I feel like the whole “meal prep” thing has really been catching on lately. Not just with all the foodies I follow, but with some of my friends and family members too, and I love seeing it! Mostly because as a dietitian, I preach it all the time. Whenever someone comes to me about their struggles with eating healthy or losing weight, I always tell them that planning ahead is absolutely key.
Having a plan in place inevitably sets you up for success throughout the week. Whether it’s planning what time you’ll workout each day or planning out your meals, you are way more likely to follow through when you have it written down somewhere. That is called accountability, my friends. On Sunday night I posted my “meal plan” for the week on my Instagram story and that definitely motivated me to stick to it! This is not to say that your meal plan has to be completely set in stone. Things happen, and more importantly, cravings happen. If Tuesday night rolls around and you just don’t feel like eating tacos, it is not the end of the world. Eat something else! The most important thing is that you have healthy foods around so that once it’s time to cook dinner, the healthy choice is the easy choice, and you are not tempted by frozen pizzas, or even the Chinese restaurant across the street.
This was my meal plan for the week that I created on Sunday. Like I said, it is NOT the end of the world if you stray away from your plan. For example, on Wednesday night my family spontaneously decided to go out to our favorite Mexican restaurant for dinner. I have finally gotten to a place where I can do that without stressing out about it, and I can truly enjoy spending that time with my loved ones. Mostly due to the fact that I stopped counting calories, and the fact that I know one “not-so-healthy” meal is not going to make a difference in the grand scheme of things.
With all of that said, we all have those weeks/weekends when we just do not have the time, energy or motivation to meal prep, or plan for that matter. That’s how this past weekend was for me. It has been rainy, cloudy and dreary for what feels like weeks here, and on Sunday I really just wanted to sit around and do nothing. The definition of “doing nothing” probably looks very different to me than it does to you, but I relaxed more than usual, nonetheless. However, I still went to the grocery store to stock up on some of my favorite staple items, so even though I didn’t do much prep, I knew I’d be able to cook healthy meals throughout the week with the foods I had on hand.
A lot of people use bad weather as an excuse to skip their workouts & be lazy, but when you have two weeks of cloudy, cold weather, you can’t let that be a factor. Put in the work every day, regardless of the weather. You’ll be happy you did.
The meal I’m about to share with you is one of my absolute favorites for several reasons, but what I love most about it is that it I can throw it together super fast and I always have the ingredients that I need in my pantry and freezer. As long as you always have sweet potatoes (if I don’t have at least three backup sweet potatoes at all times, it’s a problem), then this meal will likely be the same way for you! All it requires is a couple canned items — no-salt-added diced tomatoes and black beans — frozen corn, frozen peppers & onions, and spices. That is IT. Most of the optional (but recommended) toppings are always in my fridge too, including hot salsa and plain Greek yogurt. Avocado is also a complete game changer on top of all this goodness, but unfortunately, I don’t always have a ripe avo on hand. If you have one at the time that you whip up this recipe, do yourself a favor and add the avocado. You will not regret it.
No Bake Energy Bites are by far my favorite item to meal prep on the weekends. They are perfect pre-workout, post-workout or anytime snacks! They satisfy those cravings for sweets, but they are pretty guilt-free. 😉
I gotta be honest; since I’m still living at home with the ‘rents until I get married (only 163 more days, in case you were wondering), I am usually cooking dinner for one, meaning I’m not exactly sure how many people this recipe serves. I only make one sweet potato for myself when I’m making it; however, it makes a lot of veggies, so I think you could probably stretch them onto four sweet potatoes to feed the whole family! If you’re only cooking for one or two people, then the veggies make great leftovers to incorporate in other meals the next few days. I love to throw them in my eggs to make a mexi-veggie omelet, my Totally Stuffed Chicken Tostada, or along with some quinoa and rotisserie chicken — the list is endless. These are leftovers that will not go to waste!
Since this is a meal that I usually make when I want something fast, I cook my sweet potato in the microwave because it only takes five minutes. If you’re making four sweet potatoes to feed the family, however, you’d probably be better off baking them in the oven.
I personally like to make this a meatless meal and use a Morning Star spicy black bean burger for my protein because, a) I’m trying to eat a more plant-based diet, and b) the black bean burger honestly pairs so perfectly with this meal. However, I have also eaten this topped with crockpot chicken taco meat (recipe on my lunch/dinner page) and that is pretty freakin’ delicious as well. You can also use shredded rotisserie chicken, or whatever you want! This recipe is obviously super versatile. Feel free to make it your own!
Okay, y’all. Here we go.
Mexi-Veggie Stuffed Sweet Potato
Servings: 1-4 (1 sweet potato per person)
- 1-4 medium sweet potatoes (depending on how many people you’re feeding!)
- 1 can no-salt-added black beans
- 1 can no-salt-added diced tomatoes
- 1 cup frozen corn
- 1 cup frozen peppers & onions
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp chili powder
- Morning Star spicy black bean burger; 1 per person (or shredded chicken — whatever you prefer)
- Black pepper to taste
- Optional toppings: chunky salsa, plain Greek yogurt, avocado
- Wash sweet potatoes and pat dry with a paper towel. Pierce holes in each potato using a fork. If you are microwaving the sweet potatoes, go to step 3.
2. If you are baking the sweet potatoes, preheat oven to 400°F. Place on a baking sheet lined with foil. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until tender. Wait until there are about 10-15 minutes left to make your veggies.
3. Drain and rinse the canned beans and diced tomatoes.
4. In a large skillet, combine the black beans, diced tomatoes, frozen corn, and frozen peppers and onions over medium-high heat, and cook for approximately 5 minutes, or until heated through. Add the spices, and stir until evenly distributed.
5. Turn the heat down to low while you microwave the sweet potato and spicy black bean burger.
6. Place one sweet potato in the microwave at a time on a microwave-safe plate, and cook for 4-5 minutes, or until tender.
7. Cook Morning Star spicy black bean burger in the microwave; 45 seconds on each side.
8. Once the sweet potato and black bean burger are cooked, remove the veggies from heat and assemble your stuffed sweet potato!
Serve hot and enjoy with desired toppings.
If you try this, tag me on Instagram at @wellnessforthewin so I can see your beautiful creations!
Shanna Stewart, RD LD
#wellnessforthewin #easymeals #mealprep #yum