By now you may have realized that I do not do the typical meal prep, the thousands of Tupperware containers (probably all matching) with chicken, carrots sticks, and maybe a carbohydrate.
I like to eat and I like to eat well.
I refuse to let my meals be bland and boring. I really think that is why most diets and meal prepping does not last for people. No one likes to place limitations on themselves and especially not on something as enjoyable as food. Food is comforting. Food is delicious. Food is social. Why would you want to be miserable eating something that is so necessary and fulfilling (nutritiously and emotionally)?
Rolling up some deli meat and throwing it in a container is not going to keep you on track. Maybe for a day or two, heck maybe even a week or two, you will eat the rolled up deli meat with your raw veggie…but eventually, you will slip up. I feel like placing such harsh restrictions on yourself can only lead to you back sliding.
I never say, oh I can’t have that, it’s I don’t want that. I don’t want that piece of fried fish because I know how hard I have been working and one piece of fried fish (which always has french fries, grits, and hush-puppies) isn’t worth it to me. If there is cake, I might eat the cake, I might not. It really does depend on what else I have consumed that day. I try to plan for things like that. If I know I am going to a party where there is likely to be some amazing red velvet cake, then I will skip my carbs in previous meals so I can eat it. There are ways to have your cake and eat it too, without feeling so guilty. 😉
Taking ownership of the choices you are making and not feeling like you are being forced to eat healthy, will likely lead to you making healthier food choices. I choose to meal prep big meals instead of the basic grilled chicken and raw vegetable, because I like variety and I don’t want to get bored with my healthy food. Sure it would be a whole lot easier to just cook loads of chicken or pork every week and throw in some raw vegetables, but that isn’t for me. I am also pretty sure Josh would not be interested in those kinds of meals. I mentioned leftovers once to him, before I started all this meal prepping and he looked at me like I was crazy.
My meal prep always involves a little help from the babies, mainly Anderson. He loves to help me cut up things with his “sharp knife”. He will get his wooden knife from his kitchen and help me chop the vegetables. He was OBSESSED with the spiralizer. He thought it was a race to see how fast we could spiralize the zucchini, squash, and cucumbers.
When I meal prep I make enough food for Josh and I to have for lunch the next day. It is nice to go into my app and just copy the meal from the night before. I know exactly what I consumed for my macros and don’t have to worry with figuring up something from the school lunchroom, drive through window, or have some boring deli meat.
I don’t bother separating our portions into supper and lunches until the night we are going to eat it. If it is a large meal, like chili I can count the amount of servings as I put it into my large container. For example I will place the container onto the scale and weigh out the ideal portion size. I will repeat this process, counting how many servings we will have until all the food is gone. I can then create a recipe in my macros tracking app and plug in the amount of servings. This allows me to know exactly how many proteins, carbs, and fats are in each serving.
On the night we are having that meal, I will get out my Tupperware for the lunches, masking tape, a pen, and my scale. If I have created a recipe I will weigh out our portions and simply write down the amount of servings we are eating on the tape. If I am just weighing out a pork chop, beets, tomatoes, etc. I will write down the weight of that item on the tape. It really does not take any more time than what you would spend on Sunday putting it all into containers. I just don’t like my refrigerator to be full of Tupperware containers and have to search for the right one. For me, packing our lunches the night before as I am plating our supper is as easy as it gets!
I hope everyone had an amazing Mother’s Day weekend. Unfortunately Mother’s Day doesn’t put a halt on our household duties. I am still planning to meal prep like normal, I hope you are too or get your husband to do it!
Chicken + Beet Salad
Steak + Cauliflower Chickpea Salad
Chicken + Strawberry Salad
Chicken + Beet Salad
So you might get tired of seeing beet salad on my menus, but I promise this is one you haven’t seen from me yet! It is super simple and has very few ingredients, winner-winner! This salad doesn’t have any greens with it, so I may add in some kale just to give it some more texture and added fill to it.
All of my meals last week were pretty light, which is great, but it can leave you feeling like you didn’t eat enough! The zucchini and cucumber noodles from last week were delicious but they can be deceiving. Visually it looks like you have a lot in your bowl, but they don’t keep you full for very long. So I am going to add in some kale just to give me some extra nutrients and to also fill me up a bit more.
I am going to opt to cook chicken breast on the NuWave. The NuWave does the BEST job cooking a juicy chicken breast. Depending on the thickness of your chicken will determine how long you cook in on each side. Chicken breasts seem to get thicker and thicker, so we typically have to cook ours 9-11 minutes on each side. This is very trial and error. Make sure to have your meat thermometer handy so you can check the temperature of your meat and make sure it’s thoroughly cooked.
Steak + Cauliflower Chickpea Salad
If there is ever a get together that requires me to take a dish, this is always my go to. I always try and take something I know that I love and that is healthy, just in case I don’t like what else is there or if there aren’t any other healthy options. I like to make a big bowl of this so we have extra for the weekend too. I get two cauliflowers and usually 3 cans of chickpeas.
You will need to roast the chickpeas and cauliflower on separate pans, on 425 degrees. I would recommend just using a lemon from the beet salad to zest over the cauliflower and chickpeas. You won’t actually need the lemon juice, so there is no need to buy a lemon just for this salad. The chickpeas get a nice helping of fennel seeds, lemon zest, EVOO, salt and pepper. This dish does not have to be watched too carefully, but make sure you set a timer so it doesn’t burn! I check on mine after 20 minutes and then every 5 minutes or so after that.
We don’t typically eat steak during the week, unless it is steak fajitas. It is starting to warm up fast down here in south Georgia, so we better get as much grilling in as we can before it is too hot for the kids to be outside. We always tenderize the steaks and season them at least a hour before putting them on the grill. We use Pikes Peak Seasoning to season our steaks and boston butts. It is the perfect seasoning to me, it has everything you could want.
Chicken+ Strawberry Salad
Strawberries are in season now, so there is no better time to make a strawberry salad. I know I said most of my meals last week were light, but I love a salad with fresh fruit.
Salad Ingredients: Strawberries 1 to 1 1/2 cup chopped per salad, kale 1 cup per salad, avocado or almonds, and quinoa
Dressing Ingredients: juice of 2 lemons, 1Tbsp honey, 1 Tbsp EVOO. Combine all dressing ingredients into a mason jar and shake well.
You can make this like a quinoa bowl or skip the quinoa and just have a nice kale salad with strawberries. I would interchange almonds or avocado, not both. If you choose to do both make sure you weigh out the avocado and count the almonds before you eat the salad so you know how much fat you are eating.
For ease, I am going to cook chicken breasts for two of our meals. I can easily cook these the night of or make a big batch of chicken on Sunday night on the NuWave.
I am planning on making a new dish with pulled pork besides my usual pulled pork tacos. There is bound to be leftover meat, so I am going to use that meat for BBQ sandwiches. I am going to buy twin packs of Boston Butt from the local grocery store while they are on sale. This will make it easy to make the usual BBQ sandwich meat and the new pineapple pulled pork bowl.
For this recipe, the crock pot or slow cooker is your best friend. It makes it so easy to cook this meal (and the pineapple pork bowl) that you don’t even have to do it on Sunday. You can always set it in the crock pot before you leave for work that morning and you will have a meal ready when you get home.
Rub down all sides with yellow mustard. Coat heavily with garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, Mexican chili powder, and Pikes Peak Seasoning and rub in with your hands. You may not have these spices on hand but I highly recommend you order some! 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 or white 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 about 4 hours, then turn it on low and let it finish cooking. Let the meat rest, then separate meat and fat with hands or forks.
Top this with your favorite BBQ sauce and you are good to go!
This recipe calls for you to cook the pork in a specific marinade, so you cannot simply use the leftover pork from the BBQ sandwiches. This is why it is a good idea to buy two small boston butts. The pork is cooked with chunks of pineapple, they use canned pineapple, but I am going to buy a fresh pineapple so we can have some with breakfast for the week. You can easily get the juice needed from the pineapple, instead of the can. They also use coconut milk, I am using low-fat coconut milk and jasmine rice instead of regular white rice.
I am very excited to try a new recipe with pork other than the tacos that I have been using my leftover pork for. There are several ways to use leftover pork, but they always fall short on the healthy factor. I hope you love this new way to eat pork!
Don’t forget the list!