Meal Prep: Balsamic Chicken & Veggie Pasta

I’m really getting good with my weekend meal prepping. It seems to be getting easier for me to follow through with it, which is great since I know its saving us money!

If you like to meal prep, I cannot recommend doing sheet pan meals enough! It is such a time saver and makes for easy clean-up. Sheet pan meals are a big thing right now, which I’m sure you know if you’re on Pinterest.

My usual meal prep includes chicken, veggies, rice, and some sort of Asian-inspired sauce. This past week, however, I decided to mix things up. I was inspired by this post and this post to do a pasta dish with a balsamic sauce. And I’m so glad I did!

This pasta dish is filling, but also seems light – like a pasta salad – from the sauce and veggies. There was a bit more clean-up than I would usually prefer, but it was worth it! Tip: If you try this recipe, be sure and read all the way through before beginning to get an idea of what prep work you’ll need to do.

I used red bell pepper and broccoli in this recipe, as those are two of our faves and are easy to roast in the oven. But, feel free to use whatever veggies you like! Just know the balsamic sauce is tangy and sweet, so you want veggies that pair well with it.

If you meal prep, I would highly suggest trying this recipe out! It makes enough for my husband and I to have prepared lunches for most of the week. Obviously, you could also make this for your family for dinner, or half the recipe if there’s just two of you. Options here, people!

Maybe I’ll eventually post my Asian-inspired dish that I often meal prep as well. You need variety sometimes ­čÖé

Enjoy friends!

 

Balsamic Chicken & Veggie Pasta

Servings: 6 (good-sized portions)

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, diced into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 red bell peppers, sliced
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 lb. penne pasta
  • 2/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 4 tbsp. honey
  • 2 tbsp. light brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil for sauce +┬ámore for cooking
  • 2 tsp. each salt and pepper + more for taste

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. On a large sheet pan, spread out your red bell pepper and broccoli in an even layer. Drizzle 2 tbsp. olive and sprinkle 1 tsp. each salt and pepper over veggies. Mix them up with your hands to coat all the veggies.
  3. Roast at 425 for 15-20 minutes (Note: I only do 15 min. because it keeps the veggies a little crisp).
  4. While the veggies roast, heat a large skillet on medium high with 2 tbsp. olive oil.
  5. While the oil is heating, boil the water for your pasta – cook according to the package, drain, and set aside until the chicken is finished.
  6. In a small bowl, whisk together the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, garlic, honey, light brown sugar, and a little salt and pepper.
  7. When your oil is warm (it will sort of be rippling when you look at it), add in your diced chicken and sprinkle with 1 tsp. each salt and pepper, plus more for taste if needed. After about 5 minutes, turn your chicken and pour in half of the balsamic sauce (It will bubble up for a bit, but that’s normal!). Cook for about 3 more minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink inside, then turn off your heat.
  8. When the veggies and pasta are done, add them into the pan with the chicken. Pour in the rest of your balsamic sauce and stir the mixture.
  9. Serve for dinner with crusty bread, or divide into well-sealed meal prep bowls (Note: Let the meal prep bowls cool completely before refrigerating).

{Mostly} Homemade Pepperoni Pizza

Happy hump day!

How’s your week going? Ours has been jam packed already, and that’s not set to change until next Monday! #needsleep

I am happy to report that hubby and I have been doing well on keeping our resolutions. Go us! How are your goals for 2017 coming along?

Today I have an easy and delicious recipe for you – {Mostly} Homemade Pepperoni Pizza.

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This is a recipe I make all the time on busy weeknights, or for an easy meal on the weekend. We change up the toppings sometimes, but this one is my favorite I think. (I’ll share my husband’s favorite pizza another day ­čśë )

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The crust is pre-made, which is why this pizza is only {mostly} homemade. But, you could obviously make your own if you would like. This saves me so much time!

Hope you guys enjoy the rest of your week and the recipe!

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{Mostly} Homemade Pepperoni Pizza

Ingredients

  • Boboli Original Pizza Crust – 14 oz. (they do have other varieties, such as wheat and thin crust, if you prefer)
  • 1/2 cup pizza sauce
  • 1 1/4 cups shredded cheese (we use a combo of colby jack and cheddar, but whatever kind you like will work!)
  • 25 pepperoni slices

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Remove pizza crust from package. Spread pizza sauce evenly on crust, leaving about 1/2 inch around the edges.
  3. Evenly sprinkle 1 cup of shredded cheese onto sauce.
  4. Evenly distribute pepperoni slices around pizza.
  5. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup of cheese on top of the pepperoni.
  6. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until cheese is melted and crust is golden brown.

Cheesesteak Sandwiches

I cannot believe we already a whole month in for 2017. Its just baffaling how quickly time flies sometimes!

This past month, my husband and I have been talking about out goals for this year (a little late since people usually have them down by Jan 1!).

One of our goals is to complete a 10 week at-home workout, which we just started last week. We both don’t want to spend the time or money on a gym membership, especially since we would both rarely go. So, I found this at-home routine that only takes 15-20 minutes and you do it Monday-Friday. My muscles have never been so sore! You don’t know how out of shape you are until you start working out, haha.

Another goal we’ve discussed is a new budget plan to keep our finances in check this year. We usually do OK most of the time, but I really want us to save more money this year. Hopefully we are on the right track to do that!

One of the ways we’re going to save money is by cooking at home more. I already cook at home most days of the week. However, there are some weeks that are more busy than others, thus I’m more tired, and I just don’t feel like spending any time in the kitchen. I’m hoping by making some new┬árecipes this year that I will be inspired to get in the kitchen even more!

One recipe I actually have never made – until last week! – ┬áis Cheesesteak Sandwiches. I’ve made a version with chicken, which is delicious and a bit cheaper, but I wanted to try making a steak version to mix things up. Steak is not something we buy, its more of a treat we get when we go out to eat. So its not an ingredient that’s familiar for me to cook with.

I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to make these Cheesesteak Sandwiches. As I mentioned, the cost was a bit more than I’m used to spending on meat (because we are chicken eaters), but it was well worth it! And you can always wait to make this recipe when steak goes on sale to cut down costs.

The recipe is super simple. You’ll slice up some green pepper and onion, season and cook it for a few minutes, then add in your sliced steak. Put it on some bread, add cheese and melt and you have yourself a delicious sandwich!

Try it out this weekend ­čśë

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Cheesesteak Sandwiches

Servings: 4-5

Ingredients

  • 1 – 1 1/2 lbs. ribeye steak (depends how much meat you want per sandwich)
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 small white/yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 cups shredded provolone*
  • 4 sub rolls
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

*You can also use shredded Italian blend cheese, as my local grocery actually did not have just shredded provolone. You could also uses slices of provolone, probably 1-2 per sub depending on their size.

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Lay each sub roll on its own piece of foil and leave them on the counter until your meat mixture is cooked.
  3. In a large skillet, heat your olive oil on medium high. Add in the sliced veggies, garlic, salt and pepper. Cook for 3-4 minutes, or until veggies are a bit softened. Stir the veggies a couple times for even cooking.
  4. While the veggies cook, thinly slice your ribeye steak (Tips: use a good, sharp knife to slice. Also, freeze the steak for 30 minutes prior to slicing for a much easier experience!).
  5. Add the steak to the skillet, plus more salt and pepper to taste. Break up the meat into smaller pieces as it cooks. Cook until meat is no longer pink, stirring occasionally.
  6. To each roll, add 1/4 of the meat and veggie mixture. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup of shredded cheese (or layer 1-2 slices).
  7. Wrap the sandwich in the foil, leaving some space at the top so the cheese doesn’t touch the foil completely.
  8. Place directly on an oven rack and heat for about 8-10 minutes, or until the bread is a bit softened and the cheese is melted.