Note: This post is sponsored by BabbleBoxx

This past week, we cooked up a storm in the Diet Assassinista kitchen! From stir-fries to roasted fish, pasta, and curry, our fridge and pantry have been brimming with seriously tasty ingredients. 

But how did we get from point A, identifying what we want to make, to point B, adding the foods to our grocery list? This is a question I get asked a lot, so I figured I’d give you a glimpse into how it works in our kitchen.

First, we chose to base our meals around a few delicious and convenient products that we had on hand: coconut aminos, tahini, hazelnut spread, flavored almonds, and Minute Rice!

Second, now that it’s Spring, our major inspiration was our garden where our arugula and parsley are growing like weeds. Knowing we had time to cook about four meals this week and prepare a couple wholesome snacks, we methodically built our grocery list. 

We first chose our proteins that would pair well with our pantry of products and fresh vegetables – poultry, fish, cheese, and sausage. Then we browsed our recipe library and decided on a couple recipes we’ve cooked before – stir-fried honey chicken and roasted arctic char and selected a couple that were new to mix things up – mattar paneer and pasta with sausage and arugula. Last but not least, we planned our snacks to include avocado, since our tree is full of ripe ones, and fresh fruit!

As usual, all of this planning went to good use because we had a game plan that made one week’s worth of cooking a breeze. So without further ado, let me share with you the highlights of our week:

Pasta with Sausage, Arugula, and Flavored Almonds

New to our recipe repertoire, we made Pasta with Sausage and Arugula. But we adapted the recipe to include a frico with Recipe 33’s seriously delicious garlic and dill flavored almonds. You can tell these almonds are made with real ingredients because they absolutely took this recipe to the next level! The pasta cooked up to about six servings, so we had food for a couple days, which gave us one night off from cooking. Yay!

[Check out Recipe 33’s Special Offer: Save $2.00 on any 4oz bags by clicking here to buy the flavored almonds and using the code TryRECIPE33].

Mattar Paneer with Minute Rice

While we’ve made mattar paneer before, we wanted a quick weeknight recipe to pair with our Minute Rice. This recipe was wholesome and tasty, and within 45 minutes, we cooked the meal and had all the dishes cleaned up! And this was another dish that was great for a couple days of leftovers.

Minute rice is such a great product to have on hand. Cooking up in just 60 seconds, it’s perfect for nights when we’re short on time, and is BPA-free and 100% recyclable. Minute rice also pairs well with so many of our favorite weeknight dishes, including another recipe we made this week, stir-fried honey chicken with bok choy!

Avocado Halves with Coconut Aminos

Speaking of our stir-fry staple, which is similar to this one, we often forget that it’s best to marinate the chicken for at least 30 minutes before preparing everything else. Often, that leaves us a little hungry before dinner is ready.

But this week, coconut aminos saved the day! Having it on hand for the stir-fry, as it’s a 1:1 soy sauce replacement, we simply sliced and pitted a ripe avocado and poured in the sauce, which makes for such an amazing snack. With 72% less sodium than soy sauce, there’s nothing like Coconut Secret’s sauce because it’s packed with umami flavor and a slight hint of sweetness. 

Arugula Salad with Tahini

With our plan to cook another weekly staple, roasted arctic char, we wanted fresh greens to go on the side! So we paired our home-grown arugula with Mighty Sesame Tahini, which is so creamy and super easy to use, unlike other tahinis! Instead of spooning tahini from a jar, all you have to do is shake the bottle, squeeze, and enjoy! 

I love having this stuff on hand because it’s super creamy and nutrition packed. Plus, it helps me put a delicious salad together in no time. 

Bananas and Strawberries with Hazelnut Spread

And now onto snacks! In 2022, I’ve been committed to getting back into a serious running and strength training program. 12 weeks in, I find that I really need some healthful snacks to keep me energized between meals. 

So this week, I chose to pair Nutiva’s Classic Hazelnut Spread with bananas and strawberries. This spread has 40% less sugar than the leading brand, is certified organic, vegan, and best of all, really hits my sweet spot! I also love Nutiva’s products in general because of their commitment to regenerative farming practices, which go hand-in-hand with creating healthier communities. 

All in a Day’s (or Week’s) Work!

While our weeks tend to be busy between work, socializing, and getting in some exercise, we always commit some time to the kitchen to ensure that we’re getting in meals and snacks that support a healthy lifestyle. But that doesn’t mean we have to spend ALL of our time in the kitchen with meal prep and clean up.

So my advice to those who want to get into meal planning is that by keeping convenient ingredients in your pantry like coconut aminos, tahini, Minute Rice, flavored almonds, and hazelnut spread, you can ensure that your week of cooking and snacking as nutritious as it is tasty!

If you loved the recipes and produmentioned in this post, you will also love my recipes for: Hearts of Palm Pasta with Sausage Ragu, Stir-Fried Mushrooms and Tofu with Bok Choy, Easy Coconut Shrimp Curry, and Roasted Trout with Herbs and Summer Squash! 

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