AED13: Cookies & Cross stitch

Chocolate crinkle cookies from Low Fat Cooking!

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And continuing the cross  stitching from yesterday!img_20170113_224107

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A Year’s Worth of Meal Prep

It’s officially been an entire year since I’ve been bento box meal prepping!

I used to prep every night, hence all photos of the single lunch boxes – this eventually grew to 5 boxes for the week. As I got more serious into meal prepping, macro counting, and IIFYM in 2016, it became more important that my containers were the same size and weight so that I could save time (no need to tare between different sized containers). It took me almost a whole year (end of March 2016) to make the move to complete my set of BentGo boxes because they’re not that cheap, but I eventually completed the set.

It takes me about 3-4 hours on Sunday nights for the actual prep depending on what I’ve decided to eat for the week. The majority of my time is spent weighing out the ingredients and recording them down so I can input all of it into MFP afterwards. I work full time and prep on the weekends to clear up time during the week for other things. In a given week, my process works as follows:

SATURDAY:

Plan what I want to eat for the week, write down each ingredient on paper – this is for groceries as well as giving me the ability to quickly write down the weights for each ingredient. Check fridge/pantry for all ingredients. If required, bake protein squares/any other bakery goods in order to clear up the oven for Sunday and reduce the heat in the kitchen when I do my big prep.

SUNDAY:

  • Morning: Final pantry check, Costco haul, followed by grocery haul
  • 4PM: Start meal prep
  • 5:30PM: Start cooking dinner
  • 6PM: Eat dinner/wait for rest of items to cook
  • 7PM: Finish up meal prep, pack it up, put it all in the fridge, take various photos for the Instagram/blog likes and comments
  • 8PM: Wash copious amounts of dishes and spoons
  • 9-10PM: Input everything meticulously into MFP

EVERYDAY:

  • Place next day’s meal into lunch bag, pack snacks
  • Eat it

If you’re just looking to get started on meal prep, just go for it. It looks daunting, but it’s not! I’m specifically talking to all you people on Facebook who write lovely comments praising my organizational and prepping skills. I am STILL not good at this. My process took over a year to create and work on my process to fit my own schedule. Start with simple meals, just an extra one or two a week, and eventually you can move to all 5 when you get more comfortable with your cooking and prepping skills. Alternatively, jump in and just GO FOR IT. There are lots of resources to pull help from! My personal favourites:

FAQs:

  • The lunch boxes are from BentGo, the jars are 500ml wide mouth mason jars.
  • No, the food doesn’t go bad by the end of the week. I keep everything stored in the fridge during the week.
    • BUT SALAD GETS SOGGY!! Store the wet parts (sauce, toppings, etc.) separately from the dry (the wrap, the greens), and mix them day of before you’re about to eat it
  • I only prep breakfast and lunch – I like making dinner fresh.
  • I started meal prepping vegetarian in 2016 (hence all the beans, tofu, tempeh, etc.).
  • I save time cooking, packing lunch, and inputting into MFP every day.
  • I usually have 2 snacks during a workday. They range from protein balls, homemade protein squares, peanut butter cheerios, and black bean brownies (all recipes on my blog!).

Since I’m going to be on a break from working for the summer (starting grad school in September!), I’ll most likely not be prepping full weeks as I can cook and eat fresh at home, but I’ll definitely still do at least some sort of meal prep (probably big batches of Sofritas, lasagna, things like that) because of several reasons: I enjoy the process, I don’t have to look at MFP every day, and it saves a lot of time. I haven’t posted all the food recipes on my blog yet, but I’m been working on it – it’s hard to do when everything’s a mess and you need to take photos.

I post my weekly meal prep photos (along with fitness-related photos) on my Instagram @winsofit. More details about the food and recipes I use/make up are on this blog!

Veggie Burger!

Made a veggie burger for dinner! Started off with sautee-ing the onions, followed by the mushrooms, and then frying the veggie patty.

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Smashed up some avocado, added lemon, salt, and pepper, and toasted the burger bun. The bottom of the burger has the avocado spread on it, and the top half has hummus.

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Added some arugula and a tomato, and voila!

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Macro-Friendly Black Bean Brownies

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Happy Easter and long weekend! I had some extra time to bake this weekend, so I made some black bean brownies with my new kitchen aid mixer as well as the banana chocolate chip protein bars featured in my Baking with Protein post.

This is yet another recipe from Amanda Bucci – her original recipe is found on her YouTube channel here. In her recipe, she uses stevia to sweeten the batter, but I used honey instead. Originally I made them with only 3/4 tbsp of honey, but this makes them NOT that sweet at all – if you want them to take more brownie-sque and sweeter, definitely use more the honey!

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Ingredients

  • 300g black beans
  • 15g PEScience Select Protein – Peanut Butter Cup flavoured
  • 125g egg whites
  • 2 eggs
  • 30g unsweeted almond milk
  • 100g pumpkin puree
  • 30g Cocoa Powder
  • 25g coconut flour
  • 40g oat flour (grind up 40g of quick oats)
  • 2 tbsp Chocolate Chip BuffBake
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 dash salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 10g chocolate chips (optional)
  • 10g peanut butter chips (optional)

Directions

  1. Throw all ingredients except for baking powder and baking soda into a food processor and process all of it!
  2. Mix in baking powder and baking soda by hand.
  3. Pour into a buttered pan or muffin tin. Top with chocolate and peanut butter chips if you want!
  4. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes.
  5. Cool on a cooling rack.

Macros: 110 calories: 12.9g carbs, 4.3g fat, 6.4g protein for each brownies. Recipe makes 12 brownies!

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Vegetarian Grocery Haul!

Since there’s a snow storm in my area tonight and I didn’t ride my bike to work, it’s obviously the perfect night to do a grocery haul seeing as I’m all out of almost everything. I’m being sarcastic, it was horrible and everything was very heavy and snow was blowing everywhere, but I made it!

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I haven’t done a big haul of groceries in a long time because I usually keep a pretty good stock in my kitchen, however, after meal prep this week I ran out of egg whites, yogurt, cheese, oatmeal, tomatoes, and broccoli. As you can tell from the title, this IS a vegetarian grocery haul – I’ve been eating almost completely vegetarian (ovo-lacto meaning I still eat dairy and eggs) for just about a month now! (The almost is for the very rare once or twice a month times I eat meat!)

Vegetables & Fruit

  • Cucumber (eating with hummus & salads)
  • Bananas (parfaits)
  • 2 containers of strawberries which you can’t see (parfaits)
  • Tomatoes (burrito salad)
  • Avocado (burrito salad)
  • Red pepper (burrito salad)
  • Broccoli

Proteins

  • Yves vegetarian falafel balls
  • Yves vegetarian kale & quinoa bites
  • Tofu
  • Great Northern Beans
  • Pinto Beans (I’m not sure what I’m actually doing with either types of beans yet…)

Dairy

  • 2 cartons of egg whites (I eat this almost everyday)
  • 2 750ml yogurt (I really like yogurt)
  • Silani light feta cheese

Other

  • Vector Protein Granola (parfait)
  • Quick oats (for baking only! I like to eat steel cut oats for oatmeal.)
  • Couscous (burrito salad)

Things that I already have in my fridge/pantry that I did not need to buy:

  • Eggs (I have 2 full cartons AND half a carton of boiled eggs…)
  • Peanut Butter
  • Almond Milk
  • Cauliflower
  • Onion
  • Regular Cheddar cheese\

I’m a creature of habit, all these items are pretty much in my kitchen at all times, and I eat very similar food week to week. You’ll see all of these ingredients in my upcoming meal preps. In addition, my wonderful mother got me the matching Kitchenaid food processor, so you can expect lots of great things from that coming soon!

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Posts still to come: Strawberry pie, vegetarian burgers, and black bean brownies!