Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Weekly Meal Prep

I’ve received a lot of questions lately about my Sunday meal prep, so I thought I would write a post about it.  It’s really quite simple, but it is time consuming.  This past Sunday I spent several hours in the kitchen washing and chopping veggies, roasting chicken, steaming shrimp, and dividing it all into containers.  But it’s so worth it because each morning I just grab my lunch from the fridge and can head to work!

So what exactly do I do?

First thing’s first…I go grocery shopping!  My shopping list is pretty simple consisting of proteins, veggies, and fruit (always try to buy organic when available).  My list varies each week, depending on what is seasonable/fresh/available, but usually consists of the following:

Shopping List
Protein
Chicken breasts (boneless, skinless)
Ground turkey (extra lean)
Fish if it’s fresh (salmon, halibut, cod, or shrimp)

Veggies
Kale
Spinach
Bell peppers
Cucumbers
Eggplant
Carrots
Asparagus
Broccoli
Green beans
Sweet potatoes

Fruit
Apples
Bananas
Berries (if available)
Tomatoes
Avocados

Misc.
Coconut water
Chia seeds
Almond butter/peanut butter
Oatmeal
Egg whites

Once I have all my groceries, the prep work begins!

Breakfast
I like to keep breakfast simple but hearty.  I usually alternate between egg whites with spinach, a ¼ cup oats with cinnamon (sometimes I’ll add slivered almonds for texture), or chia seed pudding.  The egg whites and oat options don’t need much prep, but the chia seed pudding is great to prep and very easy to do.

Vanilla chia seed pudding
2 tbs chia seeds
½ cup coconut water (or coconut milk)
1/8 tsp vanilla extract
Mix these ingredients together and let sit in fridge at least one hour.  When you’re ready to eat it, feel free to add honey, almond or peanut butter, berries, or almonds.

Chocolate chia seed pudding
Same as above, just add 1tbs of cocoa powder.

Lunch
This week I chose to make salads for lunch, and by salads I don’t mean romaine lettuce and dressing…I mean colorful and nutrient-rich kale and spinach salads with tons of veggies and even a little fruit!  Included in my salads are the following:  spinach, kale, cucumber, orange bell pepper, avocado, apple, green beans, and carrots.  Here are my salads with all the chopped veggies and apple (I hadn't yet added the spinach and kale):

I wanted to include some protein in my salads, so I baked two boneless skinless chicken breasts and steamed some small shrimp.  Once cooked, I tore up about ½ breast each for two salads, and used about 5 shrimp each for my remaining two salads (I have a work lunch this week which is why I only prepared 4 meals).

How I prepared my chicken:
-Preheat oven to 350 degrees
-Season chicken breasts with Slap Ya Mama Cajun seasoning (so delicious!!!)
-Bake in oven for 20-25 minutes until juices run clear
-Let cool, then tear into pieces and place in salad

How I prepared my shrimp:
-Place steam basket over pot with water (don’t let the water touch the steam basket; you only need about 2 inches)
-Season shrimp with garlic and lemon (you may even squeeze juice of a lemon into the water below the basket)
-Place shrimp in steam basket in a single layer and cook 2-3 minutes (shrimp is very quick to cook)
-Let cool, then place in salad

Once my salads are put together, I stack them in the fridge.  I don’t put dressing on them until I’m about to eat them, because I don’t want them to get soggy.  For dressing, I usually use balsamic & olive oil, or Walden Farms Ranch (calorie free, fat free, carb free, sugar free), and put it in a small container and store in the fridge with my salads.  When I’m ready to head out in the morning, I grab a salad and a dressing container I’m ready to go!

Dinner
My dinners are simple…usually left over chicken from when I prepped (remember I cooked two chicken breasts but only used one for my salads), or fish that is easy to prepare.  For example, when I went shopping I bought two fresh cod fillets, so last night I made baked cod with lemon, chili, and cumin, and it was absolutely delectable.

I always include one or two veggies like sautéed or steamed spinach, roasted asparagus, sautéed green beans, roasted beets, or roasted tomatoes with garlic.  Here are baby heirloom tomatoes and brussel sprouts that we roasted the other night:
Hubby and I always have date nights.  Sometimes we go out to dinner and other times we cook together at home (I made a delicious date night at home dinner last week which I will share on my blog soon!).

This may seem like a lot, but it’s actually quite simple.  The largest component of meal prepping is time.  Keep in mind that you are preparing your meals with love, so turn on some music and have fun with it!  Get your spouse and/or kids involved and make it a family affair.  Just have fun :)





1 comments:

  1. This is SO HELPFUL!! Thank you and awesome job Maggie!

    ReplyDelete