Hey Munchies! Welcome , I have had many request for an meal prep and I’ve avoided doing it mostly because the nearest Aldi is about an hour away from me. So I can’t feasibly shop there regularly. But when I lived in New York City, actually when I started Mind Over Munch, I would trek up to Harlem to go to Aldi because I couldn’t afford New York groceries and Aldi made it possibly for me to eat well on my budget. So, it is very near and dear to my heart, it is very nostalgic to me, and I do wish we had one closer but anyway, I finally managed to trek out to our nearest Aldi and decided to do a meal prep video with it. Here is the thing about Aldi, ya never know what you’re gonna get. They don’t always have the same items, especially fresh produce or meats available. So I sort of had to go with a loose plan and make up the rest on the fly. The whole haul cost me about $55. I didn’t buy condiments or pantry or canned ingredients that I already had but that was also with buying some higher priced and organic items, which I’ll show you along the way. It probably could have been about $40 if I hadn’t chosen some of those higher priced items. The prep I’m showing you today is for two people for four full days. I find that it’s most sustainable to prep for weekdays and not weekends and I also like to leave a day off if I eat out or have a work lunch. I planned out what I could using my Meal Prep Ignite system from my Meal Prep course. You can learn more about it in the description box below. Enrollment is currently closed but one cool feature to keep in mind for next time that it’s open, we now have the ability to generate a grocery list from whatever recipes you want digitally. It does the math for you. For breakfast I’m starting off with some no-bake peanut butter oatmeal raisin bars. First I whip up some coconut cream or milk, either works but make sure it’s full fat. Now Aldi only sometimes carries coconut milk so beware but I always keep it on hand in my pantry. Then I drizzle in some honey or you could use agave or maple syrup for vegan. I add some creamy natural peanut butter. I got this one from Aldi. They had a cheaper one but the ingredients weren’t as great and this one only uses peanuts and salt, which I prefer. So the cost was worth it for me. I also add in cinnamon, then I add in oats, also from Aldi for a very affordable price, and raisins. I pressed that mixture into a baking dish lined with foil or parchment and then refrigerate for a few hours until firm. Then I can cut it into bars or squares and save for the week. These keep up to a week in the fridge or freeze for a month. I love how easy these are. Such few steps and ingredients and no baking. They’re like a grab-and-go oatmeal option and for those of you wondering, nope ya don’t even taste the coconut here. It’s all peanut butter, oatmeal, and raisin goodness. Leftovers are great for a snack too. For lunch this week I’m making cold BBQ bowls or plates, depending on how you serve it. I love these because they don’t need to be reheated, which is great for on the go, but of course you can heat it if you prefer. Let’s start with my potato salad. Potatoes are always a good ingredient to keep costs down. This whole bag of baking potatoes cost me $1.99 at Aldi. I add peeled potatoes to a large pot and cover with cold water. Heat to the point of boiling and cook until delicate, around 15 minutes. Drain and cool. I also boil some eggs and allow those to cool. I got these organic eggs at Aldi for only 2.79. I couldn’t believe it. For my potato salad I’m using avocado oil mayo which I make regularly from scratch. It’s easier, much healthier, and less processed and it’s even Whole 30 compliant. For the may I add avocado oil, which by the way Aldi has an amazing low price for. I have never seen avocado oil priced this low, an egg, lemon juice, mustard, and salt to a tall measuring cup or wide container and then use my immersion blender to pulse. Watch as the mayo forms before your eyes. You can save this for later but I’m using it in this week’s potato salad. Along with the mayo, I add relish, mustard, garlic, salt and pep, and mix. Then I can add my cooled potatoes, – [Deep Male Voice] Babe. – chopped boiled eggs, and celery. So easy.
Cool for later. For my protein I’m simply grilling up some chicken on my indoor grill pan. I brush the pan with some oil and add the chicken tenders seasoned with salt and pepper and flip. I love the grill marks. These tenders were organic, so they’re a little more expensive per pound but I do try to buy organic and grass fed when I can. If it’s not in the budget then I just do the best I can with what I have. I let those tenders cool a bit, chop them, and then just toss them with barbecue sauce. So, I had most of the condiments I needed for this prep already at home but I was out of barbecue sauce. At Aldi they had three choices and I pretty much looked at the ingredients and the label of each to determine which I wanted. Now, it is hard to find a barbecue sauce with no added sugar unless it’s a specialty item from Thrive Market or something like that. But it’s always good to try and look for less sugar because there’s a lot of variation. One of these had 16 grams of sugar per serving, one had 15 grams of sugar, and one had six grams of sugar. So that’s what I went with today. I simply tossed my chicken in that and boom, it’s good to go. You could of course also make your own barbecue sauce but I didn’t wanna spend the time this week. I had too much going on. I have to remind myself that being healthy isn’t about being perfect. In an ideal world sure, I’d make all of my own condiments with perfect ingredients and buy everything organic and not ever use foil or plastic or waste food but this isn’t a perfect world and I’m not perfect. All I can do is my best and this week that meant store bought barbecue sauce with six grams of sugar. I’m okay with that. For my veggie I wanted to do a green bean salad but Aldi didn’t have any green beans this week. Like I said, ya get what ya get at Aldi and you can’t always predict what that’s going to be. But, they did have asparagus so I figured I’d use that instead. I chop asparagus and add it to boiling water, blanching for a quick minute or two until vibrant green. Transfer to an ice bath to cool and then let it dry a bit. Then I tossed those with grape tomatoes, also affordable from Aldi, red onion, feta cheese, slivered almonds, which were one of my more expensive items but I think the crunch really adds to the salad so it’s worth it for me, you can of course omit, and I drizzle with a little olive oil and salt and pepper. So easy. I store the entire lunch in these divided meal prep containers with a lemon wedge to season that salad fresh at the time of eating. I didn’t have eight of the same containers but it doesn’t matter. Just store it in what you have. Now remember, I made this because I can eat the entire thing cold but you can eat it warm. Some people like warm potato salad. Or, you could store it separately. Listen guys, you don’t have to do what I’m doing here. Do it the way that makes you want to eat it. These are so satisfying. I’ve got my protein, carbs, fat, veggie, and flavor, and best of all they’re ready to go. The asparagus salad has awesome textures and a salty bite with the feta and almonds. You could totally use green beans if you prefer. That potato salad is cool, creamy, and has a nice crunch from the celery. The chicken is tender from the grill and sweet from the barbecue sauce. It all goes well together and hot or cold. For snacks, I chopped the rest of my celery and add it to a jar filling it with water to keep it fresh and crisp. I’ll serve that with extra peanut butter for dipping along with other snacks like the rest of the boiled eggs to have on hand, some blueberries that were on sale, oranges, which are another good low-priced fresh item, and I grabbed some of this edamame which was decently priced for a crunchy on-the-go snack too. If you guys are enjoying this video and want more meal prep videos, subscribe and please hit that bell so you don’t miss any of the videos. Lastly I am prepping two different dinners. I’m usually fine with the same lunch every day but I like to switch it up for dinner. I went to Aldi wanting to make sloppy Joes. It’s a great meal that can be versatile. You can use whatever meat you want. This ground turkey was on sale for only 3.49. The issue, I couldn’t find any good bread vessel, no burger or sandwich buns that weren’t white bread, not even hot dog buns. I thought about using sandwich thins and tortillas but those just aren’t as satisfying for the fun meal. Instead, I decided to get creative and combine my veggie with my protein for this first meal, my sloppy Joe pepper poppers. Sloppy Joe pepper poppers, sloppy Joe pepper poppers, sloppy Joe pepper poppers. I saute some onion, bell pepper, and garlic in oil for a few minutes until tender. The green bell pepper at Aldi was pretty cheap, $.49, and it’s a great way to add more veggies into this mix in a way that won’t really be too obvious. Green bell pepper is almost always cheaper than any other color. Then I add my turkey and cook through completely breaking apart and stirring as the meat cooks. Separately, I mix my sauce ingredients; ketchup, tomato sauce, you could use more ketchup but I’m cutting down on the added sugar a little with half tomato sauce instead, some coconut sugar, English sauce, mustard powder, garlic powder, onion powder, and pepper to taste. I didn’t need salt since the ketchup has some but season to your preference. I add that sauce to the cooked meat and then simmer for about 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. The mini peppers were worth the price and for those I just chopped the sides off so I can fill them with the meat mixture at the time of serving. Prepping them now cuts down on a step later. I needed another component for this meal so I decided to make a cauliflower potato mash since the head of cauliflower was also cheap and I still had potatoes leftover. I add potatoes and cauliflower florets to a large pot and cover with cold water, bring to a boil, and again cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Strain and then I add to a food processor with some cream or milk, nondairy is fine, some melted ghee or you could use butter or omit but it does add a nice richness, garlic powder, salt, and a squeeze of lemon juice. Pulse to your desired consistency, chunky or smooth. I use broth, milk, or water to thin it out as needed and that’s it. Make sure it is seasoned to taste and then store for later. This dish is so tasty and satisfying. The crunchy peppers add a nice texture and even though it isn’t a traditional sloppy Joe it still makes the food a little more fun to eat. The mash is so tasty and it completely contrasts the other components in both texture and taste. Okay, my last meal of the day is teriyaki chicken with rice and veggies. I’m making my own teriyaki marinade but you can use a store bought version if you prefer. They can have a lot of sugar so read the labels. To cut down on dishes, I make a marinade in the bag. I combine soy sauce or you could use coconut aminos and orange juice which is great since I bought that whole bag at Aldi and this will cut down on my need for actual added sugar in this sauce. Then I can just add a little bit of coconut sugar to compensate. Then I add sherry because I didn’t have mirin, I’m not sure on the pronunciation, which is a Japanese rice wine, but both will work fine. Water, sesame oil, and chopped garlic. Then I add my chicken thighs, which I also got from Aldi. Now they didn’t have any organic ones as an option so I didn’t get organic thighs this week. That’s the way it goes, and it’s totally okay. Remember, do the best you can with what you have. Make the best effort you can make without putting pressure on it to always be perfect. That just isn’t sustainable. I marinade that for about 30 minutes to an hour. Then I get out an appliance that so many of you have been asking me to use my Instapot. – [Deep Male Voice] Babe. – I actually have a Crock Pot pressure cooker but it’s the same thing, it’s just a different brand. And how funny that Aldi was actually selling a pressure cooker on sale when I was there too. This dish is pretty cool. I’m going to cook my chicken and rice at the same time. I add the marinade from the bag to the bottom of the pressure cooker with some crushed garlic and sliced ginger. I got the ginger from Aldi but you could skip and save a buck since it’s such a small amount. Hit the Saute button and bring the mixture to a boil for about 30 seconds to a minute to boil off the alcohol but leave the flavor. Then I add the chicken thighs. I used one of these nifty steamer racks, which I got on Amazon and will link below along with my other equipment, and then I add a heat-proof bowl or container with long grain white rice, another ingredient you can always count on being affordable, and cold water. Close the lid and cook on a manual setting or, for my Crock Pot version of an Instapot it’s the Beans and Chili setting, I don’t know why, for six minutes at high pressure. Remember, it will have to heat before the pressure cooking starts. Then notch-over release the steam for 10 minutes. Be careful when you open the lid because of that steam. And boom! Two components done at once in about 15 minutes. Pretty neat. Aldi had Brussels sprouts and broccoli at a good price. The crown of broccoli or head of cauliflower will always be cheaper. You’ve gotta cut it yourself but it will save a buck or two. I like to eat roast veggies fresh so instead I’m storing those raw with a seasoning mix to bake at the time of eating. I combine soy sauce, avocado oil, sesame oil, and garlic powder in a container and meal prep for dinner is done. When I want to eat it I can get those veggies onto a tray with my flavor mix, toss, and roast. While those are cooking I reheat my chicken and rice accordingly, and then I have a fresh dinner ready to go. This is so cool and tasty. Sweet and savory with less sugar and less time. The Asian flavor inspiration makes my dinner feel so intentional. It tastes delicious but the niftiness in the process is just mind boggling. Do you guys want more Instapot meals like this? Let me know in the comments. And that is my meal prep for the week. I hope you found this helpful or some bit of inspiration for you to try something new with meal prepping. Remember, the goal is not perfection when it comes to health, it can’t be, and that’s why it makes no sense for us to judge what anyone else is doing. Do what is right for you. Buy what suits your budget, cook with the time you can manage. If you liked this meal prep and want more let me know in the comments what you’d like to see or where you’d like me to shop. I’ll link some similar videos in the description box below. Thanks so much for being here. I will see you next week with a new video and remember it’s all a matter of mind over munch.