12 Feb

Meal Prep: 2 Easy Recipes + 3 Tips for Success!


Every month, Central Athlete poses a question to our community on the whiteboard. “What’s your most powerful habit?” “How do you relax and recover?” “Who inspires you?” 

These questions provide a way for everyone to get to know each other better (and occasionally have a little fun trolling each other with the answers.) Towards the end of 2019, we asked clients what they were interested in learning more about. A big part of the board was taken over by requests and ideas for learning more about nutrition and meal prep. We set to work thinking about how we can provide more information for clients, above & beyond what they discuss with their coach during monthly consultations and our past meal prep blog posts (here, here, and here.) We settled on some kind of cooking workshop and then one of our clients, Jamieson, reached out about hosting it! He loves cooking and was excited about the opportunity to help out his fellow clients.  

A couple of weeks ago, we hosted our first client workshop at the gym all about meal prep. Jamieson led us through 2 delicious, easy recipes and shared his tips on how to make meal prep simple and ensure your food still tastes good on day 5. 

Read on for his recipes and tips below!

10-Minute Rotisserie Salad

(Makes 5 servings)

Ingredients: 

  • 1 pre-cooked rotisserie chicken
  • 1 bag of Kale
  • 1 medium bunch Parsley
  • 1/2 Purple Cabbage
  • 2x Apple
  • 1/4 cup Cranberries
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds 
  • 2 tsp Salt
  • 2 tsp Pepper
  • 1 Tb Olive Oil
  • 1 Tb Lemon
  • Feta (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Break down rotisserie chicken and place meat in a bowl (be careful not to include cartilage).  Shred chicken with a fork and add salt and pepper to chicken and mix.
  2. In a large bowl, combine kale, chopped parsley, cabbage, salt, pepper, oil, and gently “massage” the kale to break it down (you should see it turn darker and take up less space in the bowl).
  3. Add chopped Apple, Cranberries, pumpkin seeds, chicken, lemon juice, and stir. Finish with feta (optional).

Barbacoa Taco Bowl

(Makes 5 servings)

Ingredients:

Barbacoa:

  • 2.5 lbs. beef chuck roast
  • Beef broth
  • 1 Packet Barbacoa Sauce
  • *note, if you are unable to find pre-made Barbacoa sauce, a recipe is available here

Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice:

  • 2 Bags Cauliflower Rice
  • 2 Limes
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Pepper

 Sauce:

  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • 1/2 Jalapeno 
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 1 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/2 cup Avocado Oil
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Pepper

Fajita Veggies:

  • 2-3 Peppers of your house
  • 1 Red Onion
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Pepper
  • 1 tsp Mexican Oregano

Instructions:

Barbacoa

  1. Cut Chuck roast into 2-inch squares. 
  2. Add oil to a hot pan and sear beef on each side for 2-3 minutes to brown edges
  3. Add Beef stock and Barbacoa Mix (enough to cover the beef)
  4. For an Instant Pot: Set to Meat/Stew and set for 75 minutes. For Dutch Oven, set oven to 275 and cook for 4-5 hours. For stovetop, set to medium-low and cook for 4-5 hours (you will need more liquid if you cook on the stovetop due to evaporation)
  5. After Beef is cooked, remove from pot and place in a large bowl and shred with a knife. Add some of the braising liquid to keep the beef moist and for extra flavor.

Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice:

  1. On medium heat, add 1 Tb oil. Once hot, add cauliflower and cook for 4-5 minutes (until hot). 
  2. Add Salt, Pepper, Lime, and Cilantro and stir. 

Sauce:

  1. In a blender, add garlic, lime juice, cilantro, jalapeño, apple cider vinegar, salt, pepper and blend until smooth.
  2. On medium, slowly pour oil into blender over 2-3 minutes. You will notice the sauce will emulsify and thicken.

Fajita Veggies:

  1. Dice Peppers and Onion and place in a large bowl. Add Oil, Salt, Pepper, and Mexican Oregano.
  2. Heat a pan (medium to high heat) and add veggies to sauté. 
  3. If you notice veggies and darkening on the pan, add more lemon which will pull flavor from pan and back into the veggies. 

Optional Add-Ons:

  • If you want higher carb macros, replace cauliflower rice with regular rice
  • Mexican Cheese
  • Sour Cream
  • Pico de Gallo

Meal Prep Tips & Tricks:

  1. Meal Prepping is not the same as cooking lunch/dinner.

When you meal prep, you want to optimize for shelf life and taste 2-3 days from now. Given this, you will want to make adjustments compared to if you were cooking a meal for today. For example, it is best to separate ingredients as much as possible and then mix them together on the day you eat your meal. Otherwise, meals can get soggy. Practically speaking, this could include not dressing your salad with oil vinegar, and separating ingredients such as meat, veggies, and starches. Once you are ready to eat, you can add them all together, add the sauce/seasoning, mix, and enjoy!

  1. Do not salt raw veggies.

Veggies contain a lot of water. If you add salt to them, it will pull out all the water over a few days, making a soggy mess! No one likes soggy veggies. If making a salad, add salt and pepper to the dressing and then introduce the seasoning the day you eat it.

  1. Cool down food as quickly as possible.

To increase shelf life, you want to cool down your cooked food (especially meat) as quickly as possible. In the winter months, after packing your meals in Tupperware, you can place outside for 30 minutes prior to putting it in your fridge. It’s not a great idea to put warm food in a fridge because that can spoil other food already in it. If cooked meat/veg is steaming, I suggest letting it sit and cool down for a few minutes before you put the lid on your container. Otherwise, this condensation will get trapped in your container and it will result in water build-up.

You can watch the entire video from our livestream on Facebook here!

If you are looking for personalized guidance around your nutrition to support your goals and ensure long-term progress both inside and outside the gym, click the link below to speak with a professional Central Athlete coach. We put the pieces together for you by creating a tangible plan in a personalized fashion so that all of your hard work pays off!

In Health, 

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