Monday, September 11, 2017

1 Week of Meal Prep Recipes for Health, Fitness and Saving Money

 Over the last year or so, I've been making an effort to prepare fresh meals for the week ahead of time. Part of this is has been to save money, since there's less tendency to opt for the last minute take-out meal if there's food already prepared at home. The other part of this, has been that I've been really trying to watch what I eat for health reasons.  So, today I'm going to share a few menu's and base recipes that can make several different flavorful meals.  Those who've been following my blog for a few years know that this is something I do regularly and it was the basic idea that I used on my TV show in Las Vegas. It just saves so much freakin' time! Different from my Meals in a Jar, this is fresh food. Most of these can easily be put in the freezer as well, so it's possible to have them on-hand for longer than a week. I make at least two of each of these meals, that way I have some for lunch and some on hand for dinner. This also ensures that my teenage boys will also have healthy choices available.

14 meals

Grilled Chicken 5 ways with Bell Peppers and Vegetables
Grilled Shrimp with Multi-Grain Stuffed Bell Peppers
Smoked Maple Salmon Slaw with Sprouted Quinoa

 Grilled Shrimp with Multi-Grain Stuffed Bell Peppers
yield 2 meals
  • 12 oz shrimp, peeled and veined
  • 1 Tbsp. Garlic infused Avocado Oil
  • 5 mini bell peppers, cut in half and seeded. 
  • 1 cup cooked mixed grains (wheat, oats, triticale, or rye)
  • Chef Tess All Purpose Seasoning
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Green onions

 Directions: Saute shrimp in avocado oil. Remove from the pan and divide between two freezer safe meal containers.  Saute the bell peppers in the pan until tender. Arrange around the shrimp. Fill each pepper with a Tablespoon of cooked mixed grains.  Season well with all purpose seasoning, pepper flakes and green onions. Chill immediately.  To reheat, microwave 2-3 minutes on high. If frozen, 4-5 minutes.
 Smoked Maple Salmon Slaw with Sprouted Quinoa
yield 2 meals

  • 12 oz. Smoked Salmon filet 
  • 1 tsp. Maple Syrup
  • 1/4 tsp Chef Tess All Purpose Seasoning
  • 4 cups cole slaw greens
  • 10 drops stevia
  • 2 Tbsp. vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. garlic infused avocado oil
  • 2 Tbsp. fine minced onion
  • 1 tsp. poppy seed
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup cooked sprouted quinoa

Directions: Grill the salmon until just cooked through, about 5 minutes. Drizzle with maple syrup and season well.  Divide salmon between 2 meal containers. In a large bowl, combine the slaw greens, stevia, vinegar, oil, onion, and poppy seeds. Season to taste. Divide between the two meal containers, next to the salmon.  Divide the quinoa between the containers, 1/2 cup each.

Grilled Chicken 5 ways with Bell Peppers and Vegetables 
yield 10 meals
A few weeks ago I shared how I've been on a real chicken kick the last bit and experimenting with a ton of flavor ideas to add some real jazz to my family's table with very little extra effort on my part. Yes, I do use Ahuacatlan Avocado Oil in this recipe. They sent me several cases of it to play with and I've been super impressed with the high smoke point and buttery flavors that it adds to my cooking. A high smoking point, by the way, is the best way to ensure that you won't be adding free radicals to your diet. 

One batch of marinade base will season 3 lbs of chicken breasts (about 10 breasts). Just baste them well in the marinade base.  Divide this marinated chicken into 10 meals in 5, quart-sized freezer bags with 2 breasts each to give you the meal variations. It's the perfect amount for a fast meal.  Then, simply combine the flavor ingredients in the quart sized bag with the breasts.  Allow to marinate at least an hour in the fridge, but I prefer overnight.  Then, drain marinade and bake or grill as desired. 

OR for bolder  simpler flavors:  Marinate all in the chicken in the marinade base, drain and bake/grill and then top each breast with the flavor variations in the serving dishes, as you would for a BBQ rub. The flavor will marry with the chicken as it sits in the fridge or freezer for service. 

Marinade Base
1/3 cup Balsamic Vinegar
2 tsp salt
2 tsp pepper

Here's the flavor options:

Lime Poppyseed
Add 3 Tbsp minced garlic
1 Tbsp. poppy seeds 
2 Tbsp. lime zest 

Greek Festival

To base add: 
3 Tbsp. fresh minced dill
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp rosemary
1 tsp.  ground fennel seeds
 Garnish with kalamata olives and diced red pepper after cooking.

Orange and Onion Balsamic
To base add: 
3 Tbsp. orange zest
1/4 cup garlic
1/4 cup minced white onion

Raspberry and Rosemary

To base add:
1/4 cup raspberry juice concentrate 
1 Tbsp. minced rosemary
1 tsp fennel, ground

Hawaiian Pineapple Orange Guava

To base add:
1/2 cup Pineapple Orange Guava Juice concentrate
1 Tbsp. minced ginger
1/4 cup teriyaki sauce
1 Tsp. garlic
1/2 tsp ground cardamom

There you go! Now line up 10 meal containers and put one of each of the chicken variations in each container. Add 1 cup of grilled bell peppers  and steamed vegetables to each container and you're set!

Always My Very Best,
Your Friend Chef Tess

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