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Healthy Make Ahead Meals Part 1

Food prep is no joke, but the reward is awesome. It is so nice to know that I have a few meals prepared for this week. Last week was a blur. Every night I came home and I had nothing ready or even in my mind about it. Does that sound familiar? I always end up eating whatever when I do not plan a couple of meals ahead of time. So yesterday I decided to make a few “make ahead meals”. I spent a couple of hours prepping and cooking so I still had most of the day to enjoy. Here is what happened.

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MEXICAN CHICKEN AND QUINOA CASSEROLE

Ingredients:

2 cups shredded chicken

1 tsp EVOO

1 medium yellow onion thinly sliced

1 tbsp minced garlic

1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 cup uncooked quinoa

1 cup sweet potatoes, cubed in small pieces

1 cup frozen corn, thawed

1 (10 oz) pkg of frozen spinach, thawed making sure to squeeze all water out

1 tbsp tomato paste

1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth

1 (8 oz) jar of favorite salsa

shredded cheddar is optional

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees

2. Cook quinoa according to pkg

3. Heat a large non stick skillet over medium high heat. Add 1 tsp EVOO and saute onion until lightly browned. Add garlic, saute for 1 minute. Add the rest of the vegetables and combine well. Add tomato paste. Add chicken. Transfer mixture to another bowl and stir in quinoa and beans.

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4. Add broth and salsa to the saute pan, bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Combine to the mixture.

5. Pour the mixture into a casserole pan coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with cheese if desired. Bake for 20-25 minutes.

Note: I cooked my own chicken but the original recipe used shredded rotisserie chicken. Original recipe can be found at http://www.mjandhungryman.com along with other awesome recipes.

Also, make sure to squeeze all the water out of the spinach. I made into a ball and squeezed squeezed squeezed 🙂

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I made one pan to freeze without the cheese. Can’t wait to dig into this at the end of the week.

Do you food prep for the week? What are your favorite make ahead meals?

Stay tuned for part 2 Spaghetti Pie!

 

 

 

Where Is The Beef?

Not in this recipe. This is a great Mexican stuffed pepper recipe for our Meatless Mondays. A couple of times a week The Husband likes to do vegetarian dishes incorporating beans and such. This week black beans, quinoa, and brown rice were our “meaty filling”.

I was so inspired by this recipe I got from www.onelovelylife.com (you have to check out her blog). I changed just a couple of things but overall it is similar.

Mexican Stuffed Peppers with Brown Rice, Black Beans, & Quinoa

  • 4 peppers (use any color) sliced in half stem to tip with the seeds removed
  • I used this box of brown rice & quinoa (b/c all I had on hand)
  • 1/2 medium onion diced
  • 1(15oz) can black beans drained & rinsed
  • 1(4oz) can diced green chiles (not drained)
  • 1/4 c fresh cilantro, minced
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 cup grated pepper jack cheese
  •  1 jar of your favorite taco sauce

    Before it went in the oven

  1. Cook rice and quinoa according to package. If you are not using the box kind, cook according to package of 1 cup uncooked quinoa and/or brown rice.
  2. Microwave pepper halves 2-3 minutes to soften a bit.
  3. In a mixing bowl combine rice and quinoa mixture with black beans, green chiles (with their juice), cilantro, salt, and pepper. If the mixture is too dry, drizzle tiny bit of olive oil into mixture.
  4. Spread the taco sauce into the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish. Divide the mixture among the peppers. Place the peppers into the pan. Sprinkle with cheese.
  5. Cover the pan with foil and bake at 375 degrees for about 25-30 minutes. Remove foil and continue to bake for another 5 minutes. Serve with diced Roma tomatoes and some of the taco sauce drizzled on top:)

You will not even miss the meat. The texture was so good. This recipe was very easy and you will love it as leftovers. I hope you like this and incorporate it into your Meatless Mondays. I would like to thank www.onelovelylife.com again for such a great recipe!

Do you ever try vegetarian dishes? Do you like quinoa? Have a great day:)

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