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’!
This week, I literally went to Trader Joe's with absolutely no list. no game plan. Yes, I've officially entered vacation mode..1 week prior, mind you. The Hungryman and I are heading to San Diego (Weee!! Finally!!) this weekend to celebrate my birthday. We are especially excited because we'll be spending the whole week with the Hungryman's sister and her family from Buffalo, NY. It's our first time visiting, and all I know is that I MUST visit the zoo. Any other recommendations?
Normally, when I get ready for a vacation, I go pretty minimal in my grocery purchases. I get the bare essentials and try to use whatever I already have on hand. That way I can completely clean out my fridge before I leave.
And you know my drill...
I roasted the cauliflowers with cumin and paprika. As for the potatoes, they were roasted with garlic powder, salt and pepper, just the way the Hungryman likes it.
As I mentioned in my previous meal prep post, I had used up all my chickpeas in the freezer, so it was time to make another batch. Here's what I normally do - Soak the dried beans overnight, cook them in the largest pot that I have (about 2 hours), store them in individual containers once cooled, and freeze.
In addition, I made...
Slow cooker omelette - a great way to use up all of my eggs. I saw this on Pinterest and just had to try. It turned out fabulous - fluffy and light. I added red bell peppers, onion, and potatoes. Note to self: never add purple potatoes to the mixture. Blue food just doesn't look appetizing.
Chickpea veggie burger via Running on Real Food. I made slight adaptations - they were baked instead of grilled; added carrots and celery; left out the cilantro. While it tasted great, I'm probably going to add rice wine vinegar instead of red wine vinegar.
A helpful tip here is - Don't feel like you have to follow a recipe to the T. Substitute with whatever ingredients you have on hand. As long as you follow the directions, it should turn out just fine. Obviously, add ingredients that make sense though. Snap peas in enchiladas might not fly so much.
For this week's mason jar salad, I kept it really simple.
Kale and Arugula Salad w/Balsamic Vinaigrette
Makes 4 jars
2 cups of baby kale
2 cups of baby arugula
2 celery stalks, diced
2 cara cara oranges, chopped
1 cup roasted cauliflower
1 cup whole wheat couscous
The morning of: add protein of choice. I added feta cheese, fish, almonds
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon maple syrup (or honey)
Salt and pepper to taste
Pour the vinaigrette into the Mason jar. Add celery, cauliflower, then the oranges in that order. Add the couscous. Fill the rest of the jar (leaving room for proteins) with kale and arugula. Seal and refrigerate.
The omelette was topped with cheese (Alpine Cheddar from Cabot Creamery) and broiled in my toaster oven. I served it alongside an arugula salad (with avocado, almonds tossed in balsamic vinaigrette), baby carrots, and a whole grain toast.
Mason jar salad - added roasted sable fish (courtesy of Sizzle Fish) seasoned with cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper.
Chickpea veggie burger pattie (topped with sriracha) nourish bowl. Hearty, filling and took about 5 minutes to prepare. This is when you can really thank yourself for prepping in advance.
And because I knew we were going to run out of food by the end of the week (not to mention our unshakeable cravings for Vietnamese food), we went out to eat earlier in the week. Hello, Pho Dan! That rarely happens. I told you..vacation mode.
My fridge is completely empty now, so I'll have to spend some time filling it back up once I return. However, I REFUSE to think about that right now. California, here we come!!! Hope y'all have a wonderful weekend and perhaps spend some time in the kitchen prepping for the upcoming week. Just do whatever you can do without putting too much pressure on yourself.