HUMPDAY HEALTHY EATS; PLAN AHEAD MEALS

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When life gets busy, planning your meals ahead of time, not only saves you time, but helps you avoid sneaking over to the vending machine at work or grabbing the first thing you see that will end up be less than healthy.  There are a lot of things that you can prepare now that you can grab later and still stay on track.    

Plan ahead breakfast:  Egg Muffins (makes about 12)  

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12 eggs Pepper Vegetables
(mushrooms, spinach, tomatoes, kale, onion, peppers, any of your choice)  

Pre-heat oven to 350.  
Lightly spray a muffin tin with cooking spray.   Chop veggies.  Whisk eggs in a large bowl.  Add pepper to taste.  Stir in veggies.   Pour into muffin tins. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until eggs are cooked through.  

Plan ahead snack:  Pumpkin Granola Bars  

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2 ½ cups rolled oats
½ cup pumpkin
¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
1/3 cup maple syrup
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp ginger
¼ tsp cloves ¼ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp baking soda
½ tsp vanilla extract  

Preheat oven to 350.  Mix all the dry ingredients together in one bowl.  Mix wet into another bowl.  Combine wet to dry really well so the oats get coated. Line a baking pan (8X8) with parchment paper.  Make sure the paper hangs over the sides.  This will make it easier to get them out.  Press the bars with your palms so they are packed well and evenly flat.   Bake for 20-25 minutes.  Let the bars cool completely before cutting.  Store in an airtight container separated by parchment paper.

  Plan ahead Lunch:  Stuffed Bell Peppers  

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4 large green bell peppers
1 cup cooked brown rice
1 lb 93% lean ground turkey (or chicken)
2 garlic cloves
½ cup chopped onion
1 tsp Italian seasoning 2 tsp crushed red pepper
1 can diced Italian style tomatoes

Tomato sauce (enough to cover the bottom of a casserole dish Light mozzarella cheese, shredded   Preheat oven to 400.  Cut bell peppers in half lengthwise.  Discard seeds and membranes.  Place in a casserole dish – the bottom of the dish should be covered with a thin layer of tomato sauce with 1 tsp of the Italian seasoning.   Spray a pan with cooking spray, and sauté the onions until translucent.  Add minced garlic and cook for 2 minutes.  Add the ground meat and brown.  Add Italian seasoning and crushed red pepper to the meat mixture.   In a large bowl combine the ground meat, brown rice and diced tomatoes.  Scoop mixture into each bell pepper half.  Spoon more sauce over the top and sprinkle lightly with mozzarella cheese.     Bake covered for 30 minutes.  Uncover and cook an additional 5 minutes to barely brown the tops.

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