Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Meal Prep ~ It Does a Body Good!

About a year ago, I began to have what I call Meal Prep Sundays.  I didn't do it so much for me as I did it in an effort to spend time with my daughter and hopefully get her trying new healthy foods.  What started out as a fun Sunday thing to do with my girl, quickly turned into a weekly ritual we both look forward to.

We start off by making a "menu" of sorts of all the things we want to make.  This usually includes some sort of protein (chicken, venison, pork tenderloin or fish), various veggies (both raw and cooked) and usually a "good" carb or two like sweet potatoes or quinoa.  We usually chop veggies for snacks (carrots, peppers, celery), along with makings for salads too.  Emily writes out our menu and puts our initials by which item we are responsible for.  It's a lot of fun.  We have our music turned up and dance while having fun preparing a healthy week of food.

Just a few of our easy recipes that we put together often.  Please note, we kind of fly by the seat of our pants and don't use recipes.  That being said, we might not have exact measurements.  We mix, taste and add whatever we think is needed.

Roasted Cauliflower

Preheat oven 350 degrees
Need:  Cauliflower, 2-3 lemons quartered, 3-4 whole pods of garlic

Get coconut oil hot in the pan and throw in broken pieces of cauliflower and sear it while adding a little salt.  Once its settled, add the whole pods of garlic.  When there is a little color on the cauliflower, squeeze the lemons and throw them in the pan.  Put in the oven for about 10-15 min.

Sauteed Green beans

Need:  Green beans, shallots, minced garlic (we use a ton of garlic so use whatever you like)

Coat hot pan with coconut oil.  Saute shallots and add garlic after it's caramelized.  Once you begin to smell the garlic, add green beans.  Cook for 7-10 min or so until they are the texture you wish.  (we like ours a little al dente)

Moo Moo Chicken (named by my daughter who's nickname is Moo)

Need:  Cut up pieces of chicken tenderloins, liquid aminos (1/4 c), honey (several spoonfuls) and brown sugar to taste, salt, garlic powder.

Mix the liquid aminos with honey using a whisk.  Once the honey is emulsified with the liquid aminos, add salt, garlic powder and a little brown sugar.  We usually taste it to see if it's sweet enough.  While Emily mixes this, I am usually sauteing the chicken pieces.  Once they are fairly cooked through, we add the "Moo Moo sauce".  I usually put a lid on it and let it cook for about 5-7 minutes.  It's fabulously tasty either hot or cold and even on salads.

We cook lots of things, but these three we cook more than anything else.  It's a lot of fun and keeps everyone eating healthy for the week.  It's much easier to stay on task when you have food already prepared.  That way there is no temptation for eating out or grabbing junk food.  I'm hoping this is creating not just a healthy habit for me, but also one for my daughter as she grows up.

Hope you enjoy the recipes!  We sure do!

~Donna

67 comments:

  1. We love roasted cauliflower in fact anything with cauliflower is always awesome..Good recipes Donna

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    1. Thanks! We love just about anything with garlic!

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  2. that is a great habit to share! Healthy habits start early and it benefits the whole family! Great job- the Moo Moo chicken sounds yum! Have a great week!

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    1. Yes healthy habits are great to start early. She seems to follow a lot in my footsteps!

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  3. I don't do full meal preps, but I plan out the meals I want for the week, buy the ingredients, then decide what I'm in the mood for each morning.

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    1. That's a great idea too. If my Sundays get hectic, I do that sometimes too!

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  4. Your sautéed green beans sound similar to how I make them. I too love garlic!

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    1. Me too Cassandra! The more garlic the better!

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  5. I love getting the kids involved in the kitchen. My littlest has developed a taste for so many foods simply from helping mommy cook! Cooking together is something I truly treasure and I hope the skills they learn will stay with them as they grow and move off on their own!
    You're a great mom for getting your beauty to help in the kitchen!

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    1. Thank you! I've noticed she is more willing to try new things when she helps make them!

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  6. ^^^^ I don't know why I can't log in with my "normal" name - Amanda (@mommygorun) but that's me!

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  7. I have been looking for a good recipe for roasted cauliflower and yours sounds great! I can't wait to try it. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. You are welcome! Hope you like it as much as we do!

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  8. These look awesome! Moo Moo Chicken is such a cute name, haha. It also sounds delicious, so I'm definitely gonna have to try that one out! :] I'm also always looking for recipes to use up the massive amounts of frozen green beans I've somehow accumulated, so thank you! :D

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    1. She was quite proud that she came up with that name. She even wrote out the recipe and taped it to the inside cabinet so we wouldn't forget! Enjoy! =)

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  9. Can you come to my house?? I love roasted cauliflower and all the veggies and I hate doing meal prep ;)

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    1. We would love to! Ha ha! It's one of the things we love most doing together. Of course the music and dancing make it more fun too.

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  10. That's awesome that your daughter is so into it with you! Meal prepping healthy foods like that is an awesome habit to have so young - and that green bean recipe sounds delicious!

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    1. She used to be so incredibly picky and this has really helped her expand her foods a bit!

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  11. Doing meal prep with your daughter is such a great idea! I wish that my parents had gotten me into more healthy habits early in my life. I really want to do more food prep with my husband. Visiting from the grow your blog, blog hop.

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    1. My parents didn't do much of that with me either. I did learn to cook very young, so hopefully all of this will help her as she grows up too.

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  12. I love meal prepping! It takes a few hours of my Sunday but saves me so much time throughout the rest of the week! It's great for my lunches I bring to work as well!

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    1. I agree completely! It makes life so much easier during the week!

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  13. Moo moo chicken sounds delicious! I love anything in a sauce :)

    I also use Sundays to meal prep - makes the work week a lot healthier and a lot less stressful!

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    1. It sure does! A lot less stressful and a lot more healthy for sure.

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  14. YUM! I love cauliflower cooked like that. So yum. It actually tastes nutty and sweet when it gets all carmelized etc. I will have to try the Moo Moo chicken. My daughter's nickname is "Bug."

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    1. Moo Moo and Bug. I bet we could come up with a lot of great recipe names. =)

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  15. I love meal prep ideas! These all sound so yummy. Now, I'm going to have to go buy some garlic. :)

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    1. Garlic is one of our favorite things to use. We use it in just about everything.

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  16. Great ideas! I'm starting to branch out and try new things, and these recipes sound great. I agree with you, if I plan stuff out and cook ahead of time I end up eating a lot better...especially during the day.

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    1. Me too. It's easy and fast and I tend to grab something and get it in my mouth before I've had time to think about going for anything junk food like. Makes a huge difference.

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  17. This is great! I always plan my meals for the week on Sundays too. It not only keep us on track to eat better, but it keeps me from having to go to the grocery store 1000 times a week. I can get it all done in the beginning of the week and our meals and stuff don't get lost in the craziness of our schedules. And I love that you're planning and cooking with your daughter. That's awesome!

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    1. Having her do it with me sure makes it more fun. She even keeps me on track if I start procrastinating on Sundays. lol

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  18. Those are some great recipes! I love including my kids in the kitchen! I agree, it's a great way to get them to connect, as well as getting them involved and learn about healthy food!

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    1. It's a lot of fun and gets her focused on how fun healthy eating can be.

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  19. I love that you do this with your daughter! When I think back to my younger days, I remember I LOVED baking and cooking with my mom. We may not have been as creative as you guys:) But it was still fun, memories I will treasure forever. As I am sure you're daughter will too!
    I also love that you kind of create as you go, that is awesome!

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    1. Thank you. We do have a lot of fun and creativity. It doesn't always work out the way we want it to, but we often discover some new things that turn out great.

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  20. The roasted cauliflower sounds really good! I'll have to try that. I roast everything else and I'm not sure why I have never done cauliflower. So sweet that you get your daughter involved too. I wish my boys were a little more interested in cooking. Glad we were able to connect via the Grow Your Blog Hop.

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    1. We roast tons of other veggies too. I feel like it adds much more flavor than just steaming. Plus my daughter tends to like them a little better.

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  21. I love roasted cauliflower, and make it pretty often. I'll have to try the Moo Moo chicken. My sisters nickname is Moo! (Real name Molly)

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    1. That's great! I'll let my daughter know there's another Moo out there. She'll love it!

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  22. The roasted cauliflower and the Moo Moo chicken sound delicious! I'll have to try them out!

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    1. Hope you enjoy them as much as we do!

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  23. The moo moo chicken sounds pretty good. I'm sure she'll appreciate the time you two spend together when she's older and cooking for herself.

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    1. I hope so too. She's definitely a mama's girl and loves doing anything with me. I'm so glad that includes things like this.

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  24. I always want to meal prep for the week and then I get sidetracked. I know it would really help me stay on track though so I'm going to use all the great inspiration I see to make it happen :) I think the roasted cauliflower sounds great!

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    1. My daughter certainly keeps me on track if I'm not motivated. It makes a huge difference when she is excited about it too.

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    2. I think that is sooooo awesome! Not only are you keeping each other accountable but she is also learning lifelong excellent habits!!

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  25. What a fun thing to do with your daughter!! That's awesome! I wish I spent time prepping on Sundays. It's such a smart thing to do.

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    1. We try to make our Sunday's mostly family time and being able to create healthy habits is an added bonus!

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  26. Looks great. I have such great memories of my mom baking with me and my sister when I was a kid. I try to include my niece and nephew as often as I can, and they love it!

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    1. Having a sidekick in the kitchen while you're cooking definitely makes it more fun!

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  27. The Moo Moo chicken sounds delish! I love that you and your daughter are able to spend time together. You know that she will have these memories (and the recipes!) forever.

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    1. She is already making a little recipe book of things we create together. I love it!

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  28. I wish I had the time to meal prep...maybe I do and maybe I'm just too lazy to do it. :-( But I absolutely LOVE the idea of making it a way of spending time with your daughter. My daughters would absolutely LOVE that! I'm gonna have to give that Roasted Cauliflower a try...I see it a lot...I must be missing something.

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    1. It's one of our favorites, but then again we roast just about every veggie possible!

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  29. I love that you get your daughter involved with meal prep. Not only is it a great activity for the two of you to do together, but you're also teaching her valuable healthy lessons at the same time.

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    1. That's my goal for sure. I want to be a good role model for her and when she not only sees me try and be healthy but participates, I think it will really make a difference as she grows up.

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  30. Hi, I'm new from Grow Your Blog! Thanks for the great ideas and I love that your daughter is involved too. It's so important for kids to be a part of things like meal prep and healthy eating habits!!

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    1. Thank you! I'm hoping she will take little healthy things like this with her as she grows up.

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  31. I know people that write down exactly what they are going to have on each day and so on. And Don't get me wrong I think that's awesome, but it so doesn't work for me.
    Yeah I still write a meal plan, but it does change. It all depends on the weather (if it's hot why would I use the oven), but also what is available to buy at the supermarket. I mean I also need to keep in budget.
    Yet I always make sure I have a cooking day. That might involve making basics, like mayo, or carmelized onions, or a cake for the kids.
    The kids now that they are a little older are getting more interested in cooking, which is a good thing.

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    1. Oh I totally get that. Sometimes it does change up for me for sure, but I've found that overall the meal prep the beginning of the week keeps me on track. It's just me and my daughter, so it's really easy to just stop and pick up something at a restaurant. Having things cooked at home helps us not to do that. =)

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  32. So wonderful that you cook with your daughter, Donna! I love cooking with my son too. It's great to have the time together and teach those healthy eating skills while they're young so they will hopefully become lifetime habits. Great to connect with you through Grow Your Blog :)

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    1. I think being able to cook with my girl is my favorite part. It gives me that added push to go ahead and cook even when I'm not feeling it. It's great that your son cooks with you too! Hopefully they both will learn great habits from us! =)

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  33. Those are great meals to make with your family. Easy and quick. My kids and I are trying to do more prep it definitely helps with the chaos around here. Have a good one!

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    1. Thanks Deborah! Getting my kiddo involved definitely makes a difference. It makes it not just fun but also gets her to try new foods.

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