Saturday, March 19, 2016

Meal Prep and A Recipe

I didn't do much of note during my recovery week - or in the subsequent week since it was the sort of week where everything went wrong and workouts didn't really happen. Since I have no workouts/training to recap for you, I thought I'd talk a little bit about how I meal plan and food prep.

My meal preps usually include:

- 5 breakfasts : I eat breakfast at the office and Mr. R&R usually has a bowl of cereal or oatmeal at home. I usually have a yogurt mess or proatmeal.

- Lunch for both of us on Monday and Tuesday (see soup recipe below)

- Dinner for both of us on Monday and Tuesday (chicken, spanakorizo, and tzatziki sauce)

- Snacks for both of us on Monday and Tuesday (yogurt messes for Mr. R&R, hardboiled eggs, sliced apples, etc.)

Before I go to the grocery store I come up with a detailed list of every ingredient I'll need for the week (with the exception of really basic things like salt and pepper) and then I go through my cabinets/freezer/refrigerator and cross off the things I already have to eliminate buying more than I need or letting things go to waste.  I also try to make sure I'm not starving when I go shopping since it leads to me buying chips, cookies, or other things I really don't need.

I only do prep for the first two days of the week, but each week's plan includes lunches, dinners and snacks for the whole week.  The early part of the week is rigidly planned and Wednesday through Friday are more of a loose framework since they can't be prepped ahead of time; so we go with whatever option sounds the most appealing at the time; because let's face it, sometimes tacos sound better than pasta on any given night.

Lunches on Wednesday through Friday usually consist of a sandwich (turkey or pb&j are popular), a veggie burger, or a couple of scrambled eggs.  Dinners are all things that can be on the table in 30 minutes (pasta, chicken/potato/veggie, stir fry, etc.) or less since we don't eat until after our workouts and by that point it's usually after 9pm and we're both ravenous.

My favorite prepped lunch lately has been soup - particularly wonton soup.  The first time I made it, I spent a bunch of time on Pinterest looking at recipes, but most had entirely too many specialty ingredients.  The others sounded more like a couple of non-asian vegetables floating around in some bland broth.  Time to improvise.  I put a bunch of stuff together and Mr. R&R and I both got a little excited by the smells emanating from the kitchen while the soup was simmering.  Sadly, the first taste was a bit of a let down, but a few little tweaks later, we were both almost looking forward to Monday so we could eat it for lunch.  The next two times I made it, I employed the tweaks early on and had a delicious, flavor-packed soup in under an hour - and it's stupid easy to make.

Wonton Soup

The Stuff

The Stuff
- 2-3 cloves of garlic; minced
- 2-2 1/2 Tbsp freshly grated ginger - depending on how much you like ginger
- 2 Tbsp sesame oil
- 1 package sliced white (button) mushrooms
- 4 to 5 green onions; white and green parts - chopped
- 32oz container low sodium chicken broth
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce*
- 1 bag Trader Joe's mini chicken and cilantro wontons
- 1 package baby bok choy (or 1 large one; washed and chopped into somewhat smaller pieces, but not too small)

*I would suggest starting with 1/3 cup of soy sauce and adjusting after the simmering stage based on your own taste.

Method (aka What to Do with the Stuff)
- Heat sesame oil in a heavy soup pot over medium high heat, then sautee the garlic and ginger; stirring constantly until fragrant.  

- Add the chicken broth, soy sauce, white part of onions, and the mushrooms; stir well to get the garlic and ginger off the bottom of the pot.

-Bring to a boil; then reduce heat to medium low, cover and let it simmer for 45 - 60 minutes.

- After simmering, taste your broth. Add more soy sauce and/or ginger according to your taste.  I like ginger a lot, so I like to make sure that flavor shines through.

- Add the still-frozen wontons to the pot along with the bok choy and continue simmering until the wontons are just cooked through and the bok choy is wilted.

- Remove from heat and cool a bit before ladling into four equal portions (I actually count the wontons as I'm adding them into the pot so we each get an equal amount) and garnishing with green onion.

I like to let the soup cool completely before covering it and throwing it in the fridge for later consumption.  I reheat by venting the lid and microwaving for 2 1/2 to 3 minutes on high.

Are you a meal planner/prepper? What are your go to dishes?

All Prepped And Ready To Go

1 comment:

April said...

I'm half and half on prepping. Usually I'll make a big kettle of soup/stew/chili on a Sunday and eat on that all week throwing in things here or there when I get tired of eating whatever. I don't prep breakfast because if I make it the night before there is a 99% chance that I won't want it the next morning. I also prefer a hot, savory breakfast over cold or sweet. I eat a lot of sandwiches for breakfast.