A day in the life of nutrition coach Katie: meal prep Monday

I originally intended to share this recipe a couple of weeks ago, alongside this photo of the the groceries I buy in a typical week.  But, life and racing and training and business building and family obligations got in the way, as they do for many of us! 

If loving food shopping is wrong, I don't want to be right. You may never be ecstatic about getting groceries, but with a few tricks you don’t have to hate it either! 

The best meal prep day for me is Monday.  Sundays, my legs and brain are trashed from the bike, and the last thing I want to do is spend quality time in front of a hot stove or oven (true story - we were in a Sunday frozen pizza habit for a while until I started making freezer meals a thing).  

How I approach meal prep:  I start with a look at our schedules for the week, and determine how many meals I need to make.  This is based off of 1 - how often we'll be home, and 2- what I have left in the freezer, fridge, and pantry.  I build a shopping list based off of those meals, and when I cook I double or triple each recipe and freeze half.  

Another tool to make weeknight meals easier: cook batches of basics (potatoes or a grain, veggies, a protein), and combine them with whatever is left in the fridge throughout the week.  The photo below shows one of those creations, which was inspired by local legend/vegetarian restaurant Bouldin Creek. I baked extra potatoes, broccoli, portobellos, and tofu to give us options to build meals later in the week, and made a creamy DIY cilantro dressing (recipe below) to make it a meal.  

Quick Creamy Cilantro-Tahini Dressing*
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup lime juice (4 limes or so)
  • Handful of fresh cilantro, to taste
  • 1 small jalapeño, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 2 tablespoons 2% plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons honey or maple syrup
  • 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • cayenne, sea salt, and black pepper to taste

*inspired by Cookie and Kate’s Anything Goes Green Salad with Green Tahini Dressing

Instructions: add all ingredients to a blender and whip to creamy perfection.  Adjust to taste by adding more heat (cayenne or the seeds from the jalapeño), more creaminess (Greek yogurt or tahini), more tart (lime or Greek yogurt).  Salt will bring out any of the flavors, but add it in pinches so you don't overdo it.

Other recipes I made with the groceries from that week (less than $100!):

  • Red lentil bolognese pasta
  • Slow cooker overnight cherry almond steel cut oats
  • simple bean and quinoa burrito bowls with roasted broccoli (leftover from the Bouldin recipe)

I actually ended up having enough food cooked to where I didn’t even need one of the recipes I'd planned.   If you'd like the full recipe for the Bouldin Creek bowl, or need ideas on how to eat well while maintaining your sanity - reach out to me at itri365katie@gmail.com. I'd love to hear from you. Happy training!