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Meal Prep Week 2


FALL In Love With Prepping!

I'm back this week with some new recipes that my fiance and I are prepping. Both the temperatures and the leaves are turning, so I decided on a fall theme. Thanks again Pinterest for some great recipes! We wanted to keep things interesting, so this week we tried to move away from just chicken recipes. Some things that I took into consideration while searching Pinterest included what we had left over from last week, simple healthy ingredients, and shorter prepping time.

We were pleasantly surprised with our weekly trip to Aldi. They have completely redesigned the store! Not only is the store bigger, but they showcased a larger fresh produce section, new food items, wider aisles, and even a new/larger refrigerated section. We even found everything we needed on our list today. No second stops to the Harris Teeter! I did some research and noticed that other stores are getting a face lift too. A recent article in Business Insider mentioned "Aldi, which is about 30% cheaper than Walmart, is growing rapidly. The chain has about 1,500 stores in the US with plans to add another 500 in the next couple of years". Have I mentioned that we love Aldi?

So what's on the menu for this week? We had a lot of fun making these recipes. They were very easy and are also delicious!

Butternut Squash Chili


  • 2 pounds butternut squash, peeled and diced into 1/2-inch chunks
  • 28 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 15 ounce can black beans, drained
  • 15 ounce can pinto beans, drained
  • 1.5 cups vegetable broth, plus 2 tablespoons for sautéing
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 2 chipotles in adobo sauce, chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1.5 teaspoons paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • cilantro, for garnish


  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable broth in a 5-quart pot over medium heat.
  2. Add garlic, chipotles, and butternut squash to the pot, cooking for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add more vegetable broth if the pot gets dry.
  3. Add the bell pepper, cooking for about 5 minutes.
  4. Add black beans, pinto beans, diced tomatoes (including the liquid in the can), 1.5 cups vegetable broth, quinoa, and all of the spices (paprika, cinnamon, salt, pepper). Mix well. Bring to a simmer and let simmer for 10 minutes. Check that the butternut squash is cooked; if not, simmer for longer.

Serve in a bowl and garnish with cilantro. Add toppings as desired — avocado chunks, tortilla chips, and cheese are all good ideas.

Note: This was our first time cooking with butternut squash, and we had no idea how to properly cut and peel it. So here's helpful video just in case: Peeling and Cubing Butternut Squash

Chicken, Wild Rice & Mushroom Soup


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 medium sized mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 stick of celery, sliced
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 cup basmati and wild rice blend (or long grain and wild rice blend)
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 4 cups hot chicken or vegetable stock (water plus a couple of stock cubes is fine)
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • ½ packed cup shredded gruyere cheese
  • 2 cups leftover cooked, shredded chicken
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped


  1. Heat the oil in a large sauce, and fry the mushrooms on a medium heat until browned. Remove from the pan.
  2. Melt the butter in the same pan, and fry the onions and celery for 4-5 minutes until softened. Add the flour to the pan, and stir together using a whisk, until the flour is incorporated with the vegetables and butter. Turn the heat up to high, and pour in the milk in a slow stream, whilst stirring with the whisk, until the milk is completely mixed in.
  3. Add the rice and white wine, and stir. Then add in the stock and dried thyme and stir again. Bring to gentle bubble and simmer for 20 minutes – stirring 2 or 3 times during cooking. Test the rice – it should be cooked at this point (give it a couple more minutes if it needs it).
  4. Add in the salt, pepper, lemon juice, cream, cheese, cooked chicken and the mushrooms. Stir together and test for seasoning. If you prefer your soup a little thinner, you can stir in a splash of milk.
  5. Heat until the chicken is warmed through, then serve topped with fresh parsley.

One Pan Healthy Sausage & Veggies


  • 2 small (1 cup) red potatoes
  • 3/4ths pound green beans
  • 1 large head of broccoli (1 and 1/2 cups)
  • 2 large or 6-7 mini (1 and 1/2 cups) sweet bell peppers
  • 9 ounces sausage, we use turkey or chicken
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • Seasoned salt and pepper
  • Optional: fresh parsley, quinoa/rice to serve with, Parmesan cheese


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Line a large sheet pan with foil or parchment paper.
  3. Prep the veggies: chop the red potatoes (pretty small pieces here so they will be tender in time), trim the green beans and halve (see video above recipe), chop the broccoli, chop the peppers into thick squares, and thickly coin the sausage.
  4. Place all the veggies and sausage on a sheet pan. Pour the olive oil and all the spices on top (add about 1/2 teaspoon or to taste of salt and pepper). Toss to evenly coat all the veggies and meat.
  5. Bake 15 minutes, remove from the oven and flip/stir all the veggies around. Return to the oven and bake for another 10-15 minutes or until vegetables are crisp tender and sausage is browned.
  6. If desired, sprinkle freshly grated Parmesan cheese over the veggies and sausage as soon as they come out of the oven.
  7. Enjoy with rice or quinoa and fresh parsley if desired.

Roasted Salmon with Apple Cider Glaze


  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 2 4-ounce wild salmon fillets, bones removed
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. To a small saucepan, add the apple cider and bring it to a light boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, stirring often with a wooden spoon. After about 25 minutes, the cider will reduce and become thick, like a syrup. Turn off the heat and immediately pour the cider glaze into a bowl to allow it to cool.
  3. Meanwhile, arrange the salmon, skin-side-down, on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Drizzle the olive oil all over the top of the salmon and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the chopped rosemary all over the tops of the salmon. Roast until firm, about 15-20 minutes (ideally, salmon should be cooked on the outside while still moist on the inside).
  4. Transfer salmon to serving plates and drizzle the cider glaze all over the top of the salmon.

Shopping List

Shopping List (for recipes)

  • 3 medium sized mushrooms, sliced
  • butter
  • 1 stick of celery, sliced
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • ½ packed cup shredded gruyere cheese
  • 2 pounds butternut squash
  • 28 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 15 ounce can black beans, drained
  • 15 ounce can pinto beans, drained
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 chipotles in adobo sauce, chopped
  • 1 large head of broccoli (1 and 1/2 cups)
  • 2 large sweet bell peppers, 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 9 ounces sausage, (turkey or chicken)
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 2 4-ounce wild salmon fillets, bones removed

Ingredients already in the Cabinet (for recipes)

  • Olive Oil
  • Minced Garlic
  • Butter
  • 1 onion
  • Flour
  • Basmati Rice (from last week)
  • White Wine
  • Thyme
  • Salt & black pepper
  • Lemon Juice
  • Quinoa
  • Paprika
  • Cinnamon
  • Red potatoes (from last week)
  • Green beans
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Garlic powder
  • Oregano

Shopping Budget

Other Groceries

...And a hungry puppy!

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