I’ve been in a bit of a food rut lately.
And not only has that made my food choices when I’m at home rather boring, it also means that I’ve resorted to eating out a lot. Which is awesome for my tastebuds, but not so awesome for my wallet.
But at the same time, I don’t want to get caught up in meal planning and prepping and all that stuff. Don’t get me wrong, all those things are fabulous if you have that kind of time during the weekend to meal plan and grocery shop and cook, but at this time in my life….ain’t nobody got time for that.
I can’t lie though, I’m getting a bit burt out on hummus. Never thought I’d say that, but I think I ate SO much of during the summer that my body wants something different. So this weekend, even though it was crazy busy, I decided to spice things up a bit on the food front.
Breakfasts are still good ole oatmeal usually on weekdays because I don’t really get sick of that. It fills me up and is a no brainer. Except now that the temps are falling, I’m stirring in pumpkin + cinnamon for oatmeal that’s on a whole new level. I filled up this almost empty PB jar with pumpkin oats and ate it on the way to the hospital. I’m in my psychiatry rotation at Cornell right now and we don’t get a snack break between breakfast and lunch so my breakfasts are loaded with nut butter to keep me full.
My friend Nancy always brings this tupperware full of kale, avocado, nutritional yeast and all kinds of awesomeness every day for lunch and I have food envy every day when we eat together. So I took her lunch as inspiration to create loaded tupperware lunches this week. About 30 minutes of prep on Sunday made lunches SO easy all week. Just throw everything in a tupperware the night before and grabbed a piece of fruit to go with it.
All I did was massage kale with about a tablespoon of Bragg’s apple cider vinegar and about a teaspoon of olive oil plus a pinch of sea salt. Then I sprinkled on some nutritional yeast and crushed red pepper flakes. I added in some TJs green beans that I threw in frozen (they’ll defrost, don’t worry) and chopped red bell pepper. And then I topped the kale and veggies with a bean burger, lots of roasted butternut squash and half an avocado. We’re not cooking here, we’re assembling.
So the prep I did on Sunday was to whip together some bean burgers in about 10 minutes and roast up some butternut squash. I bought a HUGE squash for $1.99 at TJs and chopped it myself, but to save time you could totally buy the pre-chopped squash too. I just love how TJs doesn’t weight produce and I got like a 5 pound squash for under two bucks. I tossed the squash in coconut oil, sprinkled with sea salt and roasted at 350 for about 35 minutes and now I have a ton of squash ready to add to salads, wraps or just eat straight out of the fridge- delicious! The bean burgers were something I just made up as I went and took all of 2 minutes to make.
In a bowl I added:
1 can of kidney beans, drained and rinsed
3 tablespoons of BBQ sauce (look for an organic kind or one with no HFCS or weird additives)
sprinkle of sea salt
1/2 cup of rolled oats
1-2 tablespoons coconut oil for cooking
Then I mashed it all up and divided it into 4 patties. Your mixture will be a bit wet, but put some coconut oil in a pan and cook them over medium heat for about 5-6 minutes on each side and you’ll be good to go.
The other half of the hour I spent prepping on Sunday was making these cookie dough balls. Basically I soaked equal parts cashews and dates for a few hours and then whirled them in my blender. Since the mixture was wetter than Larabar consistency, I added rolled oats until it was “doughy” and some dark chocolate….just because…and rolled them into balls. You have to store them in the freezer to firm up and then they taste like a less sweet cookie dough…I digging ’em. I’ve been eating a couple for snacks in the afternoon.
Along with almonds and unsweetened coconut chips that I found at Whole Foods- they’re amazing. TJs sells sweetened coconut chips which I love after dinner…but for a snack I love the unsweetened ones.
And a post 5 mile green smoothie! This was 1 cup almond milk, 1 frozen banana, a 1/2 scoop of Skoop (ha) and frozen spinach.
Dinner was leftover vegetable curry that I made on Monday night. I use to be really intimidated by curries until I realized how EASY they are. My secret to quick and cheap meals when you’re busy but want to eat healthy….frozen vegetables. There is nothing wrong with frozen veggies guys. Especially if the vegetables aren’t in season, frozen can be “fresher” than the fresh ones that have traveled twelve thousand miles to get to your supermarket.
Anywho, let’s talk curry.
All you do is saute a bag of frozen peppers and onions (I buy a 1 pound organic bag at WF for $2.99), then throw in some chopped garlic and a scoop of already minced ginger (thanks to this girl for the tip!) and some chopped zucchini and carrot. Let that cook for a few minutes and then add in a bag of frozen organic broccoli (TJs for $2.99). Lastly stir in 2 cans of light coconut milk (TJs for $.99 and about 3 tablespoons of red curry paste (WF for $2). Let simmer for 5-10 minutes and you’re done!
I cooked up some quinoa to serve it with and dinner was in front of my face in like 20ish minutes.
And we know a night isn’t a night without some snacks.
Chocolate chips straight from the bag with cashew butter straight from the jar (pictured x3)…kinda like cookie dough and oh so satisfying.
So whether you’re a busy student or a busy momma or just plain busy, keep healthy simple…ain’t nobody got time for planning and prepping and all that jazz.
At least not me.