Saturday, July 23, 2011

Meal Planning and Prepping

Today has been a busy, but fantastic day. I started it out bright and early with a Sweet Session (ice cream sessions, if you're not in the loop! ;)), then we took Mikko to the dog park - more on that in another post later. When we came home, I spent an hour meal planning and making a grocery list and then headed to HEB. I hate fighting the crowd on Saturday, but it's the best time for me to shop. I like having Sunday to myself with my family - the way it should be! I came home and we got the groceries put away and I started prepping my meals for the week.

I've had a couple people ask me about meal prepping - what it is and why I do it. Basically, I set aside one afternoon a week (usually on Sunday) and I prep all of my cooked meals, portion into Tupperware containers, and stick them in the fridge. Since I eat the same thing every day for a week, it's not difficult to do and just takes some time. Why do I prep? I mean, I'm a work at home mom - it's not like I need to have food cooked to take to an office or something. I prep because it makes it easy for me to stick to what I've planned. There are many days a week where I get lunch ready for Will and I just want to grab something quick and easy. If I don't have a healthy meal already cooked, 9 times out of 10 I'm eating his leftover macaroni and cheese, grabbing a bowl of cereal, or snacking on Will's crackers...none of which have a regular place in my diet!

I actually really enjoy this time in the kitchen (unless, like today, I burn myself TWICE!). And I love the result after...neat little stacks of Tupperware lined up in the fridge, ready for me to eat them this week! And this is what's in them for this week:

M1 (preworkout): Eat-Clean Breakfast Burrito
M2 (post workout): Protein Shake, Banana
M3: Power Oatmeal Pancakes (2), 1 c. strawberries
M4: 4 oz. ground turkey breast seasoned with homemade taco seasoning and mixed with 1 sauteed red bell  pepper; apple
M5: 4 oz. chicken breast, 2 c. steamed/roasted veggies (I'm doing broccoli, squash, & onions), 1/2 small avocado
M6: 4 egg whites, 2 c. spinach, 1 T. balsamic vinaigrette, peach
M7: Greek Yogurt (my "dessert!")

The Eat-Clean Burritos and Power Oatmeal Pancakes both come from Tosca Reno's Eat Clean Diet Cookbook...I *love* that cookbook (and all of her books, to be honest) and haven't made anything out of it that I don't like!

Eat-Clean Breakfast Burritos
Nutritonal Info: Makes 4 burritos; 198 calories; 4g fat; 20g carbs; 19g protein
2 c. egg whites
1/2 c. nonfat cottage cheese
1/2 c. chopped tomatoes
1/2 c. chopped red or green sweet pepper
1/2 c. chopped sweet onion
1/2 c. black beans, rinsed & well drained then mashed coarsely with a fork
4 small Ezekiel grain or other whole-grain tortillas/wraps
Sea salt & fresh ground pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 250*F. Place tortillas in oven to warm while preparing remaining ingredients.
2. In a small bowl whisk egg whites, cottage cheese, salt & pepper.
3. In a medium skillet coated with cooking spray, saute vegetables and beans until soft. Pour the egg/cottage cheese mixture over vegetables and cook until mixture sets. Once firm, divide egg mixture among the warmed tortillas. Roll each into a burrito. Garnish with salsa.
4. Roll left-overs in foil and refrigerate. Great cold!

Power Oatmeal Pancakes
Nutritional Information: Makes 6 pancakes - 2 pancakes/serving; 283 calories; 10.5g fat; 24g carbs; 21g protein6 egg whites, beaten until fluffy
1/2 c. low-fat cottage cheese
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
1/2 c. oatmeal, uncooked
1/4 c. wheat germ
1/4 c. flax seed
1 tsp. baking powder
1 T. canola oil
1/2 t. cinnamon

1. Place all ingredients except beaten egg whites in a food processor and pulse or blend until mixture is uniform.
2. Pour blended ingredients into a bowl and add the egg whites. Fold until just blended.
3. Prepare a griddle with cooking spray. Ladle pancake mixture onto griddle and cook until both sides are browned.
4. Skip the syrup and top with fresh fruit, a dollop of unsweetened apple sauce, or fruit syrup (1/2 c. berries + 1 T. water - mash berries & bring to a boil. When fruit is uniformly hot and begins to get syrupy, remove from heat)

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