What is a typical meal prep and menu for me?

I posted my meal prep on facebook and instagram and had a bunch of people asking me for recipes and how I do my prep for a busy week.

Second, look for another  blog post addressing the elephant in the room (I can’t seem to blog consistently) and why I have one post a year or so.  No more apologizing that I disappeared AGAIN! I promise!  So look for more shortly.

This week I knew I would have my hands full with the start of the school year and a full soccer schedule.  Both my boys play academy level (or higher) soccer.  That means we have 2-3 practices a week, sometimes extra games thrown in, and have either games or tournaments on the weekends.  I will be on the soccer fields with at least one of my boys 7 out of the next 8 days.  I can’t leave dinner especially up to whatever we have in the house or keep grabbing fast food all week.

On Friday last week, before the crazy was about to start, I sat down with my kids and later my husband to discuss what they needed that week.  Planned out breakfast, lunch and dinner – we all made sure that anything they needed was on my grocery lists.  Yes lists – I hit three places this weekend to get all my food.  Kroger – Clicklist ordering so I don’t have to actually go shopping, Sprouts – for specific items like bulk nuts, bacon, gluten free items that me and my oldest need, and finally Sam’s Club – bulk paper goods, dairy, meats and similar items.

I have space in my planner that I can write grocery lists and meal plan quickly whenever I need too.  Gives me an easy place to write down we need something and I don’t forget where I put it.  So for this week we planned quite a bit so that maybe I am even ahead for the following week. Yes I bullet journal and I created my own based on my needs.  I’ve been bullet journaling for 3 years now and found quickly what I liked and didn’t like.  But that’s a whole other story and blog post for another day.  Feel free to ask me anything.  I love sharing about my journal.  It contains everything I need to run this crazy household.

Here is our menu for the week and I will include recipes below and links to where I found everything (except where noted).  Everything is linked to where I found the recipe.  For simplicity, I will also add them below if you don’t want to click through a bunch of websites.

Breakfast

  • Oatmeal muffins with chocolate chips
  • Egg Mcmuffins (that’s what we named them)
  • Superhero muffins – This is from the book Run Fast Eat Slow, sorry no link to the recipe but I promise they are so good
  • Protein waffles – I don’t know where I found this recipe but I do know it was originally on BodyBuilding.com  I just can’t trace where I found it.

Lunch

  • Cheese tortellini (from Kroger) or spaghetti (we will use lentil pasta since it’s gluten free and high in protein) with homemade meat sauce – will list my recipe below.
  • Homemade yogurt (already made the week before) I make it in my instant pot and strain it so it’s thicker and “Greek yogurt”
  • Chocolate Avocado pudding (already made the week before)

Dinner

Snacks

  • Bacon jerky – I went with the Bourbon and brown sugar version
  • chocolate chip protein cookies – bought the mix from Walmart.  It’s Monster Meli’s cookies.  Just add peanut butter, egg and butter, then bake.  We like them for something a little sweet.

As you can see, a whole lot of food but when you have 4 people (including a very hungry teenager) I have to be prepared for them to eat at any time.  The oldest has soccer 4 nights this week, so I can almost bet he will eat two dinner’s and have a snack when he gets home from school.  I try to keep things in my house in addition to what I listed above that he can grab that are good for him and good fuel for all his soccer playing.  My pantry and fridge can also have various things like roasted nuts, fresh fruit, cheese sticks, pork rinds (yes good protein), protein shakes, applesauce and/or dried fruit.  You all know I’m always working to be stronger, leaner and overall in better health each day.  Well so is my oldest.  I’m insanely proud of all of his hard work.  He has lost 17 lbs and 7% body fat since December 1st.  We haven’t checked this month but based on his progress pictures that we keep, he has lost more because I can see the difference in his chest and stomach. Check out his progress picture from August 2018 until end of July 2019.

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For him I need to keep plenty of food that he can just walk in the house and grab and eat.  He doesn’t track calories and eats until he is satisfied, we just make sure he tries to get most of those calories from higher protein, good fats and not too much processed carbs.  He can have rice, potatoes or other starchy veggies but try to keep the bread and other highly processed foods out of his diet.  Which is why I make a wide variety of homemade items to keep it more whole and less added chemicals.

Ok, so now you know what I planned for the week and all my recipes (mostly).  Usually I have only one day to prep food for the week.  This weekend was an exception so I took advantage of both days.  Some things like yogurt, avocado pudding and most likely jerky (now that my family is in love with it) can be done during the week when you run out.  Yogurt is simple to start and takes 8 hours to incubate.  Jerky is the same, cook the bacon and then put in the dehydrator for 24 hours.  So some things can be done as needed.

This weekend I spent Saturday making the bacon jerky, oatmeal muffins, egg mcmuffins and protein waffles.  Then on Sunday I made superhero muffins, cooked chicken for tacos, made guacamole and cooked my beef for beef & broccoli.  I had homemade salsa and meat sauce frozen from the last time I made them.  They are perfect recipes to make a bunch and freeze half of for later.  Also since everyone had a different item they wanted for breakfast, I made them all and froze half of them.  If we need more for this week, I can pull some out, but if not then I am ahead for the next week.  I’m going to need everything I can get for next week, both boy’s soccer teams are playing in a soccer tournament and we will be on the north side of Atlanta all weekend.

Since I make my own taco (and chili) seasoning and you don’t want to keep having to look up the recipe every time, I printed it out and put it on the side of the container.  For my taco seasoning it’s a re purposed cream cheese container but it’s the perfect size.

IMG_8755

Also my poor protein waffle recipe stays on the fridge.  It may have seen better days but I have written in the quantities of ingredients for when I make a big batch that can last all week if both boys are eating them for breakfast.

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With all this food prepped for the week each night is easy for my boys to pack lunches and spend more time working on home work or on the soccer field.  Mornings are super simple, I get them up and while they are getting dressed I can toast or microwave their breakfast choice.  This morning my youngest had two waffles, I pulled two out of the freezer and toasted them, added syrup and gave him a glass of milk.  The oldest had three oatmeal muffins and some water with Nuun vitamins blueberry pomegranate (his favorite flavor).  I just microwaved his muffins for 1 minute.  Then helped them load up their lunches and water bottles.  Super simple and less stress in the mornings since I’m in charge of morning routine.  My husband is out the door by 5 am every day for work.  This week my youngest wants cheese tortellini with meat sauce and he has no access to heat up anything for lunch.  We have him a small thermos that I preheat with hot water while I warm up his food, then I transfer it over.  He then has warm lunch when it’s time to eat.  Husband will grab anything that is a lunch item or leftover from dinner to put in his lunch.  He will bounce between different things to have a variety of flavors.  It can be beef & broccoli over rice one day or have me roll him up a burrito of chicken and cheese, then throw in a small container of salsa and guacamole and he is happy.

So there you go, this is what I do to stay sane, ahead of our crazy schedule, and feed everyone in my family.

What am I up to?  A little bit of racing, lots of playing on my paddle board and spending time with friends.

Ok, so if you don’t want to click through a bunch of links, then here are my recipes.  I modified a couple of them and made up some of my own.

Oatmeal Muffins – I omit the banana, (oldest didn’t like it) add 4 scoops of vanilla protein powder, and a little extra applesauce so they weren’t too dry.  We used an entire bag of semi sweet mini chocolate chips. Yields 24 muffins

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups applesauce, unsweetened
  • 1/2 cup or 1 banana, mashed
  • 3 tsp stevia powder or use 1/2 cup honey
  • 5 cups, Old Fashioned rolled oats { I used Bob’s Red Mill}
  • 2 tablespoons flaxseed meal*
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/4 cups milk (I used 1%)
  • Optional toppings: raisins, walnuts, chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix eggs, vanilla, applesauce, banana and Stevia together in a bowl.
  3. Add in oats, flax, cinnamon, baking powder, salt and mix well with wet ingredients.
  4. Finally pour in milk and combine.
  5. Spray a 12 and 6 capacity muffin tin with cooking spray or use cupcake liners. Pour mixture evenly into muffin tin cups.
  6. If using toppings add them onto the tops of muffins now. If using fresh or frozen fruit, drop it right into the batter.
  7. Bake 30 minutes until a toothpick in center comes out clean.
  8. Cool and enjoy or freeze them in gallon freezer bags.

 

Egg McMuffins– my recipe is inspired by what  I linked above, this is what I made which results in 24 muffins

  • 2, 1 lb packages of ground pork (or your favorite breakfast sausage)
  • 8 oz of cheese
  • 24 eggs

Brown the sausage, drain the fat, then distribute evenly between two muffin pans.  I have two silicone pans with 12 in each pan.  Top sausage with cheese.  Wisk eggs and add salt and pepper (to your preference) then pour over sausage and cheese.  Bake at 350 for 25-30 mins until brown.

Protein Waffles – original amounts (what I made, which equaled 32 small waffles or 12-14 large waffles)

  • 1/2 cup old fashioned oats (3 cups)
  • 1/2 cup low fat cottage cheese (3 cups)
  • 2 eggs (12 eggs)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla (3 tsp)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder (3 tsp)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon (3 tsp)
  • Dash of salt

Add all ingredients to a blender and blend.  Pour batter into a hot, non-stick sprayed waffle maker.

Homemade Meat sauce

  • 3 cans diced tomatoes (I use fire roasted ones)
  • 2 cans tomato sauce
  • 3 whole tomatoes diced
  • 2 TBL tomato paste
  • 1/2 bag baby carrots (or bag of shredded carrots)
  • 1-2 cups butternut squash
  • 1 onion diced
  • 2 garlic cloves diced
  • 3 TBL basil
  • 3 TBL parsley
  • 1 TBL rosemary
  • 2-3 tsp salt
  • 2-3 tsp pepper
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 lb Italian sausage

Saute onion and garlic, then add everything except meat to the pot and stir.  Simmer until all veggies are tender.  Use a blender to puree smooth.  Brown meat, drain fat and then add to the pot.

Yogurt

  • 1 gallon of 2% milk
  • 2 Tbl yogurt (for starter)

I follow the linked instructions to heat up, cool down my milk then add in the starter.  Then I load into my instant pot and let it incubate for 8 hours.  Once finished I can start straining it or wait until it’s cool.  I have this strainer that makes it super easy.

yogurt

Chocolate Avocado pudding

  • 2 large avocados – peeled, pitted, and cubed
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup coconut milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch ground cinnamon
  1. Blend avocados, cocoa powder, brown sugar, coconut milk, vanilla extract, and cinnamon in a blender until smooth. Refrigerate pudding until chilled, about 30 minutes.

Chicken tacos

Brown chicken, drain off any fat.  Then add 2-4 TBL of taco seasoning and 1/2 cup or more of water.  Stir and simmer until coated.

Taco seasoning

  • ¼ cup ancho chili powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • ½ to 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (to taste)
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 2 tbsp ground cumin
  • 3 tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a small jar or airtight container.

 

Guacamole

  1. 3 medium ripe Hass avocados, halved and pitted (peel removed)
  2. 1 tablespoons lime juice from 1 medium lime
  3. 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  4. 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  5. 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  6. 1/2 cup onion, finely diced
  7. 2 small Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
  8. 1 large clove garlic, minced
  9. 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped
  10. 1/2 jalapeno, minced
Instructions
  1. Place the avocado pulp and lime juice in a large mixing bowl and toss to combine. Add the salt, cumin and cayenne and mash using a potato masher, leaving some larger chunks for texture. Add the onion, tomatoes, garlic, cilantro and jalapeno and stir to combine.

Salsa

  • 1 can whole tomatoes
  • 2-3 whole tomatoes
  • 1/2-1 onion
  • 3-4 jalapenos (seeds removed)
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1-2 cloves garlic
  • 1-2 tsp salt

Add everything to a blender and puree until smooth.

Beef and Broccoli

  •  1 1/2 pounds boneless beef chuck roast, well trimmed and sliced into thin strips**
  •  Fresh ground pepper
  •  2 teaspoons olive oil
  •  1 medium onion, finely chopped
  •  4 cloves garlic, minced
  •  3/4 cup beef broth
  •  1/2 cup soy sauce*
  •  1/3 cup brown sugar
  •  2 tablespoons sesame oil
  •  1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  •  1 pound broccoli florets, diced into bite-size pieces
  •  3 tablespoons water
  •  3 tablespoons cornstarch
  •  Cooked rice, for serving
  •  Toasted sesame seeds for garnish, optional

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Season the beef with pepper to taste. Put olive oil in the cooking pot and select Browning or Saute. When the oil begins to sizzle, quickly brown the meat in batches until all of the meat is browned—do not crowd the pot. (Usually, I’ll only brown one side of the meat. You don’t want to spend a lot of time browning.) Transfer the browned meat to a plate.
  2. Add the chopped onion to the pot. Saute for 1 to 2 minutes, until it starts to soften. Add the garlic and saute for 1 minute more.
  3. Stir in the beef broth, soy sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil, and red pepper flakes, stirring until the sugar is dissolved.
  4. Add the browned beef and any accumulated juices. Lock the lid in place. Select High Pressure and set the cook time for 12 minutes.
  5. While the beef is cooking, place broccoli in a microwave-safe bowl with 1/4 cup water. Microwave 3 to 4 minutes until broccoli is tender.
  6. When the cook time ends, turn off the pressure cooker off. Use a quick pressure release. When the valve drops, carefully remove the lid.
  7. In a small bowl, combine cornstarch and water and stir until smooth. Select Simmer/Saute and add to the pressure cooking pot. Stir well to combine, and continue stirring until the sauce comes to a boil and thickens. Add the steamed broccoli.
  8. Serve over hot, cooked rice and garnish with sesame seeds.

Bacon Jerky – I made ~ 3 lbs of bacon jerky and tripled the sugar/bourbon quantities

  • 1 TBL Bourbon
  • 6 TBL Brown Sugar
  • 1 lb bacon

Mix bourbon and sugar.  Lay bacon on baking sheet, then coat each piece with the sugar.  Bake until crispy.  I used my convection oven and it took about 20 minutes to be done.  Break the pieces of bacon into 4 inch strips and lay on the trays in the dehydrator.  I used thick sliced bacon so it took longer to dry than thinner.  Bacon stayed in the dehydrator for ~ 24 hours.  Store in air tight container.

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