Fuss Free Menu Planning and Meal Prepping

I know, I know it’s Sunday and you want to rest because you’re pooped from yesterday’s family gathering or maybe you went to a friend’s baby shower. Sometime our days don’t always come as planned, other people’s agenda can get us off track. They may all seems well but sometimes anxiety sneaks in when things don’t go the way we want. Remember, nothing is perfect – you give it all your best and if you think your best isn’t good enough, don’t give up because every challenge starts as a determination to succeed.

So let’s talk about planning. Planning your meals and cooking more at home is the foundation of a good health. If health is important, you’ll make time to take care of yourself – right? The last thing you want is to overwhelm yourself with hard to find ingredients and complicated French recipes (nothing against French cooking). Let me share with you a variety of roasted vegetables, yellow potato salad, and snacks that will boost your vitality. I’ll also provide you with my easy meal prepping tips. Plus bonus easy dinner recipes.

Menu Planning Made Easy:

 

  1. Get Organized:

    Pick the best day to be your menu-planning day. I normally plan my menu on Friday or Saturday and meal prep everything Sunday afternoon but choose what works best for you. Figure out the best day to write your grocery shopping list. Will it be the same day you’ll go to the store or the day before you go grocery shopping? The first thing I do is to ask for input from my family and see what everyone want for dinner or lunch for the upcoming week.

  2. Planning Your Meals:

    Start with recipes you’ll already know so you don’t feel overwhelmed. Go through your recipe box, but if you don’t have a collection of recipes try online or go to my recipes. Have 4 or 5 recipes to start your week. If this is your first time planning your meals – see how 3 days will work for you and increase your meal planning from there.

  3. Choose Quick and Easy Recipes:

    I find that stir-frying, roasting thin slices of meat, and steaming vegetables are pretty quick and easy. The crockpot is also the best option for those busy nights. You can double up your recipe for chicken and save half aside to add to your next dish or a salad.

     

 


Now that you figured out the day you’re going grocery shopping and your meals for the week, it’s time to check what you already have in your pantry and refrigerator and create your grocery list. Write down your menus for the week and post it on your fridge or some place where everyone in the family can see it so they’ll know what they’re having each night.

 

 

 

 

Time to Prep your meals

  • Cook once, eat twice.

    Plan to make double or triple what you would normally make for dinner so you have leftovers for lunches (for adults as well as kids) and/or another dinner. You also have the option to freeze some of the leftovers to use the following week if you prefer.

  • Cook grains

    Like rice, ahead of time for the week, then refrigerate and use them later in the week (add a little water when reheating). Most grains will keep for 3-5 days in the fridge.

  • Be sure to have food defrosted

    If you’re using any frozen items like meat, chicken, fish, etc. Check what you need for the next day, the night before.

  • Chop your veggies

    On the weekend or the night before to prep ahead of time and place in storage containers in the fridge. Also, decide which frozen veggies you can use instead of fresh (especially for stews, soups and some crock pot meals).

  • Make any marinades

    Dressings, spice mixes or sauces in advance to save time on those busier nights.

 


Easy Dinner Recipes

Roasted Veggies with garlic herb dressing

Roasting vegetables is one of the easy meals you can include in your meal prepping and get dinner done in no time. You can use different kinds of herbs to flavor your veggies. I like adding fresh minced garlic to my roasted vegetables. Or I’ll make 3 types of dressing and store them in the fridge ready for me when I need to dress my greens mix into my roasted vegetables.

 

 

Recipe for roasted vegetables

Print
Ingredients
  • 2 medium eggplants, sliced
  • 4 red bell peppers, seeded, halved
  • 4 zucchinis, sliced
  • 1 pound baby Bella mushrooms, whole
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375. Line a baking pan with parchment paper or foil. Lay the vegetables on the pan and arrange them evenly. Season with salt and pepper, and drizzle with olive oil. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until tender. 




  2. DRESSING:


    2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

    2 tablespoons olive oil

    2 garlic cloves, minced

    1 teaspoon dried rosemary


    salt and pepper



  3. Combine all dressing ingredients, stir to mix well. Drizzle the dressing on top of roasted vegetables right after removing from the oven. 


 

Yellow potato salad

I love Yellow potatoes, they are very filling and easy to pair with almost anything. One thing though –  because it’s heavy in our digestion and contains starch, you might want to pair them with leafy greens and all kinds of vegetables vs meats. Starches require different digestive enzymes than proteins. Nevertheless, potatoes are full of nutrients, potassium, skin-on fiber, and B vitamins. Potassium is a powerful dietary factor that may help lower blood pressure. Potatoes also provide the carbohydrate and energy we need to perform at our best.

 

Recipe for potato salad

Print
Ingredients
  • 1.5 pounds small yellow potatoes skin on, halved
  • FOR DRESSING:
  • 1 small red onion finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon whole grain Dijon mustard
  • a handful cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • sea salt to taste
Instructions


  1. Remove the potatoes from the heat, drain and set aside. In a bowl add all the dressing ingredients, stir to mix well. Add the potatoes, stir, toss to coat. 






  2. In a bowl add all the dressing ingredients, stir to mix well. Add the potatoes, stir, toss to coat. 




 

Stir Fry Veggies

Another easy dinner meal is stir fry. You can always add meat or shrimps to any stir fry veggies. I cut my vegetables into thin slices, love sauteing garlic and onions first then add all my vegetables and season them with herbs and my favorite spices. I love adding the 21 Seasoning Salute it has all kinds of spices in one small spice bottle.

 

“21 Seasoning Salute is a smooth blend of onion, black pepper, celery seed, cayenne pepper, parsley, basil, marjoram, bay leaf, oregano, thyme, savory, rosemary, cumin, mustard, coriander, garlic, carrot, orange peel, tomato, lemon juice and lemon oil. The various seasonings are blended in such a way that each flavor complements the others, as well as the dishes to which you add them. Leave the other spices out and add 21 Seasoning Salute to a vinaigrette, sprinkle some on burgers before you cook them, or add a dash (or several) to soups, sauces and dips. You can amp up the flavor even more if you sprinkle the blend into your palm first, and then break up the spices with your fingertips to release their essential oils. However you decide to use it, 21 Seasoning Salute is a quick, simple way to add an excellent balance of flavors, without spending a fortune stocking your spice shelves.” 

~Trader Joe’s 21 Seasoning Salute

 

 

Recipe for stir fry veggies

Print
Ingredients
  • 2 bell peppers, seeded, sliced
  • 2 medium size zucchinis, sliced
  • 1 carrot peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoons tamari (or low sodium soy sauce)
  • 1 teaspoon 21 seasoning salute
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • sea salt and black pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Heat a wok (or pan) with oil. Saute garlic and onion, add the rest of the vegetables, stir to mix. Season with tamari, sesame oil, 21 seasoning salute, salt, and pepper, frequently stir, cook until veggies are tender. 



  2. You can always add meat to your stir fry. 

 

 


Healthy Snacks

 

  

 

Chocolate protein bites

 

Print
Ingredients
  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate chunks or chips
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds
  • 2 scoops vegan protein powder (I use The Natural Citizen)
Instructions
  1. In a bowl, combine all ingredients, use the spatula, stir to mix well. Use your hand to form an inch size balls. Place in an airtight container and refrigerate.

 

Cranberry energy bites

Print
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup roasted cashews
  • 1/2 cup roasted almonds
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup dates
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds
  • 2 scoops vegan protein powder (I use The Natural Citizen)
Instructions
  1. Combine nuts in a food processor, pulse until finely chopped. Add the rest of the ingredients, process until it turns into sticky consistency. Transfer into a bowl, use your hand to form an size balls.

 

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Get your free 3 day dinner recipes with grocery list, and lots of tips!