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Quick, Easy & Affordable Meal Prep Recipes

After the Thanksgiving food coma and naps, you realize that slaving over the stove is the last thing you want to do again.  Leftover turkey made it in my house for an approximate 3 days before it was all gone.  As I faced the prospect of Monday returning without the happy Thanksgiving leftovers I’d originally envisioned, I had to come up with a quick solution and this is how my quick and easy meal prep was born.  I’m reserving my more elaborate, healthy meal prep on a week where I’m not jet lagged from Thanksgiving.  This menu is not only simple, it’s easy on the wallet, particularly good for when you’ve just hosted both family’s for the holidays.

For breakfast, I devised a hearty breakfast that has all the things I desire in the mornings by baking hash browns, eggs, bacon and cheese all into convenient little bites that are self contained in muffin tins.  To keep things easy, I laid down a base with my favorite hash browns from Trader Joe’s.

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For lunch, I arranged a rich tomato sauce bursting with vibrant veggies over a bed of wild rice for my version of a simplified ratatouille.  Jarred tomato sauce like a marinara from Mezzetta keeps things simple.  Despite it being a quick-fix lunch, you can create depths of flavor by first infusing olive oil with rubbed Italian herbs and fresh garlic.  This helps release the natural oils from the dried herbs and mellows out the sharp edge of garlic.  Later, by seasoning each layer well as you build your ratatouille, you ensure that each bite is well rounded and flavorful.  The final addition of a bay leaf adds that final intensity to your dish and really jazzes up your jarred sauce.  An alternative would be to use my from-scratch tomato sauce.  That’s a sauce I enjoy stewing low and slow nearly all day.

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No matter what my days look like, I always like to squeeze in my green smoothie.  That, paired with a handful of raw nuts and seeds really help get me through my days.

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Quick, Easy & Affordable Meal Prep Recipes
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 3 days of meals. Multiply as needed.
Ingredients
Baked Egg Cups
  • 3 hash brown patties
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 strips cooked bacon, chopped
  • ½ c cheese
Simplified Ratatouille
  • ½ tb olive oil
  • 1 ts dried Italian herbs
  • 2 cloves fresh, minced garlic
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 medium eggplant, chopped
  • 1 medium zucchini, chopped
  • ½ colorful bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 25 oz jar of marinara
  • Handful of fresh, torn basil leaves
  • Bread, rice or pasta to serve
Instructions
  1. For your egg cups, generously grease your muffin tins and push in half of the hash brown patty in 6 cavities.
  2. Vigorously whisk your eggs with salt and pepper and pour on top of the hash browns.
  3. Top with bacon and cheese.
  4. Bake at 350 for 9-12 minutes. Makes 6 standard size egg cups.
  5. For the ratatouille, gently heat the oil and rub in the dried herbs and garlic. Allow this to infused for a couple minutes, making sure not to burn it.
  6. Toss your veggies in this infused oil for 3-5 minutes. If desired, start with the onion first then the eggplant, zucchini and bell pepper.
  7. Add the bay leaf.
  8. Add the marinara.
  9. Allow this to simmer for 10-40 minutes {depends on what texture you want your veggies}.
  10. Before serving, add the fresh, torn basil leaves.
  11. Serve with bread, rice or pasta.

 

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