I took off the week of the 4th. Wanted to write a lot more here, but I was busy – meal prepping. I think my last count had something like 46 meals. Took me 3 days to do it, but I think I’m mostly good on eating for the next month. I think the total grocery bill for all was around $140.
The first thing I wanted to do was plan out about what I wanted to do. Chicken, chicken, chicken….bison burgers, burritos, chicken parm, etc. I also wanted to do more prep of my overnight oatmeal cups. They take me some time to make…so I was hoping to scale this out by getting 14 or so done at once. All of this takes materials, so you have to approximate what you need.
- 14 pounds chicken
- 2 pounds ground bison
- 20oz ground turkey
- greek plain yogurt
- fresh fruit and veggies (corn on the cob, Yukon gold potatoes, green beans, peaches, blueberries, cherries)
Also, I should note, I used a lot of staples I had on hand, like oatmeal, brown rice, honey, chia seeds
Idea 1 – chicken, broccoli, brown rice
This is not anything new, it’s a staple I have always. I made something like 13 of these meals. I use a decent amount of heat with my chicken in the form of chili powder, paprika, and cayenne. What this does is bring some excitement to the meal and this heat is carried well by the rice/broccoli.
Idea 2 – burritos
I have to admit, I have never had a burrito before a few weeks ago, now I can’t get enough of them. Why? I never had black beans before, and didn’t exactly know what was in a burrito. Maybe I don’t make mine like your local chain restaurant, but whatever the hell I made tastes amazing, is filling, and is extremely healthy.
What’s in them?
- Tumaro low carb tomato basil wrap (60 calories)
- 1/2-1oz taco cheese on the bottom
- 1/3 cup brown rice
- 1/3 cup black beans
- 1/3 cup mix of ground turkey, bell peppers, and onion. For this step, I cut up 3 bell peppers and 1 onion and sweated. Took them off. Added 20oz package ground turkey, browned. Added hot taco seasoning and water. Re-added bell peppers/onions, and also added a can of diced tomatoes.
What I do is take all of those ingredients and combine them. I was planning for 12 burritos, so I had 4 cups of brown rice, 4 cups of black beans, and 4 cups of my ground turkey mixture. Put it all together, added a bunch of siracha sauce, then put 1.5 cups in containers. Each container makes 2 burritos. Re-heats EXTREMELY well. I then added a little hot sauce to the finished dish.
Idea 3 – chicken parm and rigatoni!
While this isn’t the highest on my health index, I also make it in a way that’s relatively guilt-free. Unlike the deep-fried variety, this is baked. I also don’t add a ridiculous amount of cheese, and I measure out the rigatoni from 1 pound, so I’m not overdoing it with the pasta/sauce. How did I make?
- 6 7oz chicken cutlets. I take some pick pieces and butterfly to also help cook time.
- 1 32oz jar of Rao’s home made sauce
- 1 pound rigatoni (after cooking, it weighed almost exactly 2 pounds)
- 6oz mozzarella cheese
- 1/4-1/2 cup of Italian bread crumbs
Each portion came out to be about 650 calories. When you can have 2300+ calories a day, this satisfies my cravings for Italian every now and then!
Idea 4 – shredded chicken
I made this one a few weeks back based on a suggestion. I took a bunch of chicken cutlets and placed them in the slow cooker for 8 hours on low, and added a jar of salsa to it. I ate them on wraps – and felt this might be a good burrito meat mixture. Alone, the texture needed something else…a crunch, a chew, something. Flavor was there!! However, this might work best in something else..
Idea 5 – eggs!
I happen to love scrambled eggs. I also have a ridiculously long commute, and pack lunches every day. Some days, I pack dinner as well if I might be staying late. I got myself an egg container, and I actually make up omelets at work in the microwave. It took a few tries to get it right, but one week I prepped eggs for the week. The biggest take-away from this was that I used a half TBSP of margarine/butter in the container, melt it in 15 seconds….THEN add the eggs. Stir every 45-60 seconds, and add the cheese near the end for the last 30-45 seconds.
Idea 6 – oatmeal overnight cups
These have started to become my favorite breakfast, mostly replacing cereal. When I would make up a few, it might take 20 minutes!! Too long. So I decided I wanted to make up a LOT more, and add some variation. One thing of interest, I’m trying to freeze some now (after one night in the fridge to let the chia seeds do their thing). We’ll see how it goes, but my guess is I can take them out the night before and they will be ok the next day. For the below, I used fresh fruit. A few weeks before, I picked my own fresh fruit – so it’s a bonus where you are out being active on a gorgeous day at an orchard doing it. Another thing of interest – the sweet cherries translate well in this, but it was a pain in the ass to de-stem and de-seed all of them. The peach ones didn’t come out great because I errantly tried some ground nutmeg. Didn’t work out as I planned….the others, home runs!
- Base is
- 1/3 cup milk
- 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
- 1 TBSP chia seeds
- 1 TBSP honey
- 1/2 cup rolled oats (not quick oats)
- Blueberry – add 1/2 cup blueberries and cinnamon
- Cherry – add 1/2 cup sweet/tart cherries
- Peach – add 1/2 cup peach (I’d probably mix the 1 TBSP honey with the peaches 24 hours prior to adding to soften the peaches)
- Chocolate/peanut butter – 1 TBSP cacao nibs, 1 TBSP unsweetened cocoa powder, 1 TBSP dark mini chocolate chips, 1TBSP PB2. For this one, I’d up the milk from 1/3 of a cup to 1/2 a cup. Mix the PB2 with the milk/cocoa powder prior to adding anything else.
Idea 7 – Ground bison (????)
Yup – I didn’t know this was a thing, but it is. Really good too! Ground bison is apparently healthier for you than ground beef…so I went with it. It’s more expensive, however. When making the patties, I used 1 tsp of coconut oil because the meat isn’t that fatty.
To make the patties…
- 2 pounds ground bison
- 4 eggs
- 2 TBSP brown mustard
- Garlic powder/salt/pepper
Mash up the above. Cut squares in parchment paper. This made 13 burgers for me, at 90g for each patty (use a food scale, and measure out 1/3 cup to place on the square, on the scale). Once you have your 90g, I’d form the patty a little more, as it is a little loose as is. Make 4 up at a time with 1 tsp of coconut oil. When placing in your prep container, add 1-2 tsp of barbecue sauce on it…when you re-heat, it might get dry if not. I make this with green beans and a starch OR – mashed potatoes and corn for a “hungry man”-type meal.