Ain’t nobody got time for meal prep.

…yeah you do. I promise. I’ve been doing weekly meal prep for over a year now, and honestly can’t imagine cooking or preparing my meals any other way. Yeah, it takes about 2-3 hours on the weekend (we do Sundays here), but it makes the entire week’s cooking virtually non-existent and SO easy.

I’ve heard from quite a few friends and family members that meal prep takes too much time, or that they don’t know how to do it “right”. First, there’s no “right” way to meal prep. Second, the time is worth it. I promise. So, I’m going to give you some of my go-to meal prep tips and tricks that I’ve discovered over the past year or so. I’ve gotten these ideas from my experiences, random blogs, Facebook pages, friends, family, and anyone who wants to offer them to me! Hopefully you find some of these helpful as I did (and continue to)!

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Tips for Planning:

  • Get a template. Use it. It’ll keep you organized and help you plan.
    • Here’s one that we use for Eric’s meals. Here’s the one I use (this is specific to the nutrition plan (RP Strength) I follow, so I wouldn’t recommend it unless you’re following that program). There are a ton out there, just google them.
  • Find recipes: Pinterest. Yummly. Facebook. Friends. Family.
    • Figure out what you think sounds good and write them down. Like chicken? Find some recipes. Like fish? Pin some recipes. Casserole fan? Get out the cookbook.
      • Pro tip: Start small. Don’t over do it with a lot of “new, fun, exciting” recipes. You’ll get overwhelmed. I do best with a “boring is best” mindset for at least one meal a day (lunch is an easy one).
        • During the school year, my lunch is the same pretty much every day (shredded chicken and rice with a salad or steamed broccoli). Boring? Yep. But I’m at work and don’t care because I have no other food to eat so I’m going to eat it. Plus, it keeps grocery costs down and makes prep SO easy.
  • Download an app. MyFitnessPal or MealPlannerPal are free, and MealBoard is a paid app ($4ish I think). All are good.
    • MealBoard incorporates a grocery shopping list and has a lot of neat features.
    • Honestly, I use MyFitnessPal the most to keep track of everything since it has a nice database and it’s pretty well-organized.
    • MealPlannerPal is basically your template/meal plan organized on an app for easy access at the store or on-the-go.

Tips for Grocery Shopping:

  • After you prep: Make. A. List.
    • Stick to said list. Just get what you need. Remember, you’ve prepped your entire week. Stick to the list. You’ll save money and won’t waste food or be tempted by other crap food you don’t need.
  • Belong to Costco.
    • Okay, I kid. But seriously, it’s helpful–especially if you like to prep the same things frequently.
  • Buy frozen veggies when they’re on sale. Stock up. Vegetables are essential to your nutrition–as much grief as they get, you really do need to eat them. There are more “fun” ways to make veggies, but if you’re in a hurry or are a lazy veggie-prepper (like myself), frozen steamable veggies are the way to go.
  • Frozen chicken breasts are cheaper, and are the way to go if you’re doing crockpot chicken (which I’ll get to later). If you’re grilling chicken, I prefer fresh. But if you’re doing shredded chicken, but your chicken breasts frozen.
  • Meat sale? Buy it and freeze it! Once again, especially if you know what you’ll be wanting in the coming weeks (once meal planning is a little more solidified for you and your family).
  • Don’t “over-buy” produce–even if it’s on sale. It goes bad. Buy only what you’ve planned for that week–unless you have a sure-fire way to preserve it, you’ll find yourself frustrated with it going bad before you can use it.
  • Once you’ve prepped for a few weeks, you’ll know what you can buy more of to have on hand and what you won’t use as much. After a month, you’ll feel like a pro hopefully be less overwhelmed ;-).

Tips for ACTUALLY cooking:

  • Crockpot Shredded Chicken is a LIFESAVER.
    • Put some frozen chicken breasts in crockpot on low for about 3:30-4:00 hours. I usually use 4-5 chicken breasts for my shredded chicken for the week. Shredded chicken goes with literally anything and it’s cheap. So I make it a lot.
      • Nothing else is needed (no, not even water) in the crockpot, but you can add whatever you want–seasoning, salt, BBQ, hot sauce, a ranch dressing seasoning packet, etc. It’d depend on what recipes you’ve decided to prep.
    • Remove chicken, drain the water/fat. Put chicken back in crockpot.
    • GET OUT YOUR HAND MIXER. YES.
      • Turn it on low and shred. Boom. Done. Less than 30 seconds. Life changing.
  • Use the oven while using the stove-top as well.
    • This seems like a no-brainer, but I’ve totally forgotten to cook something in the oven while using the stove-top simply because I forgot I could use both.
  • Timers are your friend. Use them. Oven, phone, fridge magnet timer. Set them so you don’t forget something. Then you will not have food and you will be sad.
  • Utilize the slow cooker/crockpot in general.
    • Freezer meals are fun. Pinterest has a lot of them. You can prep these and throw them in the crockpot every morning.
  • Casseroles freeze well and are pretty darn easy to prep. Make pretty easy dinners, too. And they reheat well (hello lunch or dinner all week)!
  • Rice cooks in big batches. And it’s cheap.
  • Pasta cooks in big batches, too. And it’s cheap, too.
  • Like tuna? Good. Use it.
    • Don’t like it alone? Me either. I mix it with avocado for an awesome tuna salad. You can do this fresh daily or mix it on a Sunday and just store it (more on this later) and dish it out for your meal every day.
  • Eggs. Eggs don’t prep super well in advance, BUT you can microwave them! Just be careful, because they can pop so keep an eye on them while cooking. So, if you decided to prep something (such as this breakfast bowl I make) for breakfast, you can always have everything ready and microwave the eggs or egg whites that morning.
  • Have a grill? Use it. Grill your meat: butterfly pork chops (a favorite here), chicken, steak, kabobs, etc. You name it, you can grill it. And it keeps well all week and reheats nicely in the microwave.
    • If you don’t have access to a grill, you can bake or broil your meat and it’ll hold up just as well.
  • Don’t want to prep for/actually eat food in the morning? Smoothies. They can literally can be made from anything that sounds good mixed with a liquid (water, milk, juices, etc).
    • Fresh or frozen fruit.
    • Protein powders.
    • Eggs/egg whites (yes, they can be consumed raw. No, you can’t taste them).
    • Kale or spinach
      • An easy way to prep smoothies is to put whatever you might use–minus the liquid–in a ziploc. Label the ziploc with the day you’ll use it. Get that ziploc out on that morning, throw the contents in the blender, add liquid, and go. That way your morning isn’t spent cutting and prepping the stuff that goes in the smoothie because you already did that on Sunday (or whenever you prepped your food for the week).
  • Buy and use spinach. Yes, that “Popeye” style green stuff we all think we hate. It literally goes in anything and it’s virtually tasteless when blended–especially if you LOATHE veggies. Does your recipe call for water or milk? Blend some spinach up until it’s all liquid and add it in with the water.
    • Eric adds it to chocolate waffles. My husband is literally the pickiest eater I’ve ever met. If he can do it, you can, too.
    • If you find your spinach going bad quickly, freeze it! The easiest way I have found is to blend it all up and freeze it into ice cubes in an ice cube tray. Makes for a very easy addition to a smoothie!
  • Lastly, fresh fruit is clearly the best in terms of taste. But, frozen fruit works, too. Especially if you find yourself in a bind. My favorites to have frozen are: strawberries, blueberries, grapes, bananas, and raspberries.
    • If you find your fruit going bad, chop it up and freeze it (just like the spinach mentioned above)! Don’t let it go to waste. You can always use it in the smoothies!

Tips for food storage:

  • Buy some containers. You don’t have to get fancy. You can re-use old deli meat or cottage cheese/yogurt containers, get some on sale, whatever works for you. I actually have some meal-prep containers, but that’s just because I’ve found them to work well for me.
  • Store your protein together if you want. I separate all of mine out for the week on Sunday so I can just grab and go and throw it in my lunchbox every morning, but you can store your shredded chicken or grilled meats (especially the ones that are the same) in one big container to minimize room in the fridge!
  • If you’ve mixed up a tuna salad or something, use a bowl or container that has a lid to mix it up. That way, you minimize dishes and storage is a cinch.
  • Vegetables are the hardest (I’ve found) to store. That’s why I like to use frozen steamable veggies. I basically use a bag of frozen cauliflower, broccoli, or something of the sort every day. I just steam the veggies at work and then take the rest home for dinner in one of my lunch containers. I also keep one in the freezer at work in case I forget to bring it with me that day.
  • Salad can actually be made and stored for the week in separate containers. I buy a big container of leafy romaine and make 5 salads for the week (minus the dressing, of course) and put them in the fridge for easy grab-and-go every morning to eat at work.
  • Speaking of work, I also keep extra protein and snack sources on hand. I have some tuna, protein bars (these and these are my favorite by far because their fiber content is so high), freeze-dried fruit, and granola in my desk drawer. They’re helpful if I forget my lunch or am in a super-hurry that morning and forget something.

My biggest tip: DO NOT OVERWHELM YOURSELF.

This is just asking to set yourself up to be let down and feel badly. Meal prep isn’t super easy right away. Maybe just start with only planning and prepping your snacks for the week. Or maybe you decide to go with the lunches. Or the smoothie breakfasts. Whatever you decide, make it simple in the beginning. Meal prep has been so helpful for Eric and I, so hopefully you find it just as helpful as we have…both sanity wise and financially.

Food is like my favorite thing in the world. Finding easy ways to enjoy the foods I love makes me pretty darn happy :-). Happy planning and cooking!

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Nacho me.

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Got a craving for nachos but don’t want all the sodium and carbs from the chips? Okay, who are we kidding? We all want the chips. But, if you’re trying to be a little more conscious of your carb/sodium intake, I got you. These actually surprised me. I saw the recipe (see link at bottom) and figured I’d give it a shot, but wasn’t expecting much since, well, the whole “no chips” thing. However, I was pleasantly surprised at how tasty they were!

Here’s what you need:

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  • 1 bell pepper, sliced into about 1.5-2 inch pieces.
  • 1.5oz cooked shredded chicken
  • 1/4 cup (28g) 2% shredded cheddar cheese
  • 15g sliced green onion
  • 1/2 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder (I used mild)
  • 1/4 cup (maybe a little less) chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tbsp salsa (any kind you like)
  • Black olives, if desired (I chose not to use in my recipe)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 tbsp olive oil, if desired (I just used cooking spray to reduce fat)

Here’s what you need to do:

  • Heat the oven to 350.
  • Spray skillet with cooking spray (or heat the olive oil here if you’re using it) and warm up for a minute or two.
  • Toss in the green onion and garlic and let them sizzle and pop for about 1.5-2 minutes.
  • Add in your chicken and chili powder. Stir ’em up until it’s all coated nicely and looks fabulously appetizing. I know, I know. You’ll want to eat it here. But try to resist for the sake of your poor peppers anxiously waiting for their topping. A bite or two might not hurt though ;-).
  • Remove from the heat and add in the salsa, salt and pepper (and olives if you’d like).
  • Spread out your bell pepper slices on a parchment-paper-lined cookie sheet.
    • Tip: keeping them closer together will help you from losing precious chickeny goodness if it falls off the “nacho”.
  • Top them all with the chicken mixture. Mmm.
  • Sprinkle the cheese over the top.
  • Bake for about 15 minutes or so. You’ll know they’re done when the cheese is all melty and gooey and looks fabulous.
  • Take out of oven–turn oven off <–I’m terrible at this step–top with cilantro and EAT.

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Hope you enjoy these as much as I did. They were, like I said, surprisingly appetizing! And they’d totally make a “healthier” alternative to a party appetizer if you’re looking for one. Granted, who is really going to turn down regular ol’ nacho chips? Nevertheless, try this one on for size. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed!

Nutritional Info (recipe makes one serving):
Fat: 5g
Carbs: 9g
Protein: 21g
Calories: 140ish
RP Strength Macro Breakdown: 5F/2C/21P (taking out carb count for veggies)
Recipe adapted from: http://cookingandcooking.com/recipe.php?recname=Bell%20Pepper%20Chicken%20Nachos

PIZZA.

One day until my weightlifting meet. That means one day until my weigh in. I’m well within my weight class, so no worries. However, I wanted to ensure I eat well today to prep my body, but also because I don’t want to take any chances that my digestive system Terrible Devil-Like Celiac Disease decides to wreak havoc on my system. So, I’m sticking to foods I know are safe and will agree with my body. As I was beginning to make one of my favorite meals today, I decided I’d go ahead and share because it’s so good. And SO easy to manipulate and change to make it fit your style flavor. AND because it’s a freaking PIZZA. It fills a big plate. And I eat the whole damn thing. Without further ado…

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BBQ Chicken Pizza-hhhhhhh

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 whole grain tortilla/wrap of choice (we use FlatOut; Eric uses Light Original, I have to use the Gluten Free because of my dumb digestive system)
  • 2 TBSP BBQ Sauce of choice (we have been LOVING this SUPER low carb sauce!)
  • 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1.5oz shredded chicken breast
  • Veggies of choice
    • I used: onions, green pepper, mushrooms, and spinach today
  • Italian seasoning, to taste

Here’s what you’ll need to do:

  • Heat up the oven to 350.
  • Put the tortilla in the oven for about 4-5 minutes to get it crispy-ish (this helps, I’d recommend it).
  • Take out tortilla and put on the sauce. Spread it out evenly. Use a spoon, basting brush, fingers. Whatever. I’m not here to judge.
  • Spread out shredded chicken on top of the sauce.
  • Add veggies and distribute evenly.
  • Sprinkle cheese on top. Now, 1/4 cup won’t cover the whole pizza like you see in the restaurant…if you want more, add more. It’s your pizza.
  • Top with seasoning if you’d like.
  • Put in oven for about 6-8 minutes. This will totally depend on your preference and your oven, so just keep an eye on it.
  • EAT.

Okay, so we clearly decided to make BBQ Chicken Pizza. You can literally do this with anything. And it’s super fast, super easy, and actually not too bad for you!

Here are some pictures of the process:

Here’s the nutritional breakdown for my pizza (GF FlatOut, Fat Free mozzarella)

Serving Size: One Whole Freaking Pizza
Fat: 4g
Carbs: 35g
Protein: 20g
Calories: 265ish
RP Strength Breakdown: 4F/35C/20P

Here’s the nutritional breakdown for Eric’s version (FlatOut Light, 2% mozzarella)

Serving Size: One Whole Freaking Pizza
Fat: 8g
Carbs: 20g
Protein: 30g
Calories: 265ish
RP Strength Breakdown: 8F/20C/30P

Ironically, though the macros are different, the calories are virtually identical. It just depends on your needs and/or wants and/or cravings….etc.

Now go eat yo’self some pizza!

breakfast FTW

Disclaimer on this post: First, there’s a story. Then, there’s a recipe. Soooo if you just want to know what I made, scroll to the picture ;-).

I love breakfast. I’m actually not sure how I ever used to go to work without eating actual food. For years, I used to just have a coffee and then eat a bit at lunch and gorge on food at dinner (which I feel like is actually pretty common). However, since I began following a more specific meal plan (see: growth. if you might have missed that story), I need to consume a meal of some sort 5-6 times a day, depending on my training. Long story short, I needed to figure out a breakfast solution.

When I train in the evening, my morning carbs are pretty limited (so I can have more carbs around my training to give my body energy when I’ll really need it :-)). I was so used to having pancakes, a waffle, oatmeal, etc. for breakfast that I was getting frustrated with the lack of minimal-carb options. Then I began experimenting with omelets because, well, I was getting desperate. Here’s a fun fact I discovered about myself: I suck at making omelets. I can’t ever get them to be cooked evenly, I’m a terrible the world’s worst “omelet flipper”…they literally always fall apart, and frankly, it wasn’t really “fun” to eat these for breakfast when they look like hog-slop.

One day, my omelet was a totally lost cause. Like, it literally turned into a bowl of egg white/sausage/veggie mush. And then it was like BOOM. DONE. Breakfast Bowl. Duh, Rachel. 1000 times easier, so much tastier, and so freaking easy. And SO easy to prep ahead of time (more on that below).

So, here’s what I do for these breakfast bowls:

Turkey Sausage & Egg White Breakfast Bowl

Prep Time: 5-7 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
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Step-by-step pictures (okay, so it’s the best I could do. Deal with the iPhone-ography).

Here’s what you need (Picture #1):

  • 1/2 cup egg whites (92 grams)
  • Veggies you like
    • I use spinach, green peppers, onion, and mushrooms. Use whatever. It’s all good, I’m sure.
      • Note: experiment with the amount. I need a couple servings of veggies at each meal, so I use quite a bit.
  • 1/4 cup turkey sausage (1.25oz) . I use the pre-cooked crumbles (see picture) because it’s so fast and makes prep a cinch.
  • 1 wedge Laughing Cow Light cheese (this stuff is the bomb. There are a TON of flavors available and it makes egg whites sooooo much tastier).
  • 1 TBSP salsa (totally up you, again, how much you’d like to use. It adds a nice kick).
  • Seasoning, to taste. I use Mrs. Dash (like in the picture up there) Southwest Chipotle.

Here’s what you need to do (I’ll refer to those pictures, as well):

  • Heat up some cooking spray in a skillet (medium heat), then add your egg whites. Cook egg whites until they’re almost all the way cooked through (picture #2).
  • Stir in veggies and cook for a couple more minutes (picture #3).
  • Add sausage and Laughing Cow cheese wedge and stir/let simmer for about 2 minutes (picture #4).
  • Add seasoning, and set the burner temp to simmer (picture #5).
    • Tip: I let this simmer while I clean up and put away all my ingredients. That way, it gets to cook for a little bit longer (a minute or two), and cleanup is done when I’m finished eating :-).
  • Put into a bowl/onto a plate (I figured I’d use a bowl today since I called the darn recipe a breakfast bowl) and devour (picture #6).

A couple tips to make this even easier:

  • Pre-cut your veggies. Then you can eyeball how much you want to throw in and it makes it so easy. This takes like 3-5 minutes and it’s totally worth it to save time in the morning.
  • You can pre-cook this in advance. I’ve done it. It isn’t bad, but egg whites re-heated aren’t my favorite thing, so I prefer to get up about 10 minutes early and just make it fresh. If you cook in advance, leave out the Laughing Cow cheese and salsa until you reheat in the microwave…that way it’s still creamy and tasty :-). Well, that’s my recommendation after my experiences, anyway.
  • Get the pre-cooked sausage. It’s so easy. And you can pretty much find it anywhere. If you don’t and want to prep your own sausage, just pre-cook it and store in cooked in the fridge. It’ll make this recipe go super fast if you have it already prepared.

Not sure if you’ll give this a shot or not, but I highly recommend it if you’re looking for a low-to-no-carb (I don’t count the minimal carbs in my veggies as actual carbs since they have so much fiber) and super-low-fat breakfast solution. Food is good. Quick, simple, tasty food is even better.

Nutrition Info (exactly as prepared above):
Fat: 5g (sausage + cheese)
Carbs: 6g
Protein: 18g
Calories: 150ish

Final Note: when I count this up for my RP Strength macros, I don’t count the fat in the sausage or Laughing Cow because they’re incidental. As I said before, I don’t count the carbs in my veggies either because of the fiber…and that’s just how RP Strength works. So, if you happen to be following RP Strength, this would be the breakdown:

RP Strength Nutrition Info:
Fat: 0g
Carbs: 0g
Protein: 18g
Calories: 150ish

Or, as you'll see it frequently: 0F/0C/18P

so i wanted something sweet

…and I’m CRAVING cookies. Like crazy. Buuuuuut I’m still working on staying below 138.6 before July 30th, so I wanted to try to figure out the best way to make something to satisfy said craving without completely blowing it.

Try these on for size:IMG_4484

Are they “healthy cookies”? No. Are they better than the typical oatmeal chocolate chip cookies I could have made? Yes. I’ll settle, because these were darn good.

In order to make about 20 cookies (give or take, I’m not an expert…but that’s what I got):

Here’s what you need:

  • 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 tsp. stevia (powder)
  • 3 TBSP liquid egg whites
  • 150g almond butter (around 2/3 cup)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup Delecta brown sugar (Truvia brand, or others, would work too)
    • If you use regular brown sugar, you’ll want to double the amount and probably reduce oats a little bit
  • 2 cups old fashioned oats
  • 3/4 cup Ghirardelli 60% dark chocolate chips
  • pinch of salt
  • cinnamon, to taste (if desired)

Here’s what you need to do:

  • Turn oven on and heat up to 350.
  • Put parchment paper on a cookie sheet to make cleanup a cinch.
  • Mix applesauce and stevia up in a medium-sized bowl.
  • Add egg whites, almond butter, and vanilla and mix.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.
    • Should be kind of a sticky, but formable texture.
  • Use a tablespoon-sized spoon to scoop globs of the mixture onto your parchment paper. They will look globby, but whatever. They’re good.
  • Flatten out the cookies a bit, they don’t spread much when baked.
    • Yeah, your hands will probably be sticky. Oh well. Lick them while you wait.
  • Bake the cookies for about 10-13 minutes. I started with 10, ended up with about 12 minutes total. It’ll depend on your oven.
  • Remove from oven and, as torturous as it will be, wait at least like 5 minutes for them to cool a bit.
  • Eat and enjoy.
    • Try to refrain from eating all of them, but I’m not here to judge. I will also join you in devouring them if you’d like.
Nutritional Information (per serving):
Serving Size: 1 cookie (20 per recipe)
-Fat: 6g
-Carbs: 13g
-Protein: 4g
-Calories: 117ish

zucchini blondie goodness

I have a tough time saying “no” to dessert. Anytime. Anywhere. Always dessert. Since I’ve been watching my food intake a little closer, I’ve been finding new recipes all over the glorious Internet to try and make, or adapt, to meet my daily food intake needs.

Well, folks, I have discovered a new creation that is not only good, but helped me use up the rest of a gigantic zucchini I got at the farmer’s market last weekend. Double win. I actually tried to get some pictures as I was making these, too, so I could try and share them since this recipe is a little bit more labor intensive than most others I make. But it’s worth it for the yummy-ness and friendly macros :-). The recipe was adapted from Working Against Gravity’s recipe on their blog to make it fit my macros, but the link is at the bottom of the page if you want to use their exact recipe…it’s pretty similar, just a few tweaks!

Here’s what you need:

Note: I strongly recommend a food scale. It’s super helpful, and mine was like $6 on sale at Kohl’s two years ago and still going strong. And it saves measuring cup hassle on top of everything else…no one needs more dishes than you already have after baking.–
  • 50 grams All-Purpose Flour (I use King Arthur GF, because I don’t have many GF options and I really like this one, but you pick whatever flour you want)
  • 120 grams Zucchini, grated with a cheese grater
  • 100 grams PB2 (powdered peanut butter…you can use any kind of powdered peanut butter, really, there are tons of options out there)
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • Sweetener to taste (I used about 1 tsp Stevia)
  • 8 or 9-inch baking pan (I only had a 9-inch and it was fine)

Here’s what you need to do:

  • Heat up the oven to 350.
  • Spray baking pan with some sort of PAM or cooking spray.
  • Measure out 100g of PB2 into a bowl (this is why I highly recommend a food scale).
  • SLOWLY add water to make the PB2 the consistency of peanut butter. This is key. Don’t add too much water too fast or it’ll get too runny. Then it sucks.
  • Put PB2 into a bigger bowl, clearly licking your fingers in the process, and then add the vanilla and zucchini. I waited to grate my zucchini until I added it to the bowl so I could just grate it over the bowl and watch the grams on my food scale until I got to 120. Much easier to do this way and saved me the headache of grating too much or too little.
  • In a smaller bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, and salt together.
  • Add the dry mixture you just made to the mixture in the bigger bowl (the one with the peanut butter, vanilla, and zucchini). It should look like cookie dough when you’re done.
  • Now you’ll spread this mixture into the pan you already prepared. I found it easiest to scoop it into the middle, wet my hands a little, and spread it so it covered the whole pan. It worked pretty well. And I got to lick my fingers again.
  • Bake for 9-12 minutes. This will depend on your pan. I baked mine for 10 minutes because my pan was bigger than the 8-inch pan from the original recipe. It worked out well.
  • As tough as it will be, let these sit for about 20 minutes before cutting them. Then indulge, eat, enjoy!
  • Recommended Additions (that I will totally add when I’m not as strictly tracking my food):
    • Chocolate/dark chocolate chips (sounds like it would be amazing)
    • Nuts
    • Dried fruit
    • FROSTING!

 

**Don’t let the fact that you can see pieces of the zucchini freak you out. You can’t taste them. However, if you’re a visual/texture person, I’d suggest using an even finer grater to grate it, then you really can’t see it. I do that for my turkey & zucchini meatballs and it works wonders. Plus, if you add frosting, it’s not even visible ;-)**

Nutritional Information (per serving--9 servings per pan):
Fat: 1g
Carbs: 9g
Protein: 5g
Calories: 65ish
Recipe adapted from: http://www.workingagainstgravity.ca/blog/zucchini-blondies

stuffed mush-yums

Cauliflower has been my jam lately. It’s a veggie. It’s good for you. AND Trader Joe’s (and Green Giant) sell it in riced/crumbled form, which is good for the “less-than-enthusiastic-about-cooking” population such as myself ;-).

Mmmmmmm:

GGF Cauliflower Crumbles-16oz FINAL (1)

Green Giant Cauliflower Crumbles

Riced-Cauliflower

Trader Joe’s Riced Cauliflower


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Cauliflower Stuffed Mush-yummmms

Now, you know cauliflower has been my go-to lately. But I can’t just eat riced cauliflower plain more than, like, once a week. Because I’m a normal human being who likes more than bland white food. So, I decided to try this on for size.

Here’s what you need:

  • Baby Portabella mushrooms (I don’t know, like 8?)–stems off
  • 1/2 cup riced cauliflower (you can do this with a regular old head of cauliflower in a food processor too)
  • 2 TBSP milk (I use almond milk, because yum)…maybe a bit more?
  • 1/2 tsp garlic salt
  • 2 TBSP shredded cheese of your choice
    • I’ve used both cheddar and mozzarella and like them both.
    • I’ve also used fat free and 2% shredded
      • 2% tastes better for sure, especially if you’re not tracking fat at all
  •  Seasoning, if desired
    • I used Johnny’s Seasoning Salt
  • Additional things you could try in the mixture:
    • Bacon bits
    • Green onion
    • Chives
    • Onion
    • Whatever the heck you want

Here’s what you need to do:

  • Heat your oven up to 350.
  • Place parchment paper on a cookie sheet.
    • Do this, it makes cleanup a breeze
  • Put cauliflower, milk (ADD SLOWLY), and garlic salt in a bowl and use a mixer or food processor to get it to a mashed-potato-like consistency, BUT NOT TOO RUNNY OR IT WILL BE YUCKY.
  • Lay out mushrooms on parchment paper, with the hole facing up.
  • Put a spoonful of your cauliflower mixture in each mushroom.
  • Sprinkle each mushroom with cheese and seasoning.
  • Put in oven for like 8-10 minutes, it’ll depend on your oven.
    • After I did this, I also put the oven on a low broil for 3-4 minutes to make the cheese a little crispier, and it was good.
  • Eat. But don’t burn your mouth (not that I’m speaking from experience…okay. I am).

Now that you know I’ve been using a lot of cauliflower, expect more cauliflower-based recipes in the future. Not a ton, but some. Because it’s so easyyyyyy. And good for you, which, I suppose, is also kind of important.

Nutritional Information (For all 8 mushrooms-ish):
--This will all vary based on what kind of cheese/milk/toppings you use--
Fat: 
-With fat free cheese: 1g
-With 2% cheese: 4g
Carbs: 6g
Protein: 8g
Calories: 60ish