Simplifying Meal Prep

Do you cringe when you hear the words “meal prep”? For the longest time I HATED meal prepping. Bottom line, I don’t enjoy spending hours in the kitchen on Sundays prepping food. I would rather be out doing something with the family, especially now that it is getting nicer outside. Does anybody else feel the same way?

Even though I don’t enjoying spending hours meal prepping, meal planning is a very necessary thing for me. When I plan and prep my meals ahead of time it sets me up for successful, healthy eating all week long. So how do I prep my meals without spending a ton of time in the kitchen? I prep two days during the week and I utilize a secret weapon… my CROCK- POT! I LOVE this thing. It has saved me so much time preparing dinners.

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This is what my typical week of meal planning looks like:

Monday: Breakfast- Smoothie

Lunch- Chicken, veggies, avocado

Dinner- Crock-Pot bbq pulled pork and sweet potato

Tuesday: Breakfast- Smoothie

Lunch- Chicken, veggies, avocado

Dinner- Leftovers Crock-Pot bbq pulled pork and sweet potato

*Prep Crock-Pot recipe for tomorrow

Wednesday: Breakfast- Smoothie

Lunch- Chicken, veggies, avocado

Dinner- Crock-Pot beef, potatoes and veggies

Thursday: Breakfast- Smoothie

Lunch- Chicken, veggies, avocado

Dinner- Leftover Crock-Pot beef, potatoes and veggies

Friday: Breakfast- Smoothie

Lunch: Tuna fish, crackers and veggies

Dinner: Fish and broccoli

*Fridays in Lent we cannot eat meat

Weekends I leave open. We typically will just eat leftovers.

We do our grocery shopping on Sundays. Sunday night I prep the Crock-Pot meal for Monday and Tuesday, cut veggies for snacks during the week and cook chicken for lunches during the week. I keep my recipes very simple. I love to cook but I don’t like spending hours doing it. As I said earlier, I want to spend the free time that I do have with my family, not in the kitchen for hours. Once my son gets a little older, I look forward to teaching him how to cook so that we can spend time together in the kitchen but right now isn’t that time.

I hope that this gives you some inspiration. You don’t have to spend hours planning and prepping your meals. Keep it simple.


Lisa Kenny


Lisa Catherine Coaching

www.LisaCatherineCoaching.com

LisaCatherineCoaching@gmail.com



Chicken Vegetable Crockpot Soup Recipe

Today was the first snowfall of the season. It was beautiful but, MAN, was it cold!! If anyone knows me, they know that I DO NOT do well in the cold.  So if you could see me right now, you would see me bundled up in my robe, fuzzy socks and slippers, and drinking hot tea at my desk.

We are having my best friend (and maid of honor) and her boyfriend over dinner tomorrow night and I was thinking about what to make and what I should get at the grocery store. So obviously, with it being so cold outside, my first thought was...SOUP!  

I found this recipe online on Multiply Delicious' website and it sounded AMAZING. I cannot wait to make it tomorrow and tell you all about it! But I figured I would share the recipe with you all first and maybe you can make it tomorrow too :) 

So without further ado, here is the recipe for Chicken Vegetable Crockpot Soup!

 

Ingredients

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 to 1.5 pounds)

1/2 teaspoons sea salt

1/4 teaspoon ground pepper

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 cups frozen vegetables (red bell pepper, zucchini, squash, carrots)

1 1/2 cups butternut squash, cut into small cubes (or sweet potato)

1/2 yellow onion, diced

1 – 15 ounce can diced tomatoes

1 – 15 ounce can crushed tomatoes

1 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth

6 tablespoons tomato paste

4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 teaspoons dried oregano

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

2 sprigs fresh rosemary

2 sprigs fresh thyme

1/3 cup fresh basil, chopped

 

Instructions 

Sprinkle salt and pepper on all sides of chicken breasts, dividing evenly.  In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil.  Add chicken breasts to skillet and cook for 6 to 7 minutes on each side until chicken is browned and cooked through.  Allow the chicken to cool and shred the chicken.  Transfer chicken to slow cooker.

To slow cooker, add onion, frozen vegetables, butternut squash, tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, chicken broth, tomato paste, balsamic vinegar, garlic, oregano and pepper flakes.  Stir to combine and nestle rosemary and thyme on the surface.  Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.

Remove and discard rosemary and thyme from soup.  Stir basil into soup, saving some for garnishing (if desired).

Serve immediately or transfer to a large bowl, cover and refrigerate.  Reheat before serving.

Makes 6 to 8 servings

Coconut Butternut Squash Chili

I was really craving a good chill the other day but I was not in the mood for meat. I have been wanting to put my crockpot to good use so I searched some vegan, gluten free crockpot soup recipes and this delicious masterpiece popped up. I have to say that this chili is one of the most delicious soups I have ever had! Even my fiancé loved it and he doesn't even like coconut! It is a fantastic soup for those cold dreary days (like today). Okay I will stop raving about it and give you the recipe. Enjoy!

Slow Cooker Coconut Butternut Squash Chili

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 6 hours

Total Time: 6 hours, 10 minutes

Yield: 8 servings

Serving Size: 1 and 1/2 cups

Ingredients

  • 1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 medium apples, peeled and diced
  • 2 cups of peeled + diced butternut squash
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely minced (or 1 tsp of garlic powder)
  • 1 medium can of black beans, drained + rinsed
  • 1 medium can of chickpeas, drained + rinsed
  • 1 can (400ml) of low-fat coconut milk
  • 2 teaspoons of chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon of ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
  • 2 cups of vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • cooked basmati rice (optional)
  • chopped fresh cilantro, parsley or chives (for garnish)
  • shredded unsweetened coconut (for garnish)

Method

  1. Place all ingredients except the garnishes/rice in a slow cooker. Cook on high heat for 4 to 6 hours (or on low for 8 hours). During the last hour, taste the chili and season with salt and pepper. Add more chili powder as desired. Add a pinch of cayenne pepper if you like chill on the spicy side. In the last 45 minutes of cooking, open the lid to allow the chili to thicken. If the chili looks a bit dry, add a bit more vegetable broth.
  2. Serve over basmati rice. Garnish with fresh herbs and shredded coconut.
Source: https://thefigtreeblog.com/2012/11/slow-co...