How in the world is it Wednesday already? Two more days and then we’ll be entering the weekend! Woo! Before I take off for my doctor’s appointment (the one that has been rescheduled twice now because of weather), I wanted to share a little healthy tip, and my “how to” on my favorite meal prepped vegetables. I didn’t plan on doing a post like this today, but I received a lot of questions on Instagram after sharing some stories. I figured it would be much easier to do a post to explain it all.
I wonder if any of you can relate to this. I once hated vegetables so much that I maybe ate three vegetables a year. If I did have them, it was because I added lettuce to my subway sandwich, bell peppers to a chicken fajita, tomatoes on a taco, onions on a pizza, carrots drenched in ranch, or onions mixed into my mom’s meatloaf. I HATED HATED HATED anything that fell into the “vegetable” category. I used to obstacle course around the veggies when my mom made chicken noodle soup. I’d practically gag if I accidentally ate a pea.
When I set out on a weight loss journey back in 2009, I knew I was going to have to learn to like vegetables. I started with my mom’s sweet green bean recipe and then started introducing salads into the mix, then stir-frys, and so on. Eventually, I was eating vegetables like it was my job. I was roasting them, grilling them, adding them to omelets, passing up on the ranch, bringing them to school as snacks, and most of my diet consisted of straight-up vegetables. I still feel the same way about them. I genuinely LOVE them. My favorite vegetables are bell peppers, onions, any kind of squash, brussels sprouts, broccoli, kale, spinach, arugula, carrots, radishes…wait…I’m about to name all the vegetables, so I’ll just stop right there.
I think the point that I’m trying to make is that you can train your body to like things. Start small, experiment, but don’t give up on vegetables.
I love using my meal prepped veggies in pretty much everything. I’m currently eating an omelet stuffed with meal-prepped vegetables. You can top your pizzas with meal prepped veggies, add them to salads, eggs, stir-frys, as sides, in pasta dishes, and so on! It’s pretty much endless.
Vegetables are filling, they have a lot of fiber, an excellent source of vitamins, and nutrients, and they are great for maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Preparing food makes your dinner/lunch/breakfast choices on the healthier side. It takes away the stress of thinking about what you’re going to make, taking the time to make it when you’re already hungry, or running to the store to buy groceries every night. It’s nice to have them all ready to go! When I meal prep, I find myself snacking WAY less, even if I’m working from home. And meal prepping doesn’t have to get out of hand. You don’t have to cook for the entire week (like my boyfriend), just make a couple of things that you find yourself eating most of the time. For me, hardboiled eggs, veggies, chopped fruit, and some kind of protein. If you have an issue with produce going bad, maybe try meal prepping the produce instead of letting it sit around. You’re more likely it eat it if it’s already prepared.
Yesterday, I made some of my favorite vegetables to eat throughout the week! I used to roast everything in one pan, but I found out that they don’t all cook equally. There are some vegetables I like better sauteed, and some I like better baked. For instance, to me, onions are just so much better sauteed! I love the crispy glaze they get from the pan. They taste a little sour when baked, but that’s just me!
I bake some and saute others. Some, I do both!
I have found that I like sauteeing onions, bell peppers, summer squash, and zucchini on high with a little olive oil in the pan. When I bake squash and zucchini, they get mushy if I don’t eat them right away. I love baked veggies, but not all of them are equally good when leftover.
Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and carrots are so good when baked! I add them to a greased pan, spray them with coconut oil spray, sprinkle a little black pepper and sea salt on top, and bake them for 30 minutes at 400 degrees. I do take them out halfway and flip them!
After the thirty minutes, I’ll use a spatula and add the broccoli and brussels sprouts to the pan with the sauteed vegetables. In a separate pan, I’ll finish the carrots on high heat for six minutes with a tablespoon of olive oil. I love carrots when they are golden and crisp on the outside.
It only takes 35-45 minutes to prepare and cook these vegetables. That saves me so much time throughout the week! Even if I’m working at home, my time is still valuable. I can get much more work done on the computer instead of spending that time in the kitchen chopping vegetables at every meal. It does help me make smarter decisions when it comes to meal options. This has been the biggest help for staying healthy!
Once all of the vegetables are together, I’ll sprinkle sea salt, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, black pepper, minced onions, and Italian seasoning on top and give them a quick toss. I used to bake the seasoning with the vegetables, but the flavors are stronger when added afterward.
When it comes to the grill, I LOVE ALL VEGETABLES ON THE GRILL. I plan on doing most of my meal prepping outside on the grill this summer. I usually cook them all up on a sheet of tin foil or a grill-safe pan.
I store my vegetables in a large container in the fridge.
This was the omelet I just ate stuffed with my leftover meal prepped veggies and a side of ginger lemon tea! This took ten minutes to make 🙂
Questions for you!
- Have you always loved vegetables?
- What is your favorite vegetable?
- What is your favorite way to cook vegetables?