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’!
Happy early Mother’s Day! The Hungryman and I will be heading down to Houston to spend the weekend with my mother-in-law. While I look forward to spending quality time with her, I can’t help but think, “Oh No!! When am I going to meal prep? How am I going to make up for the lost time?” And the Hungryman would tell me sarcastically, “Oh No!! It’s the end of the world!”
Since I do all my meal prep over the weekend, I’ve come to realize how antsy and stressed out I get whenever we travel. Such a creature of habit I am. Meal prepping is such a great habit to foster, but let’s not forget to always leave room for some flexibility. As I always say, it’s not about perfection but doing the best you can in whatever circumstances/ mood you are in. I’m constantly reminding myself of this as I don’t want my weekend to revolve around meal prepping!
This past weekend was pretty low-key. The Hungryman had just returned from a bachelor party in Vegas so he needed to ease back into life (I’m just glad he didn’t come back with a face tattoo). I happily joined him on the couch. We are now all caught up on our current favorite T.V. shows – The Voice and some Food Network shows – Chopped All-Stars (Obsessed!!) and Cutthroat Kitchen. Because I can’t sit still for too long, I got to work in the kitchen whenever I needed some movement.
Thus, I didn’t make everything you see above at one time. I like to divide up my meal prep into mini sessions if you will (e.g. roasting, stove-top cooking, etc.). However, I do prep all of the veggies at the same time (almost always) as it makes the whole process so much more efficient. You get into this groove as you wash, rinse, and chop your veggies. By doing so not only will you have veggies to snack on, but you can also throw them int0 whatever dishes you decide to make later on down the road.
I threw in a hodge-podge of ingredients I had prepped into a bowl and just like that, I had myself a well-balanced, satisfying salad. I enjoyed this meal about 3 more times during the week.
I roasted some spice-rubbed pork tenderloin and made a homemade BBQ sauce (with a special ingredient) to go along with it. Want the recipe? Stay tuned as it will be shared on an ecookbook that 3 other fellow dietitians, Rachael, Meme, and Marisa, and I are diligently working on ;).
I mashed some chickpeas and avocado and enjoyed it as a topper for my arugula salad with strawberries as well as a filling for pita (sorry no pic)
I had some intense cravings for Korean food so I marinated chicken bulgogi over the weekend (half I froze for later) and made some “banchans,” or side dishes. One of my favorite banchans are these shitake mushrooms. I love them for their earthy and meaty flavors as well as chewy texture.
Korean Shitake Mushrooms
- 12-14 dried shitake mushrooms, soaked in warm water for about 30 minutes, or until softened
- 2 teaspoon sesame seeds
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon oil (I used coconut)
- 1/2 green onion, finely chopped
- 2 teaspoon sesame oil
- Season with salt, to taste
Once the mushrooms have soaked and become soft, drain (see note) and slice them, discarding the stems. Add them to a bowl along with sesame seeds, garlic and a pinch of salt. Mix together thoroughly. Coat a pan (or a wok) with oil and place over high heat. Add the muschoom and quickly stir-fry them, they should become slightly softened but still retain firmness. Remove from heat and stir in the green onion nd sesame oil. Transfer to a dish and serve.
Note: Make sure to thoroughly drain the mushrooms, removing as much excess liquid as you can. Pat them dry.
Then came time to clean-up the fridge so bibimbap was in order. There’s really no formula to making this Korean mixed rice dish with assortment of veggies. I honestly don’t think I’ve ever had a bibimbap that I didn’t like. I do have a favorite though. My mom seriously makes THE best bibimbap, and I’m sure every other Korean will say the same about their moms. But seriously, she’s got some magical touch that nobody can replicate.
In any case, to make yourself a bowl, throw in all the leftover vegetables and a protein source of your choice (a fried egg is ALWAYS welcomed) into a bowl, mix in heaping spoonfuls of “gochujang” or red pepper paste, add some sesame oil, and dig in!
Wishing you all a Happy Mother’s Day Weekend!
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