Dinner Tonight: 3 Different Ways

by danielle on January 8, 2013

If you’ve ever read my blog on a Monday you know I am a big fan of meal prep. I typically spend a couple hours on Saturday or Sunday prepping for the week. But since I’m only cooking for me it usually means I end up with the same meals on rotation throughout the week. Sometimes this works for me and other times it gets totally boring. Now I know myself and when I get bored with my food, I start to rebel and instead of eating those roasted veggies for the 5th night in a row, the chocolate and cereal start calling my name. Not that chocolate and cereal aren’t okay on occasion…they just don’t make for the most satisfying dinner in the world. So here’s my solution. One recipe, 3 different ways. I prepped the base on Sunday and had 3 different dinners/lunches throughout the week!

veggie rice medley

Here’s your Base 

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups cooked rice 
  • 2 Zucchini
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 2 carrots
  • 3 cups fresh baby spinach spinach

Directions: 

  1. Begin my cooking your rice and chopping your veggies into small pieces and cooking your rice.
  2. In a skillet sprayed with olive oil, saute your carrots, bell peppers, and zucchini on medium heat until soft.
  3. Add in your cooked rice and spinach, and continue to simmer 3-4 minutes longer.
  4. Remove from heat and store for the week.

Now we get creative…

Monday: Make a stir fry by sautéing your rice blend in coconut oil and adding coconut aminos for flavor. Mix in a lean protein of your choice. I chose edamame but shrimp, chicken, or beef would all be great.

brown rice stir fry

Tuesday: Rice and veggie mix sauteed with black beans, chili powder, paprika, and red pepper flakes. Topped with lime and avocado.

spicy brown rice and beans

Thursday: Comfort cheesy rice. In a saucepan over low heat whisk together 2 oz of raw goat cheddar and 1/4-1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk until melty. Add in rice medley until warm. Serve with turkey meatloaf muffins.

cheesy brown rice and veggies

What’s your favorite versatile dish to have on hand for the week??? 

{ 46 comments… read them below or add one }

Lucie January 8, 2013 at 8:55 am

Love this!! Totally my thing! I always just roast a ton of veggies and then vary them around with different proteins or cooked with eggs or something. I can’t stand it when it gets boring, food is too precious to be boring :-)

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danielle January 8, 2013 at 5:07 pm

I totally agree! Why eat it if it’s boring?!

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Nadja January 8, 2013 at 9:08 am

Great idea! When i’m alone at home, it’s sometimes hard to make different meals with the same things. Thanks for these recipes!

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danielle January 8, 2013 at 5:08 pm

So glad you liked it! It’s definitely a challenge to cook for one.

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Danielle @ itsaharleyyylife January 8, 2013 at 10:33 am

Eric would make me put cheese all over it. Or I guess I could make it one way… split it … and then let him eat it with cheese! good thinking! (:

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danielle January 8, 2013 at 5:08 pm

hahaha sounds good. Just split it up and it will be perfect for both of you!

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Kristen@Change of Pace January 8, 2013 at 11:55 am

I am getting ready to do a post similar to this! This is great because you can keep it in the fridge for the week and potentially have 3 different meals or side dishes. :)

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danielle January 8, 2013 at 5:08 pm

Can’t wait to see what you came up with! This would work great with cauliflower rice too!

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kim@hungryhealthygirl January 8, 2013 at 12:01 pm

I love these ideas and I especially love the looks of Tuesday’s idea!

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danielle January 8, 2013 at 5:08 pm

Thanks Kim!

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Shannon (Healthiful Balance) January 8, 2013 at 12:05 pm

Great ideas! I love meals like this. :)

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danielle January 8, 2013 at 5:09 pm

Thanks Shannon!

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Michelle @ Eat Move Balance January 8, 2013 at 12:45 pm

You’re a bit more organized than me. I usually keep containers of cooked beans, quinoa and chicken in the fridge. Then I just add whatever veggies I have that week to make dinners. :)

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danielle January 8, 2013 at 5:09 pm

That’s sounds great. You never know what you’re going to feel like!

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Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin January 8, 2013 at 12:48 pm

I love how this dish can be transformed into 3 different meals – that’s such a good idea!

I like to just prep components of meals ahead of time, like rice and salmon, and then I can use them however I want throughout the week.

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danielle January 8, 2013 at 5:09 pm

Great tip! I love to keep things unseasoned cause then you can season them as you go!

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Linz @ Itz Linz January 8, 2013 at 1:19 pm

love this!! we double and triple our meals all the time. my favorite is probably chili!

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danielle January 8, 2013 at 5:10 pm

Love chili and soups! They’re easy to freeze too!

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Hannah @ CleanEatingVeggieGirl January 8, 2013 at 1:36 pm

Awesome idea! Eating the same old thing several times a week can certainly get boring and can definitely cause me to fall off of the “healthy” bandwagon (not that this isn’t okay, on occasion! ;) ). I am loving the looks of Tuesday’s and Thursday’s dinner. A little bit of spice and a little bit of cheese…yum!

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danielle January 8, 2013 at 5:10 pm

Glad you like them Hannah!

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julie January 8, 2013 at 2:31 pm

mmm i’m the same way! i’m a major repeater – sometimes it’s just easier! right now i’m on a total stir fry & lettuce cups phase! i love a big old hot stir fry with some chicken thrown in! and i just bought tessemae’s marinades and i’m totally obsessed with them!

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danielle January 8, 2013 at 5:12 pm

Both sound amazing!

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Kaitlin @4loveofcarrots January 8, 2013 at 3:56 pm

love this!! its so efficient

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danielle January 8, 2013 at 5:12 pm

Thanks Kaitlin!

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Lisa January 8, 2013 at 4:13 pm

This is a great way to mix up those basic meals so you don’t get bored! Just what I need, since I seem to eat the same things over and over and it does get a tad boring sometimes.

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danielle January 8, 2013 at 5:13 pm

I do the same thing! I’m a creature of habit I guess!

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Kierston January 8, 2013 at 4:51 pm

You can add so much flavor to rice….Love adding a kick to it :)

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danielle January 8, 2013 at 5:13 pm

Agreed!

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GiGi Eats Celebrities January 8, 2013 at 5:45 pm

While I have been celiac + some for 10 + years my bro was just diagnosed 4 days ago and is going through with drawl… I need to show him these recipes because HE CAN EAT THEM and THEY ARE TASTY!! LOL

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danielle January 8, 2013 at 8:01 pm

Yay! Please share them with him and wish him luck! It’s definitely a tough transition!

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Alysia @ Slim Sanity January 8, 2013 at 6:41 pm

I’ve never mixed cheese with rice before… good idea!

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danielle January 8, 2013 at 8:02 pm

It’s great!

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Maren January 8, 2013 at 7:40 pm

This is such a cool idea. Makes for some really easy and delicious meals throughout the week. I need to be more planned so I can do this.

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danielle January 8, 2013 at 8:02 pm

Thanks Maren! I’ll get you planning in no time!

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Court Star @ StarSystemz January 8, 2013 at 8:16 pm

I always have chicken baked and ready with no seasonings! I later add on some sauces/seasonings and throw it in whatever I am making as my vegetable that night along with some more spices/seasonings. Having the chicken on hand saves me tons of time and effort :) Love + Shine C

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danielle January 8, 2013 at 8:59 pm

That’s such a great idea!

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Rachel @ Healthy Chicks January 8, 2013 at 9:55 pm

AH, I LIVE for versatile meals like this, and leftovers rule! Quinoa is definitely my go-to as you can do so much with it – - soups, salads, veggie bowls, sweet breakfasts. I actually wrote a whole post on benefits & different ways with quinoa today! :)

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danielle January 9, 2013 at 1:38 pm

I saw your quinoa post and loved it! I’m a huge fan of versatile ingredients!

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Amanda @.running with spoons. January 8, 2013 at 10:59 pm

This is such a great idea, Danielle! I don’t do nearly enough meal prep, mostly because I never know what I’ll be craving on a particular day, and I hate having to force down something I don’t want to eat just because I don’t want it to go bad. The only thing I regularly have on hand is baked chicken. As long as I have that, I can make some sort of meal, and if not… there’s always cereal ;)

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danielle January 9, 2013 at 1:38 pm

hahaha cereal is my go to also ;)

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Andrea @Pencils and Pancakes January 9, 2013 at 12:40 am

HA what a great idea! If I was still living alone I would totally do this. However now that I live with my fiance, I’m sure this method would be unacceptable.

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danielle January 9, 2013 at 1:38 pm

hahaha well you don’t have to tell him ;)

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Brittany @ Delights and Delectables January 9, 2013 at 1:15 am

your prep and creativity kills me girl!! I so wish I was a prep queen like you. However, this week I did make a ton of rice for the week! That counts for something… right??

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danielle January 9, 2013 at 1:39 pm

Totally counts ;)

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Heather January 9, 2013 at 3:28 am

this is SUCH a good idea! i like to have variety too, and i never make just plain rice because i feel like that takes so long to dress up. cooking veggies with the rice then just changing the spices/flavors totally solves this problem!

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danielle January 9, 2013 at 1:39 pm

I agree. I get so bored with food sometimes unless I change it up!

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