I’ve been posting some of the meal prep I do on Facebook, and a few times some folks have asked for the recipe. I thought I posted this before, but…well….not here. So let’s do this. Let’s start off with my beef veggie soup….
First, for anyone just joining, I’ve taken off 54 pounds on my recent weight loss journey. What’s interesting about THIS time, was that I have eaten my face off with food. I more or less changed a lot of things around, but what you’re going to see below is a series of choices I made. The end result has been a tremendous amount of fat loss, water gain, and muscle gain – thanks to the spiffy scales at my local JCC, I’m able to monitor my progress more than just a weight. Now, I could eat a slice of pizza every now and then, but usually when you eat a LOT better, drink tons of water, exercise – I don’t crave that stuff like I used to daily.
Let me paint a picture of years’ past. I’m starving. It’s 10:25AM. I mean I could eat bark off a tree at this point. I tell myself I’m going to run that night (rationalize), so I head out to McDonald’s at 11:05. I eat in my car, so no one sees the fat guy scarfing food in his face (rationalize). I ingest about 1400-1800 calories in no time (I got a diet soda, so I am only at 1400 – rationalize). I’m filled with shame, regret, depression, but man…that tasted good – I deserved it after my morning (rationalized). I end up having to work late, and on my late night drive home, I stop and get food from somewhere else. I wouldn’t have gotten home until 7:30, and I’m too tired to cook for an hour (rationalized). Wait…looks like I can’t exercise, I’m too tired (rationalized).
Essentially, I talked to myself constantly because my poor nutrition sort of had me in this vicious cycle…
I guess I’ll do better tomorrow.
That’s kind how this happens…and it kind of repeats. And sometimes you do better. But since you’re eating in the car, no one knows. Right? Before you know it, you’ve put on 20-30 pounds and you have not looked at the scale lately because you don’t want it to say bad things to you.
Anyway, I changed a lot about my life and stumbled into how to make beef vegetable soup along the way- and I sort of put it on crack and perfected it. The resulting recipe makes about 15-18 large servings, and by spending 2 hours doing this, you will have a healthy lunch for most of a month. This end result was 450-525 calories (depending on how many servings), and staying full throughout the day.
This freezes extremely well. I nuke it for 5 minutes, stir, put back in for one minute, voila!
Nate’s Beef Veggie Soup (my weight loss secret recipe!)
- 28oz can Hunt’s crushed tomatoes
- 28oz can Hunt’s petite diced tomatoes
- 18 cups (about) of beef stock. I use one of the tomato cans then to add some water to reduce any saltiness.
- 1-2 onions
- 5-8 stalks celery
- 2 pounds baby carrots
- 2 sweet peppers (I usually do 1 red and 1 orange/yellow)
- 2 TBSP olive oil
- 1 bag of frozen lima beans
- 3 pounds beef stew meat
- 2-3 cups uncooked lentils
- 2-3 cups uncooked pearled barley
- 1 pound green beans, fresh
- Italian parsely
- Combine diced tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, water, beef stock in big ass pot and put on high to bring to a boil.
- Cut beef stew meat into chunks about 3/4 inch big. The packages I get, the meat is ungodly large. I cut it down to size. Add to pot. From this point on, you have 90 minutes until done. The clock is starting at “Time until End” (TuE)
- Immediately, roughly chop Italian parsley and add to pot.
- Chop onions/sweet peppers. Add 2 TBSP of oil to pan, bring to medium heat. Add onions/peppers (add salt/pepper), and sweat it, don’t brown it. Add to pot.
- Chop carrots, celery, and green beans into smaller pieces. Set aside.
- At 45 mins TuE, rinse lentils and add to pot.
- At 40 mins TuE, rinse pearled barley and add to pot.
- At 30 mins TuE, add carrots, celery, and green beans.
- At 20 mins TuE, cook lima beans in microwave according to directions. Drain. Add to pot. This will take you to about 10 mins TuE.
- The last 10 mins, start getting out your containers and perform clean up.
- At end, add to containers. I normally give one ladle at a time to eat container, coming back around after I get everyone one ladle. The items settle in the pot at different depths, and if you start filling each container full at the start, you will have nothing but broth at the end 🙂
This time around, I made it with 15 servings. Each one:
525 calories, 19.3g fat, 53.9g carbs (15g fiber), 34g protein.
Micros: 108% Vit A, 67% Vit C, 6.2% calcium, 38.4% iron, 1,296mg sodium (this would be 3 times as much with canned soup), 909mg potassium.
I’m out of time here, mostly, for now. But I did want to say that twice a week for dinner I eat a massive salad with chicken and baby spinach. Huge. Tonight I did a pound of chicken with it. Stuffed. I came in 250 calories light (on a 2400 calorie regimen) for the day and I can’t bring myself to eat anymore. I’m dieting. I learned how to eat better. With my ridiculously busy life and long commute, I also found time to do this prep.
The below comes in at….665 calories (22.4g carbs, 24.5g fat, 94.4g protein)
Lastly – if you haven’t seen oatmeal cups…you need to try them. I take one with my soup sometimes.
Blueberry/cinnamon oatmeal cups….
In a 16oz mason jar…(I usually make 4 at a time for the week)
- Add 1/2 cup greek 2% yogurt, plain (I use Fage)
- Add 1/2 cup rolled oats (I buy massive bags at my health food stores from a bin)
- Add 1/3 cup 1% milk
- Add 1/2 cup blueberries
- Add 1 TBSP honey (another thing I buy in bulk at the health food store)
- Add 2 tsp of chia seeds (yup, health food store)
- Add 1-2 tsp of cinnamon
- Stir it up….
- Leave it sit overnight in your fridge. Enjoy!
This comes in at 404 calories, 8.1g fat, 66.1g carbs (9g fiber), 20.3g protein
Micros – 73mg sodium, 376mg potassium, 25.4% calcium, 15.5% iron – and the oatmeal seems to just cleanse the system and reduce my BP…
Pictured below is my choc/peanut butter one. Same ingredients as above, but instead of cinnamon and blueberries, I add unsweetened cocoa powder, cacao nibs, and PB2. The chia seeds help it to solidify overnight. Love these!
With this food and my Kashi/coffee in the morning – I hit my macros…