Healthy Body Recipe

Saving your sanity

Written by Healthy Living

Here are meal prep tips and easy-to-make recipes for the week.

Story: Dini Klein

When it comes to meal prep, I have a different philosophy than most. Meal prep generally means preparing a few meals and portioning them out for the week ahead. Most plans and systems out there are diet-centric, while my focus is all about the family.

My meal prep system, Prep + Rally, is the solution for busy moms to help get dinner on the table all week long while saving time, money and sanity. We prep eight or so staple dishes on Sunday (all in about an hour!), and then those staples get creatively assembled into four different dinners Monday through Thursday. Not only are you not eating the same dinner every night, but dinners also come together in just minutes.

Everyone in the family can enjoy customizing their own meal, and even picky eaters become more adventurous with the constant variety and fun menus. It’s truly the solution that has saved me as a busy working mom and helped thousands of mamas around the world get through the week with ease.

Here are my top meal prep tips:

Figure out the recipes you’d like to make for the week (or join Prep + Rally, as we do all the work for you) and create a comprehensive grocery list. Try to find recipes that utilize similar ingredients, such as parsley in two dishes or two different main dishes that can be paired with rice. This way, you save money as well as time cooking certain ingredients that you then use multiple ways throughout the week.

  • Shop (I shop online for convenience).
  • Start your meal prep with a clean kitchen.
  • Place a garbage can in close distance to your workspace.
  • Pre-wash (peel, if applicable) all produce before starting your prep.
  • Set out all containers and cookware necessary.
  • Set up stations for each recipe in the order in which you’re going to cook them so you can easily go from one recipe to the next.
  • Buddy up and meal prep with family and friends to make it more fun.

Produce

  • 36 oz. fresh green beans, trimmed 
  • 2 bunches asparagus 
  • 6 lemons 
  • 5 sage leaves 
  • 3 cloves garlic 
  • 1 small knob ginger 
  • 8 oz. cremini mushrooms 
  • 8 cups shredded green cabbage (or 16 oz.)
  • 1 bunch scallions 
  • 2 onions 
  • 2 red bell peppers 
  • 1 bunch parsley 
  • 1 bunch basil 
  • 1 bunch dill

optional salad ingredients for quesadilla night

Dairy/Frozen

  • 1 cup frozen peas 
  • 5-6 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Poultry/Meat/Fish

  • 9 boneless, skinless chicken breasts 
  • 1.5 lbs fresh salmon, skin and bones removed 

(or pre-ground or finely chopped salmon)

Pantry

  • oil 
  • salt 
  • pepper 
  • 2 cups orzo 
  • 4-5 TB flour (any kind)
  • ¾ cups vegetable or chicken stock 
  • ¼ cup low sodium soy sauce 
  • toasted sesame oil
  • ¼ cup hoisin sauce (alternative would be BBQ sauce mixed with teriyaki)
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1-piece whole wheat sandwich bread
  • onion powder
  • Old Bay seasoning
  • apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 4-6 burger buns for salmon burgers 
  • 8 moo shu pancakes or very thin tortillas
  • 16 large tortillas for quesadillas
  • 24-oz. bottle marinara sauce

 


Sunday Prep Rally!

PREP LIST

  • Green beans
  • Asparagus
  • Orzo with peas
  • Chicken paillard
  • Moo shu filling
  • Salmon burgers with sautéed peppers and onions
  • Green goddess sauce

Tips for a speedier prep:

  • Have your fishmonger pre-chop or grind the salmon.
  • Buy pre-pounded or butterflied chicken cutlets.
  • Buy cabbage pre-shredded to save time.

LET’S PREP

Here are the items we’ll be prepping this Sunday:


1) ORZO WITH PEAS

Ingredients

  • 2 cups orzo
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • Zest and juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 tb olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to season 

Directions

Fill a medium (meat or pareve) pot with water and bring to a boil with a pinch of salt. Add orzo and cook 7-9 minutes or according to package instruction. Drain, rinse and place in storage container. Mix in 1 cup frozen peas, zest and juice of ½ lemon, olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Store.


2) SALMON BURGERS WITH SAUTÉED PEPPERS AND ONIONS

Ingredients

  • oil for frying 
  • 2 onions, diced 
  • 2 large red bell peppers, diced (3 cups diced) 
  • 1-piece whole wheat sandwich bread moistened under water and wrung out 
  • 1.5 lbs. fresh salmon, deboned, skinned and finely chopped 
  • ¾ cups panko + ¼ cup extra for coating
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh basil, finely chopped
  • ¾ tSP salt
  • ¼ tSP pepper
  • ¼ tSP onion powder
  • 1 tSP old bay seasoning
  • 1 tSP Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 egg, whisked

Directions

In a large (pareve or dairy) nonstick pan, heat 1 tablespoon of oil. Sauté the onions and peppers on medium heat until softened. Place 1 cup in a large mixing bowl (for the salmon burgers) and store the remainder for later in the week for the quesadillas. Mix all other ingredients together with the peppers and onions in the bowl. Form 6 burgers and coat tops and bottoms with extra ¼ panko. Place in a baking dish and store in the refrigerate covered to bake fresh the next day. Alternatively, you can bake or fry now. Heat 2-3 tablespoons of oil in a pan on medium-high heat and pan fry until crisp and golden on both sides. You can also bake them at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes. 


3) CHICKEN PAILLARD

Ingredients

  • 8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded thin (butterflied) and cut in half 
  • Salt and pepper to season 
  • 4-5 tB flour for dusting 
  • oil for frying
  • For the paillard:
  • ¾ cup vegetable stock
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 5 sage leaves 

Directions

Season all sides of the chicken with salt and pepper and then dredge in the flour. Shake off any excess. Heat half of the oil in a large (meat) frying pan and pan fry on medium-high heat until deeply golden and crisp, about 2-3 minutes per side. Flip and cook on the other side until completely cooked through. Continue with remaining chicken. Set aside 3 pieces of chicken and reserve for the moo shu chicken. In the same pan as you fried the chicken, add the stock, zest and juice of a lemon, and sage scraping up the bits at the bottom of the pan. Bring to a boil and then let simmer for 4-5 minutes until slightly thickened and reduced. Place remaining 5 chicken breasts in a storage container and pour sauce over. Let cool and store.


4) MOO SHU FILLING

Ingredients

  • 2-3 tb oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced 
  • 2 tsp ginger, minced 
  • 8 oz. cremini mushrooms, roughly chopped 
  • 8 cups green cabbage, thinly shredded (16 ounces) 
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil 
  • ¼ cup hoisin sauce* 
  • ¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 3 reserved cooked chicken breasts, thinly sliced into strips 
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced

Directions

Heat a large (meat) pan with olive oil and add the garlic and ginger. Sauté́ for 2-3 minutes until fragrant. Add the mushrooms and sauté́ for an additional 5 minutes until softened. Add the cabbage, soy sauce, sesame oil and hoisin sauce. Cook for about 10 minutes, mixing around until the cabbage has fully softened. Add the reserved sliced chicken and scallions and continue to cook for the final 2-3 minutes until everything has blended together. Let cool and store.


5) Green Goddess Dressing

Ingredients

  • 1 cup parsley, roughly torn
  • 1/2 cup fresh dill
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 2 TB apple cider vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 tSP salt
  • 1/4 tSP pepper
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise

Directions

In a food processor or a cup with immersion blender, combine all ingredients and blend until smooth and store in airtight container.


6) ROASTED GREEN BEANS

Ingredients

  • 36 oz. fresh green beans, trimmed
  • 1-2 tB oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste 

Directions

Line a (pareve) baking sheet with tin foil or parchment and spread green beans out in a single layer. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Then bake in 425-degree oven for 15-20 minutes until cooked through and golden. Let cool and store. 


7) ROASTED ASPARAGUS

Ingredients

  • 2 bunches asparagus, bottoms trimmed
  • 1-2 tb oil 
  • Salt and pepper to taste 

Directions

Line a (pareve or dairy) baking sheet with tin foil or parchment and spread asparagus out in a single layer. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Then bake in 425-degree oven for 10-15 minutes until cooked through and golden. Let cool and store.



MONDAY

PREP TIME: 5 mins. RALLY INGREDIENTS: Salmon burgers, asparagus, green goddess sauce (half)

Salmon Burgers with Asparagus and Green Goddess Sauce 

Cook salmon burgers according to directions above if you haven’t done so yet. Otherwise, warm in a 300-degree oven (uncovered) for 25-30 minutes until heated and crisp. Heat asparagus (uncovered) in the same oven for 20 minutes until warm. Serve salmon burgers with the green goddess sauce and asparagus. You can serve the burgers on their own, in a salad, in buns or any other way you like.


TUESDAY

PREP TIME: 2 mins. RALLY INGREDIENTS: Chicken paillard, orzo with peas

Chicken Paillard with Orzo and Peas 

Heat chicken (covered) in 300-degree oven for 25-30 minutes until warmed through. Heat orzo in the same oven (covered) for 15 minutes until just heated or serve room temperature. Serve together with extra lemon.

*You can also serve the chicken in baguettes or sliced in a salad.

*If you don’t keep kosher, you can add Parmesan into orzo for a creamy delicious addition. Add extra black pepper and lemon as needed.


WEDNESDAY

PREP TIME: 15 mins. RALLY INGREDIENTS: Moo shu chicken, green beans (half)

Moo Shu Chicken in Tortillas with Green Beans 

Heat moo shu chicken in a large frying pan, mixing around until heated through. Alternatively, you can heat covered in a 300-degree oven for 30-35 minutes until hot. Heat green beans in the same oven (uncovered) for 20 minutes until warmed through. Serve moo shu chicken in heated tortillas topped with extra hoisin sauce. Serve with green beans on the side.


THURSDAY

Prep time: 25 mins. RALLY INGREDIENTS: Reserved peppers and onions, green beans (half), green goddess sauce (half)

Quesadillas with Peppers and Onions, Green Beans
 and Salad with Green Goddess Sauce 

Heat green beans in oven for 15 minutes to warm through or serve room temperature. Chop up a quick salad if desired to serve with green goddess sauce. Prepare quesadillas: Grease a (dairy) frying pan with oil and heat on medium-high heat. Add tortillas. Spread with sauce, shredded mozzarella, and add some of the reserved peppers and onions. Top with another tortilla and flip once golden. Cook on the other side until cheese fully melts and tortilla becomes golden. Continue with remaining tortillas forming quesadillas. Cut each finished quesadilla into quarters and serve with green beans, and optional salad with green goddess sauce.

 


About the writer → Dini Klein is a chef and food media personality who has worked with brands such as Walmart, Daisy, Popsugar, Weight Watchers, Pinterest, Mic.com and Feedfeed. Prep + Rally has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Refinery29, Tastemade and South Florida CW. Visit diniklein.com and prepandrally.com.


 

 

About the author

Healthy Living

Healthy Living is unique in a sea of health magazines that only present information on nutrition and exercise. Published by Akers Media Group, Healthy Living goes much farther by focusing on the four pillars of a true wellness — physical, mental, spiritual and financial health.

Healthy Living promotes a healthy, well-balanced lifestyle with easy-to-read features, try-it-at-home exercise programs, and expert advice from financial planners, mental health professionals, and a variety of other leaders in their respective fields.

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