Sunday, March 19, 2017

{Grocery Haul and Meal Prep}

Hello cupcakes! 

Welcome to my meal prep madness. First I want to tell you about my new produce bags! I am totally obsessed with them. 

These are sold on Amazon (use the link above). They are $12.97 for a set of 9 bags. I got the mixed set, so it comes with: 2 large, 5 medium, & 2 small bags. 

This year I am trying to reduce the amount of plastic, chemicals, and waste. Who else hates all those plastic produce or bulk bin bags? I added the picture below to show you each bag has a tag for how much it weighs. This means you can use the bags for the bulk bin purchases. 

I wanted to add a little from Purifyou's Amazon description because I truly believe in what this company describes:

  • UNIQUE: Our double-stitched bags can safely hold up to 11 pounds. Despite their strength, our bags are still see-through and light-weight (our largest is less than 0.91 ounces), saving you time and money at the register. With yet another time-saver, you can place your bag straight into the fridge, and the breathable fabric often extends the life of your produce. That equals more savings, less food wasted, and less harm to our planet. Win-win.
  • MULTI-PURPOSE: Our premium bags are not just for produce though, and with so many different sizes, you just might find all sorts of household items to use them for, from the little guy's Legos to Grandma's favorite stamp collection. They also work great for laundry delicates, small sports equipment, beach trips, gym clothes, school lunches, toys, office supplies, camping trips, road trips, and virtually any form of household organizing you can imagine. Did we already say win-win?
  • HELP SAVE THE ENVIRONMENT AND WORLD TOO: Because with every purchase, a portion of our profit is donated to help promote sustainable living around the world. Check out our new water well construction in Kenya! Plus, with our satisfaction guarantee you have nothing to lose, and a soon-to-be-favorite set of bags to gain. How about a win-win-win. So what are you waiting for? For a limited time, take advantage of our sale price -- subject to removal at any time.

Now for some meal prep.... 

Pictured above: rice cakes (caramel & regular), cooked brown rice, mini sweet peppers, carrots, Purifyou bags, tomatoes, lemons, psyillium husk pancakes, cucumbers, green onions, collard greens, oats, oven roasted brussel sprouts, almonds, and soaking cashews. 

I also cooked chicken breast in the crock pot with chicken broth, chili powder, cumin, paprika, and cayenne pepper. I place all the ingredients in the crock pot and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Then I shred the chicken and add back to the crock pot. I cook the chicken for another couple of hours so the chicken soaks up the flavor. 

I use my rice cooker to cook the brown rice and steel cut oats. For the rice: I add 1 cup of rice & 3 cups of water. For the oats: I add 1 cup of steel cut oats and 3 cups of water. I use the white rice setting on my rice cooker. I like to add chia seeds and flax seeds to my oats. I bought little jars at Target to store my oats in the fridge. 

Brussel sprouts & carrots: I love oven roasted brussels and carrots. I preheat the oven to 400 degrees. I add oil to a baking sheet. I like to chop the carrots in half and the brussels in half. I add both to the baking sheet and top with Pink Himalayan salt. I like my veggies to get a little crispy, so I bake for around 45 minutes to an hour. 

Another thing I am starting to make is homemade Kombucha! This was my first batch and it turned out really well. I still want to experiment a little more and then I will share my favorite recipe with you. Kombucha is so good for your gut health. It is full of probiotics.

Homemade Almond and Cashew Milk:

I've recently started making homemade almond milk and homemade cashew milk. I am tired of buying nut milks that have other ingredients. Plus homemade tastes SOOO GOOD!

I like to soak 1/2 cup of almonds or cashews in water overnight. I usually soak almonds for two days to make extra creamy milk. Cashews do not take as long. After soaking, I rinse the nuts and add to my blender. I don't measure the water, but I fill my blender to the top. I think the line is 32 oz. Then I blend until my blender finishes (it is the smoothie setting on my blender). 

For almond milk, you will need to strain it. Cashew milk doesn't need strained. I use a nut milk bag I purchased on Amazon: {Nut Milk Bag}

Here is the left over almond pulp. You can save this an bake with it! You can dry it in the oven and use it as almond meal for recipes. 

I purchased this cool glass jug at Target and use it to store my nut milk. You can also blend dates, honey, cinnamon, or salt into the nut milks if you want to flavor them. One caution I do have is: you will need to drink the milk faster than store bought because homemade does not have any preservatives. I learned this the hard way because I prepped my oats for all week. By the end of the week my oats were sour because the nut milk was spoiled. I suggest drinking the nut milk in 2-3 days.  

Now after that long post, let me end with the meal plan I used for this meal prep:

Preworkout: Alphamine (PEScience)
Breakfast: steel cut oats with chia seeds, flax seeds, almond milk, and protein powder. I also have Amazing Greens powder with BCAAS in a shaker bottle. I take my Omega 3 supplement as well 
Lunch: Slow cooked chicken, brown rice, oven roasted carrots and brussel sprouts, and tomatoes. I also drink apple cider vinegar with water
Dinner: Collard green wrap: chicken, brown rice, spicy hummus or kite hill cream cheese, green onions, avocado, cucumber, and peppers. I also have my homemade Kombucha
Snack 1: psyillium husk pancake with almond butter. I also have lemon water
Snack 2: rice cakes with peanut butter

Other things about meal prep/grocery shopping: 
  • I went to Sprouts for my groceries this week. I love that they have bulk bins to get my almonds and cashews. They also have pretty good deals on produce. 
  • My weekly grocery bill ranges from $40-75 depending on what I have left over from the week before. 
  • I usually prep my breakfast, lunches, and snacks for the week on Saturday or Sunday. I usually make dinner when I get home from work with prepped meat. 

There you have it! A full week of meal prep! I hope you enjoyed learning about my meal prep and grocery haul. Please let me know if you have any questions. 

Questions for you:
1) What is your favorite meal to prep for the week?
2) How can you reduce the amount of plastic, chemicals, or waste?
3) What would you like to see next on my blog?

Later Taters

"It's a beautiful day, don't let it get away." 

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