Sunday, December 22, 2013

My Clean Eating Meal Plan/Prep

I’ve been asked about my Sunday afternoon food prep ritual so here it is!
This is how I’ve always done my meal planning since starting in July and it has worked great for me so far. Keep in mind I have 4 small children (ages 6 and under), work full time, own a bakery and am the lead cake decorator. I simply don’t have the time or energy to make elaborate meals. Once a week I try to go through Clean Eating Magazine, or through various web sites and blogs to find an original, fun recipe to impress my husband and kids and then add it to our little meal planner.


It’s ridiculous and just not possible for me to be elaborate with my meal planning with 4 kids. So to save time, I’m not making a new meal every night. Instead, I’m making 3-4 new meals per week and the other nights are for leftovers or for meals that I’ve prepped on Sunday. Now I give myself an hour every Sunday night to prep my choice of one protein, side and snack to have on those nights where I’m not trying something new from recipe land.

Every week I’ll vary between the list and make just enough of a protein, side and snack to last throughout the week for breakfasts, lunches, snacks and dinner. It’s really helped cut down on food prep in the kitchen, even more so now that I’ve learned a few sneaky tricks. Here’s just a sampling of the list I choose from to prep on Sundays:

Protein
Grilled Chicken (used for various dinners, salad topper, chicken salad sandwiches, etc.)
  • Grill 5-6 chicken breasts, season with olive oil, salt + pepper. Chop breasts in halves.
Grilled Fish (used for various dinners, salad topper, etc.)
  • Grill 5-6 filets, seasoned with olive oil, salt + pepper

Side
Roasted Vegetables (used for dinner side, or scrambled with eggs for breakfast)
  • Mix a bag of frozen vegetables with 3 red potatoes cut into chunks, season with olive oil, salt + pepper, thyme. Roast when needed.

Roasted Spicy Sweet potatoes (used for dinner side)
  • Cut 2 large sweet potatoes into chunks, season with chile powder, paprika, garlic, cumin. Roast when needed.
Plain Salad
  • I normally just buy one of those Organic Mixed Greens and a bag of spinach, mix the two together and dump it all into my salad spinner. I’ll add various toppings when I need them later.
Black Bean, Corn, Tomato Salad (I use this as a side, or mixed with eggs in the morning, or I’ll blend everything together to make a burger patty for lunch.)
  • Mix one can of black beans, 1/2 cup frozen white corn, 1 can of low sodium organic diced tomatoes (drained), and 1/2 sauteed onions.

Snack
Homemade Greek Fro-yo
  • Recipe to come! This one deserves it’s own post ;)
Homemade Granola

Hummus
  • I’ll alternate between garlic hummus, sun dried tomato hummus, broccoli pest hummus, and/or roasted red pepper hummus. To make the base, I’ll mix 1 can of garbanzo beans, 1 tbs tahini paste, 1/3 lemon juice, 1/4 olive oil, 2tbs minced garlic, 1/4 of the garbanzo bean juice. Then I’ll either add packaged sun dried tomatoes or roasted red peppers. The broccoli pesto is something I’ll share later. Quick and easy!
Veggies or Fruit (for dipping)
  • I’ll cut carrots, celery and bell peppers to use for dipping into hummus, greek yogurt ranch or cottage cheese.
So for example, this week I’m using a lot of chicken, hummus, salad and roasted veggies for my meals. Therefore, tonight’s prep consisted of just that – here I have the roasted veggies, hummus, salad and grilled chicken all ready for the week!


I also have everything planned out using a doc I created:
 

But the whole prep usually takes me 45 minutes to an hour total which isn’t bad at all. I take a lot of short cuts like using frozen veggies to avoid all of the chopping and dicing. And if you’re wondering about the nutritional content of frozen veggies, never fear. Frozen vegetables can actually be more nutritious then the “fresh” ones that sit at the grocery store or market. Frozen vegetables are picked when they’re at their peak, then flash frozen to avoid losing most of their precious nutrients. And as I always say, frozen veggies are better than no veggies.
So that’s my clean eating food prep process! Now I have everything I need throughout the week so I’ll be able to spend less time in the kitchen…and more time with these cute little guys --->

 

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