Meal Prep-Turkey Meat Balls With Marinara//Cauliflower//Honey Garlic Carrots

We’re taking a break from chicken!!!  Can you believe it?  I was so happy when I saw that ground turkey was on sale this week.  I love turkey, I think I actually prefer it over ground beef most of the time.  So, needless to say, I am excited to eat this week.

I decided to make turkey meatballs because they’re quick and easy and I was short on time again this weekend.  My official last day of college is this coming Friday!  I am trying to get ahead so I’ve been glued to my computer for days.

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There’s not much to preparing the meatballs.  You can throw everything together in one mixing bowl and after that, you just roll them into balls so they’re ready to go in the pan or oven or wherever you decide to cook them.  A lot of people use breadcrumbs to help the turkey stick together, but I just don’t like using them because 1) the additional calories, and 2) the additional carbs.  Obviously, do what works best for you.  I flavored my turkey with paprika, chili powder, salt, pepper, garlic, basil, parsley, crushed red pepper, onions, and a parmesan cheese/garlic mixture (that is the substance that kind of looks like breadcrumbs in the picture above).  So basically I threw my entire pantry in there.  I usually use parmesan cheese instead of breadcrumbs any time I make these or turkey burgers.  I will say that breadcrumbs do provide a better hold, but if you’re careful enough, you can make it work without.

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I was initially planning on baking my meatballs in the oven, but I realized that I needed my baking pans for the cauliflower and carrots I was going to be making.  I didn’t want to cook them all separately, so I just decided to cook the turkey on the stove top.  I heated a couple tablespoons of vegetable oil in a pan and once that was heated, added the meatballs (carefully!) and let them simmer.

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While the turkey was cooking, I started to get my side vegetables ready.  For my carrots, I made a mixture of vegetable oil, honey, brown sugar, garlic, and parsley.  These ended up tasting quite sweet, so if you’re not into that, I’d go with some different seasoning.  I am not really used to flavoring my veggies with sweetness, and to be honest I wish I would have just threw some salt, pepper, and garlic on them, but hey, now I know.

**Not to say they tasted bad!  They were actually very good, just not something I am used to**

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Moving on to the cauliflower…I went more classic with the spices here.  I made a mixture of vegetable oil, paprika, minced garlic, salt, and pepper.  Nice and simple.

By the time I had all of my vegetables ready to go in the oven, my turkey meatballs were just finishing up (I did flip them in between prepping my veggies).  I took them off the burner and set them aside.  After I put my vegetables in the oven, I started making a marinara sauce to top the meatballs with.  I just went with my super simple go-to sauce that only has a few ingredients that you most likely have in your pantry right now.

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Here’s what I ended up with.  I sprinkled a little bit of mozzarella on my meatballs (totally optional) because I had some that needed to be used up in the fridge.  Easy, quick, and delicious.

Enjoy!

Recipe: Turkey Meatballs

  •  2 lbs ground turkey
  • 1/4 of a small, yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 c. parmesan cheese
  • Paprika, chili powder, garlic, salt, pepper, crushed red pepper, basil, parsley, to taste

-Combine all ingredients in bowl, mix well

-Roll into balls.

-Heat 2 tbsp vegetable oil in pan on stove top.  Once oil gets hot, place meatballs into pan carefully.  Simmer over medium heat.

-Turn when necessary.  Cook for about 15-20 minutes.

Recipe: Marinara Sauce

  • 16 oz tomato sauce
  • 6 oz tomato paste
  • Salt, pepper, garlic, basil, oregano, sugar, to taste

Recipe: Honey Garlic Carrots

  • 2 lbs baby carrots
  • 1/4 c. honey
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • Garlic, parsley, to taste

-Combine all ingredients in bowl.

-Place carrots onto greased baking sheet.

-Cook on 400 degrees for 35 minutes.

Recipe: Cauliflower

  • 3 medium-large heads cauliflower
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • Salt, pepper,paprika to taste

-Combine spices and oil into cut cauliflower.

-Place prepared cauliflower onto greased baking sheet.

-Cook on 400 degrees for 35 minutes.

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Meal Prep-Shredded Chicken Rice Bowl

I was craving some Mexican food last week so I decided that I am going to go that route for my meal prep this week.  Since I skipped out on meat last week, I definitely wanted to incorporate some in this week’s meal.

I love Mexican food.  If I could eat carne asada or ground beef burritos every week, I totally would.  I actually never really eat beef anymore, maybe once every few weeks in a dinner meal, but never more than that.  I would have gone with ground turkey in this meal (you totally could do that) but it was so expensive when I went grocery shopping so I opted for some good old chicken.

Again, this is an extremely simple meal that you can put your own twist on according to your likes and dislikes.  I love making meals that are easily changeable.

I used my favorite kitchen appliance again this week…my beloved crock pot.  It was Easter this past Sunday (which is the day I do my meal preps) and my boyfriend and I were with his family for most of the day, so I just didn’t have time for anything more than throwing everything into the crock pot before we headed out for the day.  You could totally make this on the stove top or even in your oven if you wanted to use this recipe to make enchiladas.  I was actually wanting to make zucchini enchiladas (using sliced zucchini instead of tortillas) but again, there was just not enough time this weekend.  I do plan on trying that out though, I think it sounds amazing!

For this recipe, I used pretty basic ingredients.  I started out with the liquids first.  I added a 28 ounce can of red enchilada sauce, 24 ounce jar of Southwestern salsa, 14.5 ounce can of fire roasted tomatoes (I squished the tomatoes because I am not a fan of large tomato chunks), and 2 cups of low sodium chicken broth.  I decided to use the chicken broth because I wanted quite a bit of liquid since I was going to be pouring it over rice (if you use this recipe for the inside of enchiladas, I would skip adding this so it’s not insanely runny).

I then got my veggies prepped and other ingredients ready.  I used yellow onions, green bell peppers, corn, black beans, pinto beans, and of course, the chicken breasts.

Since I used the fire roasted tomatoes, I wanted to try and mimic that flavor with my onions and green bell peppers.  I chopped my onions pretty small and started cooking them in a very small amount of vegetable oil.  I let them cook for much longer than I normally would so that they would start browning on the sides.  Once I liked how they were cooked, I did the same with the green peppers.  After both were cooked, I dumped them into the crock pot of liquids.  I just used canned corn and beans so I drained each of those out and into the crock pot they went.

Once I had all my ingredients ready, I trimmed my chicken breasts and placed them inside the crock pot (make sure your meat is fully submerged in the liquid) and then set it on low heat.

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We got home around 6 hours later, and by that time, the chicken was almost cooked.  I took each breast out and shredded them, then placed all of the shredded chicken back into the crock pot.  I then let everything simmer for about another hour or so, and by then it was ready to go.

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For the rice, I just made some simple jasmine rice with lime juice in my rice cooker.

When I portioned everything out, I sprinkled a small amount of mexican cheese and fresh cilantro on top.  All of the ‘extras’ are of course optional.  I actually wanted to put some sour cream on top to try that out but unfortunately I didn’t have any.

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All I have to say now is…Chipotle who????

Recipe:

  • 28 ounce can red enchilada sauce
  • 24 ounce jar salsa (any kind works–I used Southwestern)
  • 14.5 ounce can fire roasted tomatoes
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 15 ounce can yellow corn, drained
  • 15 ounce can black beans, drained
  • 15 ounce can pinto beans, drained
  • 2 green bell peppers
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3 lbs chicken breast
  • Salt, pepper, paprika, cumin, garlic, chili powder, red pepper flakes to taste
  • 5 cups jasmine rice, rinsed
  • juice of 1 lime

-Combine all liquids (enchilada sauce, salsa, broth, and tomatoes) in crock pot

-Drain canned veggies (corn, beans) and pour into crock pot

-Dice onions and cook in 1 tbsp vegetable oil until they start to brown. Remove from pan.  Repeat with green bell peppers.  Put both into crock pot once cooked

-Trim fat from chicken breasts (I had 3 large breasts and I cut each in half so they would cook faster) and submerge into crock pot mixture

-Cook on low heat for about 6 hours.  Remove chicken, shred finely, and replace chicken back into crock pot

-Let simmer for an additional hour

-Prepare rice according to your rice cooker.  Lime juice optional.

-Pour chicken mixture over rice once rice is cooked.

-Add any additional toppings you prefer

Berry Banana Muffins

Ok…..these muffins……ARE SO GOOD.  I’ve made these multiple times, and I just cannot get over how delicious they are.  They are the perfect amount of sweetness without having to add loads and loads of sugar.  The berries are bursting with flavor and they are so refreshing.  These would be a great breakfast or dessert.

I swear I could eat an entire pan of these at once.  It’s hard not to.  They are that good.

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Start off by mashing 3 very ripe bananas until they are mushy.  Once mashed, add in 2 eggs, 1/2 cup of greek yogurt (I use vanilla), 1 teaspoon of vanilla, and 1/3 cup of honey.

 

The consistency will be quite runny.  You then add in your flour and baking soda, and you’ll have a nice, thick batter.

Grease a 12 count muffin pan with cooking spray, and scoop the batter evenly into the muffin pan.  You should have enough for the cups to be quite full.  You can then add your topping of choice onto each muffin.  This time around, I used frozen mixed berries which consisted of blueberries, strawberries, red tart cherries, and dark cherries.

**I have made these before with just fresh blueberries and they were absolutely amazing**

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You can bake your muffins just like this or you can mix the berries into the batter.  I mixed the berries in so they weren’t all just sitting on the top.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 22-24 minutes.  Make sure to stick a tooth pick in a few muffins to make sure that the middle of the muffins are done.

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Simply delicious.

 

Recipe:

  • 3 very ripe bananas
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • Topping of choice

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

-Mash bananas until mushy, then add in your eggs, yogurt, honey, and vanilla.

-Once combined, add in flour and baking soda.

-Grease 12 count muffin pan, scoop battery evenly into cups.

-Put your topping of choice onto batter

-Cook for 22-24 minutes, periodically checking to make sure middle of muffins are not runny

 

Source: https://www.facebook.com/officialgoodful/videos/1506782506058877/

 

 

 

5 Minute Ice Cream

Nope, I’m not kidding.  This takes 5 minutes.  What’s better than ice cream in 5 minutes? Thaaaat’s right….nothing.  For those asking for healthier dessert options, I am here for you.

This isn’t just a great dessert because it takes so little time, it is also a great dessert because there are only 4 ingredients.

Now listen, I am going to be honest with you.  This is no Ben and Jerrys, but if you’re looking for something to satisfy your sweet tooth, this is the perfect thing.  And!  The entire pan is only 437 calories!

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You’ll need 3 bananas to start off with.  Now these do need to be sliced and frozen.  Since I normally have frozen fruit in the freezer, these were readily available.  Along with the bananas, you need to have 1/2-3/4 cups of frozen strawberries (or any type of fruit you’d like to use along with the banana).

Add your frozen fruit into a blender along with 1/2 cup milk (any kind of milk should work, I just used 1%) and a teaspoon of vanilla.  Blend everything together and you should have something like this:

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Mine seemed to be a tad bit thick, so I did end up adding some more milk to allow it to blend easier (hence the 1/2-3/4 cup of milk I stated above).  It only takes a couple minutes to blend everything together, maybe 2-3 minutes, and you should get a nice smooth consistency.

From here, you just need to pour the mixture into a pan and pop it in the freezer until frozen.

That’s it, you’re done!

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Recipe:

  • 3 bananas, sliced, frozen
  • 1/2 cup strawberries (or fruit of choice)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2-3/4 cup milk

-Put all ingredients into blender, blend until smooth.

-Pour mixture into pan and freeze for an hour or until frozen.

Source: https://business.facebook.com/buzzfeedtasty/posts/1897699807149326

Meal Prep-Healthy Vegetable Soup

Do you ever have those Sundays where you just know that the coming week is going to be a hard one?  That was my Sunday.  I was just exhausted this past weekend and had little to no motivation to meal prep some fancy, new, time consuming meal that I’ve never made before….so…I opted for a classic.  I opted for simple.  I opted for comfort.  I opted for vegetable soup.

**On the plus side, what’s healthier than a big old bowl of vegetables??**

From my previous posts, you’d know that I am in the process of moving…well, getting ready to move.  I have been re-organizing, cleaning, clearing, trashing, donating, and trying to sell anything we could.  I’ll be moving to Washington in a couple of months, and my boyfriend and I decided that we only want to fill our two cars with as much as we can, and leave the rest.  We want a new start.  We want simple.  So we are saying no to a big moving truck and only keeping what we need/can fit.  I spent literally the entire weekend doing as much as I could and I actually did get quite a bit done.  But by the end of the day on Sunday, though, I really just wanted to cuddle up with a blanket and a yummy bowl of soup.

I think we can all agree that soup gives us a sense of comfort…am I right?

I didn’t want to make a heavy soup, and I wanted to skip out on meat this week, so I decided on classic vegetable.  You can really add anything and everything into your version of vegetable soup, but I am just here to share my version.

Also, crock pots are my saviors.

My local stores didn’t have every ingredient I wanted on sale this week, so I did use a few frozen veggies..which is fine..fresh or frozen are what I like to use.  I try and stay away from canned veggies if I can, but hey, use what you can.

Since I did get some of my vegetables frozen. that saved me a little time on prepping.  This was such a quick meal to prepare, the longest part is waiting for it to cook in the crock pot.  You can even make this soup stove top if you want, but I went with the crock pot because I wanted to let it simmer for a few hours.

I started out by cutting up my onion and celery stalks.  I wanted to add in some extra flavor by slightly carmelizing my onions before I put them in the crock pot.  I simmered them for a few minutes over the stove and then added in some minced garlic and my chopped celery.  I let that brew for a few minutes while I got my other ingredients ready to go.

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As soon as I saw my onions starting to slightly brown, I removed the pan from heat.

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I got my green beans, carrots, peas, and corn frozen, so no prepping there!  You can just throw those bad boys in your crock pop straight from the bag.

For the broth, I went with vegetable broth and a small can of chicken broth (just for a little added flavor).  You can do all vegetable, all chicken, whatever your heart desires.  I went with vegetable because it was the healthier option and the sodium content was quite a bit less than what it was in chicken broth.  (If you remove the chicken broth, this is a perfect vegetarian meal!)

I decided to thrown in some chick peas for protein since I was straying away from meat this week.  However, customize your version any way you’d like!  You can use kidney beans, ground beef, turkey, etc.

**It was at this moment I realized I would be needing 2 crock pots**

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As you can see, I added in some additional veggies that I had laying around the house.  I found some pre-diced (thanking my past self for cutting these a few weeks ago when I did) sweet potatoes from a meal prep I made a few weeks ago, so I threw those in my crock pot(s) along with 3 small russet potatoes (diced, of course), and some freshly cut parsley.  I also added in some spices before I left my soup to cook.  Those spices consisted of salt, pepper, chili powder, crushed red pepper, basil, italian seasoning, and a couple bay leaves.

And that’s it.  That’s all there is too it.  I wasn’t actually going for a spicy soup, but somehow I made it that way.  I mean, it wasn’t spicy spicy, but it definitely has a zing to it.  And not going to lie, it tastes freakin’ delicious.

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Recipe:

  • 3 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 3.5 c. celery
  • 3 tbsp. minced garlic
  • 1 lbs. frozen peas
  • 1 lbs. frozen green beans
  • 1 lbs. frozen carrots
  • 2 lbs. frozen mixed green beans, peas, and corn
  • 6 c. sweet potatoes
  • 3 c. russet potatoes
  • 2 cans chick peas
  • 2 cans italian diced tomatoes
  • 3 48 oz. boxes vegetable broth
  • 14.5 oz. chicken broth
  • 4 bay leaves
  • Salt, pepper, basil, chili powder, crushed red pepper, italian seasoning, fresh parsley, to taste

-Heat vegetable oil in pan.  Once hot, add in diced onions and cook until transparent.  Once transparent, add in cut celery and minced garlic.  Simmer until onions start to brown.

-Add in peas, carrots, green beans, corn, chick peas, potatoes, and tomatoes (not drained) into crock pot.

-Once onion mixture is cooked, add into crock pot.

-Add broth into crock pot.

-Add spices.

-Let simmer 4-10 hours.

(I left mine to cook about 8 hours on low-medium heat)

ENJOY!