Meal Prep, Week Four

Meal Prep, Week Four

What Meals I Made for the Week of July 23rd to July 28th

It has been a hot one this week!  Humid, gnats….running in the early AM has been almost unbearable.

This was my last week of summer classes in my program!  Yippee!!  So happy to finally have a month off of doing schoolwork and getting to cook and travel with my hubs!

Our first wedding anniversary was July 29th!  So we have much to be thankful for and celebrate!

Any special meals or desserts you would like to share with me for celebrations/summertime?  I love getting new healthy ideas to incorporate in my meal prep!  Shoot a comment at the bottom of this post!!

This week my hubs and I made some comfort food with a healthy twist for dinner!  He wanted to get his smoker out and smoke some meat for a dinner with some of our family last Sunday, so of course we got the leftover meat!  Smoked meat is awesome because it can last the WHOLE week rather than just a few days!

(I incorporated some easy changes to make meals vegetarian.  After this week, having meat EVERY day was a killer to my tummy since I am not used to eating meat more than once to twice per month.  I’m not a vegetarian but am a firm believer more fruits and vegetables as well as a different protein at times like lentils or beans than meat in meals is essential for a healthier daily diet).

 

What you’ve been waiting for: a look into the week!

 

Meal Plan

Breakfast (M, W, F): fig newton bars

Breakfast (Sun, T, Th): coconut flour banana bread

Morning Snack (everyday): banana

Lunch (Sun, T, Th): roasted chickpea wrap/salad with homemade tahini dip

Lunch (M, W, F): sweet potato and black bean combo with cilantro-lime sauce topped with tomato and spinach

Optional side with lunch: cherries

Afternoon Snack (everyday): popcorn

Dinner (M, W, F): jambalaya with cauliflower rice

Dinner (T, Th, Sat): brisket mac and cheese stuffed buttercup squash

 

Now the recipes for these amazing food fixin’s!

 

Breakfast.

 

I prepared the first breakfast Sunday morning

 

Coconut Flour Banana Bread
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Fresh out of the oven

I found the recipe here.

I leave out the chocolate chips and either incorporate chopped dates or blueberries!  This week I chose blueberries, and it was divine!

I always top it with almond butter and a little drizzle of honey!

Servings: 6 slices; Serving Size: 1 slice with one tablespoon of almond butter
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 45-50 minutes

Look at this deliciousness!  Sorry it is a little messy…It’s best eaten with a fork!

 

 

The next breakfast option, I made Sunday afternoon to be ready Monday morning…

 

 

Fig Newton Bars
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Servings: 6 bars; Serving Size: One bar
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30-35 minutes

I made this on a whim because I love fig newtons but hate the process of folding them and cutting them into squares.

So…I made a “open-faced” fig newton bar recipe.

I had leftover figs from last week, so I made an easy jam of about 15 figs.

I heated them up in a saucepan with a tablespoon of water, blended them in a food processor and voila! Beautiful fig jam.  Easy and takes less than 5 minutes!

Next for the oat crust for the fig newtons, I used this crust recipe.
John and I love the almond butter and jelly bars also, but the crust is the best part and can be made for many recipes!

This is how the oat crust looked in the food processor.

 

This is what the crust looked like before baked.

 

And this is how it looked after baked.

After I baked the crust, I topped it with the fig jam and left out the almond butter.  Otherwise I used all of the baking instructions from the crust recipe’s website!

I ate this with a side of a banana.  It turned out to be a hit for breakfast for my husband and me!  I drank a glass of almond milk with it as well.  Will make it again!

 

Lunch.

 

I prepared the first lunch on Sunday mid-morning for it to be ready to eat around lunchtime…

 

Roasted Chickpeas with Fresh Vegetables (as a wrap or salad)
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Servings: About 7; Serving Size: 2 heaping tablespoons
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20-25 minutes

Ingredients:

-1 32 oz can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed

-1 red bell pepper, chopped

-1 red onion, sliced

-1 tsp turmeric root powder

-½ to 1 tsp cinnamon

-Salt and pepper to taste

-Carrots, celery, ½ – 1 avocado, tomatoes, cucumbers, romaine lettuce….any toppings you want, chopped, sliced or whole

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Flat out the chickpeas, chopped bell pepper and sliced onion on a baking sheet (pictured below)
  3. Roast the chickpeas for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown.
  4. Chop romaine lettuce, carrots, cucumbers, celery and avocado and place in a bowl or tortilla.
  5. Top the veggies with the roasted chickpeas.
  6. Add a tablespoon of tahini dip (its called a sauce but its pretty thick as you can see in the picture below) for a dressing!  (recipe here)
    **if making a wrap, spread the tahini dip on the tortilla before adding the veggies and roasted chickpeas.
Portions for the hubs and me!

 

Salad for me! Wrap for the hubs!

 

The second lunch, I prepped on Sunday afternoon to be ready to go Monday…

 

Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Smashed Black Beans
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Servings: 5-6 meals; Serving Size: 1 scoop of black beans with 3-4 spoonfuls of roasted sweet potatoes
Prep Time: 10-15 minutes
Cook Time: 20-25 minutes

 

Ingredients

-4 skinny sweet potatoes, sliced into chips with skin-on and seasoned with salt and pepper to taste.

-1 tablespoon of olive oil

-32 oz can black beans, drained but leaving a little liquid

-½ small yellow onion

-1-2 cloves of garlic, minced

-Cherry tomatoes (I used about two to three large)

-Spinach leaves, amount you prefer

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Place sliced sweet potatoes on a baking sheet, season with salt and pepper.
  3. Roast sweet potatoes for 20-25 minutes, flipping halfway and making sure not to burn.
  4. While the sweet potatoes are roasting, heat up a tablespoon of olive oil in a saucepan.
  5. Sauté the onion until translucent.
  6. Add the minced garlic and sauté for 1 minute.
  7. Add the black beans into the saucepan and smash them with a potato smasher.
  8. Serve the sweet potatoes immediately when done and top with the black bean mixture.
  9. Drizzle homemade cilantro lime dressing on top (recipe here) or your favorite hot sauce.

 

I like this meal because you can do how ever many meals you want with the ingredients just by buying more or less.

This meal made five servings, which I did not mind because I wanted to eat the rest of the roasted chickpeas Friday, so John got to eat this delicious lunch three times.  He loves Mexican food so he didn’t complain ;).

Prepped and ready to go for the hubs and me!  I packed the tomatoes and spinach leaves separate!

 

Afternoon Snack.

Popcorn!

We have a Whirley Pop Stovetop Popcorn Popper and LOVE it!  I usually put a little under a tsp of coconut oil then pop 1/4 cup of popcorn.  It makes just enough for two people.  I season mine with pepper and salt, but you can use any seasoning of your preference!  Super easy and a quick snack in under two minutes!

Dinner.

I prepped the first dinner on Monday after we had smoked the meat Sunday for our family…

Brisket took 12 hours in the smoker with a couple of hours to rest and cool after.

The chicken and sausage took 2-3 hours in the smoker.

 

Smoked Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya with Cauliflower Rice
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Servings: 6 meals; Serving Size: About two to three scoops full
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes to 1 hour (depending how long you want to simmer the sauce)

I found the recipe for this awesome jambalaya here.

I love this recipe because of the sauce.  It is phenomenal and the perfect amount of spice.  You can scratch the meat and incorporate okra or potatoes.  I encourage you to try it!

For cauliflower rice, I figured it would be easy because you just have to steam it.  I wanted something low carb other than brown rice this week so I could make my Nanny’s homemade cornbread!

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Here are the recipes for the sides:

Cauliflower Rice
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Ingredients:

-1 large cauliflower

-About one tablespoon of olive oil to grease the pan

 

Directions:

  1. Cut the cauliflower into florets and place in a food processor.
  2. Process until very small.  (Pictured below).  This part turned out super quick, maybe only took about 30 seconds total.
  3. Heat olive oil in saucepan.
  4. Add the cauliflower rice and cover.
  5. Stir every 3 minutes for about 10 minutes.
  6. Serve immediately

ALSO: cauliflower rice STAYS GOOD for 5 days.  THUS, great to reheat!!  My husband and I reheated it Wednesday and Friday…tasted just the same, I promise!!

 

Nanny’s Southern Fresh Cornbread
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Makes about 8-10 servings

Ingredients:

-¼ tsp baking soda dissolved in 1 cup Buttermilk (I use regular milk; and almond milk works too if needing a dairy-free option)
-2 medium eggs (I also will sub eggs with my flax eggs*)
-3 tablespoons olive oil

Add:

-1/3 cup flour
-1 tablespoon sugar (I use about 1 tsp honey)
-1 1/3 cup cornmeal
-1 tsp salt
-3 tsp baking powder

(*flax egg: 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed with 2 ½ tablespoons of water.
Let sit for five minutes until thick like an egg).

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Mix all wet ingredients in a bowl. I add my honey in this option since it is a liquid.
  3. Grease a muffin pan or cast iron skillet with oil.
  4. Pour mixed ingredients into the muffin pan or hot skillet
  5. Bake for about 20-25 minutes until golden.

The second dinner I made Tuesday with the help from John since I had my FINAL summer classes this week.  You heard right, I AM DONE for a whole month of class.  I’m so ready for some relaxation and no cares…for only one month but live in the moment!

 

Brisket Mac and Cheese Stuffed Buttercup (or Acorn) Squash
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I found the recipe here for the mac and cheese stuffed acorn squash.

We had a buttercup squash that a client of my husband’s gave him from her garden.  This dish….made my husband say it was the best macaroni and cheese he’s had from me!  Let me tell you…that is something that made my day brighter.  I struggle with finding whole food recipes of macaroni and cheese that are healthy and satisfying.  Of course, macaroni and cheese is a comfort food, but several recipes always want you to use cheese whiz or artificial ingredients that cause the healthy side of it to go way down.  This recipe: it will make you want macaroni and cheese more often in your healthy diet.  At least if cheese is allowed in your diet 😉

I added the brisket on my own to give it more.  You can add veggies to this macaroni and cheese.  You could even do a Mexican themed macaroni and cheese, where you add some black beans for protein and some salsa.  Hopefully, I will be able to make my style of a Mexican macaroni and cheese with this recipe soon so you can see the deliciousness of it.

 

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That was the week!!!  I hope you are enjoying these posts of meal prepping!  Please share with me if you make any of these dishes and loved them, had a hard time with them, had them take longer…I love feedback and love helping!!  I want everyone to live a healthier lifestyle with food and with their stress loads.  Meals should NEVER be a stressor!  To de-stress from meal-prepping, you need to start with having every item you need for all of the meals through the week ON HAND.  That means, grocery shop for everything to where you can cook only a couple times during the week without another trip!

 

Stay tuned for the next week of grub 🙂

 

Happy prepping and cooking!  

-Dre