What’s your weekly meal game plan?
Menu Planning for Effective Weight Management
This past week was absolutely gorgeous in the suburbs of Boston. The trees are blooming, flowers and plants are budding and some are even in full bloom. I spent part of the weekend mulching with my kids and really enjoyed being outdoors. I am sitting here on my deck writing this newsletter thinking about the wonders, but also the simplicity of nature. Like nature, simple, good food always amazes and excites me. Most think cooking or putting food together is a daunting and unattainable goal, but when things are broken down, step by step, the daunting task becomes not only manageable, but pleasurable. This can only be achieved with a game plan. Think about it like this: A basketball coach wouldn’t put his team out on the court before drawing up a play, especially if they were in a crucial situation during the game. Same goes with food. If your health is on the line or you want to make sure you stay on top of your “whole body health game”, you need to plan.
Here are 5 quick easy meal prep tips to get you started!
1) Start small. Pick 2-3 recipes you would like to make for the week. Jot down all the ingredients you don’t have in the house and add them to your master food shopping list.
2) Pick one day to do your food shopping and be consistent. If you go to multiple stores, hit them all in the same day.
3) Pick one day a week to do your meal prep and be consistent with the day.
4) Consider batch cooking the 2-3 meals you select. Make double the amount and repurpose. Example, if you make a roasted chicken, make 2 different meals out of that: A chicken salad, chicken sandwiches in addition to the main meal.
5) Buy pre chopped vegetables or frozen vegetables for the recipes you are planning to make. This will substantially cut back on meal prep time. If you plan on using fresh, prepare them all on your meal planning day and have them handy in containers in the refrigerator.
Please consider this super simple Pan Roasted Salmon in Mango Juice recipe below that we created this past week on my “Let’s Do Dinner” Facebook Live. It is an elegant yet simple dish which quite frankly, is worthy of being in a 5-star restaurant’s menu, but can be created in less than an hour for sure. Packed with omega threes and lean PRO, it can be paired with power house greens like an arugula/feta salad or simple spinach sauté. Of course, selecting your recipes for the week, making a list of ingredients needed and executing your shopping trip will be crucial. This can become quite automatic and effortless if you have a plan. Of course, if you come home at 6 or 7 pm tired and “hangry” without a plan, you will probably resort to the “cereal special” or take out which leaves you feeling bloated and just plain awful.
If you feel you struggle with menu planning and often feel frustrated with your meal choices that lead to exhaustion, bloating and weight gain, contact me and let’s chat! I would love to discuss what may be possible for you!
Bottom Line: Quick, simple and delicious meals are within reach. Start with some simple meal prepping and dinners will be a breeze! You will save time and money and your body will thank you for it!
Pan Roasted Salmon Fillets in Mango Juice
(Recipe adapted from William Sonoma)
4 salmon fillets (4-6 oz each), with skin intact, pin bones removed
1 ¼ cup (10 fl oz/310 ml) mango juice
2 Tablespoons of olive oil
2 Tablespoons minced fresh chives and 1 green (spring) onion, including tender parts, finely chopped
2 Tablespoons of garlic finely chopped or jarred
2 Ataulfo mangos chopped.
Juice from 1-2 limes
4-5 cloves of garlic minced
Garlic powder to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Lay the salmon fillet in a baking dish in a single layer, skin side up. Sprinkle salt, pepper, garlic powder and garlic to taste. Pour the mango juice evenly over them. Add a squeeze or two of lime juice. Let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes or leave in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes if cooking later. Remove from the refrigerator and let stand for 10 minutes at room temperature before cooking.
2. Preheat oven to 450 F. Drain the fillets, reserving the mango juice and pat dry.
3. In a large ovenproof nonstick sauté pan, heat the olive oil over high heat. Add the fillets, skin side down. Reduce the heat to medium and cook until the skin is very crisp, about 5 minutes.
4. Transfer the sauté pan to the oven and bake the fillets until the flesh is opaque on the outside but still slightly translucent in the center, 2-3 minutes. Remove from the oven and transfer to a warm platter. Cover loosely with aluminum foil to keep warm.
5. Pour the reserved mango juice and one cup chopped mango in a small saucepan. Add the juice of one lime and bring to a boil, and simmer until thickened, about 5-10 minutes. Whisk and pour the sauce over the salmon fillets. Garnish with the chives, green onions and fresh mango. Serve at once.
Note: Be sure to use a nonstick sauté pan to cook the salmon, or the skin will stick to the pan.
Variations: Other firm-fleshed fillets, such as striped bass, black cod, red snapper, rockfish, tilefish, or arctic char, can be used in place of salmon.
Interested in learning more about meal planning for effective weight management? It’s part of my 1:1 Weight Management Nutrition Coaching package.
For more food demos and recipes, tune in to my biweekly Facebook Lives.