HEALTHY meals at home do NOT have to be boring!!

 
Sarah with crockpot.jpg
 


Does cooking healthy meals at home SOUND bland and boring to you?

If so, keep reading..⁣

SO often, I talk with women who believe that losing weight means eating meals that TASTE boring and flavorless, like plain chicken and broccoli, and that’s simply NOT the case.

Check out my best 4 tips to help maximize the FLAVOR of your food (while still losing weight)!⁣

1 —- Use salsa, hot sauce, mustard, pico de gallo, or other low-calorie/low-fat condiments to add a kick to any meal.⁣
2 —- Cook your protein and veggies with garlic, onions, or to add some natural flavor without too much spice!⁣
3 —- Experiment with seasonings!  Oregano, red pepper flakes, dill, sage, and thyme are just SOME of the many options of seasonings you can choose add flavor to ANY protein or veggie.  The sky is the limit here!  Simply find a flavor you ENJOY and run with it!⁣
4 —- Trader Joe’s Everything But The Bagel Seasoning.  Seriously this seasoning is SO GOOD!!!! I use it on veggies, chicken, turkey, sweet potatoes, and SO many more foods to add some flavor without adding extra calories or fat! ⁣

Instead of believing that healthy meals have to be flavorless and boring, use this as an EXPERIMENT to find seasonings and flavors that YOU love!

Do you have a FAVORITE way to make protein and veggies taste delicious??? Share it below in the comments!

How do you feel when I say the words “MEAL PREP”⁉️ ⁣

 
Sarah with casserole.jpeg
 

How do you feel when I say the words “MEAL PREP”⁉️ ⁣

Stressed? Anxious? Confused? Overwhelmed?

I feel your pain.  Seriously, I used to HATE cooking healthy meals. I found it super stressful and overwhelming.  I didn’t know where to begin, and thought I needed to spend HOURS every day cooking healthy meals.

Boy was I WRONG.  Over the last 7 years, I’ve learned that cooking healthy meals at home DOES NOT REQUIRE you to spend 5 hours in the kitchen… Nor does it require a $200 grocery store bill every week. ⁣Surprised?? Read on!

Sure, cooking healthy meals requires you to PLAN and PREPARE ahead of time, but that doesn’t mean you need to spend your ENTIRE Sunday cooking meals for the entire week.

Check out my BEST 3 hacks to help you turn into a meal prep ninja: ⁣

1. WASH, CHOP, and STORE ALL FRUITS AND VEGGIES AS SOON AS YOU GET HOME FROM THE STORE — Not only did this help save me time, but it also helped save money.  You’re MUCH more likely to use these if they’re already cut up and ready to eat! ⁣

2. DOUBLE and TRIPLE RECIPES — Whether you’re cooking for 1 person or a family of 4, try to double and triple healthy recipes and freeze the second and third batch.  Having healthy meals in your freezer that are ready-to-go can help for weeks that turn crazy busy!⁣

3. PREP SMARTER, NOT HARDER — Try to multitask when possible.  For example, try to bake 4-5 chicken breasts at once, and use it throughout the week on salads, sandwiches, & wraps.  While the chicken is in the oven, prepare your fruits, veggies and whole grains for the week. ⁣

At the end of the day, your meals don’t need to be FANCY in order to lose weight… They need to be NUTRITIOUS.  Every month, I share a healthy recipe pack with ALL of my clients to help them become masters at meal prep without spending hours in the kitchen. ⁣

Are there certain meals where you struggle to find healthy recipes? What do you do for meal prep?

Hit me up in the comments below and let me know which meals are a challenge for you and I’ll share my best recipes!

EASY & DELICIOUS Turkey and Egg Casserole

 

Often times, the women I work with struggle to make healthy breakfast choices that keep them feeling full and satisfied all morning long.

Today's recipe is a fantastic option to meal prep for breakfast, lunch, OR dinner!  Plus, it’s EASY! Seriously — it takes about 5-10 minutes of prep work, and once you put it in the oven, you’re free to do other things! Make this on a Sunday and have breakfast or lunches ready-to-go all week long!

Turkey & Egg Breakfast Casserole 

 
IMG_6601.jpeg
 

Ingredients: 

- 1 tablespoon Coconut Oil + more for coating the pan
- 1 lb Ground Turkey
- 1/2 teaspoon Chili Powder
- /2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
- 12 Large Eggs
- 1 small Sweet Potato (peeled and sliced thin)
- 1 cup Baby Spinach
- Salt & Pepper for Seasoning
- Additional Veggie Toppings: Tomatoes (Diced Onions, Mushrooms, Bell Peppers, Broccoli)

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 9 x 9 baking dish with Coconut Oil as well as heat the 1 tablespoon in a medium sized skillet set to medium-high heat. Once the oil has melted add in the Ground Turkey and season with the Chili Powder, and Salt and Pepper. Continue to cook the meat until it begins to brown.
2. While the turkey is cooking peel and slice your Sweet Potato. Make sure your slices are fairly thin because if they’re too thick they won’t be as tender. Line the bottom of the greased baking dish with the sliced potatoes. In a medium bowl beat the Eggs with a whisk and season with salt and pepper.
3. Top the potatoes with the turkey and then pour the eggs on top. Layer the Spinach on top of the eggs as well as any additional toppings you’d like to add.
4. Place the dish in the oven and cook for 35 to 40 minutes or until the edges of the egg begin to brown and the casserole is firm throughout. Check the dish with about 5 minutes to go to see if you need to add any time.

ENJOY!

Note: If you want to make this as part of your meal prep (or the night before serving) and freeze it for later go ahead and fully prepare the dish then place in the freezer. To cook, let it defrost and then reheat at 275 to 300 degrees for about 15 to 20 minutes.

 

Festive Fall *HEALTHIER* Pumpkin Brownies!

 

As the weather turns chilly, fall is a festive season for some HEALTHIER brownies! Today’s recipe is SUPER easy (seriously — it only uses 2 ingredients), and removes the egg, butter, and oil from traditional brownies.

 
Pumpkin Brownies.png
 

Pumpkin Brownies

Ingredients:

  • 1 can of 100% pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling)

  • 1 box of any brownie mix you’d like to use

Directions:

  1. Mix the ingredients together well.

  2. Bake according to the box instructions; NOTE: you may need to add more time (I usually do). Cook until a toothpick comes out clean

  3. Allow them to cool and ENJOY!

 

4 Ways to CONQUER Meal Prep!

 
master meal prep.png
 
 

When I say the words "meal prep," do you imagine spending five hours on a Sunday in your kitchen measuring out about 30 ingredients, and having at least 20 reusable storage containers to hold your meals?

Newsflash: meal prep does NOT need to be time consuming more complicated!

Meal prep isn’t rocket science, but it’s also not very intuitive. 

Check out these 4 hacks to help you ace your meal prep game WITHOUT wasting your entire Sunday measuring out ingredients in the kitchen!

1. Spend money on the right storage containers.

Please note, this does NOT mean that you need to buy the most expensive food storage containers from a high-end department store! Wherever you shop, I encourage you to invest in some glass storage containers that can easily go from the oven, the refrigerator, to the freezer, or even to the microwave. In addition, you can buy special produce storage containers that keep fruits and veggies fresh for longer. I HIGHLY recommend using these! 

2. Focus on preparing ingredients instead of meals.

Do you ever find that eating the exact same thing for a few meals becomes boring and bland? Instead of preparing a casserole or soup that will last you the entire week, focus on preparing ingredients that you can have multiple uses. For example, cook and chop up chicken breasts so that you can use it in salads and in wraps. Or, wash and chop up veggies that you can add to salads or sauté as a side for dinners. 

3. Try to follow the 4/2/1 rule. 

Every week, try to prepare 4 different vegetables, 2 different proteins (such as chicken and eggs), and 1 starch (such as potatoes) ahead of time. By preparing mostly proteins and veggies, you’re automatically setting yourself up to lose weight or simply eat healthy, balanced meals. 

4. Don’t be afraid to cook different ingredients on a single pan.

If you’re looking to save time, cook all of your proteins, starches, and vegetables all at once. Simply toss your vegetables and a dash of olive oil and spread them on the pan along side the protein and roast everything together. Add different spices and sauces when you go to eat your meals to add flavor and variety.

Planning healthy meals doesn’t need to take up your entire weekend, but it DOES require a little bit of planning. Give yourself at least 30 minutes to prep/cut the food, and another 30 minutes to bake everything. Remember though, you can multi-task while your ingredients are baking! 😉

If you’re looking for other healthy and easy meal ideas, be sure to join my FREE Facebook group for women here!

 

3 Healthy Meal Choices for when you're feeling LAZY!

 

Often times as women, we assume that cooking healthy meals means spending hours a day prepping and cooking in the kitchen. 

What happens when you want to cook healthy meals on a limited budget or with a limited amount of time?

 
annie-spratt-464750-unsplash.jpg
 

There's nothing worse than getting home from a long day at work, only to feel uninspired to cook ANYTHING.  It's moments like this where a frozen pizza may sound appealing, but if you're trying to lose weight or eat healthy choices, what else is there to eat?

Good news!  There are PLENTY of healthy meal options that are delicious and can be made quickly.  In fact, enjoying a laid-back, healthy meal is a great way to establish a healthier relationship with food and cooking.  

What do these quick meals have in common?  

First, they're nutritious and can help you to lose weight.  Second, they help to keep you feeling full for a longer period of time.  Lastly, when you fill up on the good stuff, there's less room in your stomach for the not-so-healthy stuff (like cookies, chips, and ice cream).  

Check out my 3 FAVORITE healthy recipes for when I'm feeling lazy:

1. Stir-Fry

Stir-fry can be made in a matter of minutes, it contains plenty of nutrients, and they are filling.  Keep frozen veggies in your freezer and quinoa or brown rice on hand in your pantry.  Chop up chicken breasts to mix with the veggies.  Throw all ingredients into a sauté pan, add your favorite seasonings, and saute with a bit of oil, apple cider vinegar, lemon, low-sodium soy sauce, or your favorite chili sauce.  

2. Omelettes

Omelettes are one of my FAVORITE go-to meals for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.  Grab plenty of your favorite veggies, scramble with eggs or egg whites, add a tiny bit cheese if you'd like, and cook in a frying pan.  Omelettes are loaded with protein, healthy fats, veggies, AND they keep you feeling full for hours!

3. Pasta with Tuna and Beans

When you're tempted to make a box of macaroni and cheese for dinner, take these few extra steps and I promise that you won't regret it!  Cook a cup or two of whole wheat pasta.  Drain a can of tuna fish and garbanzo beans (or any other beans of your choice).  Toss the pasta, tuna, and beans in a dash of olive oil and fresh lemon juice, and top with a bit of parmesan cheese.  If you're looking for extra flavor AND fiber, add a can of artichoke hearts!

Cooking healthy meals at home doesn't always mean spending hours every day prepping healthy meals.  Always remember that spending 5 minutes a day or spending 95 minutes a day doesn't change the QUALITY of meals that you cook.  

If you're looking for more easy, healthy meal options, be sure to join my free Facebook group for women here! 

 

Peach BBQ Lettuce Wraps

 
 
Peach BBQ lettuce wraps.jpg
 

I'm all about finding healthy recipes that taste delicious and that DON'T contain too many added calories or fat.  Today's recipe is healthy and EASY to make.  Plus, the leftovers make great lunches!

Note: the ingredient list is a bit longer but the prep time is only about 25 minutes!

Also note that the bbq sauce recipe makes about 3 cups, so you can freeze 2 cups for next time or use it as a marinade for chicken breasts!

Peach BBQ Lettuce Wraps

INGREDIENTS:

PEACH BBQ SAUCE

- 4 dates, pitted

- ½ cup boiling water

- 2 Tbsp. ghee (I recommend Pure Indian Foods ghee)

- ½ cup minced onion

- 3 cloves garlic, minced

- 1 6-ounce can tomato paste

- 1 12-ounce can tomato sauce

- 2 medium peaches, peeled and roughly chopped (may substitute 2 cups frozen peach slices, thawed, when fresh peaches are out of season)

- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar

- ¼ cup dijon mustard (such as Annie’s or 365 Everyday brand)

- 1 tsp. smoked paprika

- 1 Tbsp. chili powder

- ¼ tsp. ground cumin

- 1 pinch ground cloves

- Sea salt and pepper to taste

 

CHICKEN:

- 2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs

- 1 cup Peach BBQ

- 1 head of lettuce

DIRECTIONS:

1. Place pitted dates in a blender or food processor. Cover with boiling water and set aside for 5 minutes to allow dates to soften.

2. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt ghee and saute onions 7-8 minutes or until translucent and soft. Add garlic and cook an additional 30 seconds until fragrant.

3. Transfer onion and garlic mixture to blender with the dates.

4. Add remaining sauce ingredients and blend until smooth. Taste and season with salt and pepper as desired.

5. Place chicken in the bottom of the slow cooker.

6. Pour 1 cup BBQ sauce over chicken. Stir to coat chicken then cover with lid and cook on LOW heat for 5-6 hours or until cooked through.

7. Allow chicken to cool slightly before shredding with 2 forks right in the slow cooker.

8. Dish chicken into lettuce leaves and ENJOY!

Looking to cook other healthy and delicious meals at home, without spending hours a day in the kitchen?  Be sure to grab a *FREE* copy of my perfect meal planner here!