Meal Prep 11/9-11/13 – “Dirty” Brown Rice with Garlic Roasted Broccoli & Greek Salad with Grilled Chicken

Hello all, it’s week 2 of my meal prep and this week the my recipes are heavier on the carbs than usual. For the most part, I try to eat a low to moderate carb diet (25-100g a day) depending on my goals. Over the last few days though, my cravings for carb rich foods have intensified *heeeeyyyy Aunt Flow *shakes fist* and rather than try to ignore them (which can lead to binging), I indulge them then go right back to a low to moderate carb diet once satisfied.

For lunch this week I decided to make a dirty brown rice with garlic roasted broccoli and dinner will be a large Greek salad with warm, whole pita bread.

Dirty rice is typically made using white rice and chopped chicken giblets and/or ground beef or pork. 
Of course I wanted mine to be on the healthier side so I opted for brown rice (in terms of calories, white and brown rice don’t differ much, but nutritionally, brown rice wins as it is “whole” and hasn’t been refined and stripped of it’s fiber and vitamins) spicy, lean chicken sausage, a little chopped smoked turkey sausage, red, green, and yellow bell pepper, onion, celery, and garlic. 
I started on my brown rice first and the key here is to cook your rice in low sodium chicken broth, a little thyme, some cayenne, and a little Cajun seasoning for a flavorful base. Brown rice takes a bit longer than white rice to cook at about 45 minutes give or take a few depending on how hard or soft you like your rice. But while that’s going you can be doing other things like chopping up your fresh broccoli into bite sized pieces, adding a clove or two of chopped garlic, tossing with olive oil, and roasting in a 450 degree oven. While all of that was working I pan cooked my ground chicken, smoked turkey, and veggies in a little olive oil. When my rice was done, I threw it in with my meat and veggies, stirring until well combined.
When your broccoli’s done, you will end up with a filling, comforting, but healthy dish like this!

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“Dirty” brown rice with garlic roasted broccoli

For this recipe I only cooked a cup of brown rice and easily made out with over 6 half cup servings. I won’t go through all of that in a week, so I froze the extra portions for the future when I need something in a pinch!

Now onto dinner…
As I mentioned in my week 1 meal prep post, I love salads and try to have at least one salad a day, usually for dinner. I don’t do well with heavy meals late in the evening so meats and veggies or fun salads are usually what I have as my last meal. This week I decided to do a Greek salad with grilled chicken, cucumber, sun dried tomatoes, feta cheese, Kalamata olives, and an optional slice or two of warm, whole wheat pita bread. All I had to do was season and grill my chicken, chop up my veggies, throw a few slices of pita bread into a warm over, and lay it all out. When I sit down to eat I may throw some cranberries or pomegranate seeds on it for a hint of sweetness, but a drizzle of Greek dressing or a squeeze of fresh lemon juice over the top, and I am good to go!

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Greek salad with grilled chicken and warm pita bread

It’s super important to me that I am not slaving over the stove all day, it only took me about an hour and 45 minutes to whip all of this up so I was very pleased, go me! It is most important though that my meals are healthy and delicious, which I certainly accomplished this week and you can too! Your meals don’t have to be fancy, they just need to be clean, filling, and ready to go when you are!
If you have any questions about any of my meals, feel free to comment below or contact me on Instagram or Twitter @petitcitygems 🙂

Meal Prep 11/2-11/6 – Chicken “Miracle” Noodle Soup & Caramelized Steak and Onion Salad with Sweet Potatoes

On a day to day my plate is full to spilling over! Between working full-time, going to school full-time, working out, hanging out with my family and friends, as well as making time for city adventures, the last thing I want to do is waste an entire day in the kitchen prepping my meals for the week. As I wrote in my last post about my End of Year Resolutions, my goal is to lose 10-20lbs before 2016. So as I embark on this journey, it is essential that I plan meals that are QUICK but also filling and inexpensive. Let’s jump right in!

Last week I was really craving a hot bowl of soup to keep me warm in my freezing office and because I try to have a salad a day, I already knew what I’d be making this week!

Chicken “Miracle” Noodle Soup

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Chicken “Miracle” Noodle Soup is simply a chicken soup made with shirtaki noodles. Shirtaki noodles are Japanese noodles made from konjac yam and are very low in calories at only 15 per serving and carbs 4g per serving (may vary based on the brand you buy)! Shirtaki noodles are very bland on their own and will take the flavor of whatever sauce or broth you cook them in.
Along with the of shirtaki noodles, my Chicken “Miracle” Noodle Soup is chock full of garlic, chopped onion, chopped carrot, chopped spinach, and of course diced chicken breast. I made a huge pot which I will separate into 5-6 Tupperware bowls once it has cooled.

Caramelized Steak and Onion Salad with Sweet Potatoes

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My Caramelized Steak and Onion Salad With Sweet Potatoes is a very simply salad inspired by dinner I had while visiting a friend a few weeks ago. I pan cooked steak and onions until golden brown, chopped and roasted sweet potatoes that I tossed in coconut oil, cinnamon, and ginger, chopped up sun-dried tomatoes, and laid them over a bed of mixed spring greens and spinach! I’ll eat my salad with a squeeze of fresh lime over the top or a low calorie dressing, whichever I’m feeling like that day.

Two meals I put together in less than an hour and a half!
I’m sure you have noticed that I did not include breakfast in my meal planning. My meals will only consist of meals for lunch and dinner as I have a bit of flexibility in the morning as far as breakfast is concerned. I tend to be a creature of habit so my breakfast does not seem to change much, I either have boiled or scrambled eggs with turkey bacon or sausage or a yogurt parfait made with plain Greek yogurt, sliced strawberries, and silvered almond and/or coconut. On rare occasions I may switch it by and making a fruit and veggie plate or some type of smoothie, but I typically like a hot, protein packed breakfast that will keep me satisfied for a couple of hours. I also don’t do too much snacking and hate lugging around a bunch of food, but when I need something to hold me over in a pinch, I will grab an apple and some type of nut butter or pistachios.

The key to meal planning is well, planning! Decide what you want to eat for the following week and make your shopping list in advance and cook your meals up on a day when you’ve got a little time to spare. Your meals don’t have to be fancy and creative, they just need to be tasty, filling, and ready to go when you are!

If you need any tips or have any questions, drop me a line below or contact me on Instagram or Twitter @petitcitygems 🙂