Meal Prep Monday: Grilled Balsamic Skirt Steak & Grilled Marinated Vegetables

“Meal prep can still be done when short on time, just have the marinade do the work for you.”

I’ve been running short on time lately, and sometimes I don’t have all the time to get my meals ready for the week.  When I have days like that, I turn to marinades, because they do the work for me.

I find that either skirt steak or rib eye can work with this recipe.

After gathering all the ingredients, place in the zip-top plastic bag.  Add the steak and turn the steak(s) within the bag to ensure that the marinade completely coats the meat.

Depending on the thickness of the steak, I have left it in the marinade overnight in the refrigerator.  After having it in the refrigerator, be sure to leave it out for at least 20 to 30 minutes before grilling.

Time to grill!  This can be done with your outdoor grill, or indoors using a grill pan. Just 2 to 3 minutes on each side (or until preferred temperature will do!)

When done, tent with foil and let stand for 5 minutes.  Slice steak into strips.

For the vegetables, I turned to Trader Joe’s and got this:

According to the directions, they can be defrosted in either the refrigerator or in the microwave.  When done, pair with steak in container.

My mouth is already watering over this!  I hope you have a chance to make this for yourselves!  Have a great week!

-Maeven

Recipe: http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/grilled-balsamic-skirt-steak

Meal Prep Monday: Smoked Salmon Wraps and White Bean Stew with Swiss Chard and Tomatoes

“This week I ended up with a LOT more tomatoes than I usually get. I wanted to find a dish that would allow me to utilize them…”

This week I ended up with a LOT more tomatoes than I usually get.  I wanted to find a dish that would allow me to utilize them and not have them go to waste.  I substituted them for the canned diced tomatoes in the recipe (link below).

First I cleaned and prepped my ingredients.  I am a big fan of “Worst Cooks of America” on Food Network.  Not only does it bring up my self-esteem when compared to the contestants during the first week or so of the show, but the chefs show them some techniques to slicing, dicing and mise en place.

First, I wilted the chard in a saucepan.  Once that was done, I drained the water, squeezing as much of it out of the leaves.

Then, in another saucepan, I heated up the oil.  Once it was warmed, I added the garlic, red pepper, and sautéed them until the garlic was browned.  Next, I added my tomatoes, followed by the beans.  After letting the mixture stew for several minutes, I put in the cooked chard and mixed them together. Season to taste.

Next, I started on the wraps.  Of course, I got my ingredients ready.

I forgot about the cucumbers for the recipe, but I did get my hands on some pea shoots, so I used those instead.  Start with the tortilla and smear it with cream cheese.  Next, add the smoked salmon.  For the herbs, I used sliced shallots and dill.  Lastly, I added the pea shoots.

It reminds me of a pizza!

Roll it up and slice it into fourths.

I packaged them separately as I plan to reheat the stew, and the wrap is intended to stay cold.  

Enjoy!

-Maeven

Smoked Salmon Wraps: http://ohmydish.com/recipe/smoked-salmon-wraps/

White Bean Stew: http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/quick-white-bean-stew-swiss-chard-and-tomatoes

Meal Prep Monday: Moussaka-Inspired Pasta

Welcome to my inaugural post for Monday’s weekly meal prep!

Welcome to my inaugural post for Monday’s weekly meal prep!  Full disclosure:  I’m not a trained chef or nutritionist.  However, I do like meals that are not only healthy, but aesthetically pleasing (read: pretty) as well.  (I also like meals that are not-so-healthy, but at least I am attempting to eat healthier!)  I do borrow recipes from books, online and word-of-mouth, and I will source my references.

Truthfully, I have not always meal-prepped for the week.  There will be weeks where I pack a lunch for work and other weeks I will just buy from wherever we end up at.  However, eating the same thing can be boring after a while, and eating out can get quite expensive.  Not to mention, different places may season their food differently than how you may like it.  I wanted to find a “happy medium” where I can have the food that I like each week and (1) not get tired of it; (2) it’s fairly affordable; and (3) it doesn’t take a lot of time.

I hope that, in reading/following this, you will also be inspired to come up with creative meals of your own (and there is nothing wrong with copying what I do either!) Do not be discouraged about cooking – it took me a while to get comfortable with it myself.  Luckily, with resources like Food Network, PBS, and You Tube, anyone would be able harness their “culinary skills.”

So thank you for reading this far, and let’s get started with our weekly meal prep!

When I was with Weight Watchers some years ago, there was a recipe that I liked called “Easy Moussaka” that used ground lamb in tomato sauce and paired with linguine.  I remember liking the recipe and I wanted to re-create it.  It may have been a recipe I got off the member portal for Weight Watchers, because I cannot find it anywhere in my recipe files or in my book collection. The recipe was more of a meat sauce on pasta rather than a casserole.  The closest I could find to the recipe that I remember is this: http://www.skinnykitchen.com/recipes/skinnyfabulous-moussaka-casserole/ but I left out the potatoes (because we have pasta), Alfredo sauce and feta cheese (though, I may experiment with that another time!)  Since I’m putting my spin on this recipe, I will go through it step-by-step.

I had rounded up and prepped all the ingredients as listed under “Ingredients under Moussaka,” minus potatoes.

Such a beautiful eggplant.  Too bad I have to slice it up!

It’s all about the mise en place.

I boiled water in a pot for the pasta.  You can use salt or olive oil to keep the noodles from sticking.

My coworker had mentioned that red lentil pasta had a lot of protein and tasted like actual spaghetti.  I’m a person who likes to try everything, at least, once.

Can you believe that this has 18 g of protein per serving?! Sign-me up!

While the water is heating up, I warmed the olive oil in a large, non-stick pan.  I added the onion and the garlic, and stirred them for a few minutes until golden.

Add the ground beef (lamb, or turkey, whichever you choose).  Cook until browned, for about 5 minutes.  Then drain fat, if needed.  Add the eggplant, oregano, cinnamon, salt and pepper, then simmer.

Confession: I forgot to get the can of diced tomatoes (*gasp*).  I remember at some point, one of the many cooking shows had given alternatives, such as tomato paste.  So if you were wondering why I had tomato paste included in my mise en place that would be why.
See, I can be flexible!

Add the tomatoes (or tomato paste, in my case) and red wine (or you can use chicken stock, too).  Cook, uncovered, until liquid reduces for about a minute.

Getting back to the pasta…
Once the water comes to a boil, cook according to package directions (about 8 to 10 minutes).  Drain.

Divide pasta between the containers for the week.  Next to the pasta, I placed some steamed greens as my vegetable.  Top the pasta with the eggplant and meat sauce.  Pro tip: garnish with shaved parmesan.

There you have it.  I’m sorry we had to make a lot of substitutions from the original recipe.  Sometimes, with cooking, one has to be flexible and improvise.  I will try to find a recipe that we can stick to next time.  Thanks for reading and see you next week!
-Maeven