1 teaspoon of curry powder and turmeric
- Beets: Seasoned with 1 tablespoon of cinnamon. Here’s my favorite method for roasting them.
Kale salad with balsamic vinaigrette – Into a bowl went all the prepped veggies along with some cara cara oranges (vitamin C enhances the absorption of iron), sliced avocados, and a runny egg. I enjoyed this salad throughout the week, and it took <5 minutes to put together. This is why I don’t like to order salads at restaurants (unless I’m really craving one) – it’s SOO easy to make a hearty salad at home for MUCH cheaper.
I had some frozen beef that I had defrosted overnight. Simply grilled it with some oil, salt, and pepper. I made extra so I could enjoy it throughout the week. For this meal, I served it alongside stuffed zucchini boats. The inspiration came from…
I followed the recipe exactly, minus the addition of ground beef since I was serving it alongside a steak. It was SUPER easy to make and oh so flavorful!
But then again, I didn’t expect anything less – Cabot cheese = one magical ingredient (Disclosure: While I am a member of the Cabot Cheese Creamery Board, I was not compensated for this post and all my opinions are 100% my own).
If you want to find out for yourself just how magical it is, keep reading ;).
You probably know by now just how much I love Mason jar salads. This week I made a chicken fajita salad that literally took 30 minutes to prepare. The leftovers I had after making 4 jars were begging to be turned into tacos. You can find the recipe on Food Network’s Healthy Eats blog – my very first contribution to the site! So exciting 😉
One vegetable I did not prep in advance was the asparagus. I normally wash and cook it the day of to retain its crispness. If you’re looking for a no-fuss, quick & easy weeknight meal with VERY minimal clean-up, this meal is for you. You can use this “recipe” with any other ingredients you like.
Salmon and Asparagus in Foil
Preheat oven to 400F. Place asparagus on a sheet of foil, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper. Rinse the salmon , pat dry, drizzle with 1 tsp oil, season with salt, pepper, and spices (I used smoked paprika), and place on top of the asparagus. Top with a slice of orange (or lemon). Wrap up the foil sheet tightly (creating a nice package) and bake for 15-20 minutes. Open up and enjoy! Serve alongside a good carbohydrate to make it a well-balanced meal (e.g. sweet potatoes, whole grains, fruits…)
Now onto the giveaway!
To enter for your chance to win a copy of their recently released cookbook + $25 Cabot gift box with lots of wonderful goodies:
- Leave a comment below telling me what your favorite cheesy-licious recipe is (feel free to share a link to your recipe).
- Extra: Sign up for my weekly newsletter and leave a comment telling me you did so.
The giveaway ends on Sunday May 3rd at 11:50 CST. It is open to U.S residents only. The winner will be selected randomly (using a random generator) and notified via email. Good luck!
Update: Congratulations, Anne!