It’s the first week you guys and I am SO excited! The book arrived Healthy Meal Prep: Time Saving Plans to Prep and Portion Your Weekly Meals by Stephanie Tornatore and Adam Bannon. I have read through it, a few tips, and took a look at what I will be making for my first week. I also wrote down the shopping list for the week to see what I had and what I needed to get at the store. A cool thing about this book, it gives you the step-by-step recipes sure. But it also gives you step-by-step instructions for the actual meal prep day and what to do to which recipe when. That is so easy! Another awesome tidbit in this book is that each recipe is designed to focus on our macro nutrients. This provides a valuable balance or carbs, fats, and proteins. Ready to hear about what we’re making this week? Keep reading!
Week One: The Meals
Each week has a theme. This week’s theme is Cut the Carbs, using vegetables in place of things such as rice and noodles. There are four different meals this week on rotation for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Since I tend to fast, I will be doing meal 1, meal 2, and meal 3. Meal 1 is usually my lunch. Then I have a preworkout meal about 3-4, and Meal 3 is my dinner.
The first meal we are making are Egg and Feta Muffins. My first thoughts regarding this are pleasant. Eggs are valuable protein, the muffins should be savory, not too heavy. They will be perfect as my preworkout meals. Next we are making a Spiced Beef with Chickpeas and Arugula, Chicken Parmesan with Zucchini Noodles, and Shrimp Scampi with Cauliflower Rice. I am a little concerned with the Spiced Beef dish. You can use ground beef or bison and I chose a lean ground turkey. But my concern lies with the chickpeas. I am not a fan of humus. Although I am well aware of their benefits, I cannot say that I have ever tried, or enjoyed, chickpeas. This will be interesting. So what if I just truly cannot stomach something? Well, improvise. Be open-minded, try new things, but if you’re having to choke something down, get rid of it! This dish might end up being Spiced Beef and Arugula, but we’ll see.
Level of Difficulty
I will give this a C+ and that’s only because I ran in to a couple of bumps. For one thing, spiraling your own zucchini can be a pain in the butt. Sometimes you can already find spiraled zucchini in the store. This would be easier, cleaner, and quicker. Another thing I found was that even with the olive oil, my egg muffins stuck to the pan fairly badly. It’s 3 days later and that pan is still soaking. Ugh. Garlic is used in just about every recipe this week. Not an issue, I enjoy garlic and it’s good for you but it can be annoying to mince. It’s sticky and takes longer than I would like to mince it properly. Other than those few bumps, the directions, the steps, and everything else was pretty simple. I did simplify the cauliflower rice by buying frozen cauliflower rice. It saved me time and is much cleaner than throwing a head into the food processor.
First off, if you are vegetarian, this week may not be for you. Feel free to swap out the beef with tofu though, and try eggplant in place of the chicken dish. Another thing, when it comes to meal prepping, be sure you have plenty of containers. If you’re like me, you like to keep everything separated. For me, I chose to use small, single containers or my bento box. You can choose from plastic, glass, even metal, depending on your needs. Plastic is the easiest but they won’t last quite as long as glass or metal. Do your research to determine which ones will work best for you.
You can save time by doing what I did and purchasing cauliflower rice instead of chopping up a head of cauliflower. Again, if you can find spiraled zucchini, that would save you time (and a mess) as well. For the muffins, I might suggest spraying the pan with a non-stick spray. I find that tends to work better than the olive oil coating but that’s just me. I would assume you could use muffin liners as well to help ease the mess.
Every meal was actually very delicious, even the Beef with Chickpeas and Arugula! I was pleasantly surprised. I would have to say my favorite was the Shrimp Scampi and Cauliflower Rice. The garlic butter sauce was delicious, the shrimp were perfect, and the rice added an extra vegetable without the heaviness of real rice. I usually had this dish for dinner (shrimp and the office weren’t a great idea in my book) and would add another handful of fresh spinach just for some extra nutrients and color you know? Although each meal contained a cup of spinach already, it just cooks down to nearly nothing.
I truly believe I will be utilizing every one of these meals in the future.
I spent under $50 for all of the groceries necessary to make these meals. I needed quite a few spices, all of the produce, meat, and dairy, etc. The only thing I did not need were the utensils. I made a total of 12 meals and 12 muffins (6 servings), so just under a weeks worth of meals, roughly $8 a day or $3 a meal to eat. I’d say that’s pretty good. 🙂
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Love Ya`ll A Latte,