Mighty Meal Prep Monday!

Good day readers! I’ve decided to try something new this week and see what kind of a response it gets from you all, if it’s a success I might consider making it a regular part of the rotation. As many people know, part of my healthy lifestyle for the last 19 months or so has been meal prepping my dinners on Sunday/Monday and having delicious healthy food for the week. This week I’m going to share with you all not only my recipes, but also some pictures of the in progress cooking and my experience with it. Today I’ve made balsamic caramelized onion turkey burgers which I got from a recipe here! As well as a side of what I’ve dubbed “Brussel Sprouts Suzanne” as my godmother created the recipe and introduced me to brussel sprouts which I’ve found to be delicious!

I decided to make the brussel sprouts first as they required less actual cooking, since they’re oven roasted. So once I finished the prep work I could let them roast for a while and start prepping the necessary ingredients for the turkey burgers. The brussel sprouts prep is pretty simple- for the actual sprouts you just need to wash, remove the stems, and quarter the sprouts. Once you’ve fixed your sprouts, it’s time to chop up some bacon! The way Suzanne taught me to prepare it is 2-4 pieces of bacon per 10-15 brussel sprouts which is enough for 2 servings. Because I was making 5 servings, I used 6 pieces of bacon. Once you’ve got all your ingredients in an oven safe baking dish, drizzle with 2-4 tablespoons of olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt and mix it well. Once your oven is preheated to 400 degrees, you’re going to roast the sprouts for 25-30 minutes stirring once about halfway through. Once they’re done cooking and removed from the oven, drizzle balsamic glaze on the whole dish and then mix it up before serving. The way I prepared it, each serving came in at 171 calories with 11g of fat (that’s the bacon mostly) and 7.5g of protein (which is more than I expected).

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I’m super proud of my presentation here, the dish is absolutely delicious! 

My next step in prep (hehe that rhymed), was caramelizing the onions for out turkey burgers! You can read detailed instructions in the link I posted above. I used yellow onion because it’s my favorite and was on sale, so I halved and sliced 3 large onions and added a half cup of balsamic vinegar to a pan with a lid and let this cook on medium heat for 20 minutes. After that time, I removed the top and stirred the onions allowing the liquid to disappear is what causes the onions to caramelize. Once all the balsamic vinegar is gone, add 1/3 cup of water and stir the onions frequently until the water evaporates as well. After all is said and done, you’ll finish with 8 servings of balsamic caramelized onion to top your turkey burgers, each serving of onions is 32 calories.

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The onions, mid-caramelization

The final part of my prep was tackling the turkey burgers, the toughest part of the day for sure. Combine all of the ingredients listed and form into 8 burger patties, be sure to make an indent in the center of the patties as they will expand when you put them on the hot skillet. I used a cast iron skillet, because the only grill I have is a George Foreman and I wanted to make sure I didn’t lose any flavor. They could just as easily be grilled, either way you want to use medium high heat. The recipe called for cooking the burgers 7 minutes on each side, adding the provolone cheese for the last minute. I forgot to add the cheese to the first 3 until after I had already plated them, so that’s why 3 of them look a little funky. I’m sure they’ll taste the same though. You can also serve the burgers on whatever you choose, I bought french hamburger buns from the Publix bakery as they were also on sale this week and clock in at 160 calories a piece. Though it could just as easily be served without the bun, on a lettuce wrap, or a sandwich thin if that tickles your fancy. The burgers (without bun or onions) are each 173 calories with 8g of fat and 22g of protein.

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All my burgers, in different states of done (and 3 wonky ones with partially melted cheese). The center burger and the one directly to the right were fresh off the pan. 

For your convenience, I’ve listed all the ingredients below and a photo of the finished product all plated and fancy. If anyone attempts this meal prep I would love to see pictures or hear your reviews.

Brussel Sprouts Suzanne 

5 servings – 171 calories each

  • 25-30 brussel sprouts
  • 6 pieces bacon chopped (I used center cut because of calorie content)
  • 2-4 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2-4 Tbsp balsamic glaze
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Remove stems from brussel sprouts and quarter them tossing the extra pieces into the dish as well.
  3. Chop bacon into medium to small pieces and add to baking dish.
  4. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt.
  5. Mix the dish so that all the sprouts have olive oil on them and the bacon is distributed equally.
  6. Roast for 15 minutes, stir, and roast for another 15 minutes.
  7. Remove the pan and immediately drizzle with balsamic glaze, stir and serve.

The following is the exact recipe I used, copy and pasted from The Foodie and The Fix blog.

 
Balsamic Caramelized Onions

8 servings – 32 calories each

  • 3 large onions (any kind will do, but I usually use white or red), cut in half and then sliced
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  1. Put your sliced onions and vinegar in a large skillet with a tight fitting lid. If you don’t have one you can use a pot instead, but the process may take a bit longer. Cover and cook about 20 minutes.
  2. Take off the lid and continue to cook, stirring every few minutes, until there is no liquid left. Once this happens, the onions will start to caramelize. You’ll then add 1/3 cup of water, stirring again until there is no liquid left.
  3. Repeat this process until onions are fully cooked and caramelized. Set aside.

Turkey Burgers 

8 servings – 173 calories each

  • 2 lbs ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 TBS Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
  • 2 tsp (3 large cloves) of garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbs dried thyme

Toppings

  • 8 slices provolone cheese
  • balsamic caramelized onions
  • whatever you want to put it on: whole wheat bun, english muffin, pita, greens, etc..
    Instructions

To make the burgers:

  1. Mix together all ingredients, form into 8 burger patties.
  2. Preheat your grill to medium-high heat. Make sure it’s nice and hot before adding your burgers or they may stick. You can also cook these in a cast iron skillet.
  3. Either way, using medium-high heat, they should take about 7 minutes on each side. Flip only once to get the juiciest burgers and cook until the burgers reach 165 degrees or if you don’t have a thermometer, until they’re hot and no longer pink on the inside.
  4. Put a slice of provolone on each one and close the lid until melted (this will only take a minute or so).
  5. Serve each tasty turkey burgers on whatever you like, such as a whole wheat bun, english muffin, greens, etc., along with about 1/8th of the caramelized onions.

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The finished product- a delicious dinner for under 600 calories!

 

 

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