One of my goals this month before baby came was to pack my freezer with healthy meals and snacks for easy thawing and eating at all hours of the day. I batch cooked meals little by little on the weekends, freezing in individual portions to maximize freezer space and allow for quick heating and eating. My goal was to make things that could be eaten with one hand or eaten quickly, meals that my family and friends can heat up and prepare easily for me if needed, and foods that were packed with nutrition and nourishment. I also made sure to include plenty of breakfasts, smoothies, snacks, and lunch foods, in addition to traditional dinner or entree meals. For anyone else looking to do the same, here are some of my blog favorites that fit these criteria.
Snacks & Dessert
As January comes to an end, it’s time to reflect on those 2017 goals that we were so excited about on New Year’s. How are you doing? Still going strong? Losing steam? Planning and ready to start in the coming months? To give us all a mindset boost to keep going into February and beyond, here are some great nutrition-related articles from fellow RDs and other reputable sources. And to add to the momentum, a roundup of delicious, nutritious foods for on the go or to freeze for quick meals later when we’re really running out of steam!
- This is How Your Body Detoxes // Skip the juice cleanse, and let your body go through its natural detoxifying process.
- How to Make Almost Any Recipe Vegan // Trying a plant-based diet for the first time? Here are some super simple swaps for your old favorite recipes.
- 7 Tips for Sticking to Your New Vegan Diet // To go along with the above article, a few terrific tips from The Vegan RD.
- Adding, Not Subtracting for a Healthier New Year // Tired of cutting out foods and feeling deprived? Try adding a few things instead.
- Healthy Habit Challenge // Continue the “adding, not subtracting” by starting a healthy habit challenge next month!
- Curried Cauliflower Chowder // Simple, flavorful, and filling on a chilly night.
- Loaded Garlic Kale Potatoes // Hearty and freezer friendly!
- Buckwheat Green Apple Cranberry Avocado Salad // As the weather starts to warm up and the days get longer, this salad makes me long for Spring!
- Marinated Peanut Tempeh // A protein and healthy fat packed addition to your standard salad or stir fry.
- Morning Glory Breakfast Cookies // Treats for breakfast! Or a midnight snack. Or freeze for anytime.
Focusing on everything “on the go” this week, having quick and easy handheld meals can be extremely helpful, especially if you are juggling a busy work schedule, little kids, or midday appointments. While leftovers, sandwiches, or pre-made salads can be a fast go-to, these calzones also work in a pinch, especially if its chilly outside and you’re craving a hot meal. Full of protein and fiber from the chickpeas, calcium and iron from the kale, and healthy fats from tahini, this is a nutrient-packed meal that works for anyone on the go or as a slow, sit down family meal.
Mediterranean Chickpea and Kale Calzones
1 tsp olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 head kale, shredded (or collard greens)
1 16 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/4 c tahini
1 lemon, juiced
1/2 tsp red pepper flake
1 premade pizza dough of choice
2 c marinara sauce (optional)
1 c shredded vegan provolone cheese (optional)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (or given temp for pizza dough of choice). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook for 5 minutes or until translucent. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Add kale to pan and let wilt down. Add chickpeas and stir to combine. Let cook for a few minutes.
Add tahini and lemon juice to pan. Scrape the bottom of the pan to break up any browned bits. Add red pepper flake and season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir to combine.
Roll out dough into four rounds. Divide kale mixture evenly among each calzone, leaving space around the edge to fold over. Top with vegan cheese if desired.
Fold dough over in half, crimping the ends together to seal. You may need a little water to help the dough to stick together.
Cut 2 slits in the top of each calzone. Place on prepared baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes, until tops are lightly browned.
Serve with marinara sauce.
Copyright 2016 Neat & Nutritious.
Per serving (1 calzone, no sauce or cheese): 501 calories, 77 g carbohydrate, 13 g fat, 20 g protein, 922 mg sodium, 6 g sugar