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Meal Planning + Prep: Turkey Meatballs, Tahini & Basil Lemon Quinoa, Cruciferous Salad and Roasted Cauliflower

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I recently launched my meal planning guide (click here to get it!).  While meal planning and prepping may seem overwhelming, this guide it breaks it down for you.  I’ll show you how I used this guide to plan and prep 4 days worth of dinner meals using a total of 2.5 hours of my time (including planning, purchasing, cooking, cleaning and storing).

STEP 1: How Many Meals?

Here I decided to make enough for 4 meals, planned for Monday-Thursday.  Planning and shopping were done Sunday and cooking was done Monday.  This works for my schedule.

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STEP 2: Choose Foods and Amount for Each Meal

I know my personal portion needs, so this is for me and is not generalized.  You may need more, you may need less.  I listed out all the foods, portions, and total amount needed.  The recipes for this are at the bottom of this post.

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STEP 3: The Extras

Here, I listed all the other ingredients needed for cooking such as oils, herbs, dressings, and spices.  I had all these, so I did not need to buy any.

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STEP 4: Make a list and go food shopping! 

The (not so) fun part, especially at Trader Joes on a Sunday.  I’m the type where if I don’t make a list, I miss one thing and get pissed about it.  For my salad, I really like the Cruciferous Crunch mix as it can hold the dressing well without getting wilted.

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Then its time to cook!  Check out the recipes below.  Make all or just make the ones you like.  I am listing the recipes in the order I made them as I shared some pans to make the prep clean up less cumbersome.

Turkey Meatballs

Yield: 8, 2-oz meatballs

  • 1 pound ground turkey meat
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 2 cup shredded kale
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped basil
  • 1/4 tsp salt and 1/8 tsp pepper

Instructions

  1. Set oven to 350 F and line a sheet pan with parchment paper.  Place a medium saute pan on medium-high heat.
  2. Add vegetable oil to the pan and then add the onion, sauteing for 2-3 minutes.  Next, add the kale and garlic until kale is completely wilted.  Remove from heat.
  3. In a metal bowl, add ground turkey, egg, breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, and kale mixture and thoroughly combine.
  4. Divide meat until 8 even balls using a 1/4 measuring cup and place evenly spaced on a baking sheet.  Place in the oven and cook for 20 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 160 F.

Tahini & Basil Lemon Dressing (For salad and quinoa)

  • 4 cups greens (as noted, I enjoy kale or Cruciferous Crunch from Trader Joes as they hold well in the fridge)
  • 1/4 tahini
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped basil
  • 1/4 cup water

Instructions 

  1. Whisk together the tahini, lemon, vinegar, maple syrup, water and olive oil.  Add in basil and garlic, salt and pepper to taste.  Reserve 1/4 cup for the quinoa and pour the remainder of the dressing over the greens.

Quinoa

  • 1 cup quinoa cooked (yield ~3 cups)
  • 1/2 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 2 cups of kale, shredded
  • 1/4 cup tahini & basil lemon dressing

Instructions

  1. Cook quinoa as directed.
  2. Using the same saute pan from the meatball recipe, wipe it out and add 1/2 tsp of vegetable oil over medium heat.  Add the onion, sauteing for 2-3 minutes.  Next, add the kale until the kale is completely wilted.  Remove from heat.
  3. Add the kale and onion mixture to the quinoa, along with the dressing.  Fold all the ingredients together.  Add salt and pepper as needed for desired taste.

Roasted Cauliflower

  • 1 head of cauliflower, chopped into florets
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and Pepper

Instructions

  1. Up the oven temp to 375 F.  Line a sheet pan with parchment paper (I used the same as the meatballs with a new sheet of parchment).
  2. Combine cauliflower with olive oil, salt, and pepper in a large bowl.  Next, spread the cauliflower over the sheet pan.
  3. Place in the oven and cook for ~20-25 min, or until lightly browned.  If you like them more cooked leave in a little longer.

And that’s it! Protein, carbs, healthy fats and 2 veggies.  Four meals for you to chow down on throughout the week.  If you need to hold longer than 4 days, the quinoa and meatballs can be frozen and reheated (I don’t recommend anything else).

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