Like clockwork, August 1st rolls around and suddenly every commercial is about going “back to school.” This usually means busier schedules and less time to prepare healthy meals. Eating becomes an afterthought; grabbing a snack bar or finger food on the way to class.
Thankfully, I’ll actually be done with school in less than a week. But for students, schedules become packed with class and studying, which means less time for other things. That’s why I’m excited to talk about Toby Amidor’s newest cookbook dedicated to meal prepping! She shares her favorite recipes while giving tips on how to make meals that will keep busy people fueled all week.
I wrote about this topic previously but felt compelled to write about it again because meal prepping is one of the best things you can do for your health. It helps you organize the foods you’ll be eating throughout the week and ensures there’s always good nutritious food on hand when you’re hungry. These are just a few of the reasons why meal prepping is so beneficial:
- Helps you stay on track because healthy options are always ready-to-eat
- Saves money because you can buy in bulk and it’s always cheaper than takeout
- Saves time as you only need to cook once or twice throughout the week instead of for every meal
- Helps with portion control since you can determine the size of your meal before you’re hungry
- Reduces stress when it comes time to determine what to eat
- Keeps meals balanced
I got to check out this awesome beef stir-fry recipe made with peanut sauce… my favorite addition to Asian cuisine. It’s full of vegetables and I love that quinoa is substituted for rice. Not including the time to marinate, this recipe makes four meals in just 55 minutes… so easy!
Beef Stir-Fry with Asian Peanut Sauce
- 1 pound top sirloin, cut into 1 ½-inch strips
- 6 TBSP Asian Peanut Sauce, divided (see below)
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1 TBSP canola or safflower oil
- ½ head broccoli, cut into bit-size florets
- 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch-wide strips
- 1 cup snow peas
- In a large bowl, add the beef strips and 4 tablespoons of the Asian Peanut Sauce and toss to coat the meat. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to overnight.
- In a medium pot over high heat, bring the water to a boil. Stir in the quinoa and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer the quinoa, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is absorbed and the grains are tender, about 15 minutes. Transfer the quinoa to a large bowl and let cool lightly.
- In a large wok or skillet over medium heat, heat the oil until it shimmers. Add the beef and cook until it is browned on all sides, about 8 minutes. Discard the leftover beef marinade. Add the broccoli, bell pepper, and snow peas, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables have started to soften, about 8 minutes. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of Asian Peanut Sauce to the stir-fry and cook, stirring frequently, until heated through, about 2 minutes.
Asian Peanut Sauce
- ½ cup light coconut milk
- ¾ cup creamy peanut butter
- 3 TBSP reduced-sodium soy sauce
- Juice of 1 ½ limes (about 3 TBSP)
- 2 TBSP chopped shallots
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- 1 TBSP brown sugar
- 2 TBSP water, or more if needed
In a blender or food processor add the coconut milk, peanut butter, soy sauce, lime juice, shallots, garlic, and brown sugar. Blend until smooth. Add the water to achieve your desired thickness.
Refrigerate: Store the sauce in a resealable container for up to one week.
Toby’s book can be preordered HERE.
Copyright Toby Amidor, The Healthy Meal Prep Cookbook: Easy and Wholesome Meals to Cook, Pre, Grab, and Go, Rockridge Press, 2017. Photo courtesy of Nat & Cody Gantz.