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 was quite humble in terms of my groceries. I purposefully chose to get the bare minimum as a challenge for me to utilize what I already had in my pantry and freezer. What good does it do to "stock up" when the food just sits there?
And that my friends is one of my biggest problems. Take purses and shoes, for instance. Oh, how I love them. I blame my inextinguishable attraction for these accessories on my mom whose infatuation with them is unparalleled (she's probably thinking, "whatever helps you sleep better at night..."). In any case, this is my oh-so-predictable pattern - I'll save up and purchase something, but once it enters my home, it seems to never see the light of day again. It's as if I'm too scared...scared that it'll get ruined or something. And when I finally do decide to wear it out, it's too late. Thanks to the constantly evolving nature of fashion and style, either it's out of style or I've got my eye on something else. Wow...I have issues.
I feel I approach food in a similar manner. I'll get really excited over a certain item, purchase it, and then it sits in my pantry forever. By the time I do get around to using it, I wonder why I had purchased it in the first place. All this to say, I'm in the process of learning to stop hoarding and to enjoy things in the now.
Ready to take a look at my weekly meal prep and meals?
Total: $43.71 (the chicken accounted for ½ the price)
Over the weekend, I roasted my sweet potatoes and carrots, as usual (I shall never get tired of them!); washed, dried, and sliced all my veggies; and roasted a whole chicken in my slow cooker following this recipe from Lindsay. It was much easier and more convenient than using the oven. However, I did find the breast meat to be pretty dry. Therefore, I'm going to try cooking it breast-side up next time and see if that helps.
I've found that the "hardier" salad greens, like kale, keep in the fridge for up to 5 days after they've been cleaned. However, the more tender greens tend to get really soggy after about 2 days. Therefore, I tried a little experiment. According to The Kitchn (love these guys!), while storing the greens in a ziploc bag works just fine for about a week, storing them in a container fared better. So into a container went the arugula. It did keep for a bit longer but not by much - 3 days rather than 2. The takeaway? Try to eat the tender ones first or wash them right before eating if you have the time!
A vibrant, nutritious, and hearty salad with all the prepped veggies thrown in + chicken, drizzled with balsamic vinegar. I forgot how much I heart pea shoots!! They're so refreshing and just scream spring. I enjoyed this salad several times throughout the week - prep time: <5 minutes.
On Tuesday, I made these Spicy Asian Salmon Meatballs with ingredients I already had on hand. Actual cooking time <30 minutes. While the meatballs were in the oven, I made the rice and sauteed zucchini (in coconut oil).
On Wednesday night, I roasted a pork tenderloin (I had in the freezer for some time now) following this recipe - herb crusted pork tenderloin (minus the sauce). I froze half for later use. All you have to do is season the meat, put in the oven, and walk away. It's the perfect weeknight meal!
Basil looked really amazing at the store so into my cart it went. I must say that I truly miss my basil plants. The problem back then was I had wayyy too much basil on hand at all times. It's quite the opposite now. I made my Zucchini basil pesto and tossed it with some quinoa penne pasta + red bell peppers + chicken. I've learned that I prefer this sauce over spaghetti rather than the thicker penne.
This Mason jar salad is by far my most favorite one to date. It's refreshing, sweet, peppery...everything you want in one bite. I especially enjoyed the addition of basil to the vinaigrette. This one kept in the fridge for about 4 days.
Spring Salad with Fig Balsamic Vinaigrette
makes 4 Mason jars
Dressing (adapted from Cupcakes & Kale Chips)
Thanks for joining me today! I'm going to continue cleaning out my pantry and see what treasures I come across ;). What are you prepping this weekend?
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