Day 5: Meal Prep Day

Since school is starting up again on Monday, I am back to my habit of a weekend prep day.  After getting up this morning, I added 3 pounds of organic ground turkey and 1 pound of grass fed ground beef to my Crock Pot along with 3 teaspoons of salt and 1/2 cup of water.  I then set the Crock Pot on high for 4 hours to let it do its work while I did my morning errands and chores.  This meat became the foundation for four uniquely flavored meals.

The first meal is the Green Enchilada casserole that I included a recipe for yesterday.  I mixed 1 pound of the meat with 3 cups of steamed cauliflower that I put in a bowl and microwaved for 7 minutes (2 as the recipe suggests just didn’t seem like enough), 2 oz cream cheese, 1/2 cup of sour cream, 1 cup of cheddar/jack mix, and 1/2 cup of salsa verde (I didn’t have any green chilis and it is still delicious).  I chopped up some celery to go on top for crunch and color when I serve on top of a bed of romaine lettuce with a sprinkle of cilantro for flavor and color. (each 10 oz serving is 387 calories, 5 grams of net carbs, 23.8 g of fat and 31.9 g of protein)  These numbers do not reflect the celery and romaine.

For the second meal, I went Italian.  The meat I seasoned with 1 tablespoon of Italian seasoning and 1 teaspoon of ground fennel.  I combined the meat with 8 ounces of cauliflower, 10 ounces defrosted and wrung out frozen spinach, 2 oz. cream cheese, 1/2 cup sour cream, and 1 cup of cheddar/jack mix (if I had mozzarella, I would have used that and a bit of Parmesan, but I am a fan of use what you have on hand).  I will serve on a bed of romaine lettuce for crunch and top with minced parsley for flavor and color. (each serving is 367 calories, 6.1 g of carbs, 23.8 g of fat, and 28.8 g of protein.) Romaine lettuce not in the count.

Meal number 3?  It’s time for Indian.  This time I added 2 teaspoons of curry powder to 1 pound of the meat mixture.  Then I combined the meat with 8 ounces of cauliflower, 3 cups of steamed broccoli (here is a quick tip, after microwaving the broccoli for three minutes, cut it up into smaller pieces using kitchen shears;  it worked like a charm), 2 ounces cream cheese, and 1 can of coconut milk.  Delish.  Serve on romaine with celery if you would like and top with cilantro or parsley. (each serving is 390 calories, 9 grams of net carbs, 29.1 g of fat and 23.9 g of protein)

Finally, for meal number 4, I went Asian.  Again I started out with 1 pound of the cooked meat mixture.  To the meat I added 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon of ginger.  To the seasoned meat I added 8 ounces of cauliflower, 3 cups steamed broccoli, 2 ounces of cream cheese, and 1 cup for heavy cream.  I don’t think that dairy is very Asian, but it sure tastes good. Serve on romaine with celery if you would like and top with cilantro or parsley (1 serving:  389 calories, 3.4 net grams of carbs, 28.4 g of fat, and 21.8 g of protein)

The green enchilada casserole mixtures are for lunches, to be heated up in our mini Crock Pots.  The other three meals will start out as dinners and the leftover portion will be for lunches.  Each meal I calculated as 5 servings.  I love to have them in a pan ready to go into the oven with a start up timer while my husband and I hit the gym.  We come home to a hot, delicious, filling meal.  I will heat up the Asian meal the same way, but I only have two of these baking pans at the moment.

Since I was at it, I went ahead and made a few days worth of breakfast.  For this week, I sauteed up 12 ounces of mild Italian sausage with a 10 ounce box of defrosted and wrung out spinach in 12 tablespoons of butter along with a dozen eggs.  I used two skillets to make it much easier to manage.  (I calculated the works as 12 servings, which is 4 days in my house with three eaters.  Each serving is 171 calories, 1.4 g of carbs, 13 grams of fat, and 11.3 g of protein.)

If you are wondering how long it took me to make these meals, I would say with clean up around 2 1/2 hours.  There are many benefits to having a cook day.  One, your kitchen stays cleaner during the week.  Two, you do not even have to THINK about what is for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.  Three, you know that you are eating compliant meals since all the ingredients are compliant.  Four, it saves time.  Five, it saves money since you plan and use up everything that you buy.  Can you tell that I am a fan of the prep day?

Is this weekend your time to start cooking up a storm?

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