Culinary · meal planning · Uncategorized

Weekly Meal Planner: January 20-26

With the hustle and bustle of the holiday season behind me, I’m back to my weekly meal prep. If you’re new to meal prep or unsure of the benefits it provides, I encourage you to check out my previous article here.

Cook Once, Eat Twice

One of my tips for simplifying meal prep is to utilize leftovers for the following days’ lunch. I often double recipes to ensure I have enough to enjoy for dinner and to pack for a tasty lunch the next day.

I’ve included links to suggested recipes for each dinner idea. I follow these recipes for most meals, however will occasionally create something of my own inspiration.

Shrimp & Quinoa Bowl
Butternut Squash & Sausage SkilletTaco SaladChicken Alfredo PastaMarinara Spaghetti Squash & MeatballsPizza, Chicken Wings & SaladDinner Out

Taco Salad

  • Shredded lettuce
  • Ground beef, cooked & seasoned with a packet of taco seasoning
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Tortilla chips, broken into pieces
  • Diced red onion
  • Sauteed peppers and onions
  • Salsa
  • Sour cream
  • Guacamole

Marinara Spaghetti Squash & Meatballs

  • Cooked spaghetti sauce
  • Trader Joe’s Fully Cooked Turkey Meatballs
  • Prepared marinara sauce
  • Parmesan cheese

Pizza, Chicken Wings & Salad

  • Frozen pizza
  • Baked chicken wings with BBQ sauce
  • Bagged salad mix with dressing

Culinary · Nutrition

Weekly Meal Planner

To aide in planning and preparing balanced and varied meals, I started completing a weekly meal planner earlier this year. It’s Nothing complicated, I simply pick out various recipes I’d like to make over the coming week, and then take time each Sunday to shop for ingredients and do some basic meal prep. The outcomes have been positive; I’ve been enjoying a home cooked meal on most weeknights and utilize leftovers for lunch the following day. I’ve saved money by ordering take-out meals less frequently.

Photo by Alyson McPhee on Unsplash

As my work lunches became more interesting (sorry PB&J), colleagues took note of my meal variety. They, and friends have questioned how I have time and energy to come home after a work day and cook a meal from scratch. In effort to dispel the misconception that I morph into an executive chef each evening, I’m sharing various meal planning tips including my Weekly Meal Planner tool.

Heather’s 5-Step Meal Planning Process

  1. Select Recipes & Meal Ideas– Each Sunday morning, I sort through cookbooks and my favorite cooking websites for meal ideas. I typically select 5-6 meal ideas.
  2. Meal Scheduling– From my meal ideas, I begin entering entering them into a Meal Planner Calendar. At this time I consider what I have planned for the week work- and activity-wise. If I’m anticipating a longer work day, I’ll pick something simple for that day, like a sheet pan dinner, whereas, if I have a free night, I may decide to experiment with a new recipes or ingredient.
  3. Grocery List– Utilizing my Meal Planner Calendar and recipes, I start a shopping list of what I’ll need to prepare everything for the week. I like to organize ingredients by food category or store section to help streamline grocery shopping.
  4. Shop- Shopping list in hand, I head to the grocery store and pick up what I need. I prefer and highly recommend early Sunday morning to avoid crowds!
  5. Prep– Once returning home with my ingredients, I take some time to prep what I can to make things easier during the week. For example, I wash all of my produce, slice veggies, and cook grains like quinoa and brown rice.
My Meal Planner for this coming week.

That’s it! This 5-step process (including shopping) takes me about 2-3 hours total, depending on how much prep I get done.

Do you meal prep? If so, leave a comment with your tips. I’d love to hear them!


Culinary · Nutrition · Recipes

Keto-Friendly St Patty’s Day

St Patrick’s Day is here! As is the case with most all holidays it can be a challenge to navigate through the traditional food offerings in search of keto-friendly goods. Beer, soda bread, and hash unfortunately don’t fit the bill for low-carb, high-fat diets.

While wanting to enjoy some St Patty’s Day grub while staying in ketosis, I came up with a couple Irish-inspired meal ideas; a green smoothie that doesn’t contain any kale or spinach, and a low-carb version of Bangers and Mash.  Continue reading “Keto-Friendly St Patty’s Day”

body love · Culinary · Nutrition

Lessons from My Foodie Friends

As a nutritionist, I spend a lot of time talking about food. I educate others on topics such as the health benefits of various foods, appropriate portion size for a given food, and how to look for healthy foods. I take a scientific approach in explaining how the macro- and micro-nutrient content of food affects our bodies.

Continue reading “Lessons from My Foodie Friends”