Imagine waking up in the morning to a warm bowl of guilt-free apple pie waiting for you on the kitchen table. Think about what a relief it would be to come home from work to find your dinner already made and the dishes done and put away! ESPECIALLY with so many kids taking virtual classes right now…. I know what you’re thinking…you’re calling total B***S*** right now. News flash ladies: all of this is possible when you meal prep and cook in bulk ahead of time!
In my experience, Sundays are a great day to do this. Hit up the store, come home and don your loungewear, put on some tunes or start up whatever you’re currently binge-watching on Netflix and get cooking!
I’m sharing two of my favorite make-ahead meal prep recipes. All these eats are wonderfully flavorful, yet surprisingly healthy for you. Mega-bonus: you’ll be feeling a little lighter after enjoying these wonderful meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner all week. (If made on Sunday, they will keep through Friday.) Enjoy!
Meal Prep: Baked Apple Pie Steel Cut Oats
This breakfast only tastes like it’s bad for you so enjoy every bite!
2 Tbsp butter, divided (salted or unsalted)
1 1/2 cup steel cut oats
1 pink lady (or sweet flavored) apple, diced very fine
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 c milk (I used coconut milk)
2 1/2 cup warm water
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt (only if using unsalted butter)
Heat your oven to 375°F.
In a large dutch oven or saucepan with a lid, heat 1 tbsp of the butter over medium high heat. When the butter gets foamy, add the oats and stir frequently to fry them for about 3 minutes. When they start to smell toasted, they’re good. Clear as much space as you can in the pan by pushing the toasted oats up against the sides and add the second Tbsp of butter.
Pour in diced apple. After about one minute, give everything a good stir. Next, stir in the sugar and spices and continue frying everything for a few more minutes. Pour in milk and gently stir everything to combine. Next, stir in the water, vanilla and if needed, salt.
Cover with the lid and place in oven to bake 35 minutes.
When removing from oven, be cautious of steam when lifting lid, give everything a really good stir. The oatmeal will thicken as it cools.
Store in the fridge until ready to eat. In the morning, scoop out a serving and re-heat in the microwave for about one minute, stirring halfway through. Great toppings include maple syrup, more sliced apples, walnuts, and ghee.
Roasted Red Pepper, Pumpkin & Turkey Chili
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 lb lean ground turkey
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
- One can kidney beans, rinsed
- 1 can pumpkin puree
- One box roasted red pepper & tomato soup (Trader Joe’s & Pacific Foods both make one)
- Greek yogurt, for serving
- cilantro, roughly chopped for garnish
In a large pot or dutch oven, heat about 1 tbsp oil of your choice over medium heat. Add the onions and allow to cook 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Add the ground turkey to the pan and begin to brown.
Cook 8-10 minutes stirring occasionally until cooked through. Next, add the chili powder, cayenne if using, beans, pumpkin, and soup base. Stir to combine, lower the heat and let simmer 20 minutes. You can simmer longer if time allows.
Ladle into your favorite bowls and top with a dollop of Greek yogurt and sprinkle of cilantro.
This article was originally published in the Fall 2015 issue of Sass Magazine.