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-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!

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/