$30 Trader Joe’s ONE HOUR Meal Prep Budget Challenge! (Vegetarian) – Mind Over Munch

You COULD go to a restaurant and spend 30 dollars on this one, delicious meal OR, you could do what I did and go to Trader Joe's and spend thirty dollars on a WHOLE WEEK'S WORTH OF MEALS! Hey munchies! Welcome if you’re new, I’m Alyssia After my 50 dollar Whole Foods meal prep, I had a lot of requests for a Trader Joe’s meal prep—so today I’m doing that, AND I’m showing you how I only spent 30 dollars for FIVE DAYS worth of breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks! I’m ALSO showing you how I can get this done in an hour! An hour and a half if you include clean up time It’s all about PLANNING out your day for meal prepping, which my meal prep eBook discusses in great detail for efficient and effective meal prep, so be sure to check that out and you can use the code “TRADERJOES” for 10% off any eBook or package of your choice, this week only! The first thing I’m going to do is get started on my lunch, which is a freezer quiche with a sweet potato crust I am simply going to peel my sweet potatoes and then use a mandolin (be careful!) to slice them into thin slices, less than 1/8 of an inch thick

Then, I transfer them to the microwave for about 2 to 3 minutes, just to get them soft enough to bend You could of course steam or bake them if you prefer Then I grab my mini tart pans and remove the bottoms and, for safety, I put a little liner of foil so they don’t leak, but this will depend on your pans if you need to do that or not Then, I simply layer in the softened sweet potato pieces as my crust, and spray with a little bit of cooking spray and sprinkle on a little bit of salt You can also use a standard pie pan to make a regular sized quiche, I just chose individual servings for the sake of meal prep so I can freeze them and defrost whenever I need

This trick is SO cool because it’s actually easier than making a real crust and it’s much more fuel-filled! I transfer those quiche crusts to the oven and get started on my dinner—my lentil stew This is the EASIEST dinner ever and it uses super affordable ingredients Simply sauté onions and garlic in a little olive oil Then we can add in red lentils, crushed tomatoes (you could use diced, but crushed were cheaper, so I went with those this week) and water Bring to a boil, lower the heat, cover and simmer for around 30 minutes, until the liquid is absorbed

While that is simmering, I’m getting my breakfast prepped for the week—it’s the EASIEST banana bread ever, and it’s a budget-friendly recipe It’s a BLENDER bread, because all you have to do is toss everything into the blender—ripe bananas (remember that more brown spots mean the starch has converted to sugar, so they will be much yummier in your bread), along with rolled oats, eggs, maple syrup, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt Simply blend it on up and then transfer to a loaf pan lined with foil and sprayed Optionally, you could top it off with some pecans and additional oats Thumbs up for EASY blender recipes! Transfer to the oven, and the good news is you can throw it right in the same oven as your quiche crust to keep things efficient! Our quiche crusts are almost ready to be filled, so let’s get the filling made

Sauté onion and garlic in a bit of olive oil Add spinach, and cook until wilted and add salt and pep Feel free to add some fresh herbs like parsley here—fresh herbs and garlic are great ways to add a lot of flavor for cheap, AND you can use them in multiple meals throughout your prep In a measuring glass, beat eggs with milk I used a dairy milk here because it was the most budget-friendly for my 30 dollar challenge, but you could use any kind of milk in this recipe, no problem

Divide the spinach sauté into each of your tart pans, and then fill it with your egg mixture Finally, my favorite part of the quiche—top it off with some goat cheese crumbles Transfer the quiche into the oven, and yes! I can do this while my banana bread is cooking up to keep things efficient! On to snacks! I bought a carton of eggs, and we used 2 for the banana bread and 5 for the quiche, so I have 5 left that I can boil, which is perfect for my weekday prep! Planning out using your ingredients like this is a great way to save money and not have any leftover ingredients There are tons of ways to make boiled eggs, but my fool-proof method is to add eggs to a pot of water and bring to a boil When boiling, cover and remove from the heat

Allow to sit covered for 10 minutes Then, transfer to an ice bath and cool before storing While I was waiting for my eggs to boil, I was still being efficient with my prep—my lentil stew absorbed all the water, so I seasoned it to taste with salt & pep, and feel free to use any other seasonings, too! I also had time to make the EASIEST homemade hummus ever Now, hummus CAN be affordable, but the killer ingredient for most people is tahini Now some of you will comment and tell me that a hummus without tahini is no hummus at all, and to you I say, that’s fine, for you, I call it a bean dip

For everyone else who doesn’t care, I’m going to show you how to get that hummus flavor WITHOUT tahini! Into a food processor, I’m adding in chickpeas, garlic, cumin, olive oil, lemon juice, the secret ingredient: PEANUT BUTTER, and salt! So remember, tahini is just sesame seed paste—which is sesame seeds blended up The peanut butter does a really great job, surprisingly, of mimicking the nutty flavor that the sesame seeds provide You can of course use tahini if you prefer, but the point is, if you don’t want to buy a jar of tahini, you may have peanut butter on hand to get the job done You can also omit the peanut butter, but it’s true, your hummus lacks a little something… it’s still delicious though! If you’re enjoying these recipes, tips, and tricks, be sure to subscribe and hit that bell so you’re notified each week of new content! I cut some carrots to dip in my hummus as a snack to go with my stew at dinner, and stored those for later Along with my quiche at lunch, I’m making a soup

Trader Joe’s has these really great pre-made soups, and I don’t HAVE to eat it as is I chose the Latin style black bean soup because it was pretty affordable, and then I bought some veggies to bulk it up and add extra flavor I’m simply sautéing garlic and onion in olive oil until tender Then I can add in some chopped bell pepper for a few more minutes Pour in the soup, bring to a boil, and then cover and simmer for just a few minutes to integrate the flavors

When I serve it, I add a dollop of Greek yogurt for extra substance! By now, we’re literally DONE with the prep and it’s been just over an hour! Now, all that we have to do is clean up and store our food for the week Let’s check out the full menu Breakfast: Once the banana bread is cooled, I cut that into 5 slices for the week and store those in little baggies I also bought fruit to add to my breakfast—I like to start the day with a serving of fruit as fuel Lunch: My cooled quiches can be wrapped in plastic wrap or placed in baggies, and then stored in the fridge OR they can be frozen! If you want your tart pans back before you eat them, simply freeze the quiche over night and then you can remove the frozen tart from the pan and return the tart to the freezer until you’re ready to eat it

I reheat the quiche in the microwave, but the refrigerated ones are also good cold! I also have my black bean soup for lunch, which I’ve stored in jars as individual servings Snacks: For snacks, I have my boiled eggs, as well as the DIY hummus and carrots Dinner: I stored my lentil stew in 5 containers so they are individual servings These containers are freezer, microwave, and dishwasher safe, and they’re BPA free, (I’ve linked them in the description box below,) but you could use any containers you prefer All of this cost me just under 30 dollars!! Now, mind you, that did require some planning to specifically meet the arbitrary 30 dollar number—but the point is, with some planning you can absolutely enjoy a week’s worth of meals affordably

This requires planning not only at the grocery store, but also BEFORE you even go, with your menu for the week, AND an efficient plan for the actual day of food prep If you don’t plan, you’re likely to get frustrated and give up on meal prep before you can really enjoy the benefits of having healthy food readily available for you If you want extra help with planning that out, check out my meal prep eBook at mindovermunchcom/ebooks If you’re someone who wants different meals throughout your week for meal prep, my last meal prep video showed meal prepping for 2 people with DIFFERENT dinners every night, so be sure to check that out

And remember that you can always double the recipes from this episode for another person, or get creative and switch them up throughout the week Check out my meal prep playlist for more content like this Thanks for liking, commenting, and subscribing, and if you enjoyed the video, I’d really appreciate if you’d share it! I’ll see you next week, and remember, it’s all a matter of Mind Over Munch


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