Meal Prep Monday: 3 Weeks Worth of Dinner Recipes

As summer comes to an end so does the ritual of indulging in the season of cookie dough ice cream, hot dogs and cheeseburgers off the grill and fried clam strips galore. Once Labor Day has come and gone I usually clean out my cupboards and clean up my eating habits. I find it easier to stay on track during the wedding off season when I have more time to myself versus my weekend packed summer social duties where bubbly beverages, sweet treats and savory dishes are the norm.

Below is a list of some of my “go to” recipes from my Instagram page for opting for healthier, less processed meals. If you’re bored with the same old dish maybe one of these dinners will inspire your taste buds. From someone who changed her takeout lifestyle spent dating Ben & Jerry’s to someone who went on to run her first half–marathon, I can attest to the importance of what we fuel our bodies with. I believe healthy means empowering one another – not competing with one another. We all start somewhere. Hopefully these recipe ideas will be a fresh start for one of you.

Ingredients can be purchased at your supermarket, but don’t forget to also support your local farmers and businesses. The Keene Farmer’s Market is open every Tuesday and Saturday from 9am to 1pm and is located on Gilbo Ave (directly behind Margarita’s). They are a “growers-only market, meaning each vendor has grown, produced, or created what they sell ensuring they offer the most fresh and local products.” You can also browse a list of local CSAs here. And remember you can shop at the local Monadnock Co-Op and browse their mission to consider becoming a member-owner and supporting NH’s local farmers and producers today. Happy shopping! Now into the kitchen we go…

#MealPrepMonday Recipe Ideas

Zoodles (Zucchini Noodles)

The Vegetti Pro is a veggie spiralizer under $20. I use it religiously to eat more veggies and consume less pasta. I’ve eaten them with the skin on and with the zucchini peeled. I typically spiralize them on the weekend and store them in an air tight container with a cloth during the week. The cloth absorbs the excess moisture so that I can simply drop them in a pan of olive oil and fresh garlic for dinner. I can add more veggies, spices, jalapenos or broth if I’m looking for more flavor. Either way – you’ll see these zoodles appear in several recipes down below.

Teriyaki Chicken Meatballs with Zoodles

This recipe calls for Al Fresco’s meatballs served over pan fried zoodles and carrot shreds. I made a homemade sauce out of rice vinegar, chicken broth, fish sauce, almond flour and liquid aminos, but any teriyaki sauce will do. Top with honey roasted almond slices and you’ll have taste and texture to match.

Pesto Zoodles with Turkey Meatballs

Pan fried zoodles tossed in a pesto sauce and served with turkey meatballs. It doesn’t get any easier – or tastier – than this!

Tex-Mex Chicken & Rice Bowl

This 10-minute dish requires throwing the ingredients in a bowl – or on a plate – that’s it. If you’re tight on time you can even substitute a rotisserie chicken to skip the cooking and jump right to assembling.

  • 1/2 chicken breast pan fried
  • 1 cup quinoa/brown rice
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1/2 tomato
  • 1/2 cup sweet corn
  • hot sauce

Stuffed Peppers

This recipe can be as fancy or as basic as you like depending on what you add for spices and other veggies. You can buy 90-second brown rice or quinoa in a bag and toss with ground beef/turkey and tomato sauce for the filling. Top with cheese and bake for 45 mins @ 400 degrees. If you’re looking to spice it up add jalapenos, black beans or corn to the filling.

Spaghetti Squash Lasagna Boats

This wholesome recipe satisfies my cravings for Italian every time.

Zoodles with Chicken & Shrimp

Pan fried zoodles topped with grilled chicken and shrimp and roasted red peppers is a perfect light and savory dish any evening.

Sautéed Sausage Stirfry

Sometimes recipes come to life simply based on what’s left in my fridge at the time:

  • Slice asparagus, summer squash, zucchini, spinach, and sundried tomato. Set aside.
  • Pan fry bacon until crispy. Remove from pan and crumble once cool.
  • Add sliced veggies, diced sausage (or protein of choice) and bacon to bacon greased pan. Season as desired and sauté for 10-15 mins on med/low heat.
  • Serve over rice, quinoa or riced cauliflower.

Sweet Potato Noodles & Crusted Salmon

This recipe calls for sweet potato noodles pan fried in bacon fat and seasoned with rosemary. I marinated the salmon in a homemade sauce of honey and liquid aminos (soy sauce substitute). I tossed in almond flour before baking for 12-15 minutes at 400 degrees and garnishing with bacon bits. This is one of my most flavorful and favorite dishes.

Sweet Chili Quesadillas with Sweet Potato Chips

This recipe saves me from ending up at a restaurant every time. The quesadillas are filled with shredded chicken, jalapenos, garlic, cheese and Frank’s Sweet Chili Sauce. I pan fry or bake until golden brown. The sweet potato chips are thinly sliced with a mandolin before they are baked at 375 degrees until lightly browned. Yum!

Deconstructed Avocado Turkey Burger

This recipe takes your ordinary burger to extraordinary with the addition of a few simple ingredients. If you get tired of avocado you can also assemble feta turkey burgers and/or add jalapeno for extra flavor. I serve this with sweet potato chips and pan fried Brussels sprouts drizzled with a balsamic glaze.

Kabobs

Kabobs aren’t just for summer. You can bake these in an oven until crispy at any time of the year. I toss my veggies in Italian seasoning, garlic, Parmesan and oil before putting them on the skewer.  Marinating your steak/chicken in vegetable aminos, honey and garlic is a quick and easy homemade sauce without all the added preservatives.

Mongolian Beef

This recipe is my guilty pleasure due to the brown sugar content, but I opt for this instead of a meal out when I’ve got a craving. I pan fry orange peppers and garlic in olive oil before building the sauce in the same pan. After the beef is done I serve over a sweet potato so I have a veggie to absorb every last delicious drop of the sauce.

3 Ingredient Paleo Naan

This gluten-free and paleo-friendly flatbread recipe is perfect if your diet restricts you from eating wheat. Tacos? Gyro wraps? Garlic toast? Insert Paleo Naan for a yummy substitute.

Stir Fry

Skip the sugary sauces and opt for pan fried veggies sweetened with pineapple and honey roasted almond slices. Broccoli slaw or carrot shreds are a quick shortcut if you don’t feel like slicing veggies. Toss in the chicken or steak and serve over rice, quinoa or riced cauliflower.

Chicken Enchiladas

Ooey-gooey and delicious, this recipe is just simply yummy for your tummy.

Broccoli Crust Pizza

The trick to any veggie based pizza crust, like this broccoli crust pizza, is simple – use a pizza stone! The stone will transform that soggy pile of veggies into a thin, crispy delicious crust you won’t even recognize.

Seasoned Curry Pork Chops

Pork chops and applesauce are out. Curried Pork chops are in. Simply season the pork chops  with 1 1/2 teaspoons of curry powder, salt, and pepper before baking.

Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Chicken & Riced Cauliflower

This dish is great for dinner and the leftovers make a great salad topper for lunch the next day.

Honey Garlic Salmon

The secret to this dish is the homemade marinade made from Ghee (or butter), garlic, honey  and liquid aminos (or soy sauce). Marinate the salmon overnight before baking at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes the next day. Throw it in a fry pan to crisp it up and seal in the flavor. Served over zoodles.

Turkey Meatballs

This classic dish never gets old. Top pan fried zoodles with turkey meatballs and tomato sauce – voila!

Sundried Tomato & Chicken

Toss pan fried zoodles with sundried tomatoes, spinach, chicken and bacon. Garnish with cheese. Don’t underestimate this simple dish!

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