Sunday Meals + the Leftover Meal Plan

One of my main goals each weekend is to make enough good, real, food to have leftovers in the fridge for the next week’s on-the-go meals. Since I had done some prep chopping and cooking on Saturday, it made for a much faster cook time on Sunday.

I still had one of the flank steaks left over from my Whole Foods trip, so it went directly on to the grill.  And per usual, it came out to perfection.

flank steak

WFM flank steak grilled - fuel sweat grow

Steak is one of my favorite leftovers to add to all meals, and  with these big cuts there are always leftovers.  My other absolute favorite carb filler and gluten-free side is tiny (or fingerling) potatoes.

fingerling potatoes

Sometimes I’ll broil/roast them, but on Sunday I sautéd them in coconut oil and dusted them with my favorite sea salt and rosemary seasoning from Feast.

tiny potatoes in pan roasting

I set the dial to a mid-level so they soften and brown in the coconut oil, just stirring occasionally.  The rosemary + sea salt combination adds a great flavor to the potatoes, and makes them an even more valued leftover to add to salads, eggs, or even vegetable sautés.

tiny potato sauté

Since no meal is complete in this house without avocado, the second side was made up of tomato, cucumber, avocado, with fresh mozzerella added to the ‘dairy-allowed’ side of the plate.

tomato mozz salad

Salt, basalmic vinegar and light olive oil finished the salad off.

tomato mozz salad

The main dish was a combination of what was left in the produce drawer (and not a repeat from yesterday’s zucchini/mushroom/spinach pasta), so broccoli made an appearance.

food blog - broccoli

I threw the broccoli, some more mushrooms, and steak tips into the wok, and once it was all tender and cooked, tossed it together with some brown rice spaghetti.

steak broccoli mushroom pasta

A pretty large meal for a sunday night, but as planned, the leftovers filled several separate and portioned tupperware containers for early in the week grab-and-go midday fuel.  Monday through Wednesday are my most chaotic days of the week, and with early starts at Dar’s Bootcamp M-W-F followed by morning classes at Pure Barre, by 11am these leftovers save me.

complete meal - fuel sweat grow

The first round of the meal was also an awesome way to finish off the weekend. I thought my eyes had far exceeded my stomach when I sat down, but after a busy day that included teaching and taking Pure Barre, I needed to replenish my energy.  And I did just that.

This week I’m also playing with the VitaMix, and the Daily Balance whey protein powder from Stronger Faster Healther that Dar picked up from the guys at Fight Gone Mad a few Charlotte trips ago, so stay tuned for different ingredient combos and reviews to come for great breakfast and midday quick fuel options. Spoiler alert: they’re all pretty tasty.

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Saturday Recovery + Food Restocking

The past few weeks have been pretty hectic, and when I threw in a last minute trip down to Charlotte last weekend, my normal routine fell apart.  On Saturday morning when I opened the fridge and realized that had allowed my reserves to deplete down to liquid diet options of either booze or almond milk, I put on my coat and ventured out on a gathering expedition.
food blog - fridge pic

On a warmer Saturday in Charlottesville (seasonally dictated) I would have gone directly to the farmers market, and found all my favorite local sources of meat and produce, but alas, it is the middle of winter and four walled stores it was.

When I’m heading on a full fridge restock trip it always involves multiple stops, so on Saturday I made my way to Trader Joe’s, by way of Whole Foods.   The produce section of TJ’s has all of my staples and is always cheaper than WFM, but the meat section just can’t compare.  I am going through a pretty serious flank steak phase, and Whole Foods has some of the best grass fed cuts that don’t taste ‘grassy.’

food blog - flank steak from Whole Foods

I used the opportunity to grab an iced americano from the little coffee cart, and happily made my way across the street to Trader Joe’s where I picked up staple produce, berries,  nuts, and some basic replenishing supplies in the form of spices, pasta and coconut oil.

food blog produce
basic core staples: spinach, mushrooms, zucchini + yellow squash, romaine
food blog  spices from TJ's
TJ has the best seasoning spices – everyday seasoning is my go-to for everything
food blog berries from TJs
dark berries: blues, blacks, & rasp.
TJ's coconut oil
most universal + used staple in the house.

Friday morning included Dar’s bootcamp at Solidarity, immediately followed by Pure Barre with Kristin, so my body was ready for a rest.  Friday night had been an equally long night out venturing over to Mudhouse in Crozet to listen to a small acoustic show performed by a friend’s husband, and then dinner and drinks back downtown at Citizen Burger Bar.  By Saturday night I was ready for some down time to get work done and spend a little time creating in the kitchen, so that’s exactly what I did.

whole foods flank steak w/tenderizer & seasoning
whole foods flank steak w/tenderizer & seasoning
purple potatoes, zucchini, sliced bella mushrooms
purple potatoes, zucchini, sliced bella mushrooms

When I start chopping, I like to do more than I need and pack it away so it’s easier and faster to make quick meals during the week, so I chopped what I had and then packed the potatoes away with some mushrooms and zucchini to use in scrambled eggs this week.  The flank steak went on to the grill, and the rest went into a pan with a table spoon of coconut oil, and added spinach once everything else was tender.

food blog : mushroom, zucchini, spinach

I’m always amazed at how much spinach cooks down, and how quickly, so I never add it until the last second and try to take it off the heat before it gets too soft.  While everything was cooking down I had brown rice pasta cooking on the back burner, also taking it off the stove a minute before the suggested time to avoid it getting too soft.

food blog - brown rice pasta

After the pasta and veggies were done, they were combined in a mixing bowl, and created one of my favorite combinations of flavors.  The coconut oil combined with the juices from the vegetables acts as a natural dressing for the pasta.

food blog - 021113

food blog - 021013

I kept the salad simple since so much else was happening around the chopping block and the stove, so it was just romaine, avocado, walnuts, and mozzarella cubes, with the Trader Joe’s Cilantro salad dressing.

food blog - 021013

food blog - 021013

All in all, Saturday was a great day for both food and rest, and I threw in a couple glasses of wine for ‘moderation’ and relaxation as I pushed through the to-do lists that had been piling up.

On to a new week now, but check back in for Sunday highlights, full of more market finds, friends, and PB toning.