I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Meal prepping is hard and time consuming. But, it doesn’t have to be! I’ve been meal prepping one day a week for TWO YEARS now, without skipping a beat. When I first started meal prepping, I knew NOTHING about cooking. I knew nothing about food or nutrition. What I did know was that it was an absolutely necessary thing for me to do in order to keep my family on track and eating healthy throughout the week. So I had no choice, I had to start researching and reading.
Now, I’m not saying that meal prepping is something YOU have to do. I’m just saying it is the thing that works for us. I’m also not saying that you have to prep a whole week’s worth of food in one day, that’s just what I do because then I can relax on the couch when I get home from work and not worry about cooking. If you are someone who has the energy to cook throughout the week, I commend you. AND, if you are someone who can go to work with no food on hand and order something healthy for lunch, well… I bow to you. I am not that person; neither is my hubby. When left without food on hand, we don’t make good eating choices. This is why I make time to plan and prep.
When I first started meal prepping, I would grossly miscalculate how much food we needed and end up wasting food, spending WAY more money each week than necessary and spending 6 hours on my feet on Sundays. Each week, my prepping process becomes more and more efficient. Because of the two years that I’ve spent completing weekly meal prep, I’ve learned some things. So I thought it would be a fun idea to include a weekly meal prep tip for those of you who are just starting out.
This week’s tip is stretch your ingredients!
When I first started meal prepping I would go through recipes online, choose a couple that I wanted to make and then purchase the supplies needed to make them. The problem was, I was choosing recipes that looked delicious (and they were, most of the time) but I wasn’t paying attention to the ingredient lists. This is where the overspending came in. It will cost you more money and more time in the kitchen if you don’t stretch ingredients. And, let’s be honest unless you are cooking for the Duggars, you will never use a whole bag of celery or carrots in one recipe.
Here’s how to get around that: Make multiple dishes that use the same base ingredients so you don’t waste anything.
Today, I’m making corn chowder, crockpot chili and southwestern steak burrito bowls. Now, you wouldn’t look at those three dishes and think, “oh they are similar!” but they are! This is the beauty of spices. You can take three dishes, duplicate ingredients and come up with three completely different tastes. That way you don’t feel like you’re eating the same thing every day.
So, one bag of corn will be fully used between the three. Most of the celery and carrots will be used between the corn chowder and chili, and what’s leftover will be used for quick tuna salad sandwiches for lunch!
There you go, your first mealprep tip. Happy prepping! ❤
Now for the real reason you came, the recipe….
Southwest Steak Burrito Bowls
What You Need
2 flank steaks
For the marinade
2 tbs fresh lime juice
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1 tbs soy sauce
1 tbs apple cider vinegar
1 tsp chipotle adobo sauce
½ tsp cayenne pepper
½ tsp sea salt
½ tsp pepper
2 cloves garlic
1 tbs olic oil
½ tsp honey
For the rice
1 cup long-grain white rice
1 ½ cup chicken broth
¼ cup cilantro
Juice from 1 lime
For the veggies
Reserved steak marinade
1 zucchini, sliced into moons
1 red bell pepper, sliced thin
1 orange pepper, sliced thin
½ white onion, sliced thin
What To Do
Combine all marinade ingredients into a gallon ziplock bag, mix well and then add steak. Coat the steaks in marinade and let sit in the fridge for at least one hour.
Preheat oven to 350° and prepare a saucepan on high heat, add 1 tbs olive oil. Sear your steaks on each side for about 4 minutes. Then, move to a small glass baking dish and place in oven for 20 minutes (or longer, until it reaches your desired “doneness”.) Remove from the oven and let sit for a few minutes then cut against the grain into thin strips.
While the steak is cooking in the oven, start your rice. Combine 1 cup rice with 1 ½ cups chicken broth in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat then reduce heat and let simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes. Then stir to “fluff” and add the lime juice and cilantro, mix well.
In the same saucepan you cooked the steak in, add all veggies as well as any leftover liquid marinade from the steak. Cook on medium heat just enough to soften the vegetables.
Then, assemble your burrito bowl with veggies, steak, rice and top with some delicious sliced avocado.
My husband has a hurt tooth, so he can’t eat the steak so I repeated the same marinade with a pound of chicken thighs for him. Cook at 350° for 35 minutes, then chop. The chicken thighs soak up the flavor while staying nice and juicy. Two thumbs up for this marinade!
Don’t have one of the ingredients listed above? I cook with a lot of things that you might not have laying around – like apple cider vinegar, for example – try the recipe without it – I bet it will be just as good!
Be sure to click that lovely little “follow” button in the upper right corner so you’ll never miss a post! Coming up this week is the delicious Corn Chowder I mentioned.
If you have any questions or comments – leave a note here! Try a recipe? Let me know what you think! Tag your food pics #ahealthybalanceblog on Instagram!
Thanks for reading, loves!