Life has been a bit busy lately. I’ve been trying to do some meal prep and easy meals to make life easier…and maybe a little healthier.
M’s been working long hours at the racetrack while live racing is in session. When I say “long hours” I’m talking from 6 am to 9 pm…five days a week. Poor guy. It sucks because he doesn’t get to eat much, and when I’m hanging out on my own I’m not that motivated to eat right. So, for both of us, pre-planning is the best route to go.
I’ve done easy things like washing and cutting up carrots and celery which I can take for sides for lunch, making chicken salad for M to take and snack on with some crackers when he gets a few quiet moments at work, and I’ve also marinated and grilled chicken breasts that can be heated up for dinner or lunches. I’ve actually really enjoyed the grilled chicken because it’s so flexible–shred it for a salad, eat it cold or heat it up and eat it with my carrots and celery.
Another easy, yet delicious lunch I discovered last week is a salad with chicken sausage. We buy this spinach and asiago chicken sausage from Sam’s Club every once in a while and I love it. I’ve sliced it up to have with whole wheat pasta and tomato sauce, as well as just eaten it plain for dinner. But one night I had a bag of salad and wanted something different. I poured some salad in a big bowl, sliced up some carrots and celery, added some slivered almonds and sunflower seeds, then heated up one sausage link. After cutting it up into smaller pieces, I added that and some light Italian dressing to the salad. OMG. I’m telling you, it might sound weird, but it’s delicious! So good that I had it for lunch the next two days (I just packed the salad in one container, the sausage in a sandwich bag, and brought the dressing with me to work).
Another favorite has been this Meatball Parmesan Casserole that I discovered on Pinterest. If you think you might be pressed for time, you can pre-make the meatballs and store in the refrigerator to bake another night. The longest part is the baking, but if you can have these ready to pop in the oven, it helps so much.
To add a little something, I place slices of zucchini under eat meatball, as well as scattered along the top under the cheese. I love zucchini, especially in Italian meals, so any time I can incorporate it, I will. Plus I think it adds some fiber and extra nutrients to the meal. The meatballs are great in a sandwich, as well as leftovers for lunch the next day.
And, finally, for breakfast, I have loved the Lean Green Bean’s Baked Oatmeal. I made this recipe in one pie pan, substituting chopped walnuts and slivered almonds for the pumpkin seeds and I used peanut butter instead of the Nutzo (but I added some cocoa powder as well as the cinnamon and some nutmeg). Baking this in the pie pan yielded four servings for me. And I loved heating these up every morning, adding some more peanut butter to the top and having some fresh berries on the side. It’s a great way to wake up! Next time I’m going to try adding some of my protein powder to it for some added protein.
I’ve come to appreciate taking a little extra time, when I have the free time, to do some food prep. It might not exactly be Sunday night like some people, but it works…whenever I do it.
Your turn: Have you started doing food prep? If so, share your favorite pre-made meals!