Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Meal Prep & On The Go

This coming weekend, the NaFOS Transformation Challenge will begin Prep Week. Prep week not only gets the participants programs together and explains them, but we also take them on a journey with food. We show them how to shop for their meal plan in a healthy and budget conscious manner, followed by a quick delicious way to prepare those meals, and hopefully not get too bored with the food offerings. Here are some of what's planned.

Breakfast: (Arguably the Most important meal of the day) Gotta get that Metabolism going!

We have several meal ideas that work great for when you're on the go. (*note: this does take pre-week prep for the rest of the week)

Frittatas: These are quick and easy to bake casseroles that you can prepare, cut into squares, throw in a ziploc bag and freeze until ready to nuke and eat. (The Maestro eats them cold or room temp...yech, but each to his own.)

Egg "Muffins": Again...quick to put together, bake and freeze until ready to eat (take these out of the freezer the night before if you remember...they'll reheat quicker)

Oatmeal: Yes you can have the steel cut oats (Irish Oats) that you so adore and you don't have to slave over 20 minutes every morning to do it. This stuff refrigerates really well...SO make up a big batch on Sunday, and mix in your dried fruit, cinnamon, (not nuts) and then put single servings in little microwavable containers, and refrigerate for future use for the week. Add nuts to it once you've re-heated it for consumption, it adds a nice protein packed crunch (I do like toasted nuts for this) Feel free to add a little water or skim-milk to the oatmeal as you re-heat, for a smoother consistency...yes, stir it in if need be.

Lunch & Dinner: These too can be pre-made for on the go peeps. So many great recipes out there that you can make and put into microwavable dishes (ziploc sales nice reusable/disposable ones that hold up)

Chili is a great meal you can make that can contain lean meat, legumes and veggies to your liking. I'll make mine in the crockpot (brown meat on stove first) and it makes such a huge amount that we can freeze it and eat on in for quite a while...plus, Beans are cheap! (If you like blackbeans, try this one)

Low Fat Italian-Style Chicken & Zucchini:

This is a quick and easy recipe to make, requiring only five main ingredients.
There's no clean-up, either, as the chicken breasts & zucchini are cooked in foil packets.


INGREDIENTS:
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup no-salt-added marinara sauce (like Trader Joe's organic)
1/2 cup reduced fat shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup freshly chopped basil
1 cup sliced zucchini (I like to do zucchini sticks about a 1/4 to 1/8 in wedge size)


PREPARATION:
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Tear 4 sheets of foil wrap measuring 12" by 18". Place one chicken breast in the center of each foil sheet & then place zucchini wedges over. Spoon one-fourth of the marinara sauce over each chicken & zucchini wedges/slices, followed by cheese and basil.

Bring up the sides of the foil and fold the top edge over twice. Seal the edges, leaving enough room for air to circulate inside. Place each packet on a large cookie sheet and bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Unseal foil packets carefully, as the steam will be extremely hot.

Serves 4.
Per Serving: Calories 239,
Calories from Fat 49, Total Fat 5.5g (sat 2.4g), Cholesterol 108mg, Sodium
275mg, Carbohydrate 4.1g, Fiber 0.6g, Protein 43.4g

I also like to do this recipe with Chicken breast & fresh green beans with Italian dressing over it instead of marinara...Or Chicken breast with Salsa, low-fat/fat-free shredded cheddar with black & kidney beans...Skies the limit & it Changes things up a bit.

Low-fat Turkey Kielbasa & Cabbage: Love this one...just saute onions in soy "butter" or a low-fat butter alternative, in a large pot. Once onion begins to wilt and brown, add in head of cabbage that you have cut into fours and pulled apart to wilt in the leaves so that you can fit it all in. Once cabbage is added, add in Turkey Kielbasa (cut into manageable links-I usually cut into 8's) and cook to desired cabbage consistency...I like mine still a bit firm.

Curried Chicken Salad:

What's for lunch? Whip up this flavorful chicken dish for a truly delicious
(and healthy) midday meal.

Makes 4 (1-cup) servings

Description

Serve this sensational salad as is or try it inside half of a large scooped-out tomato or on top of fresh salad greens or use it as a sandwich filling inside a whole-wheat pita.

Prep
time: 15 minutes
Ingredients 1 1/2 cups plain fat-free or low-fat yogurt
1 tablespoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (you can also used canned chicken breast, but check sodium levels)
3 celery stalks, diced
1/2 small red onion, diced
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions Whisk together yogurt, curry powder, and ginger in a large mixing bowl. Stir in chicken, celery, onion, and cilantro; season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve at room temperature or refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving for more
concentrated flavor.

Nutritional Information: 240 calories, 2.5 total fat (0.5 g sat), 11g carbohydrate, 44g protein, 1g fiber, 270mg sodium

Snacks:

On the go I like to have; Part-Skim String Cheese, Nuts (like 15 raw Almonds or 30 Pistacios), Hummus w/veggies (check labels for hidden sugars and processed crap...go for the organic variety), SoyCrisps (when I want to be a little "bad"), Low-Fat Cottage cheese w/Low-sugar Salsa mixed in & fresh Bell Pepper sticks...and I love beef jerky, but I have to check the sugar levels in it. OH and I LOVE the 0% Greek Yogurt...I throw in a packet of splenda (sans paper) and sometimes even add some chopped almonds and/or ground flaxseed for a granola feel.

Dessert:

That's right, I said it...Dessert! Here are some great, lo-carb, protein packed recipes that I love & have blogged about before, but please consider the serving size!

Again, these are all meals that I put into a ziploc baggie or microwavable dish and have on hand ready to go during the week. Any questions or shares please feel free to comment...I'd love any ideas you may have to share.

Have a great day!

-Bex

2 comments:

MizFit said...

LOVE LOVE THIS POST.
if youre by today feel free to link in comments and Ill bold it to send people this way!

Miz.

theworldsdresser said...

THANK YOU! You have no idea how much I need easy to follow instructions like these lol. I never learned to cook and I think I can make these!