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Healthy Meal Prep For Beginners

June 8, 2015

I’d love to say I’m one of those girls, you know her: the one who walks into the office with her green smoothie having already worked out. The girl who prepped her meals for the week on Sunday, but still slept in and made it to hot yoga. I’ve been traveling back and forth a lot in the past few weeks, which means  I’ve been coming home later than usual, cooking sporadically and usually forgoing protein at dinner for the sake of time and hunger.

Knowing that cooking for two is much much easier than cooking for one, Brett and I decided to end the madness and try something new this weekend.  We hopped in the car, headed to Costco, and went in search of ingredients we could use in our first ever meal prep… have a look at what became of it! We came home with a bunch of goodies; hopeful we could pull of a healthy yet tasty meal we could portion out and eat throughout the week.

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The first thing we did was toss chicken breasts in three different marinades: The first was a chili-lime sauce from Stubbs, the middle was a Stubbs spicy BBQ, (more of a vinegar BBQ, which I prefer) and the third, a Jerk rub we picked up at Fresh Market with a little olive oil in the bag to keep it moist. All marinades are certified GF, making this entire meal 100% Gluten Free. We tossed all three into separate plastic bags and let them party in the fridge while we prepped our veggies.image

We found the cutest bag of mixed baby squash at Costco, as well as some portobello caps, and thought- Let’s grill! These were super easy to prep, we simply tossed them in olive oil, salt and pepper, and spread them on a baking sheet lined with foil. image

The portobellos were just as easy. To clean: moisten a paper towel and brush off any dirt. Rub with olive oil, salt and pepper, and plop on another baking pan.imageimageWith our veggies prepped, we fired up the grill and temporarily shifted our focus to the quinoa.

Quinoa is super easy to cook, yet I will admit I’ve messed it up once before. This time around, the quinoa was a success. For two people (6 meals) we cooked two cups of quinoa to four cups of water. I will definitely have leftover quinoa at the end of the week, the stuff quadruples in size in just 15 mins. Bring to a boil, cover and let simmer until it’s nice and fluffy, like this.

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With the grill nice and hot, we put the baking sheet of squash onto the grill and placed the portobellos directly on the rack. PSA: Portobellos shrink on the grill. When we washed all of the veggies I got a little nervous thinking we’d bought too much food. Cooked, we will each have a perfect portion for three meals. Phew!image imageWith the veggies sizzling away, we turned our attention to my favorite part of this entire prep: The pineapple salsa.

We saw the pineapples in Costco and decided that a fresh salsa would taste delicious on top of the Jerk chicken, or mixed into the leftover quinoa that could be served as a cold salad.

To make this super fresh, super easy, super sexy salsa you will need:

image1 pineapple: cube half to use now and save half for breakfast

1 habanero pepper (we used half because we didn’t want to over do it with the accompaniment of the Jerk)

1/2 a red onion, chopped

1/2 a lime, squeezed

Cilantro (a handful finely chopped)

Directions:

Toss the pineapple, red onion,  and habanero into a food processor.

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Pulse a couple times…you still want it to have some chunkiness to it. All fruit salsa is best left a little choppy, like this:imageSqueeze in your lime and sprinkle in the cilantro (as much or as little as you like!)

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Scoop into a festive bowl and have a photo shoot…

imageI mean… grab some chips and give it a taste! Once you edit it to your liking, portion into some tupperware and place in the fridge for safe keeping.

Once we pulled the veggies off the grill, it was time for the chicken!

imageWe sliced up the veggies and portioned them into tupperware, while waiting for the chicken to cook.

imageThen flipped the chicken to find that the BBQ stuck a little more than the other two marinades.

imageOnce the breasts were cooked through, we took them off the grill and let them rest before slicing and portioning out into tupperware.

imageBrett and I used a hodgepodge of tupperware he had laying around, but if you plan on frequently meal prepping, I’d recommend investing in a 19 or 30 piece kit by Pyrex from Costco. They have a variety of sizes, so everything from sauces, to chicken, to veggies, will have a container to match.

After everything was cooked, cleaned, and packed up, Brett and I did the only thing left to do… we ordered takeout πŸ˜‰ We considered it a reward for all our hard work. All in, it took us about three hours from start to finish to prep 6 dinners. Quite a productive activity for a Saturday afternoon before dinner! With our meals prepped and our Sunday free for lounging, we even got to sleep in.

Any suggestions on other healthy meal prep menus? I’m all ears! Comment below, I dare ya πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

 

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