Guest Post by: Uriell Carlson, RDN. Founder, Inner Wild Nutrition
There are many, many perks of living in the mountains of a landlocked state like Colorado. Access to high quality seafood is not one of them.
Thankfully, I have discovered Sierra Gale Seafoods, and I’m now lucky enough to have the best of both worlds! Not to mention, my diet, health and love for seafood have never been better.
Meal Prep On-The-Go
First, let me give you a bit of a backstory on this. I’m a dietitian, which means I have an inherent affinity for meal planning. Now, I’m not the type to lay out every single meal for every day of the week and go to the grocery store with a 3-page grocery list. But, I still think ahead to what type of meals I want and thus, what I need to keep stocked in order to have a healthy, balanced meal in the shortest amount of time possible.
It’s meal prep on to go, with a side of real life thrown in.
If you’re not sure where to begin or you find yourself eating chips and salsa for dinner because you don’t have anything in the kitchen, I’m going to give you the formula I use to plan, shop and prepare a variety of delicious, balanced meals any day of the week.
What is a Balanced Meal?
Before we get started, I should define what a “balanced meal” means.
- First, every meal should start with a protein source.
- Then, you need vegetables: at least 2-3 different types and colors is perfect.
- From there, add complex carbohydrates, especially if you’re active on a regular basis
- Lastly, check for healthy fat.
Now, you need to stock your kitchen with a few of each of the components listed above. Here’s how:
- Have at least 3 sources of protein in your kitchen at all times. Eggs, meat and seafood are typically the top 3 options. Seafood such as salmon, tuna, cod and scallops are great because they can be stored frozen and then even cooked from frozen (see instructions HERE).
- Vegetables: have at least 4-6 options to choose from. I always suggest a leafy green in addition to the longer lasting vegetables such as broccoli, carrots, cabbage, bok choy, zucchini, or whatever else is in season.
- Complex Carbohydrate: whole grains such as bulgur, quinoa, brown or wild rice, whole grain breads and white or sweet potatoes are all very shelf stable.
- Healthy fats: If you’re eating fish, your healthy fats are covered! If not, use extra virgin olive oil, olives, avocado, avocado oil, sesame oil, nuts and seeds, or grass fed butter.
Meal Ideas – Freestyle
Now that you’re stocked, the meals are up to you.
Prep a big batch of quinoa on Sunday night and then switch up the veggies, seasoning and protein for each meal you pair with it. Or, thaw and marinate a piece of fish to use as your protein for a couple days and just switch up the vegetables and seasonings.
So far, my favorite protein sources have been the King Salmon and Black Cod, but I’ve recently been enjoying a quick seared sesame crusted tuna on top of a pile of veggies when I’m really in a pinch.
If you haven’t already, my best suggestion is to get started by stocking your freezer with some of Sierra’s incredible seafood so you will never be short on high quality protein (and healthy fat) sources again. Join a buying club to take advantage of free shipping and discounted rates.
If you have questions or want more recipe inspiration, follow me on IG @uri.carlson or go to innerwildnutrition.com to learn more about what I do as a dietitian.