zucchini

Easy Vegetarian Verde Enchiladas

Listen up, meal preppers! This one’s for you!

Despite sometimes being finnicky to fill and roll, enchiladas are one of my favorite dishes to meal prep for an easy dinner for two. One reason I love them so much is because the combination of filling ingredients is almost endless, meaning you can always customize this dish to suit whatever you’re in the mood for or have at home. As much as I want fall to begin, I couldn’t help but make one final (okay it might not be the laaaast) meal prep that celebrates all things summer.

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For these enchiladas I used some summer farmers market zucchini and bell peppers, but you could certainly swap in yellow squash and poblano peppers, or even some fresh corn and tomatoes. For a fall twist, go with chipotle butternut squash! To go with these fresh veggies, I decided to use cheese as the main protein source. Typically I would use some canned black beans, or shredded rotisserie chicken, but my husband and I were feeling extra cheesy and let the Monterrey Jack (and Greek yogurt, for me) handle the protein component. Plus, to provide more satisfaction and to fill us up from this meatless dish, a generous amount of avocado was sliced on top.

Enchiladas wouldn’t be complete without the sauce, and since I firmly named this version EASY, I have to admit I used a prepared salsa verde this time. While making a homemade red or green enchilada sauce is not rocket science (google and you’ll find hundreds of DIY recipes), we already had some tomatillo salsa in the fridge and this seemed like the perfect way to use it up.

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Before getting to the recipe, I wanted to touch quickly on how meal prepping can fit into an intuitive eating approach. As you may know, I take a fairly “hands off” approach when it comes to the what, when, and how of food and eating for the most part. If you’re in the mood for a big bowl of pasta one night, make that, but if your body is craving some greens after the weekend, then listen and make up a big salad. While it sounds like I’m saying “don’t over-commit or plan, just decide what you want to eat in the moment”, I do find there to be a very practical side to intuitive eating as well.

Practically speaking, having some semblance of a meal “plan” can allow you to be prepared for the week with a nourishing option when you want it. Making up a dish, like enchiladas, or roasting up some veggies with a pot of rice, at least gives you the option to eat “as planned” or on the fly when you need to. For example, since your personal/dinner plans may change during the week, that meal you prepped ahead of time may not even get eaten when expected- and that’s okay! The beauty of prepped food, I find, is that it’s there and ready for when you want it, but portions can also be moved to be enjoyed the next meal, or the rest can even be frozen if you don’t get to it. Meal prep and planning absolutely has a space in intuitive eating when we see a prepped meal as a resource, a tool to reduce dinnertime stress, or an act of kindness for your body, rather than as a rigid rule to abide by at any cost.

I encourage you to try planning out a dish for the week and see if it helps you feel more prepared, yet flexible. These enchiladas would be a great place to start!

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Easy Vegetarian Verde Enchiladas- serves 4

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil

  • 2 bell peppers (yellow and red), chopped into 1/2 inch squares

  • 1 cup chopped zucchini (same size as peppers)

  • 1/2 white onion, diced

  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin

  • pinch of salt

  • 12 small corn tortillas (or flour, which honestly roll up better!)

  • 2 cups pre-preparred salsa verde (or homemade if preferred)

  • 1 cup shredded Monterrey Jack cheese

  • sliced radishes, avocado, cilantro, and Greek yogurt for serving

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

  2. Heat oil in a large skillet until shimmering, then add the bell pepper, zucchini, and onion. Cook, stirring every so often, until vegetables start to soften, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic powder, cumin, and salt and cook for another 2 minutes, then turn off the heat.

  3. In a 8x12 baking dish, spoon about 1/2 cup of the salsa verde into the bottom of the dish and set aside.

  4. To assemble the enchiladas, lay out a tortilla and place two spoonfuls of the vegetable mixture in a line down the center of the tortilla. Gently roll up the tortilla and place it seam side down in the baking dish. Repeat this process with the remaining tortillas and filling.

  5. Pour the remaining salsa verde over the prepared enchiladas and sprinkle the tops with the cheese. Bake uncovered in the oven for about 20 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Remove from the oven and serve warm, or allow to cool for meal prep storage.

  6. In a sealed container, or an aluminum foil wrapped cooled baking dish, store the enchiladas in the fridge for up to 3 days. Garnishes can be added after reheating.

Cinnamon Zucchini Oats

If you’ve been around here long enough you know I love adding vegetables into my meals wherever I can, and that includes breakfast! Sure, eggs are an easy breakfast base to pile on veggies, but I also like to give my oatmeal the royal treatment by sneaking in some extra fiber and color too.

Summer is winding down, so I’m soaking up all the tomatoes, stone fruits, and summer squash before September ends, which means my meal preps are leaning heavy on these farmers market goodies. This weekend I was reminded of zucchini oats, or as I like to call them “zoats”, by a friend, and just like that I had my week’s breakfasts planned.

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For these oats I went the extra step and utilized the steel cut variety of oats. I say extra step because they do take a bit longer to cook than old-fashioned oats, but I find it’s definitely worth the extra nutrition! Steel cut oats contain about double the fiber as rolled oats, which means they have a lower glycemic index and impact blood sugar spikes less dramatically, making them great for sustained energy and hunger satisfaction.

If you’re wondering about the zucchini taste of this breakfast rest assured that the squash flavor is subtle and essentially nonexistent thanks to the warm cinnamon and other toppings you may choose to add.

Make up a big batch and portion some out each morning, with toppings of your choice- now you’re zOATally ready to tackle the day!

Cinnamon Zucchini Oats- serves 4

Ingredients

  • 4 cups water

  • 1 cup steel cut oats

  • 1 small zucchini shredded (about 1 1/4 cups)

  • 2 tbsp vanilla collagen peptides, such as Primal Kitchen Collagen Fuel

  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon

  • pinch of sea salt

  • Toppings of choice- fresh or frozen berries, nut butter, hemp or flax seeds

Directions

  1. In a medium pot, bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Once boiling add the oats. Simmer uncovered over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes until the oats become thick and fully cooked.

  2. Turn off the heat and add in the shredded zucchini, collagen, cinnamon, and salt. Stir until well combined.

  3. Store in a single or individual airtight containers in the fridge for up to 5 days. To serve, warm in the microwave and add desired toppings.

Farewell Summer Ratatouille

Fall is undeniably my favorite season in terms of weather, cozy clothing, and hot beverages, but it’s tough to beat summer produce! As we speed through September, I wanted to give summer’s bounty one final hurrah, but with using my go-to fall kitchen appliance- my slow cooker.

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Danny and I are leaving for Italy at the end of the week, so I wanted work lunches to be prepped as much as possible because I knew evenings would be a flurry of last minute planning and packing. So, while football was playing in the background, I dusted off my slow cooker (or crock pot, as others may know it) and tossed in the easiest “farewell summer” ratatouille.

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I plan to serve this alongside different grains (quinoa or farro most likely), with a new protein each day to beat boredom (I have some frozen shrimp and garbanzo beans that would both work well I think). You could certainly dress it up each day with a new flavor too- add olives, capers, or cheese to keep things interesting!

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Are you ready for fall or hanging on to summer?


Farewell Summer Ratatouille- serves 3

Ingredients

  • 2 small Italian eggplants

  • 1 yellow squash

  • 1 zucchini

  • 1 red and 1 orange bell pepper

  • 1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes

  • 2 tbsp tomato paste

  • 1 tbsp dried basil

  • 3 tbsp olive oil

  • 1 tsp salt

Directions

  1. Cut all vegetables (minus tomatoes) into small 1-inch cubes. You want them to all be about the same size so that they cook evenly. Add all prepped vegetables and tomatoes to slow cooker.

  2. To vegetables, add tomato paste, olive oil, basil, and salt. Use hands or a large spoon to toss everything together until all ingredients are mixed well.

  3. Cook on the HIGH setting for 4 hours.

  4. Once finished, remove cooked vegetables with a slotted spoon as a lot of liquid will have been released during cooking. Serve right away or store in glass container and add to lunches throughout the week.

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