Monday, July 14, 2014

Prep for Your Week!

We all know that preparation is the biggest aid to healthy yet easy and convenient eating - however getting all of your foods washed, chopped and put away can take some time. However, doing it all on one day will actually save you time in the kitchen in the long run. Just think, you will have only one set of dishes to wash, versus doing it seven times a week!

Here are the things that really make a difference for me, personally. I'd love to hear what healthy foods you like to prep in advance, too!

The 5 Foods I Like to Prep Every Sunday
Melon - It's so fresh and sweet right now. The refreshing quench of water from the fruit nails both a thirst and sweet craving after lunch.

Pecans - My essential snacking standby. I know not everyone loves nuts, but I find the crunch super satisfying for my hunger. Often, a handful between meals will allow me to never feel overly hungry, which can lead to larger portions come meal time. Other great choices are almonds and walnuts, always go for raw. They are slightly sweet and nutty that way.

Hummus - When I have extra time I make a big batch of hummus. When the week is busy I pick up a container at the store and pair it with cucumber slices. I love the combination of lemony garlic hummus with the cool crisp cucumber.  Hothouse cucumbers are a little more expensive, but they aren't waxed so I don't have to peel them. Perfect for saving time and adding more fiber to my diet.

Boiled Eggs - They are a true time saver and help clean out your fridge. Why? Older eggs are the perfect candidate for boiled eggs. Want to test yours out? Fill abowl with cold water, add your eggs. If they float halfway up, they are perfect! All the way up? Time to toss them and head down to the Farmers Market for a new batch.  Eggs that stay on the bottom are pretty fresh and are great for less than fully cooked applications.

Lentil or Bean Salad - As far as lunch goes, lentil salads have always been my go to. Beans and other legumes have decent protein and fiber, which fills you up and keeps you satisfied. A bowl of hearty lentil salad or soup keeps me going all afternoon.

That's my Sunday prep list now, this season, but it can change as the seasons change. But that's just me - what about you? What's on your essential healthy eating prep list?
Say perhaps you went a little overboard on the boiled eggs and need to use them up before next week's new prep day. Why not add them to a cold salad? They are classics in potato salad, yes, but let's branch out from. This week, I bring you a cold soba noodle (made from buckwheat flour which is gluten free), mixed with a tangy kim-chee (cabbage dish) vinaigrette and fresh veggies.  This pairs extremely well with grilled steak, venison or pork. The best part? It takes minutes to put together and can be made well ahead of time. If you liked my sriracha slaw, you'll love this salad too. 
Kimchee Soba Noodle Salad

8 oz. Soba noodles
1 12  oz. jar napa kimchi
½ cup shelled edamame
2 TBSP rice wine vinegar
1 TBSP toasted sesame oil
1 TBSP sugar
1 tsp fish sauce
2 large eggs, hardboiled and quartered
½ hothouse cucumber, cut into slivers
4 scallions, thinly sliced
2 TBSP sesame seeds

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add noodles and edamame and cook for one a half minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water.

Drain Kimchi, reserving liquid; chop kimchi. Combine kimchi, liquid, vinegar, oil, sugar and fish sauce in a large bowl. Mix well to combine. Add noodles and edamame and toss to coat. Season with salt and more vinegar if desired. Serve topped with eggs, cucumber, scallion and sesame seeds.

Serve at room temperature or place in fridge to cool, covered. Serving size is one cup.
Kelly Lake
Administration Director & Healthy Food Enthusiast 
Bay Athletic Club
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