One of the good things about not having any commitments on Mondays is it allows me to plan ahead and prepare some of the more time consuming recipes. This is all part of my fitness routine. You know what they say – “Fail to plan, then plan to fail.” When I do my week’s food prep, I am preparing for success.
The first step is to make a meal plan for the week, and then shop for those ingredients. If you are short on time for the week in preparing lunches and meals, after you get home with your groceries is the best time to start your food prepping for the week. When I was working, I would spend about 2-3 hours on my Sunday to prepare my lunches for the work week. I have several great bulk recipes that will stay for several days in Tupperware. Some I’ve already shared, like my Quinoa and Chicken Salad. I have another chicken salad, which is great on lettuce or as a sandwich.
Creamy Chicken Salad
- 3 cups grilled chicken
- 1/4 cup green onions, chopped
- 1/2 cup almonds
- 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup vegan mayo, optional
- 1 cup halved grapes
- 1 teaspoon rosemary
- 1 tsp honey mustard
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp pepper
- 8 romaine lettuce leaves, or 8 slices of whole grain bread
- Combine all ingredients except the lettuce/bread in a large bowl. Be gentle when folding grapes in with rest of mixture. Stir well.
- Spread about 1/4 of mixture to make one wrap/sandwich.
Nutrition Facts: per serving (without bread)
Fat: 10 g
Carbohydrates: 20 g
Protein: 30 g
I also enjoy making breakfast casseroles that will last several days. My breakfast casseroles are usually a little different each time I make them. Most of them include eggs/egg whites, some sort of cheese (whether it’s homemade vegan or goat cheese), and potato. But the vegetables and meats I cook with them always vary, so it’s somewhat difficult to create ONE recipe. But, for you, my dear readers, I will tell you about one of my husband’s favorite breakfast casseroles, Pizza Casserole.
- 1 container of egg whites
- 1 cup almond or coconut milk
- 3 medium potatoes (variety of your choice), chopped into smallish chunks
- 1/2 cup diced onions
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 2 Tablespoons oregano
- 15-20 slices pepperoni (turkey, vegetarian, or real)
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- 1 container goat cheese crumbles
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees and brush olive oil over a large baking dish (about 9×13)
- In a large bowl, mix the egg whites and milk
- Sprinkle chopped potatoes and diced onions around baking dish
- Pour egg mixture over potatoes and onions
- Sprinkle salt, pepper, and oregano over egg mixture
- Place pepperoni slices on top of egg mixture
- Pour tomato sauce over pepperoni
- Sprinkle cheese over tomato sauce
- Cover casserole with aluminum foil and place in oven for 30 minutes at 375.
- Remove casserole and remove foil. Place back in oven for 20-30 minutes.
- Let cool down for 30 minutes before placing in fridge.
Nutrition Facts: per serving
Calories: about 230
Fat: 4.5 g
Carbs: 20 g
Protein: 22 g
I also have started making breakfast quiche, but I’m currently using pre-made pie crusts until I get the courage to make my own. But the quiche is really easy, once you have your pie crust. Grease a baking pan or pie dish and place pie crust in dish and fit crust around edges. In separate bowl, mix your eggs or egg whites and 1/2 cup of milk. Throw a chopped potato on top of pie crust, then pour egg mixture into pie crust. Then I chop 2-3 bacon slices and mix it in with the other ingredients, and finally I mix a container of crumbled goat cheese with rest of ingredients. Place in pre-heated oven at 325 degrees and cook for 45 minutes to an hour.
I make these on my Food Prep day, because, the last thing I want to do when I first wake up is scrounge around for ingredients and actually cook that complicated of a meal. But HAVING that meal in the morning automatically puts me in a much better mood. So, prepping it beforehand and then simply warming it up in the morning makes for an easy and super delicious breakfast.
I try to make a few snack type foods too, mostly for my hungry, hungry husband. This week I prepared my Spinach Artichoke Dip, but I also like to make my protein bars, which I’ll share with you all for your mouth-watering pleasure.
Pattie’s Perfect Protein Bars
- 2 servings of your favorite protein powder (preferably chocolate flavored, but I won’t judge if you use vanilla or even strawberry)
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil
- 6 tablespoons almond butter (do NOT try this with peanut butter, especially brand name peanut butter like Jif or Peter Pan, it will not go well)
- 15 Medjool dates
- 1 tablespoon Chia seeds (optional)
- 1/2 cup almond or coconut milk, divided
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder, or caoco nibs
- 1/3 cup your choice of nuts (I prefer cashews or macadamia)
- Combine protein powder, coconut oil, and nut butter in bowl. Mix with a fork until blended. Line a square 9×9 baking pan with parchment paper. Press protein base into bottom of pan and spread to all sides and corners, pressed firmly.
- Pit medjool dates and place in a small saucepan. Add 2-3 tablespoons of milk and warm dates for about five minutes over medium heat.
- Place contents of saucepan into a blender or food processor. Add chia seeds. Blend until completely smooth. Spread the nougat on top of the protein base.
- In saucepan, combine cocoa and just enough milk to make a smooth syrup. Pour syrup over date nougat. Sprinkle nuts on top of chocolate.
- Cool in fridge for at least 30 minutes before serving.
Servings vary, but around 8-12
Nutritional Facts per serving, approximate
Fat: 20 g
Carbohydrates: 21 g
Protein: 18 g
Yeah, it’s fatty, but trust me. These are healthier fats and the bar is supremely delicious. It’s not far off from the big name protein and muscle bars you find in grocery stores, either, only it’s better because they’re homemade!
My meal preparation is pretty fun. I truly enjoy cooking and trying new flavors and recipes, so my food prep time is also “me time”. Throw on a good binge watching show on Netflix and spend the afternoon creating delicious dishes for your family to enjoy.
The pizza casserole and especially the protein bars are delicious! I’m not just saying that, I’ll let Pattie know if I don’t like something.