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The SDN Meal-Prep and Recipie Thread

RogueBanana

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    A big part of overall wellness is your diet. We all know this. But so many of us put off or ignore our nutritive needs for lack of time, planning or funds.

    So I decided to create a thread for the more experienced members of SDN to share their expertise on meal prep and healthy recipies in general.

    A lot of my meal prep sessions have two main goals:

    1- make as much healthy food as possible
    2-accomplish step 1 without going broke.

    So here Is one of my more recent preps with a rough estimate of cost:

    Korean BBQ chicken with Brown Rice and Roasted Peppers

    Shopping list:

    2 big packs of boneless skinless chicken thighs (on sale for $6 each, usually 10) about 4 pounds of meat: $12

    Pack of 6 large bell peppers for $5

    Box of instant brown rice: $2

    Jar of Korean BBQ sauce: $6
    (Get the low sodium one)

    Big bag of California blend frozen veggies: $2-3

    Quaker banana nut protein oatmeal: $4 per box

    Bananas: $3

    Total cost: $34

    How to prep:

    1- open both containers of meat and slather on the sauce

    2- go outside and heat your grill to high

    3- slice up the peppers & put your rice in the microwave while your grill heats up. Thaw and cook the frozen veggies as you see fit (I just boil them for a few minutes)

    4- grab a beer from the garage (I prefer Dogfish, but Harpoon is a great spring grilling beer as well)

    5- throw all of the meat on the grill in a nice neat line. Set a timer for 7 minutes

    6- rotate the chicken halfway through the 7 minutes

    7- look at you go, being all healthy. 10/10 good job.

    8- flip the chicken after 7 minutes, repeat the process of turning halfway through the timer.

    9- sip that sweet nectar of the gods. Damn today is a nice day...

    10- Once the chicken is done, toss the peppers onto the grill for a couple minutes per side, get some nice grill lines on them. Take them out when they turn soft.

    11- bring all the food inside, toss them all in separate containers and portion them out as needed. I like to portion my lunch out beforehand and bring it to work with me

    4 pounds of meat is more than enough protein for any athlete during a 5 day work week. Make the entire box of rice and you get around 2 servings per meal of healthy carbs, plus the protein oatmeal with additional banana for breakfast. You can rotate proteins if you get bored eating the same foods for lunch/dinner every day. $31 for 5 days of food is a great value, and it leaves room in your budget for other healthy snacks and stuff if you're trying to Gain weight instead of lose it. I like to buy protein bars and granola bars to eat before gym sessions. It helps me get my calories up without breaking the bank.

    Yes I put bananas in my banana oatmeal. Sue me.

    -RogueBanana
     
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    Frogger27

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      @RogueBanana I do a very similar thing for my weekly meal prep. Essentially a combination of chicken and veggies that I can use for ~10 meals a week (Lunch and Dinner). I will sometimes substitute cauliflower rice in instead of brown rice if I am on a low carb/calorie kick.
       
      but... but.... but what about the gains....
      arms-sit-here-lol.jpg
       
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      RogueBanana

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        It's a tough time in my life and I am looking forward to putting it behind me in another ~2 weeks. Then itz back to the gain train
        I'm in the same boat.

        I need to cut 1 pound to make weight for my meet in 2 weeks. I've kept the calories constant but upped the intensity of my cardio sessions. Hoping to make it in juuuuust under the weight cutoff
         

        Master_of_Savage

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          I'm in the same boat.

          I need to cut 1 pound to make weight for my meet in 2 weeks. I've kept the calories constant but upped the intensity of my cardio sessions. Hoping to make it in juuuuust under the weight cutoff

          Hows the meet prep been going btw? Do you compete in USAPL?

          Edit: After posting this I realized it was super off topic. My b.
           
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          RogueBanana

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            Hows the meet prep been going btw? Do you compete in USAPL?

            Edit: After posting this I realized it was super off topic. My b.
            It's been going well. This meet came up faster than I thought It would so I'm not where I want to be, but I've still made good progress so I really can't complain.

            I do compete USAPL, 205lb class
             
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            Gurkhali

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              On topic:

              My go to recipe is

              1. get in the car
              2. go to tacobell
              3. get chalupas
              4. enjoy God's gift to mankind's mouth then roll around in the wrappings and cry myself to sleep
               
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              freak7

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                I got one that's pretty easy, healthy, and filled with deceit.

                • 1 cup dry black beans
                • Water
                • 2 packets low sodium taco seasoning
                • 1 brick of extra firm tofu

                Morning:
                1. Place beans in colander and rinse/check for rocks
                2. Fill ~3 quart pot about halfway with water
                3. Add clean beans to water to soak
                4. Go to work/class/yoga/Tatooine
                5. Restore balance to The Force
                Whenever you get back:
                1. Boil the crap out of those beans for a good 10 or so minutes
                2. Reduce heat to medium and let simmer (uncovered if you derped up and added way too much water, or covered otherwise)
                3. Cut the tofu into cubes (I like .5cm x .5cm x .5cm, but you can go bigger)
                4. Add tofu to the beans when the texture of the water becomes thick-ish (could be a few minutes to a few hours depending on how long you soaked them)
                5. Add taco seasoning and mix
                6. Continue simmering until beans are at desired consistency. If you run out of water to play with and the beans are still a little dry, just throw in an extra cup or so of water and continue simmering.
                Meals for 2-3 days for about 4 bucks total.
                 
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                freak7

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                  I've got another tofu recipe actually and this one is super simple and makes a great snack if you get the munchies (looking at you @Dagrimsta1 ).

                  • 1 Brick Extra firm tofu
                  • 1.5 Cups Soy Sauce
                  • 1 tsp (or more, to taste) Chinese Five Spice
                  Press tofu:
                  1. Wrap tofu in towel
                  2. Place on cutting board
                  3. Place cookie sheet/pizza pan on top with a couple paper towels
                  4. Grab your old bio book and stick that on top of paper towels
                  5. Wait ~30 mins for all the water to be pressed out
                  Now the fun part:
                  1. Pour soy sauce in tupperware container
                  2. Stir in five spice
                  3. Add pressed tofu and flip every few minutes
                  4. Allow it to marinate for ~30 mins (more or less for more or less salty)
                  5. Remove from marinade
                  6. Cube tofu (I like ~2cm x 2cm x 2cm cubes)
                   
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                  Ismet

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                    I've got another tofu recipe actually and this one is super simple and makes a great snack if you get the munchies (looking at you @Dagrimsta1 ).

                    • 1 Brick Extra firm tofu
                    • 1.5 Cups Soy Sauce
                    • 1 tsp (or more, to taste) Chinese Five Spice
                    Press tofu:
                    1. Wrap tofu in towel
                    2. Place on cutting board
                    3. Place cookie sheet/pizza pan on top with a couple paper towels
                    4. Grab your old bio book and stick that on top of paper towels
                    5. Wait ~30 mins for all the water to be pressed out
                    Now the fun part:
                    1. Pour soy sauce in tupperware container
                    2. Stir in five spice
                    3. Add pressed tofu and flip every few minutes
                    4. Allow it to marinate for ~30 mins (more or less for more or less salty)
                    5. Remove from marinade
                    6. Cube tofu (I like ~2cm x 2cm x 2cm cubes)

                    Sounds like you eat a lot of tofu. I got a tofu press (mine's called EZ Tofu Press) and it's life changing. No more precariously balancing heavy things on my tofu. :p
                     
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                    freak7

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                      Sounds like you eat a lot of tofu. I got a tofu press (mine's called EZ Tofu Press) and it's life changing. No more precariously balancing heavy things on my tofu. :p
                      I am a man who loves his tofu. But yes! Balancing books on it is the worst. I like the idea of owning a tofu press though, but it does violate the Alton Brown rule concerning "unitaskers". I'm not sure if my usage would negate the point that the rule is making though. I'll have to talk it over with my wife. Thanks for the tip! I'll probably buy one.
                       
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                      Ismet

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                        @Ismet are there any other kitchen uses you can think of for the EZ Tofu Press? I'm prepping my sales pitch.

                        you can probably press out liquid from other things. i know for soft tofu, you can wrap it in cheese cloth and then press it, so you get water out but it doesn't go all over the place, and i imagine you can do that for a lot of other things (spinach comes to mind). i've also been considering making paneer from scratch and that also needs to be pressed.
                         

                        RogueBanana

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                          you can probably press out liquid from other things. i know for soft tofu, you can wrap it in cheese cloth and then press it, so you get water out but it doesn't go all over the place, and i imagine you can do that for a lot of other things (spinach comes to mind). i've also been considering making paneer from scratch and that also needs to be pressed.
                          Wait..... you're supposed to press tofu?

                          I've been just unwrapping it and cutting the block like cheese....
                           

                          ViolaHastings

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                            Here's a couple of my favorites that add some variety to my standard chicken/veggies/rice meals but are still super easy.

                            1. Fill a glass dish with raw, sliced zucchini and squash. Cover both sides of raw chicken breasts with hummus of choice, put chicken on top of veggies and bake. The hummus will spread to the veggies as it bakes, giving them some flavor while the hummus gets crispy on the edges of the chicken but stays creamy everywhere else. So good on top of some rice, and as long as you don't add too much hummus to the dish the veggies reheat well.

                            2. Cube raw chicken breasts, smother with pesto, and bake. The chicken comes out super juicy and flavorful, and you can decide how much of the pesto left in the pan to add to your meals. I usually put it over brown rice and asparagus, but sometimes use pasta, potatoes or different veggies to switch it up more.
                             
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                            RogueBanana

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                              @Dr.Kat If you have/ can get a slow cooker:

                              1 can of beans (your choice)
                              1 can of corn (get the water out first)
                              4 chicken breasts
                              Jar of low sodium salsa or diced tomatoes
                              Low fat cream cheese


                              Throw all of it in except for the cream cheese, set it to low for 8 hours. Go about your day as usual.

                              At dinner time, drop the cream cheese on top to melt.

                              Delicious as heck and easy. It's pretty much just ready for you when you get back from class.
                               
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                              tessellations

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                                I like making burrito bowls/salads.

                                Buy some canned beans, tomatoes, and corn. Pick your meat, spice it up with whatever (taco seasoning works great), and cook it. Cook some brown rice or get some lettuce. Assemble with whatever toppings you like (e.g. salsa, avocado, sour cream, tortilla chips, etc). Profit.

                                Wraps and actual burritos are good too. Nice and cheap.

                                Stir fry is also good. Buy your meat, marinade it (you can buy teriyaki marinade or make your own), and cook it with whatever veggies you like (frozen works fine if you want to save some money). Add some rice and enjoy.

                                Pinterest also has some great recipes if you're looking for some slow cooker inspiration.
                                 
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                                freak7

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                                  you can probably press out liquid from other things. i know for soft tofu, you can wrap it in cheese cloth and then press it, so you get water out but it doesn't go all over the place, and i imagine you can do that for a lot of other things (spinach comes to mind). i've also been considering making paneer from scratch and that also needs to be pressed.
                                  Yeah spinach was kind of along the lines that I was thinking too... I think I can pitch this.
                                   

                                  Gibbward

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                                    Or instead of buying taco seasoning, you can make your own! You'll have to change up the ratios to your personal preferences or the brand of spices you get (spiciness, saltiness, garlic-y,etc.) but these are some good ratios to start with:

                                    1 tbsp chilli powder (flavor varies very greatly with brand, could use more or less)
                                    1 1/2 tsp cumin
                                    1/2-1 tsp oregano
                                    1/4-1/2 tsp garlic powder (flavor varies greatly with brands)
                                    0-2 tsp parika (add little by little to get the amount of heat you want)
                                    salt to taste

                                    Then you can mix these with 1 cup of chicken/veggie stock and 14 oz can of diced tomatoes and you've got a base for chili!
                                    Pro tip: for bean only chili, you can take 1/2 cup or so of your solution, throw it into your blender, do 5 quick pulses, and then mix that back into your pot - and you'll get a nice thicker texture!

                                    EDIT:

                                    Also Frittatas people! or at least bake only frittatas.
                                    10 large eggs, whisked
                                    splash of milk/half and half
                                    1 large russet potato, peeled, cubed into small pieces, and cooked (you can boil 'til soft or fry in pan)
                                    1 whole red pepper, sliced into small pieces
                                    1/2 cup cooked mushrooms
                                    1/2 cup cooked asparagus
                                    handful of grape tomatoes, quartered
                                    your choice of shredded cheese

                                    Toss all the ingredients into an 8X8 pyrex dish, mix so all ingredients are mixed evenly. Then sprinkle some more shredded cheese on the top. Bake in the oven a 350 F for 20-30 min or until eggs are cooked. Then, set your oven to broil and keep your frittata in the oven for 1-2 min until the top is golden brown. Deliciousness.
                                     
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                                    freak7

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                                      Or instead of buying taco seasoning, you can make your own! You'll have to change up the ratios to your personal preferences or the brand of spices you get (spiciness, saltiness, garlic-y,etc.) but these are some good ratios to start with:

                                      1 tbsp chilli powder (flavor varies very greatly with brand, could use more or less)
                                      1 1/2 tsp cumin
                                      1/2-1 tsp oregano
                                      1/4-1/2 tsp garlic powder (flavor varies greatly with brands)
                                      0-2 tsp parika (add little by little to get the amount of heat you want)
                                      salt to taste

                                      Then you can mix these with 1 cup of chicken/veggie stock and 14 oz can of diced tomatoes and you've got a base for chili!
                                      Pro tip: for bean only chili, you can take 1/2 cup or so of your solution, throw it into your blender, do 5 quick pulses, and then mix that back into your pot - and you'll get a nice thicker texture!
                                      Great recipe. I usually make my own too, but I haven't found a decent chili powder since I moved from SoCal. Even the ones I find at Mexican stores don't quite have the flavor profile I'm looking for.
                                       

                                      nonamesleft

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                                        You press the water out so it can absorb whatever marinade you're putting in. You don't HAVE to but it makes a world of difference.

                                        It also makes it easier to cook in the pan since you won't have to deal with all the water just boiling out of the cubes for-freaking-ever.
                                        Have yall tried freezing the tofu and then thawing and cutting before putting it in soup? The freeze/thaw creates holes in the tofu and it picks up pouches of delicious soup. Works better for a medium to firm than a soft though.
                                         

                                        freak7

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                                          Have yall tried freezing the tofu and then thawing and cutting before putting it in soup? The freeze/thaw creates holes in the tofu and it picks up pouches of delicious soup. Works better for a medium to firm than a soft though.
                                          I have! I love it. My wife hates it.

                                          .... so no more frozen tofu in our house
                                           
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                                          Gibbward

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                                            Great recipe. I usually make my own too, but I haven't found a decent chili powder since I moved from SoCal. Even the ones I find at Mexican stores don't quite have the flavor profile I'm looking for.
                                            True that. I used to have a random brand chili powder that had a great flavor. Then I ran out, didn't keep track of the brand, and naive me thought that chili powder brands are all the same. Now, I feel like my spice mix is missing something :(
                                             

                                            freak7

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                                              Mexican Migas (not to be confused with Iberian Migas). This recipe is super versatile and you can basically throw in whatever you want. Think of it like a Mexican breakfast stir fry. YUM.

                                              • Eggs, beaten (I use ~2-3 per person)
                                              • Corn tortillas Chopped into strips (you can do a 2x2 cut for "squares" or a 2x1 cut for strips, about 5 tortillas per person)
                                              • Cheese
                                              • ~2 tbsp Oil
                                              • Onion, chopped (optional)
                                              • Serrano peppers (optional)
                                              • Jalapeno peppers (optional)
                                              • (Almost) literally any other vegetable (optional)
                                              1. Get that big saucepan nice and hot with a little bit of oil in there.
                                              2. Saute vegetables
                                              3. Remove vegetables (or don't, nbd)
                                              4. Add tortilla pieces
                                              5. Cook/toss until they start to get just a little crispy
                                              6. Dump your eggs into the pan
                                              7. Re-add vegetables
                                              8. Scramble all that crap together
                                              9. Remove from pan
                                              10. Apply cheese directly to the forehead
                                              Goes great with salsa or ketchup
                                               
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                                              sweepsingle33

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                                                I'm in the same boat.

                                                I need to cut 1 pound to make weight for my meet in 2 weeks. I've kept the calories constant but upped the intensity of my cardio sessions. Hoping to make it in juuuuust under the weight cutoff
                                                1 pound is like nothing lol. You can easily lose 1 pound of water weight with almost no loss of performance.

                                                Sent from my SM-G930V using SDN mobile
                                                 
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                                                freak7

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                                                  Does anyone else keep a notebook for all their recipes? Just me? ... I even use an old lab notebook lol
                                                  I basically eyeball/memorize everything. The only things I have to really follow a recipe for are more complex stuff that I can't afford to mess up. Pad Thai comes to mind...
                                                   
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