The Adventure Starts Here: Meal Prep Made Easy | A Couple of Weeknight Recipes

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Meal Prep Made Easy | A Couple of Weeknight Recipes


Chris and I are trying to eat healthier.  I've always made us dinner, but I am now focusing on including more vegetables into our meals.  But very early on, I realized I am very slow with my knife skills, and it made prepping these "healthier meals" kind of annoying.  But then I found this vegetable chopper and my meal prep became so much easier!  I love this Vidalia Chop Wizard so much that I gave it to both my brother and my mom for Christmas and have told many friends about it.  This is in no way sponsored, I just really love it that much!  I simply cut the vegetable or fruit into smaller pieces (usually just quartered or into whatever size will fit in the chopper), press down, and have perfectly diced pieces.  And while cleanup is more involved than putting a knife in the dishwasher, it's really not hard to do with the little tool they provide.  It's definitely worth it considered the time I save dicing!



I use it most often for onions, peppers, zucchini, and carrots, but I've also used it for apples in my apple zucchini muffins and used the larger insert for my Thanksgiving stuffing.  Recipes that I used to avoid because of the amount of dicing are now easy to make and I spend so much less time prepping all the ingredients.  



Most recently, I used the vegetable chopper to make two delicious dinner recipes.  The first is a recipe for "Stuffed Tomatoes" that a friend gave me.  It's delicious, healthy, and loaded with veggies.  The recipe is for 3 tomatoes, but she says she often makes 6 tomatoes on a Sunday and will heat them up in the oven throughout the week as needed.  


Stuffed Tomatoes

Ingredients:
1 lb ground beef
3 tomatoes, hollow out insides of tomato, and chop up the insides for filling
1 onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 carrot, small diced
1 green pepper, small diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp olive oil
2/3 cup chicken stock
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce 
sprinkle of breadcrumbs (either italian or almond meal)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place olive oil in sauce pan on med/high heat.
Saute carrot, onion, pepper, celery, and garlic for 10 minutes.  Then add the insides of the tomatoes and cook for another 5 minutes.  Add 1/3 cup of chicken stock and cook for 5 minutes.  
Add the ground beef and cook through, for about 8-10 minutes.  Halfway through cooking the beef, add 1/3 cup of chicken stock, salt, pepper, garlic powder, oregano, and Worcestershire sauce. 
Stuff the tomatoes with the meat mixture.  You will most likely have meat mixture left over.  It's really good the next day either on it's own, with some tostito chips, or over white rice.  
Sprinkle each tomato with breadcrumbs and bake for 10-15 minutes, until the breadcrumbs are browned.  

The second recipe is one I've mentioned and shared before.  I love this Mexican Rice Casserole, that just happens to be vegetarian, either on it's own or eaten with tostito chips.  While it's filling on it's own, you could easily add in some bite sized pieces of chicken if you'd prefer.  


Mexican Rice Casserole (original recipe from Damn Delicious)

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced, I have been known to just use a teaspoon of minced garlic from a jar.
1 onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 zucchini, diced
1 cup corn kernels, I use frozen
1 (14.5-ounce) can petite diced tomatoes, undrained
1 cup white rice
1 teaspoon chili powder
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (I use the Mexican blend)

Directions:

Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium high heat. Add garlic, onion and bell pepper, and cook, stirring frequently, until onions have become translucent, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in zucchini and corn until tender and heated through, about 2 minutes.
Stir in diced tomatoes, rice, chili powder, and 1 1/2 cups water; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat and simmer until rice is cooked through, about 15-18 minutes.
Stir in cheese until melted through, about 1-2 minutes.
Serve immediately.

I hope this inspires you to do some more weeknight cooking and makes your meal prep a little easier!  

7 comments:

  1. These both look SO good. Thanks for sharing!

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  2. Oh that looks SO handy. I can think of a few canning recipes I make that would be MUCH quicker with that too. That rice looks SO good!

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  3. I want this little tool! I definitely avoid some recipes too if they involve a lot of annoying chopping.

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  4. That kitchen gadget looks amazing as do those tomatoes! I may try them this week.

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  5. Oh wow - that little guy looks so neat and handy! I need to grab one of those. Maybe it will make me cook with more veggies! ;) Those recipes look so good!!

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  6. YUM!! Just pinned both recipes! Easy is my favorite, especially on the weekdays! And bonus, these both look DELISH!

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  7. YUM!! These both sound so good! And that chopper thing seems to easy and convenient. My mother in law got us a spiralizer for Christmas and I still need to find a recipe to try it on!

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