I loved all the responses I got from the meal planning and prepping post last week! I hope the calendar and grocery list PDF has been helpful, or that it made you think of some good reasons to try it out. Last week before Thanksgiving was what we like to call National Clean Out the Refrigerator/Pantry Week. It’s like a game – how many things can we use up so we have to throw out ZERO food before we leave. The combinations you can come up are honestly hilarious! So when we came back from traveling, we started on a clean slate. Empty fridge equals a world of possibilities for this meal prepping junkie!
Now that all of your stuffing and pie leftovers are (hopefully) gone, try out some of these food preps that are perfect for the fall season! My philosophy of food and health is ALL about balance. Balancing time, energy, cravings, etc. But also ENJOYING the process. Holiday time is the perfect time to practice balance. You want to feel full and indulge in delicious food from time to time, but you don’t want to overdo it. Here are some recipes that help me say no to that second piece of pie while still being satisfied. 😉
These meals are healthy and hearty, and can be used for just about any kind of dinner or social gathering!
Sweet Potato Chili
Running the risk of sounding like a broken record, I LOVE soups/chilis! They are the meal prepper’s best friend. They are versatile, super cheap, and can really fit whatever health plan you’re following. This chili is a favorite in the Novalis house. I first saw one of our good friends put sweet potatoes in their chili a few months ago and was stunned that I had never thought of it! Let’s just say we never get tired of this one.
- your choice of stock – we usually use homemade veggie stock**, but this time we used store bought veggie stock and a red pepper and tomato soup carton
- 3 lbs. lean ground turkey
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 15 oz. can black beans
- 1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes
- 2 chopped sweet potatoes, in small cubes
- 2 chopped onions
- 2 cups water
Cook ground turkey. Combine all ingredients. Let simmer for 45-60 minutes. Top with avocado, and thank me later! Mmm, so good.
**A note about homemade stock:
Like I mentioned before, enjoying food for me is all about balance. Most of the time, I make homemade veggie stock, and it’s the only thing I use for soups/chilis. But here’s a little note to those of us who just really love 100% homemade/healthier things… It’s okay to buy things from the store!! It was one of those crazy weeks when we made this chili, so I made the decision to save my sanity (J was fond of that part) and sacrifice my precious claim to 100% homemade. And you know what.. I didn’t regret it for a second. It was delicious.
I like homemade stock for less sodium intake, so if you’d like to make your own, here’s the insanely easy recipe. It also helps you save on food waste!
Homemade Veggie Stock:
- Save sides/ends of veggies that you would normally discard. Keep in a baggie in the freezer for when you’re ready to make the stock
- Put in pot of 6-8 cups of water. Bring to a boil.
- Let simmer for 30-40 minutes
- Drain and enjoy! Use immediately or freeze in ice cube tray for easy use later!
Crash Hot Potatoes
Inspired by Pioneer Woman’s Crash Hot Potatoes – these are really yummy and a fun way to get your potatoes perfect and crunchy. I LOVE me some crunchy potatoes.
- potatoes of choice (small, round is ideal)
- salt to taste
- pinch of rosemary
Boil potatoes in salt water until tender. Spread olive oil over your baking sheet. When potatoes are tender, place them on baking sheet with plenty of room and slightly mash the potatoes with your potato masher. Brush the top of the potatoes with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and rosemary, and bake for 20-25 minutes at 450 degrees. Enjoy!
Roasted Veggies Batch Bake
These are our meal prep go-tos. We love batch bakes of roasted veggies because it takes up very little time, and can easily be switched up if you get bored with it! A great way to stay on track with your health goals during holiday parties/gatherings is to bring something you know you can eat! I always make sure I bring some veggies to dinner parties.
Choose your favorite veggies and roast them at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes for softer veggies like zucchini and 30-40 minutes for harder veggies like potatoes. Enjoy!
Help! I’ve tried a handful of different bread recipes. When it comes to bread, I always feel like such a newbie in the kitchen! I’m so thankful for so many awesome bloggers with yummy recipes, because bread is most definitely not my thing. This recipe was for an artisan roll, and I added some honey (1tsp), cinnamon (1tsp), and nutmeg(1/2 tsp) to make it sweet. Next time I think I’ll forgo the extra spices and leave it in the oven just a bit longer, but J says it’s great (he’s stuffing a few pieces in his mouth as we speak)! I’m still looking for a favorite bread recipe – what are some of your favorites?? I need a good one to go with all of the soup and chili that we eat! 😉
There you have it – some of my favorite meal preps for the fall time. Let me know if you try any, and hope you enjoy!