Where the heck have I been?
I blinked and it was September. Let’s be honest, I’ve had a rough August. Between my birthday, cookouts, family events, out of town girl’s weekends and quick, last minute suppers, I haven’t been living the lifestyle of food I normally do. But that’s all about to change. I woke up this morning with a fire to get back into the swing of things. I meal prepped for the rest of the week, and had a killer yoga and cardio session, although I feel like I’ll be paying for it tomorrow.
Meal prepping is something that you have to continue to do if you want to make the lifestyle work. It never really gets any easier, but it’s a healthy alternative to eating processed foods, fast food, or grabbing a quick but not necessarily healthy lunch instead. Once you start meal prepping, you’ll find that you feel sluggish, grumpy, more fatigued, upon many other emotions once you “fall off the wagon”. It’s important to remember that if you do skip a few weeks, the easiest way to get back aboard a healthy lifestyle, is by jumping in, no excuses.
One of the biggest reasons people don’t meal prep is because they “don’t have time”. I’ve used this excuse a lot lately, and that frustrates me. Meal prepping usually takes 2 – 4 hours out of my day depending on the recipes, amount of meals/people I am prepping for, and the level of cooking required. Larger more complex recipes are obviously going to be a lot more time consuming and involved than a fast, one pot prep. I’ve done all sorts of prep, but in honor of getting back on the wagon, I decided to keep it simple and make one of the easiest prep recipes I’ve ever done. Beginners take note, this would be a great starting point.
I prepped this meal for under 23 dollars and made 9 bowls out of the one recipe. That comes to roughly $2.55 per lunch. Not a bad deal considering there are no added sugars, no high sodium items, and an overall relatively healthy dish. The key factor in prep is to shop around and snag produce that is in season and well priced. I usually hit up the farmers market when it comes to produce this time of year to really stretch out my dollar, and it works!
Here’s a super easy recipe for anyone who is just getting started meal prepping, or for anyone who needs a quick recipe for lunches or weeknight meals.
- 1 large zucchini, quartered
- 1 yellow squash, quartered
- 1 quart cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
- 1 head broccoli, cut into bite size pieces.
- 1 tsp olive or sesame oil
- 1/2 box of Farfalle pasta.
- 1/2 container garlic and herb seasoned Crumbled feta
*Add chicken (breasts or thighs to the mix if you want an added source of protein, meat, or more food to work with.) *
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Bring a pot of water to a boil, add pasta and cook as directed on box. Drain, rinse, set aside.
Spread parchment paper onto large cooking sheet. Spread out veggies into parchment paper, drizzle with a little oil, add salt and pepper if desired.
Combine pasta and veggies in a large bowl, stir. Add feta, stir again until well combined.
I added chicken to Ross’s lunch by simply baking chicken thighs with an Italian Seasoning sprinkled on top. The chicken pairs nice with the pasta salad and can also be enjoyed hot or cold.
This recipe is not only quick, but it’s tasty and one of my favorites to come back to. Although there isn’t a sauce to help blend the pasta salad together, the feta and the roasted veggies will keep your stomach happy.