Food Prep 101: Featuring Tropical Tenders with Coconut Crust
One of my favorite quotes of all time is: Fail to plan, plan to fail. I really believe that an ounce of planning can result in heaps of productivity, especially when it comes to mealtime. As a busy mom of 2 and a business owner, honestly, it’s about survival!! Between soccer practice, math tutoring, meetings, workouts, homework help and everything in between, my day starts at 6 am and usually wraps up around 9:00 pm. If I never got my food prepped in advance, my family would be a bunch of super cranky pants-ers, grabbing a lot of take-out and delivery food and probably eating things that would make us outcasts of my Cleaner Plate Club. So here’s my weekly prep list:
1) Pick two or three proteins to cook a lot of like chicken breast, ground turkey, salmon or white fish
2) Pick 4-5 veggies to wash and chop (use Eat Cleaner Fruit + Veg Wash to help them last longer and be ready to eat)
3) Pick 3-4 fruits to wash and chop (use Eat Cleaner Fruit + Veg Wash to help them last longer and be ready to eat)
4) Prepare 1-2 ‘slow burning’ carbohydrates like quinoa or farro
Then, I get to prepping. I’ll pick a simple marinade or assortment of spices for the proteins like my citrus ginger sauce or Moroccan spice rub and make enough for two or three meals worth for each. Same with the veggies, fruit and slow burning carbohydrates. I make sure to stock up on pantry/fridge items like:
– Egg Whites
– Unsweetened coconut or almond milk
– Nonfat unsweetened Greek yogurt or Labne (I love the Karoun brand)
– Whole nut butter (almond, cashew)
– Unsweetened shredded coconut (my new obsession is Bare Coconut Chips)
– Tahini (sesame paste)
– Flax, Hemp and Chia Seeds
– Unsweetened cocoa
– Wraps (I love the whole grain lavash)
– Chia seed tortillas
– Quick cook oats
– Sliced turkey
– Nitrate-free turkey bacon
This allows us to ‘mix and match’ meals, along with different spices and seasonings, so that it’s never boring. Here’s an example of what a ‘mini prep’ ends up looking like:
Eating Cleaner everyday is much easier with a little bit of prep.
For this prep, I’ve got chopped Romaine lettuce, pointed head cabbage which I chopped for salads and used whole sheets for wraps, sliced Persian cucumbers, grape tomatoes, grapes and a new recipe I developed just for my son. He is a chicken tender FREAK. I mean, he could eat them for breakfast, lunch and dinner (and has) so I have to think of ways to serve them up without breading and frying them. This is a #fitfoodfast dish you can make in 10-12 minutes, and the best part is it’s loaded with nutrient-dense superfoods featuring my favorite – coconut! Bare Coconut Chips have a great flavor and crunch and are perfect for this dish. Ready for this? Soooo simple!
Tropical Tenders with Coconut Crust
1 Cup Unsweetened Pineapple Juice
2 Tbsp Raw Coconut oil
2 Tbsp Tomato Paste
2 lbs. All Natural or Organic Chicken Tenders
1/4 Cup Hemp Seeds
1 package Bare Coconut Chips, crushed or 1 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut flake, chopped into small pieces
Sea Salt and Fresh ground pepper to taste
1) Preheat oven to 390F. In a large bowl or marinating dish, whisk together juice, coconut oil and tomato paste and add sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste.
2) Marinate chicken tenders in sauce for at least 2 hours, preferably 4 or even overnight. The juice will partially cook the chicken so it goes faster in the oven.
3) Place tenders onto a baking sheet, one layer. Combine hemp seeds and crushed coconut chips or flake and sprinkle over the top of the tenders. Bake for about 8 minutes or until well cooked. Turn the oven to High Broil and finish for the last 2-4 minutes until you get a nice golden brown. Serve in a wrap, with a side of your favorite dipping sauce, on top of a salad or with your favorite slow burning carb.
Hot out of the oven! Enough tropical tenders to feed a small army – or just my son.