Updated: Jun 27
Figuring out meals, trying to be creative in your nutritional regimen while also keeping within your macros and/or daily caloric intake can be challenging. Then throw summer time, vacations, holidays & busy schedules into the mix & we are all turned around! Oftentimes, we simply need a source for new ideas, someone who has tried something, loved it & that you can steal from. Hey, sharing is caring & I care about your nutritional regimen, supporting you in one you crave & enjoy creating.
Meal prepping creatively & healthfully just got easier! Try making these meals & snacks under 30 mins!
Loaded Protein Salad
Spinach or mixed greens (dark green & leafy)
Animal protein options:
Chicken breast lightly seasoned with garlic, salt & pepper or a seasoning of your choice!
My famous Mayo-less tuna
Scallions (green onion)
Garbanzo beans make it a bit more hearty
Any other veggies you like, ex. Cucumber, bell peppers, snap peas, shredded carrots, etc.
Lemon/Balsamic Vinaigrette & Olive Oil *stay light on the dressing, but find one you like that adds a zing, keeping the dish light, yet flavorful!
If making vegan/vegetarian, load up your salad with all the veggies you like, garbanzo beans, & choose a grain you like (quinoa or faro are great in salads)!
2. Make it a Wrap...or a taco?!
Take your Loaded Protein Salad & wrap it into your favorite tortilla. Whole wheat or spinach wraps are delicious & provide added fiber & nutrients especially for those who are on the vegan/vegetarian train. For our gluten free friend, Siete Almond Flour tortillas are delicious & contain few ingredients. Find these at your local grocery, health foods store or even Costco! I love to spread avocado on the tortilla first to ensure we get that delicious texture in each bite! As shown below (left), I added a dash of everything but the bagel seasoning as a complement to the avocado.
When making the wrap, make these changes from the salad:
Drop the grains if added into your salad
Drop the olive oil & vinaigrette dressing and sub for a zesty, light, yet thicker dressing to add a burst of flavor. I love to add this salsa or even Bitchin Sauce to my wraps, keep it light, a little goes a long way!
Pair with a side of fresh fruit (center), mango, watermelon, and kiwi are a few that give me the summer vibes & taste! Ground turkey tacos (right) with yellow bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, seasoned with garlic, oregano, Italian seasoning, salt & pepper on Siete almond flour tortillas with a dollop of FAGE yogurt (a great sour cream alternative) on top. Lime wedges on the side to squeeze on top!
3. Buddha Bowls
Brown rice or Quinoa (option to have faro, couscous, & other grains if preferred)
Grilled chicken breast, shrimp, ground turkey or Sabatino's Sausage
Plant Based Proteins:
I love tempeh, can also use tofu or go for a 3 bean mix choosing from garbanzo, kidney, great northern, or black beans
*Pro tip: if making garbanzo beans, add some garlic, salt, & pepper seasoning & sauté these on the stove to get them warm and even a little crunchy before adding into your bowl!
Stir fry mix, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, snap peas, water chestnuts, etc). This is one of my favorite veggies mixtures that goes with just about anything, you can often find this pre-mixed bag in the frozen veggies section!
Sweet potato- chop into cubes & oven bake (while prepping, seasoning & cooking other ingredients, about 20 mins on 400 degrees F/180 degrees C). I like these as is, you can light season with fresh garlic, salt & pepper if you need more flavor, but this often comes from the rest of the bowl!
A nice mild salsa or even Crystal hot sauce for extra flavor or if you are simply seeking a little spice in your life!
4. Garlic, Lemon Salmon
Can you tell I like garlic yet? For this dish, I love to get fresh, boneless wild, Atlantic salmon. Season lightly with pepper, fresh minced garlic & herbs such as parsley & cilantro (throw garlic & herbs in a food processor or a mini food chopper to save you time & effort)!
Sliced lemons- I do small thin circles using ½ the lemon then use about ¼ to ½ lemon (depending on salmon size) to squeeze over the top of the salmon before oven baking at 400 degrees. Depending on salmon thickness, this can take about 10-15 mins.
Sides - dish up your favorite veggie mix or broccolini & a brown rice or even a cilantro lime rice will pair great. Pick what you like, but check those ingredient labels if getting a rice that does have other ingredients or comes in a box.
5. Spaghetti with Marinara or Pesto
A true classic! Great for an evening with friends, family or even your kid's or even adult play dates. A simple, yet delicious spaghetti is a fan favorite.
Option to use whole wheat (one of my favorites, but this is a bit thicker than traditional pasta), gluten free, sun-dried tomato or even a garbanzo bean pasta (these tend to be higher in carbs and may contain added ingredients - read those labels).
I use RAO’s pasta sauce, all natural simple ingredients & hardly needs any doctoring up (based on your preferences)! Choose from their several flavors and spice variations based on your preference. For a light, summer lunch make a homemade pesto instead!
Optional adds to flavor the sauce: we love red chili flakes in our house, a little goes a long way & adds a subtle kick. Bay leaves are a simple, yet sneaky addition when the sauce is summering to enrich the herb flavors. Fennel is an absolute staple for any pasta or soup in our house. Fresh garlic or garlic powder (avoid garlic salt as this may be too harsh & cover up our other flavors in the sauce), & of course a dash of salt & pepper to taste.
Meat options: can leave as is or add vegetables such as bell peppers, carrots, & chunky tomatoes to make it a hearty vegetarian/vegan dish. Add in lean ground turkey or ground beef. If you’re feeling very Italian, add in Sabatino's Sausage and make it a true meat lover's pasta!
Cook it: you can make this traditionally on the stove, sautéing the meat (if applicable) in a dish, then adding in the sauce once cooked & flavoring as desired, then cooking the pasta separately.
Pasta dish in less than 8 minutes...say what?! Another option is to make this a one pot shop & cook this entire dish in your crock pot, based on size. Follow the steps in this recipe to learn how to cook this dish in your crock pot for easy clean up & use the ingredients outlined here.
6. DIY No Bake Protein Bites
These are truly so simple with a minimum of 4 ingredients! Feel free to add any additional ingredients to mix it up such as nuts or dates! This recipe will make about 20 bites, depending on size.
½ cup Chocolate protein powder - option to use whey or pea protein based on preference or dietary restrictions
1 ½ cup of creamy peanut butter - I am a big fan of the Kirkland PB- simple ingredients, great taste. If you're a fan of this, you'll love to have NuttZo on hand for toast or heck even try it in this recipe if you're feelin' fancy!
½ cup honey (I use all natural)
½ cup of chocolate chips, love dark chocolate in these
1 tbs of chia seeds (optional)
Mix all ingredients together scoop into small 1 ½ inch balls
Enjoy immediately or even better, refrigerate for up to an hour or several days & enjoy! You can also throw these in a bag and freeze for several months!
7. DIY Chocolate Chip Banana Oatmeal Cookies
Try these out to bring as a healthy dessert option that oat & banana lovers can get behind! This recipe makes about 12-15 cookies depending on size.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C)
All you need is:
2 large bananas, soft (yellow, on the verge of browning)
1 ¾ cup of oats,
⅓ cup of chocolate chips - I love semi-sweet or dark chocolate
Mash bananas, then add in oats & chocolate chips
Mix together thoroughly
Place on parchment paper about 1 inch apart, these cookies won’t spread
Place in oven for 15-20 mins or until golden
Allow to rest for 5 minutes
Serve & enjoy alongside a glass of milk or for me- Fat Free Lactaid or homemade almond milk!
Refrigerate the remainder of cookies
Try these out and comment below with your favorites, what you enjoyed and any substitutions or additions you made to any of these recipes to make it your own!
Seeking greater nutritional support? Let's chat about 1:1 nutrition coaching & my 60 day nutrition program, BITES, & see which is best for you! Schedule a consultation below to get started!