Set It & Forget It

So this is my last week on maternity leave with my little girl and I want to make it as easy and as stress-free as possible. One way to make your meal prep easy is to have reoccurring ingredients. Several of my recipes this week have zucchini and meats are reoccurring as well. Every now and then I don’t mind just having your basic sauteed or grilled zucchini and squash; however, I would much rather use these healthy vegetables in a different way or dress them up for some extra flavor.

Remember that all of my meals can be found on my Pinterest board, ‘For the Love of Food’ and I always have the links on here.

I am a list person. I make lists to make lists. I don’t think I can function without making a list of things I need to do, want to do, have to do. Maybe there is a sense of accomplishment that comes along with being able to cross something off, but more importantly it keeps me organized and focused!

With that in mind, I decided to make my grocery list a little different than last week. It isn’t likely that you are going to want to eat EXACTLY what I am cooking, so I separated the ingredients according to the recipe. I listed EVERY item you will need, so make sure you print the list and search your pantry and cross it off before you head out to the store.  🙂


MENU

Chicken Breast + Sauteed Zucchini and Squash

Pork Tacos

Steak + Cheesy Zucchini Eggplant Bake

Curry Roasted Chicken and Vegetables Quinoa Bowl

BBQ Sandwiches


Chicken Breast + Sauteed Zucchini and Squash

 This sauteed zucchini and squash throws a curve ball when you think about your typical zucchini and squash mixture. You may look at the list of ingredients and think no way any of that is going to taste good with zucchini and squash, but IT DOES. For me zucchini and squash can be too watery and lack flavor, so this is a nice way to dress up a simple and healthy vegetable.

Go easy on the pine nuts, this little nut can up the fat content of the dish more than you think! I only use 2 Tablespoons, even if I am doubling the recipe. I would also only use 1 Tablespoons of EVOO to cut down on the fat. The squash will create a lot of liquid when it cooks and I personally prefer this to be more grilled and crispy, than watery and mushy like your typical sauteed squash.

We love using our Nuwave. It cooks chicken breast to perfection and never dries them out! It is seriously worth the investment to make cooking easy. I have never tried cooking any other meat on it, but hands down this is the only way I cook chicken if it will be eaten on its own.


Pork Tacos

Healthy Taco Tuesday on rotation maybe? I do love a good taco…if only I could go the Blue Cafe in Valdosta every Tuesday. The. Best. Tacos. Ever.

What I love about these tacos is just how dang easy they are! I cook the boston butt in the crock pot for 8 hours on low. I actually started it late one day and it cooked into the night. I was worried it would dry out but it stayed warm and was one of the best boston butts I had cooked so far! I use these tortillas, so I don’t have to worry about overeating on my carbs and get some added fiber!

Obviously use whatever method of cooking and seasoning you prefer but this is my method:

Rub down all sides with yellow mustard. Coat heavily with garlic powder, Mexican chili powder, and Pike’s Peak Seasoning  and rub in with your hands. You may not have these spices on hand but I highly recommend you order some! We use Pike’s Peak on our steaks and to season our boston butts.  Turn the butt fat side UP. Fill the crock pot with liquid up to an inch deep. I like to use a vinegar based barbecue sauce, Purvis BBQ in Louisville, Ga makes our go-to vinegar based sauce. If you do not have a favorite vinegar based sauce use part apple cider vinegar and Worcestershire sauce or soy sauce.  Cover and cook until internal temperature is 190-200 degrees or until blade of bone is easily removed. We will typically cook the meat on high for 2-3 hours, then turn it on low and let it finish cooking. Let the meat rest, then separate meat and fat with hands or forks.

The vegetables can be sliced beforehand and cooked the night of or cooked and stored to be reheated the night you plan to eat them. Slice 3 green bell peppers, 2 red bell peppers, and one onion. Sauteed onion and peppers with 1-2 Tbsp of EVOO. The beauty of this meal is it is easy to make, easy to track, the macros are great, and it is so good!

When you are ready to make the tacos, make sure you measure out the amount of meat you are planning to eat. You don’t want to reheat the meat too many times because it will dry out. I like to eat one tortilla, so I will usually go back for more meat to hit my protein goal…and because I love, love, love pork. Typically I will eat about half a pound of meat for this meal.

After you measure out the meat you want to eat, mix in your choice of green Mexican sauce and heat it up. We love this brand of sauce. Fill your tortilla with meat and veggies. If you are like me and like a little heat, add cholula or this red Mexican sauce.


Steak + Cheesy Zucchini Eggplant Bake

Fingers crossed the weather is perfect for grilling so we can all hang out outside and grill steaks. Our son loves to take his grill outside with Josh and pretend like he is cooking too or pretend to catch us a big fish in the yard. 🙂

I am going to leave the grilling to Josh and make this fantastic zucchini eggplant bake. This dish is a little bit of extra work, but so worth it and does taste better reheated in the oven, not the microwave. If you are in the mood for lasagna, and who isn’t, but don’t want all the carbs this is a really good alternative. It has so much flavor with the roasted tomatoes and you know exactly what is in it! I, of course, double the amount of veggies so we have left overs for lunch the next day. I do not double the amount of cheese. I hope you enjoy this “lasagna” as much as I did.

To measure equal pieces, get your scale out. You will need to ‘eye-ball’ cutting it into equal sections. I am going to make 6 equal pieces since we are having steak and steak is very filling. So that the serving sizes are correct for mymacros, I am going to weigh out each piece and make sure they are all equivalent.


Curry Roasted Chicken and Vegetables Quinoa Bowl

This is a new recipe for me. I am interested to see what you think about it! I love a good quinoa bowl. After having my second child my sister made me a huge patch of quinoa and all the ‘fixings’ to make a bowl. It is such an easy meal or snack once you have all the ‘fixings’ prepared.

If you have never tried quinoa before, you really should give it a try. It has more protein than rice and less carbs, win-win! For some reason, a lot of people have a hard time stepping out of their comfort zone and trying new foods. I love trying new things. The worst that could happen is you don’t like. Guess what? Don’t cook it again. You never know if you will like something if you don’t try it; however, if you go into thinking its going to be the worst thing ever, then chances are you won’t like it. Give these new, healthy recipes a try, WITH an open mind and they just might change your outlook on healthy food.

For this recipe I am going to double up on the sweet potato, chickpeas, and kale.  I am going to SKIP step 4 in the recipe, because I don’t need the extra fat from the EVOO and there is a dressing that will go along with this bowl. I am going to cook the chicken on the Nuwave to ensure that it does not dry out.

This recipe is great because you don’t have to mix everything together. You can keep all your ingredients separate for easy tracking on your macros app! No need to create a new recipe on mymacros, just search for each ingredient and add it to that meal for the day. If you create a recipe, do not mix all your ingredients and weigh equal portions. You can still keep the food separated and make the amounts in the recipe to fit what you are eating for 1 serving.


BBQ Sandwiches

Who doesn’t love a good sandwich night?! Like I said before I wanted to keep this week easy since it is my last week of maternity leave and what better way than to cook one boston butt for 4+ meals. If mama is happy, everybody is happy 😉

For the buns I opt to get fresh buns from the bakery instead of prepackaged buns. This does make tracking a bit more difficult but not impossible. On mymacros there is an option for whole wheat buns and brioche bun. Simply weigh your bun and plug it in depending on what type of bun you buy.

I do not make a slaw for my BBQ sandwiches. I just top with pickles and my favorite sauce and call it a day!


Don’t forget the grocery list!

 

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