Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Meal Prepping Week Two!

In a previous post I wrote about how I prep our food for convenience and also for health, and I want to talk more about that now. Things have been going really well using this system. Typically I shop on Monday mornings and that afternoon during nap time prep all of the food. Again- I'm not working a 9-5 job right now, but maybe a few hours on the weekend could be your "day" if you do work in an office.
Andrew's goal over the last six months was to gain some weight in muscle- he's definitely accomplished that- up twenty pounds from last winter. I've maintained my weight from last winter, but my body is completely different. I look longer and leaner and although I don't calculate my BMI I'm confident it's much lower. I attribute meal planning and consistent intense exercise to our changes. Here's another week of meals to give you some ideas of how we do it. Andrew's trying to eat about 220 grams of protein per day to sustain the work he does in the gym, while I'm happy (and feel good) with 80 grams :)

Just like last time I'll explain things from the top to the bottom of the fridge:

-The box of wine. Shameful as it is, there's pretty much always one in there. I'm not an every day wine drinker (or a wine snob) so it just makes sense, plus Andrew doesn't drink wine.

-Meal 1: Meatloaf with Cauliflower, Carrots and Zucchini: I used a pound of 93/7 lean ground beef, two eggs, and basically just dumped a bunch of seasoning in there- hot sauce, Parmesan cheese, basil and a little ketchup because... it's meatloaf ;) For the vegetables I roasted everyone chopped small on a big pan lined with foil and olive oil- seasoned with garlic, salt and pepper. I add red pepper flakes to everything so those are in there too.

 -Meal 2: Fajita Chicken with Grains, Beans, and Vegetables: I used chicken tenderloins because they are the easiest for me and there's very little waste. I use some kitchen shears to chop them up into small pieces and saute with a little olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. While they're cooking I season them with salt, pepper, cumin, and chili powder. For the grains I cook one part grains (I used wild rice, quinoa, and Bulgar for this particular mix) to two parts chicken broth in my rice cooker. I made a huge amount because I use it for another meal as well. Oh- and I roasted some peppers and mushrooms and added beans at the end.

-Cauliflower Soup: I usually like to make a big batch of soup at the beginning of the week. I typically have soup and salad for lunch when I'm home. This week I sauteed some onions, carrots, garlic and celery in olive oil. I added two cup of chopped cauliflower and a quart of chicken broth. Simmer for twenty minutes until the cauliflower is tender, then add a cup of milk with a tablespoon of cornstarch mixed in. Simmer and additional fifteen minutes and add salt/pepper to taste.

-Meal 4: Tofu with Grains and Vegetables: I use those wonderful frozen Asian vegetables from Aldi for this meal. Heat those up and add to your containers with a scoop of grains. Afterward in a pan coated with olive oil, I chopped extra firm tofu and sauteed it with ginger and soy sauce. I sprinkled a tablespoon of chia seeds on top for an extra boost of protein. 

-Meal 5: Sausage and Peppers: I chop the sausage small and saute with garlic and olive oil in a hot pan. I throw the peppers in about halfway through. 

-Meal 6 Meatballs with Spaghetti Squash: I made some BIG meatballs and baked them with some mozzarella cheese in the middle. Then I roasted a spaghetti squash cut in half and laid face down on a pan at 375 degrees for about 45 minutes. When it's done just use a fork to scoop out the inside! Looks like spaghetti and for those of us who get bloated from pasta it's a real life saver. I poured some organic spaghetti sauce over top and added some Parmesan cheese.

Meal 3: Pork with Asparagus and Red Potatoes: This one is the easiest meal yet! Put everything on one large pan and bake at 375 degrees until the pork tenderloin is cooked through- about an hour. I bought an already seasoned pork loin and seasoned everything else with salt, pepper, and a little balsamic vinegar.

-Chopped Fruit: This is easy smart to prepare in advance and I like to put it at face level so I don't forget about it in the crisper drawer. Mid-afternoon snack for the girls and I might be strawberries and pineapples. Or I can throw them in smoothies with a little yogurt and spinach! I put individual servings in bags for Isaiah to take to school. Same with veggies!

-Prepped Vegetables: Ahh. The vegetable drawer. Basically I choose about three types of raw vegetables to have available for the week. This week it's celery, baby carrots, and cucumbers. I slice them and put half in a huge salad that will last the week and half in baggies for Andrew and Isaiah to take to school. Most of the battle with eating fruit and vegetables- in my opinion- is preparing them. If they're cut and available and you have a healthy dip to eat them with, you'll be far more likely to make the right choice! I speak from experience.

When you're all done fridge stocked and the kitchen cleaned, you've definitely earned a seat on the couch :)

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