The holidays and unemployment are killing me!! I hate not having a routine. Sticking to my cleaner eating and meal prep is a whole lot easier when I have a routine. It forces me to be good. Fingers crossed Santa brings me a job for Christmas.
But now, let’s talk about this week’s meals.
A. Beef Quinoa
There is some debate as to how clean beef is and if it should be part of a clean diet. I tend to go with the whole it’s ok as long as it’s eaten in moderation. Also, one of the principles of cleaner eating is to make sure you are getting organic, grass fed, humanely killed beef. I try! I really do try to get organic beef, but I’m on a budget and always stock up when I see that Manager’s Special on any type of meat. Anyway, this is one of my recipes, and I am always playing with different variations of it. This time I tried some red quinoa and went with a southwestern flair. I even added a little chipotle hot sauce. (Kroger’s organic sauce is so yummy!)
B. Sloppy Joes with Sweet Potato Fries
My husband has been dying for some sloppy joes so I went to Google and picked one of the less intense looking recipes. I’m quite pleased with the flavor. I added a little bit of diced onion to mine. I served them on buns the first night and tortillas the next. I made my sweet potato fries so they had a slight crisp to them. I’d say it was a perfect dinner when you’re having a junk food carving.
C. Chicken Orzo
This is another one of my own recipes. It’s easy and good. (hot or cold)
D. Tilapia with asparagus and half a sweet potato
This meal has been on the menu before. It’s also a meal that I tend to cook fresh-at least the fish. If you aren’t feeling fish, you could always sub a chicken breast in.
Bonus: Omelet Muffins
When I know I want to make these, I sort of take a handful of different veggies I am meal prepping. This week I used a little onion, chicken, red bell pepper, cheddar cheese and some spinach I had in the freezer. You can really add just about anything. Just spray your muffin cups, fill almost all the way with veggies and a meat then top with egg whites.
Here are some other tips to help with the cooking process:
1. Dice all you veggies (fruit) and meat first. I tend to put everything in bowls and line up on the counter.
2. Prep your meat and bake in the oven at the same time.
3. If you have to bake sweet potatoes, start by poking the potato with a fork, place in a microwave safe container with enough water to just cover the bottom of the container. Microwave for 5-7 minutes. Then place on a cookie sheet and bake on the shelf below the meat. This greatly reduces the baking time on potatoes and the need to raise the oven temp. It also almost guarantees you’ll have a thoroughly cooked tater.
4. While the meat is in the oven, cook your rice, quinoa or pasta. I try to set timers for everything so I don’t have any mishaps.
5. While your rice/quinoa/pasta cook-on a rear burner-make the sloppy joe mix.
6. When the meat and rice/quinoa/pasta are done, steam your veggies
7. Start your assembly line and package each meal. I use a dry erase marker and write the day of the week and what meal it is…”Monday Lunch.”
8. Place fruits in smaller containers for snack and label. Same thing with the cottage cheese (or anything else you have planned as a snack like veggies, nuts, etc.)
I find that having a plan to start and doing things in this order seems to be the most efficient. It has a good flow and cuts down on the time.