Hello! It feels good to be back. I took a few days off to compensate for Christmas and New Years and all of the craziness in between.
Like everyone else, I’m trying to start off 2016 healthy. I’ve been battling some post-college weight gain for the last year or so, and while I was doing great for a time, I’ve fallen off the wagon a bit.
Now it’s time to get back on.
To make myself more accountable, as well as share some fun meal prep ideas, I thought I’d make it a regular thing to share my breakfast and/or lunch plans for the week on Mondays. Some background: Every week I grocery shop on Sundays and try to make my breakfast and lunches for the week ahead of time. It saves me time, calories and money during the week.
For the first installment, I thought I’d share one of my favorites: An easy, healthy mezze platter.
If you’re unfamiliar, a mezze platter is basically is a mix of Mediterranean picky foods or snacks. It can contain dips like hummus and baba ghanoush, as well as items like falafel, olives, feta and pita for picking up all of the deliciousness.
I wanted a change of pace for lunch this week, so I decided to pull together some of my favorites. It’s not necessarily a recipe per se, but an easy-to-replicate idea if you’re stuck in a rut.
Note: While you can make everything from scratch, I went with store-bought versions. I like spending time meal-prepping on Sundays, but everyone once and a while it’s nice to just have to throw a few things together.
I start by taking my lunch block (a great investment, btw… you can get it here) and add in ½ cup of store-bought tabouli. I picked up a tub of it at Giant (I know Costco has some too) and it’s surprisingly really good and clocks in at about 150 calories per half cup. Then, I add in 2 big green olives and 2 stuffed grape leaves, both from Giant’s olive bar. Most grocery stores have a similar set up. The olives are minimal calories, and the stuffed grape leaves are roughly 45-50 calories apiece.
For $5 I also picked up a frozen box of falafel balls at Giant. They’re 380 calories for 7 pieces, which is roughly 50 calories for each ball. I put 3 in the medium size box of my lunch block.
Then in one of the small boxes, I add in 1 tablespoon of tzatziki-flavored hummus. You could do any dip here; I just liked the idea of the tzatziki flavor with some added protein. The other small box gets a clementine.
Once I get to work, I nuke the falafel for 45 seconds, add it to the tabouli and grape leaves, and mix in some hummus. It’s seriously delicious, and totals out to just under 400 calories for the whole thing.
Breakfast was even simpler. I made easy-peasy chia pudding. Take some chia seeds (packed full of fiber and antioxidants), place them in a bowl and top with double the amount of your desired milk (I like unsweetened vanilla almond). Soak it overnight. Personally, I make a big batch for the entire week and then top it with some almond butter and a dash more milk in the mornings.
So that’s it! The meals are super simple this week, but delicious. Plus, for everything (breakfast, lunch and a daily Greek yogurt as a snack), it cost me roughly $25.
One quick note: With the mezze platter it’s super easy to overdo it and end up with 150 calories worth of hummus sitting on 400 calories of falafel — portion control is key my friends! Good luck with your resolutions!
What are you taking for lunch this week? Share your healthy menu options in the comments below!