Mexican Inspired Meal Prep Bowls

To be honest, I’m excited to be going back to school. It’ll be good to get out of the house and see some other humans. I’m even a little excited to make lunches again! Although I know I’ll probably be sick and tired of it after the first week. That’s why there’s this awesome thing called MEAL PREP. You just make a bunch of delicious food, throw it in containers, and store it in the fridge for when you need it next. A while ago I published a Black Bean Stew that’s great for meal preppin’, and I also have a TON of freezer meals that you can make and then just reheat in the morning. Today I made some Mexican Inspired Meal Prep Bowls, which are AMAZING and full of flavour and good stuff that’ll fill you up. Because not being full is reason number 353378 that school lunches can sometimes suck. Keyword sometimes. Your lunches won’t suck after this.

In these bowls I put a lot of veggies, some quinoa, delicious refried beans, and a KILLER homemade salsa that will knock your socks off. This can all come together in about 30 minutes, and that 30 minutes will save you from a lot of pain later on in the week. You know when you’re like, oh, I’ll just throw a random granola bar in my bag because that’s all I need, and then you seriously regret it at lunch? Problem solved. Now you can throw this in your bag instead. Just maybe don’t actually throw it because then the lid might come off and your backpack will smell like salsa.

I know I said this last year and probably every year before that too, but this year I’m really going to be more organized will meal prepping. Join me in this quest to end LLS (Lazy Lunch Syndrome). I’ll definitely be posting more meal prep recipes, and some tips and tricks for making awesome lunches. Make sure you’re following me on Instagram to stay up to date!!

Mexican Inspired Meal Prep Bowls

Serves: 2 (feel free to double or triple the recipe to prepare for the entire week)

Total Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 cup frozen corn, defrosted
  • 1 small carrot, grated
  • 1 can of **ORGANIC** black beans; reserve 1/2 cup of the liquid, then drain and rinse the rest. Please use organic black beans, because when using the liquid you want to make sure it’s just water and salt, and there’s no preservatives.
  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 a lemon
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed cilantro
  • A big handful of cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1/4 of a white onion, diced
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the black beans and use a fork or wooden spoon to mash them a bit. After cooking for about 2 minutes, add in the liquid from the can, then stir and continue mashing. Season with salt and pepper, and about a teaspoon of lemon juice. Cook until the beans have thickened and most of the liquid is evaporated, about another couple of minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  2. Place the diced tomato, diced onion, garlic, cilantro and the rest of the juice from the lemon in the blender, and season with some salt and pepper. Give in a few pulses until it reaches your desired consistency.
  3. Evenly divide the quinoa, corn, grated carrot, refried beans, cherry tomatoes, and salsa into two tupperware containers. Store in the fridge until needed!!

I hope you guys try these out! Have a great rest of your Monday, and an awesome first day at school, however that will look like for you!!

Yours Truly,

Olivia:))

Zucchini and Olive Pasta Bake

It’s SUMMA TIME and there’s an abundance of zucchini! Zucchini is delicious fried, roasted, in a fritter, and in salad, but today we’re using it in a Pasta Bake. Our guest star is the olive, which adds so much dang flavour into the sauce. If you’re not a fan of olives you can leave them out, but you don’t know what you’re missing. Don’t be a party pooper and just throw them in there!

We’re using my fave kitchen tool again- the amazing veggie peeler- to create little zucchini rolls for the bake.

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The pasta that I used was Go Go Quinoa brand macaroni, and it usually takes about 4 minutes on the stove top to cook. I baked it in the oven for 10 minutes, and it was just slightly past al dente. So if you’re using just regular wheat macaroni or small shells (you don’t want to go any bigger with your pasta selection) that normally take 7-9 minutes to cook in boiling water, I bake them for 10-15 minutes for an al dente texture. My recipe below doesn’t account for that, so just keep in mind what kind of pasta you’re using when baking this bake.

And that concludes my Ted Talk about how great this pasta bake is! DEFINITELY try it out and let me know what you think because it is now officially one of my favourite recipes. Here it is!

Zucchini and Olive Pasta Bake

Serves: 3-4

Total Time: 50 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 large zucchini
  • 1/2 a red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 can of red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 200 ml can of sliced black olives, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp red chilli flakes
  • 1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup Go Go Quinoa Macaroni **see note above if using a different pasta**
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add in the sliced onions and cook until translucent, about 6 minutes. Add in the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes, then add the beans, olives, tomatoes, basil, oregano, balsamic vinegar, chilli flakes, and some salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and then turn the heat to low and cook for 25 minutes.
  2. While the sauce is simmering, use the veggie peeler to create as many zucchini ribbons as you can. The centre part of the zucchini, where the seeds are, won’t make nice ribbons, so you can dice it up at toss it in the sauce, making sure it has at least 10 minutes to cook in there.
  3. Add the macaroni into a small glass loaf pan or baking dish. Roll up each zucchini ribbon into a little rosette and place evenly spaced out in the pasta, like this:
  4. Once the sauce is done simmering, preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Add the 1/2 cup of water to the sauce and bring it to a hard simmer before removing it from the heat. Scoop enough of it into the baking dish so that the pasta and zucchini are fully covered, about 2-3 cups of sauce. You may have some sauce leftover that you can eat with the pasta after it’s baked or save for later.
  5. Cover the glass dish with foil (shiny side down) and bake for about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and enjoy!

Hope you like this pasta dish! See you Wednesday;))

Yours Truly,

Olivia;)

Stove Top Baked Beans

Hey guys! The weather is finally getting nicer and nicer, and I’m really starting to miss those summer barbecues! While we’re all stuck at home, you can still have a taste of summer time. These Stove-Top Baked Beans bring together caramelized onions, garlic, vinegar, and spices to make the perfect side dish.

I feel like all of my recipes are super versatile right now, because it can be hard to get super specific ingredients. You can use pretty much whatever canned beans you’d like in this recipe. I used black beans and red kidney beans to keep it interesting. Beans are so good man! They’re definitely underrated but are a great source of protein. In this dish, they’re great as a side with another protein, or just with some pita or bread. The recipe below makes a pretty big batch, which you can always halve if you don’t want to make too much. Or double it and freeze some for later- I haven’t tried that yet but I’m sure it would be great for when you’re in a pinch and are craving some beans. And lets be honest, that was me all the time before quarantine started. Now I’m still carving beans but I have more than enough time to make em.

I also caramelized the onions more than usual in these beans, to give them extra flavour. You want them nice and soft and brown. Maple syrup gives this recipe some sweetness, and red wine vinegar cuts through the sugar. The result are some seriously good beans! And since I made them on the stove they take less time to make as well. How can you go wrong? Here’s the recipe.

Stove Top Baked Beans

Serves: 8 as a side (I have a lot of bean eating to do)

Total Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 a medium sized yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp shawarma spice (or use smoked paprika)
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne powder
  • 2 cans of beans, drained and rinsed (I used black and red kidney)
  • 2 tsp pure maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-low heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook until the onions are translucent, about 6 minutes. Add in the shawarma spice or paprika and cook for an additional 5 minutes, until the onions are soft and caramelized. Add water or more oil if the pot starts drying out.
  2. Put the beans, tomatoes, vinegar, maple syrup, cumin, and cayenne pepper in the pot and stir until combined. Bring the mixture to a simmer and then turn the heat to low.
  3. Cover the beans and let them cook for about 20-30 minutes. Remove from the heat, season liberally with salt and pepper, and enjoy;)

Hope these beans transport you to an awesome summer BBQ!

Yours Truly,

Olivia;))))

Curried Sweet Potato Pita Pockets

Hi guys! Today I have an AWESOME recipe for you guys; these Curried Potato Pita Pockets are one of my favourite recipes ever! They’re super quick and easy to make, plus they pack in SO much flavour and freshness. Sweet potatoes are life my friends, so they had to be included in this recipe too. I was inspired by a veggie samosa wrap by VeganRicha, but I changed and simplified the recipe and it turned out great! The sweet potatoes are roasted with some red bell peppers in cumin and curry powder, then mashed a bit and paired with a fresh cilantro-y bean salad in a warm pita. Basically, my dreams in a pocket of bread. These pitas make great leftovers to, and will definitely be one of my go-to lunch recipes when I’m back at school. Enjoy the recipe;)

Curried Sweet Potato Pita Pockets

Serves: 3

Total Time: 50 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 large sweet potato or yam
  • 1/2 a red bell pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp +1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 can of red kidney beans, drained and rinsed (chickpeas or black beans can be used in a pinch)
  • 1/4 cup packed cilantro leaves
  • 1/4 of a red onion, diced
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 3 whole wheat pitas
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (after 200 posts I finally managed to spell Fahrenheit right the first time!)
  2. Peel the sweet potato and cut it into very small cubes, a little less than a centimetre in size. Chop the bell pepper into the same sized cubes and place the veggies on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  3. Toss the veggies in the olive oil, curry powder, 1 tsp of cumin and some salt and pepper. Place the pan into the oven and roast for about 20-25 minutes, until the sweet potatoes and peppers are soft.
  4. Meanwhile, toss the red kidney beans, tomato, red onion, cilantro, 1/2 tsp of cumin and lemon juice together in a bowl and set aside.
  5. Once the veggies are roasted, remove them from the oven and transfer to a large bowl. Use a fork to mash the mixture, leaving some sweet potato chunks whole.
  6. Warm up the pitas in the microwave and cut or rip them in half. Open up each half so that it forms a pocket, and scoop equal amounts of the roasted veggies and bean salad into them.
  7. Enjoy!

Hope you guys love this recipe as much as I do! Thank you for reading and I’ll see you on Friday;))

Yours Truly,

Olivia;)

Beans and Broccoli

Hey there! Today I have another fantastic recipe that can be easily frozen and is great for meal prep. This take on beef and broccoli uses red kidney beans to make a delicious vegan meal. When the beans are fried, they resemble ground beef, and the seasoning used enhances their flavour. These beans and broccoli are great with quinoa, noodles, or in a salad. Hope you enjoy!

Beans and Broccoli

Serves: 2-3

Total Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 can of red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tsp + 1 tbs soy sauce
  • 1/2 tbs chili flakes
  • 1/2 tbs garlic powder
  • 1/2 tbs ginger
  • pepper to taste
  • 1/2 a head of broccoli, separated into small florets.
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1/2 tbs sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp maple syrup
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • quinoa, for serving (optional)

Directions:

  1. In a bowl, mash up the beans, leaving some whole. Stir in 1 tsp soy sauce, the chili flakes, garlic powder, ginger, and pepper.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add in the bean mixture and the broccoli florets and cook for about fifteen minutes, until the broccoli is tender and the beans begin to resemble ground beef in texture; crumbly and firm.
  3. Mix the sesame oil, 1 tbs soy sauce, maple syrup and garlic in a small bowl. Pour over the beans and broccoli and stir, cooking for two more minutes.
  4. Serve over quinoa with green onion and enjoy!

Hopefully this recipe helps you get ahead this week:))

Yours Truly,

MyDayIsBooked;))