Meal Prep Plan: Part 2

The last meal prep plan was SO popular that it seemed right to make it into a monthly series (plus, you’re probably tired of eating that same stuff week after week), so here is our Meal Prep Plan: Part 2.  If you haven’t seen the original plan, check it out here.  My plan is to walk you through a one-day prep that will give you food for your family without having to cook again all week.  You’ll still need to supplement this prep with post-workout shakes, some lean proteins, and some veggies or fruits here and there.  This isn’t a plan to tell you every morsel to eat and when to eat it.  I’m just trying to fill your fridge with healthy options so that you don’t make poor food choices because you’re unprepared or hungry.  With that said, on with the prep!

feb16mealpreppic

This week we are making:
Crustless Ham, Spinach & Mushroom Quiche
Mediterranean Chicken
Vegetable Beef Soup
Weekly Chicken (a whole bunch of chicken breasts so you’ll have easy, fast, lean protein available and can tweak it however you’d like) which includes Chicken Parmesan.  You’ll have extra chicken to eat plain or dress up however you’d like.
Fudge

Since a lot of you have shiny, new pressure cookers on your countertops, I’m going to give you traditional methods for some of these recipes AND electric pressure cooker methods.  I have an InstantPot, so I can only speak to how those work with regards to cooking times, buttons, etc.  Most others function pretty much the same, but I don’t have any experience with them so I can only advise you to a certain extent.  Just a heads up.

Step 1:  Get yourself to the grocery store.  You know I think you should go to Aldi, right?  😉  Here’s your Shopping List:  feb16mealprep.

Step 2:  Let’s tackle this beast!

Preheat oven to 350.

In a skillet, we’ll start the Quiche and Mediterranean Chicken together.  Heat 1 tbsp. of olive oil, 1 tbsp. of minced garlic, 200g of diced onion, and 16 oz fresh sliced mushrooms.  When veggies are tender, remove 1/2 of the mixture into a bowl for later (I store mine in the microwave to save counter space and keep it warmish).  In the skillet, 315g sliced roma tomatoes.  Cook until tender then add 5 oz fresh spinach and cook until wilted.  (I add a lid at this point to wilt it faster/preserve the moisture).

Prepare the Mediterranean spice mix:

  • 3 tbsp. dried rosemary
  • 2 tbsp. ground cumin
  • 2 tbsp. ground coriander
  • 1 tbsp. dried oregano
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

Mix together in a jar or bowl.  Add 4 tbsp. of the Mediterranean Spice to 1 tbsp. of olive oil and 1 tbsp. of balsamic vinegar.

Grease a casserole dish or covered baking dish.  Lay 6 chicken thighs in and pour the spice mixture over them.  Then add veggies from the skillet over the chicken.  Add artichokes, olives, and sun-dried tomatoes on top and sprinkle more Mediterranean Spice over the whole dish.  Cover with lid or foil.  Set timer for for 25-35 minutes. Dish is finished when thighs are cooked through.

While the Mediterranean Chicken is baking, let’s finish up the Quiche so it can bake with it.

  1. Thaw frozen spinach in a bowl of warm water (or microwave). Squeeze or drain to remove water.
  2. Whisk together eggs, milk, and parmesan cheese in a separate bowl. Salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Spray a pie plate or small casserole dish with non-stick spray. Layer ingredients in this order: spinach, mushroom/onion mixture (that’s waiting in your microwave), ham, then feta.
  4. Pour egg mixture over everything.
  5. Sprinkle mozzarella on top.
  6. Bake at 350 for 45 mins to an hour. (mine always take an hour)  You’ll need a second timer for this because your own timer is set for the Mediterranean Chicken.

***NOTE:  You may have to adjust baking time for the Mediterranean Chicken and Quiche because they’re going at the same time.  Be sure to check that chicken is baked through (juices run clear) and that the quiche isn’t super wobbly when you shake it to know they’re done.

While your oven takes care of those, let’s get your Vegetable Beef Soup started.

Instant Pot:

  1. Turn on sauté function. Add butter, garlic, onions, and beef to the pot. Sear meat and cook onions until they soften.
  2. Add everything else. Stir well to combine.
  3. Turn sauté off and hit “Soup” button (Manual, high 30 mins for other cookers). Be sure valve is closed. NPR for at least 10 mins.
  4. If you want it thicker, open the lid, turn on sauté and cook a while longer to cook out the liquid.
Stovetop:
  1. In a large soup pot on medium heat, add butter, garlic, onions, and beef. Sear meat and cook onions until they soften.
  2. Add everything else. Stir well to combine.
  3. Cook until veggies are soft and meat is cooked through.
  4. You may want to cook longer with the lid off to thicken soup.
Crockpot:
  1. Throw all the things into the crockpot.
  2. Cook on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 6-8 until veggies are soft and meat is cooked through.

While your Vegetable Beef Soup is cooking by whatever means you chose, let’s knock out the Fudge.

  1. Dice dates (or buy them chopped)
  2. Add 1 C of the dates, cocoa, and protein powder to a food processor. (I use a Ninja)
  3. Blend for what seems like forever. It’ll still be powdery at this point and that’s okay.
  4. Add the rest of the dates and blend some more.
  5. When you feel like it’s mixed well, add the avocados. (I just half mine, remove the pit, and squeeze the good parts into the mixer then discard the skin…they don’t need to be diced or anything fancy).
  6. Blend again. You’ll likely need to use a spatula to push down the ingredients stuck to the walls of the processor a few times. Keep blending until it all seems incorporated. Remove the blade. Stir in chopped walnuts.
  7. It is like an arm workout to get this stuff out of the food processor because it’s so thick. (Bonus: accidental exercise!) Spread it into a small greased pan or dish. I used a 9×6 maybe? Sprinkle course salt (if you have it) over top and slice into 30 pieces. They’re small. But it’s fudge. 🙂 Keep stored in freezer (but transfer to air-tight container when you can).

At this point, your Vegetable Beef Soup should be coming out of the Instant Pot, if that’s how you cooked it.  And the  Mediterranean Chicken and Quiche should be finished or close to it.

Now it’s time for your Weekly Chicken.

In your Instant Pot:

  1. On sauté, add 1 tbsp. butter, 1/2 tbsp. minced garlic, and 100g onions.  Cook until onions are translucent.
  2. Add trivet and lay chicken breasts as flatly (cause that’s a word now) as possible.
  3. Add 1 cup of water, close lid and seal.  Press “Poultry” button. (Manual, high 15 min for other cookers).  NPR for 10 mins.

If you don’t have an Instant Pot, no problem.  We’ll do your Weekly Chicken in the oven.  Follow this recipe.  I’ve heard amazing things about it!  http://www.gimmesomeoven.com/baked-chicken-breast/

While your chicken cooks, prep for Chicken Parmesan.

Spiralize 3 zucchini and store in a gallon zippered bag in the fridge.  I use this Spiralizer and LOVE it..(I bought a different brand and returned it)  http://inspiralized.com/store/.  You can also get a smaller, less expensive one if you’re not sure you want to commit to zucchini noodles just yet.  This Vegetti is nice and you can find it at most grocery stores or order online here.  I had one and decided to upgrade when we found larger zucchinis and decided to eat zucchini noodles more frequently.  You may be able to use a mandolin slicer that you already own too.

When you’re ready to serve, just sauté with a touch of olive oil and some minced garlic until noodles are tender.  Then add chicken, parmesan, and spaghetti sauce.  (we’ll make our own down the road, but for now, try to choose one without high fructose corn syrup or a ton of sugar).  Chicken Parmesan

Alright!  That’s it!  You’re a rock star and you (and your family) will have lots of healthy options at your fingertips all week.  If you follow this plan, leave me a comment and let me know how it went!

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