Meal Prep-Honey Lemon Chicken//Green Beans//Carrots//Potato Wedges

Happy Monday!  Coming at you again with a new weekly meal prep.  This weekend was a long one for me (not length-wise, unfortunately) and it went by WAY too quickly.  Like I talked about on my About Me page, I will be moving to Washington this summer so I have been trying to get things sorted out as much as I can in the free time that I have.  This is going slowly 😦  In addition to that, my boyfriend just bought a project car (1990 Nissan 240SX) that we are building for the next drift event here on April 15th, so a lot of our time has been spent doing that the past few weeks.  We did just put the engine in this weekend though, so things are going well!  We’re going to aim to get the transmission in tonight…we shall see how that goes.

Anyway, back to food.  Because I was really busy this weekend, I didn’t really plan anything special to make, and I didn’t want to spend hours grocery shopping on Sunday like I usually do every week.  Especially with my car giving me issues the past couple of days (don’t even get me started on that -_- ).  So, I opted for the easiest, most basic ‘meal prep’ meal in the world…chicken and veggies.  An advantage to that, too, was that everything I needed was on sale at Sprouts, so I only had to go to one store as opposed the the usual 3 or 4 I normally go to every weekend.

I don’t know about you, but I get tired of food pretty easily (unless we’re talking about pizza–i love you, pizza).  If you saw last week’s meal prep post you would have seen that I made Teriyaki chicken.  Chicken is something I get tired of eating after a few days, so 2 weeks of chicken for me was just not going to work.  Even though the chicken I made last week and this week were completely different, I just knew I would have ended up wasting so much if I made chicken the biggest part of my meal.  What I did instead was make a weeks worth of chicken for my boyfriend (he doesn’t care what he eats as long as he has food–bless his soul) and I only saved myself a half of a chicken breast to eat one day or split up among days if I feel like it.  Because I didn’t have a ‘main dish’ for myself, I just made a bunch of different types of vegetables to replace the chicken.

Let’s get to it.

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I love potatoes.  I haven’t made them for a while, so they sounded extra delicious this week.  I figured since potatoes are a heavier vegetable, they’d be a good ‘substitute’ for the chicken I wasn’t making myself.  While searching through Pinterest a few weeks ago, I stumbled across a blog that talked about soaking potatoes in ice water before you cook them to remove a lot of the starch that they carry.  I had no idea?  Thanks for the tip though, girl.  So that is exactly what I did.  Since I prep for 10 meals, I used around 8 lbs of Russet Potatoes to make potato wedges.  I washed them all, then cut them into pretty thin wedges.  I wanted them to be crispy, so I didn’t want to cut them too thick.  Before seasoning, I filled up a big bowl of ice water and let my potatoes soak for 25 minutes.  I then drained them and added the seasonings.  All i used was olive oil, salt, pepper, Cajun seasoning, and some garlic.  Make sure not to overlap your potatoes when you lay them on a baking sheet so they cook evenly.  I lined mine with foil (and sprayed the foil with cooking spray to prevent sticking) and ended up sprinkling some more Cajun seasoning on top of the potatoes for a little more spice.  Cook them at 450 degrees for 15 minutes, flip the potatoes around, then cook for another 30-40 minutes depending on how crunchy you like them.  Completely optional, but I topped them off with parmesan cheese and fresh parsley after they were done cooking.

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Oh my god, my mouth is watering looking at this picture because these WERE SO GOOD.  The perfect amount of crunch and seasoning.  Seriously one of my new faves.  I promise you that you’ll love these.

On to the next veggie.

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Carrots.  I love carrots, my boyfriend is very so-so with them.  I made them anyway, figuring I would only give him a few.  I made a glaze for my carrots with butter, minced garlic, salt, and pepper.  I say glaze because I melted the butter then added the spices once melted.  These only took a few minutes to prepare, the longest part was waiting for the butter to melt.  I poured the glaze over 2 pounds of baby carrots, mixed them up making sure everything was coated nicely, then spread them onto a baking pan (foil lined and sprayed with cooking spray) and they were ready to go in the oven.

Moving on.

Last part of the meal here.  The chicken and green beans.  I baked them both using the same ingredients and on the same pan so that is why I’m talking about them together.  I love shortcuts.  As stated in the title, I decided on honey lemon chicken (which I’ve never actually made before).  I’m sure you could use any kind of chicken with this sauce, but I went with chicken breast.  I used 3 pretty large breasts and 2 pounds of green beans.  For the sauce, I mixed honey, soy sauce, salt, pepper, fresh parsley, minced garlic, and freshly squeezed lemon juice.  It turned out to be a pretty thin consistency which was good for spreading over the entire baking pan.

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My pan wasn’t huge, but I made it work, and it looked really pretty.

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I cooked both the chicken pan and the carrots together on 400 degrees for 30-35 minutes.  The breasts were pretty thick so they needed a few extra minutes (I took the green beans off the pan at the 30 minute mark).  I let the chicken rest for about 10 minutes once cooked and they turned out perfectly moist.   The sliced lemons really gave it an extra punch of flavor.

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See you next week!

 

Recipe: Potato wedges

  • 8 lbs russet potatoes
  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt, pepper, garlic, cajun seasoning to taste

-Wash and slice potatoes into thin wedges

-Soak sliced potatoes in ice water for 20-25 minutes (optional, to remove excess starch)

-Season potatoes with olive oil and spices. Spread evenly on greased baking pan.

-Heat oven to 450 degrees. Cook for 15 minutes.  Take out, flip potatoes. Cook for another 30-40 minutes (depending on how crispy you like them).

-Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and fresh parley while still hot (optional)

 

Recipe: Butter glazed carrots

  • 2 lbs baby carrots
  • 6 tbs butter, melted
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • Salt, pepper to taste

-Melt butter in saucepan.  After completely melted, add minced garlic and let simmer for 3-5 minutes (or until garlic starts to brown)

-Add salt and pepper into butter mixture, pour over carrots and stir

-Spread carrots evenly on greased baking pan

-Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Cook for 30-35 minutes.

 

Recipe: Honey lemon chicken/green beans

  • 3 chicken breasts
  • 2 lbs green beans, washed, ends cut off
  • 1/3 c. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. soy sauce
  • 1/3 c. honey
  • 1.5 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1/4 c. fresh parsley
  • Salt, pepper to taste
  • Lemon (optional, for garnish)

-Mix together lemon juice, soy sauce, honey, minced garlic, parsley, salt and pepper

-On a greased baking pan, place chicken breast and green beans

-Pour 3/4 of the sauce mixture over chicken, 1/4 over green beans

-Slice remaining lemon into thin wedges. Place on top of chicken and green beans for added taste

-Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Cook for 30-35 minutes

 

Inspirations:

http://diethood.com/garlic-butter-roasted-carrots/

https://cafedelites.com/2017/02/26/one-pan-honey-lemon-chicken-asparagus/

http://www.sprinklesomesugar.com/crispy-potato-wedges/

Breakfast Prep-Overnight Oats//Fruit Salad

I’m just going to start off by saying that I am not a morning person.  I am that girl that chooses to sleep until the last second instead of waking up and doing my hair and/or makeup.  That also means I choose not to wake up early enough to prepare breakfast every morning.  So, instead, I found a savior breakfast.  Overnight oats.  You might think eating oatmeal every morning would get old, but you can create so many different variations that it truly doesn’t.  I’ve literally been eating overnight oatmeal for breakfast 5 days a week for a good three months.  Still love it.  Still tastes bomb every time.  Well, most times.  There’s been a few mixes I’ve made that haven’t been my favorite, but usually, they’re bomb.

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It’s so easy to make overnight oats, which is another reason I love doing it.  Personally, I don’t prep 5 days worth of oatmeal.  I have a weird feeling that the milk will start tasting funny or the fruit I put in will go bad if I let it sit for that long.  I don’t know, I know and have read of plenty people doing a weeks worth at a time, but for some reason, I just refuse.  I only make 2 jars at a time, one for myself and one for my boyfriend.  I just prep these every night for the following morning (since it takes less than 5 minutes to make, doing it at night it perfectly fine with me).  I always use Mason jars for my oatmeal.  I’m sure you could use any container you like, but c’mon, Mason jars are just cuter.

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Like I said, you can add anything you like inside of your oatmeal.  I usually just throw different kinds of fresh fruit inside, but I’ve gone ‘outside the box’ a few times.  My favorite is simply bananas, brown sugar, and strawberries.  My choices depend on what the cheapest fruit is that week (if you haven’t gotten the hint by now, frugality is my specialty).  I always keep my measurements the same for the oats and milk because I only prepare a servings worth.  For my toppings, I just use however much I feel like cutting up that night.

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I always put my dry ingredients in the jar first, so the oats, toppings, and sweetener (if I choose to use one).  I like doing dry ingredients first so I can eyeball if I need to add any extra milk.  I will always use 1/2 cup oats (I just use Quick Oats, but you can use Rolled or even Steel Cut–those just take extra time and I’m not about that life) and ~3/4 cup milk.  I only use almond milk, coconut milk, cashew milk, or any variation of those.  You can of course use regular milk, I just like using this type because it has way less calories and you can’t even really tell it’s not regular milk.  I’m not even a fan of almond/coconut/etc milk by itself, but I love it in my oats.  My absolute favorite type to use is the almond/coconut blend by Almond Breeze (shown above^^).  I am a die hard coconut fan and I love that I can always taste a hint of it in the oatmeal.

Once you add in your milk, shake everything up so you can make sure you have enough for your oats to soak in.

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A few of my favorite combinations for toppings:

  • Bananas, strawberries, brown sugar
  • Bananas, honey, powdered peanut butter
  • Bananas, mangoes, brown sugar
  • Bananas, cinnamon
  • Granny smith apples, brown sugar, cinnamon
  • Raspberries, blackberries, mangoes
  • Shredded coconut, bananas, vanilla

There’s truly endless possibilities of combinations you could create.  I will tell you this, though.  I tried pineapple once, (I LOVE pineapple) and it was NOT good.  I don’t know if it just didn’t mix well with the almond milk I used or the oats or what it was, but it was just not a good taste.  Personal opinion, of course, I just wanted to share my thoughts because I was so disappointed that I can’t use of of my favorite fruits.

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Besides the overnight oats, I always like keeping us stocked with fresh fruit to eat or snack on whenever.  Watermelon was FINALLY on sale this week so you better believe I snatched some up for a huge fruit salad I made to last us all week (I’m lying, it did not last all week).  I  used blackberries, watermelon, bananas, and mangoes for this salad, then just squirt some lime juice on top.  I didn’t pick the best watermelon this time around, but it wasn’t too bad, and it still looked pretty.  By the way, if anyone knows how to pick the best watermelons, PLEASE LET ME KNOW!!  I feel like I always have terrible luck.

Also, feel free to share your favorite overnight oats combinations, I’d love to try some new ones!

Recipe:

  • 1/2 c. Oats (Rolled, Quick, or Steel Cut)
  • 3/4 c. Milk (Any milk will do, I use Coconut/Almond Blend)
  • Toppings of choice

-Mix everything together, refrigerate overnight for at least 8 hours

Meal Prep-Teriyaki Chicken//Zucchini Salad

Before you think “Wow, those two dishes don’t really go together”, trust me, I already know.  Why would I make a half Asian, half Italian meal?  I’ll tell you why….because I wanted to.  Or, more specifically, because I used what my local grocery stores had on sale this week.

Honestly, I’ve been waiting to make this teriyaki chicken for a few weeks now.  I’ve never done a homemade teriyaki sauce, but I’m glad I did, because it was damn good.  It took no time at all, which was also a major plus.  In fact, this whole meal was actually quite quick.

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I started out by making my zucchini salad, which is just pasta salad substituting the pasta for zucchini noodles.  I wasn’t sure how it was going to turn out, but wanted to risk trying in case it was something I ended up loving.  I’m glad I thought about doing this.  Zucchini noodles have become a staple in my household recently.  They’re so much healthier than pasta noodles and they take very little time to prepare.  If you’ve never done so, I’ll give you some very detailed instructions on how to.  First, invest in a spiralizer…it will change your life.  Second, wash your zucchini, cut the ends off of both sides, and cut the zucchini in half (this isn’t a necessary step, but i like to do this so my noodles don’t come out so long).  Third, stick your zucchini on your spiralizer and start spinning.  Done.  It’s that easy.  When you finish, you’ll have a little something like so:

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Perfect zoodles.   Yep, you read that right.

After I cut all of my zucchini (I used 8) I started preparing the veggies that I was going to add into the salad.  You can use whatever vegetables you want.  I decided on red and orange peppers, broccoli, black olives, and green onions.  Nothing too fancy.  The reason I was hesitant to make this side dish was because I didn’t know how well the zucchini would take to the Italian dressing I chose to use.  Zucchini is obviously pretty moist once you cut it up, and I was nervous that the noodles were just going to be a soggy mess once I added the dressing.  Before I added anything into the noodles, I lined a big mixing bowl with paper towels and moved all of the noodles into the bowl with the paper towels, hoping that some of the moisture would get sucked up.  I let them sit for about 25 minutes and then moved on to finishing off the salad.  I did add some parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper in addition to the veggies and dressing.  To my surprise, it turned out great.  The noodles were not soggy and still had a nice crunch to them.

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Alright, so now we’re moving on to the main dish, the teriyaki chicken.  I found a recipe for a very simple teriyaki sauce here and tweaked it to my liking.  It took less than 10 minutes to make this sauce and you’d never know that by how good it was.  All you have to do is add all of the ingredients into a saucepan, let it boil, then reduce your heat down and stir until it starts getting heavy.  You can also add a little more cornstarch if you’re wanting a thicker sauce, or more water if you want it thinner.

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That’s basically all there is to it.  I bought chicken tenders because I was honestly too lazy to cut up large chicken breasts, so I already had my chicken ready to go.  I lined a baking pan with foil (again, out of sheer laziness and not wanting to clean) and added a couple spoonfuls of the teriyaki along the bottom of the pan.  You add in your chicken, add any spices you want on the chicken (I went simple and just used garlic, salt, and pepper) and use the rest of your teriyaki to top everything off.  Throw it into a 400 degree oven for about 18 minutes and you’re good to go.

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This was so simple, anybody could make this meal.  And again, I know this doesn’t technically ‘go together’, but do what you want!  I wanted a veggie side dish to keep it on the lighter side this week, as opposed to something heavier like rice, so that’s exactly what I did.  Plus, with Summer weather coming in full force here in Arizona, a cold pasta salad was perfect.

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Let me know if you make this meal and how it turned out 🙂

 

Recipe: Teriyaki Chicken 

  • 3/4 c. Soy Sauce (I used low sodium)
  • 5 1/2 tbsp Honey
  • 2 tbsp Cornstarch
  • 4 tbsp Water
  • 1.5 tbsp Minced Garlic
  • 3.75 lbs Chicken

-Add all ingredients into saucepan over medium heat

-Bring to a boil, then turn to low heat and stir sauce until desired thickness

-Coat bottom of baking pan with a layer of teriyaki, add in (optional) seasoned chicken, then use the rest of the sauce to cover chicken

-Bake at 400 degrees for 18 minutes

Recipe: Zucchini Salad

  • 8 large zucchini, spiralized
  • 12 oz. Italian dressing
  • 2 cans Black Olives, sliced
  • 2 Orange Peppers, cut
  • 1 Red Pepper, cut
  • 3 large Broccoli heads, cut
  • 1 bundle Green Onions, sliced
  • 1/2 c. parmesan cheese
  • Salt, pepper to taste

-Cut ends off zucchini, spiralize into thin noodles.  Line bowl with paper towels, place zucchini in bowl for 20-25 minutes to absorb excess moisture.

-Remove paper towels from zoodles.  Add in all prepped veggies, spices, cheese, and dressing.  Stir together.

-Enjoy!

(I’ll remind you that these recipes are what I use for 10 meals, so be sure to adjust accordingly!)

Meal Prep-Ground Turkey and Sweet Potato Mix//Broccoli

Hello, hello!  It’s Sunday night, and I’ve just finished my meal prepping for the week.  I’m not going to lie, I was a little iffy about this one because I’ve never really been into sweet potatoes.  I’ve always preferred regular potatoes, but for the sake of nutrition, I decided to be a little daring.

Many of my recipes I create are inspired from Pinterest, but I never follow recipes to a T.  I like putting my own spins and twists on each meal I create, and I definitely do my own thing when it comes to spices.  My boyfriend loves spicy food, I, however, am a complete wimp when it comes to spice.  But, being the amazing girlfriend I am, I always try to make each meal spicy enough for his taste (as I attempt to build up my spice tolerance) so I usually go pretty heavy.

I started out by getting all of my ingredients and prepping them as needed.  This included 2 yellow bell peppers, a sweet onion, and fresh parsley.  If you haven’t seen my About Me page, I make 10 lunch meals at a time (Monday-Friday meals split between my boyfriend and myself) so if it looks like a lot of food, it’s because it is.

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I decided to use broccoli as a side dish, so I started getting it prepared and ready to go into the oven so I could save some time and just have everything going at once.  This time around, I dressed the broccoli with a pretty small amount of olive oil, minced garlic, salt, pepper, and chili powder.  I spread the veggies on an aluminum baking pan (make sure you don’t overlap) and threw them in the oven at 400 degrees for 12 minutes.  Remember when I talked about building my spice tolerance?  There’s your proof^^

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After I put the broccoli in the oven, I started cooking the ground turkey for the main dish.  I cooked the turkey on medium heat by itself until it was just about done, around 5-6 minutes, and then added 2 tsps minced garlic, yellow peppers, onion, and simmered everything together for another 5 or so minutes (or until your onions start to brown).  I also added in a few spices (salt, pepper, chili powder, and crushed red pepper flakes) while everything was simmering down.  I’ll tell you what though-crushed red pepper is not my friend.

While things were cooking, I peeled and cut my sweet potatoes.  I diced them pretty small so they wouldn’t take too long to get tender.  As soon as the onions browned in the turkey mixture, I added in the potatoes and covered the pan.  It only took about 10 minutes for them to get soft, and I did add in some additional spice and a small amount of water (to prevent any sticking).  To be honest, this was my first time making sweet potatoes, but I think I did a pretty OK job.  Once everything was ready, I sprinkled some shredded mozzarella on top, let it melt, then topped it off with the fresh parsley.

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Hello, delicious 🙂

Recipe:

  • 2 Yellow Peppers
  • 1 onion (I used sweet, I’m sure any would do)
  • Fresh Parsley
  • 2 lbs ground turkey
  • 5-6 sweet potatoes (depending on size)
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/3 c. Mozzarella cheese
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt, pepper, chili powder, crushed red pepper to taste*

-Heat olive oil in pan and cook ground turkey on medium heat until just about fully cooked, about 5-6 minutes.

-Add in yellow peppers, minced garlic, and onion.  Cook until onions start to brown.

-Add in spices.

-Once onions are browned, add in cubed sweet potatoes and cover pan.  May need to add water to prevent the potatoes from sticking. Cook about 10 minutes or until potatoes are soft.

-Top everything with mozzarella cheese, let melt, then add fresh parsley.

-Enjoy!

 

Recipe inspired by : http://www.primaverakitchen.com/ground-turkey-sweet-potato-skillet/