Make-ahead meals

Day 7: The Final Rice Bowl

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The final day! I am so humbled by everyone coming to the blog to check out these delicious recipes – and thank you to my amazing friends & colleagues for contributing their time and delicious recipes to make this blog series come to life.

It’s no secret that each of us live extremely busy lives – we are all studying to be doctors while simultaneously maintaining personal lives and perusing other dreams. It’s a balancing act that after 3 years, you’d think we had down pat, but it continues to be a learning process. This series came to life for me when I realized that my arsenal of make-ahead meals was lacking inspiration. I NEED to make large batches of food to ensure I’m eating a nutritious lunch or else I either won’t eat or I’ll find myself eating something I know is causing me more harm than good. Grab’n’go is vital for any busy body.

I hope you all enjoyed the recipes as much as I did and now have a fridge full of meals for the week ahead.

This final recipe comes from a recent dinner I had with friends before an intuition seminar. We went to Fresh, a vegetarian restaurant in Toronto that was new to me. My dinner was delicious, however, my girlfriend’s was better and inspired me to come home and recreate her bowl as my new lunch staple.

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Here is my adaptation of the Fresh Beach Bowl:

Ingredients:

2 cups Brown Basmati Rice

2 Chicken breasts

1 Avocado

1 Red pepper

1 Large sweet potato

Copped coleslaw mix

1/2 cup sunflower seeds

1 Lemon

3 tbsp Olive Oil

Oregano

Basil

Goat cheese

Directions: [Note: Preheat oven to 400]

Step 1: Cook 2 cups brown Basmati rice as per package instructions. Drizzle with 2 tbsp olive oil, and spice with salt and pepper.

Step 2: Scrub the sweet potato and microwave for 5 minutes. Bake (skin on) for 20 minutes at 400.

Step 3: Season 2 chicken breasts with salt, pepper, oregano, basil and the juice of 1/2 a lemon and bake for 20-25 minutes on 400.

[I like to cook my chicken breast in a dish with a bit of no salt added chicken broth to keep it moist]

Step 4: Slice red pepper and toss in a bowl with a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper and bake for 10-12 minutes until soft

Helpful Tip: I put my chicken and sweet potato in the oven at the same time and with 12 minutes left I tossed the red pepper onto the baking sheet with the sweet potato.

Step 5: While everything is baking, slice tomato and avocado.

Step 6: It’s time to build your bowls! Layer the bottom with rice and add red pepper, sweet potato chunks, chicken pieces, avocado, and tomato to the top. Sprinkle on sunflower seeds and goats cheese. Add a handful of chopped coleslaw for crunch. Squeeze the juice of a lemon wedge and enjoy!

The best part about this is recipe is it is so adaptable to what you have in the fridge or what you’re feeling like that day. It’s less of a stir-fry and more of a warm salad – and it’s delicious!

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I want to thank everyone again for joining us for the 7-day recipe giveaway – I hope you all took away a recipe that you can work into your weekly rotation. More importantly, I hope that having a freezer full of meals has alleviated some of the stress that is so common at this busy time of year.

The ladies each contributed a delicious and nutritious meal – if you’re looking for more inspiration for your health & wellness journey check out their blogs:

Emily Freistatter: https://emilyfreistatter.wordpress.com/

Emily Martin: https://celiacbynature.wordpress.com/

Samina Mitha: http://naturallycured.blogspot.ca/

Jodie Tatlock: https://freespiritedhealth.wordpress.com/

Kaitlyn Zorn: http://kaitlynzorn.wordpress.com/

Ashley Margeson: http://www.ashleymargeson.com/

Enjoy!

In love & health,

Kelsey.

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Day Four: Warming Sweet Potato and Kale Soup

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Soups are a great meal to have handy in the fridge during those busy weeks – especially now that winter has hit. Making your own homemade soup is SO easy and will be lower in sodium and preservative-free. Jodie, author of Free Spirited Health, shares a delicious soup with us for Day 4.

If you’re anything like me then you’re probably always chilly, long for the sun, and love sitting beside a warm fire. These qualities are the reason I always turn to hearty soups during the winter months. In Asian Medicine warming foods during cold seasons are thought to help our body’s function optimally. And, did you know that Sweet Potatoes are full of vitamins (especially A and C), they help regulate our digestive tracts, and can even help fight stress with their relaxing properties? Not to mention the health benefits of Kale: natural antioxidant (to help detox our bodies from toxins), anti-inflammatory, and a great source of iron and calcium.

 

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Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp (15ml) olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped sweet-onion
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped carrots (I’ve recently been switching this to squash)
  • ½ tsp salt and pepper
  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
  • 6 cups of cubed sweet potatoes
  • 4 cups chopped kale

 

Directions:

  • Heat oil in a large saucepan at medium to high heat
  • Add onion, celery, carrot (squash if you prefer), salt and pepper
  • Cook until tender (approx. 5 minutes)
  • Add broth and bring to a boil
  • Add sweet potatoes and bring to a simmer
  • Cook until sweet potatoes are tender (approx. 10 minutes)
  • Finally, add Kale and cook for 10 minutes (for best results, remove stems and massage in warm water before adding)
  • Let cool slightly
  • Depending on preferred texture: mash with a hand-held potato masher or transfer to a blender in small increments until smooth
  • If desired, add water until preferred thickness
  • Sprinkle on favourite spice (warmer spices are: cinnamon, crushed red pepper, cayenne, or ginger)

 

Makes approx. 6 servings and each serving contains:

  • 190 cal
  • 4g protein
  • 3g fat
  • 7g fibre

 

This soup is perfect for anyone who is always on-the-go and finds packing a lunch difficult. Make this on a Sunday and fill 6 Mason Jars for an easy, healthy, and delicious pre-made lunch during the long and busy weeks!

Enjoy!!
Jodie

 

As a student of Naturopathic Medicine I am passionate about inspiring health in myself and in others – I believe that health extends further than our physical symptoms and treating the mind and soul are equally important. Please like my blog to see more about myself and to check out my other posts. www.freespiritedhealth.wordpress.com

Connect with Jodie on Facebook @ Jodie Tatlock, on Instagram @jodietatlocknd, on Twitter @jodietatlock and follow her blog Free Spirited Health.

 

Day Two: Butternut Squash Mac’n’Cheeze

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How was Day One?! Here is a delicious recipe from (another) Emily that she has adapted to follow some food restrictions she has. Emily started blogging here to share her food journey with other individuals managing Celiac Disease. Make sure to check some of her other awesome recipes and health tips!

 

My name is Emily and I’ve been blogging for about a year now! I started Celiac By Nature because I wanted a place to talk about the struggles I have gone through since being diagnosed with celiac disease and the different things I have tried as I work towards better digestive health. It can be really frustrating and sometimes lonely to be struggling with a chronic disease and I wanted to be able to help other people going through the same things! I blog about eating gluten free while traveling, diets I have tried, gluten free recipes, and other general health topics! You can be sure that there is never any gluten on my blog!!

 

I have cut out tons of different foods over the last few years to try and figure out my triggers. It has been a really challenging experience but also really rewarding and kind of exciting as I start to see major improvements! The diet I saw the most benefit from was the low FODMAP diet. For more information on it check out my blog post here: https://celiacbynature.wordpress.com/2013/10/20/the-low-fodmap-diet/

 

With all my dietary restrictions, I have to be very creative with recipes and make sure to stay on top of meal planning, especially during busy times! The following recipe is one of my favourites to make when I’m busy because it is simple, nutritious, and makes enough for a lot of meals! I also love this recipe because it is so versatile! My version is gluten free, dairy free, and low FODMAP but you can make whatever adjustments necessary for your diet. You could add some canned tuna to give it some extra protein, you could add cheese instead of nutritional yeast for a more authentic mac and cheese experience, and you can use whatever pasta you like best!

 

BUTTERNUT SQUASH MAC ‘n CHEEZE (Vegan, Gluten-free, Nut-Free)

Ingredients:

  • 1 butternut squash (Only use 1 cup of it for the cheeze sauce)
  • Olive oil, salt, pepper
  • 1 tbsp earth balance (or butter)
  • ¾ cup almond milk
  • 1 tbsp arrowroot powder
  • 6 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • ½ tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp salt and black pepper
  • Pasta of choice (I used gluten free pasta)
  • Swiss chard (or whatever mix-in you would like to add)

Directions:

  1. Roast butternut squash at 425F for about 40 minutes
    1. Peel and chop the squash into cubes
    2. Coat with olive oil, salt, and pepper
    3. Place cubes into a casserole dish (lined with tin foil)
  2. Prepare cheeze sauce
    1. In a pot on the stove top, add earth balance and melt over low-medium heat.
    2. In a bowl, whisk milk and arrowroot powder together to get rid of any lumps and then add it to the pot and stir.
    3. Stir in nutritional yeast, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
    4. Whisk over low heat until the sauce thickens slightly (about five minutes)
  3. The recipe also says to add Dijon mustard, onion, and garlic. I don’t add these and it still tastes delicious but they would definitely be a good addition if you tolerate onion and garlic (they are not low FODMAP).
  4. Prepare mix-ins (I have only added swiss chard but I think you could add almost any veggie!)
    1. Wash and cut swiss chard into pieces
    2. Heat some olive oil in a frying pan and cook the swiss chard to your liking (I cook mine for about 5 minutes).
  5. Cook pasta according to the package directions.
  6. When the squash is done roasting, add 1 cup of squash and the cheeze sauce to your blender and blend until smooth.
  7. In a large bowl, combine cooked pasta and cheeze sauce/butternut squash mixture and mix until the pasta is coated with the sauce. Then, add the mix-ins. You can also add any left-over roasted squash.
  8. And you’re done!! Enjoy it warm or put it in the fridge so you have pre-prepared dinner for yourself all week 🙂

 

Adapted from: http://ohsheglows.com/2011/10/03/butternut-squash-mac-n-cheeze/

 

I hope that you enjoy this recipe as much as I do and that you have a happy and healthy winter season!!

 

Emily

 

I originally posted this recipe on my blog last year at: https://celiacbynature.wordpress.com