BUFFET STYLE MEAL PREP LESSON 5: Healthy Seasonings & Meal Ideas
In Lesson 4, I covered (and you learned!) how to prep the foods you chose from the food list for the week. In this lesson, I will teach you about healthy seasonings and simple meal ideas that work hand-in-hand with buffet style meal prep and the Portion Fix/21 Day Fix Eating Plan.
21 Day Fix Free Foods
The BEST foods in life are FREE! Free in the Portion Fix/21 Day Fix Eating Plan anyways lol.
THIS is where you want to start because these foods will have no significant impact on your calorie intake. Here are Autumn’s FREE healthy seasonings gifts for us:
- Lemon juice
- Lime juice (great for Thai and Mexican dishes!)
- Vinegars (treat yourself to a delicious gourmet vinegar…or two or three!)
- Mustard (goes great with eggs!)
- Herbs (both fresh and dry)
- Spices (except salt)
- Tobasco Mexican hot sauce
- Pure flavor extracts
I always have a container of chopped or pureed garlic on hand. Costco has a great deal on a squeeze bottle that may seem big at first, but doesn’t last as long as you think it will! I also love the ginger that you can squeeze out of a tube…it’s a HUGE timesaver.
Even though it’s not on the FREE list, I use Braggs Amino Acids often. It can make cardboard taste good lol.
My Favorite Fresh and Dried Herbs & Spices
Here are the staple dried herbs and spices I use most often as healthy seasonings for my buffet style meals. As you gain experience with the buffet style meal prep system, you’ll create your very own list!
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
- Dried mint
- Dried basil
- Red chili powder
Fix-Compliant Healthy Seasonings Recipes
Occasionally during my weekly meal prep, I make some spice mixes to add some zing to my week’s meals. Autumn gives us several healthy seasonings recipes on Page 43 of the 21 Day Fix Eating Plan that comes with the program, but have some fun creating your own, too!
Here are a few of my personal favorites:
- Mexican (or Taco) Seasoning – 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp coriander, 1/2 tsp garlic
- Thai Seasoning – 1 tsp dried basil, 1 tsp dried mint, 1/4 tsp onion powder
- Italian Seasoning – 1/4 tsp dried basil, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp onion powder
Add red chili powder, lime juice and/or Braggs Amino Acids to any of these for some extra FREE flavor!
Here are a couple Fix healthy seasonings mixes that you can double, triple, or quadruple so you have them on hand all the time:
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp mustard powder
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp sea salt
4 tsp dried onion flakes
2 tsp dried basil, crushed
1 tsp ground oregano
1 tsp ground thyme
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
Healthy Salad Dressing Recipes
Salad dressings are another option for seasoning your buffet style meals. Dressings are measured in the orange container, which means you get ONE serving per day. I usually make one orange container stretch by using only half on two meals.
Healthy salad dressings are NOT just for salads! They can be just what that brown rice bowl or serving of steamed veggies needs.
In addition to the healthy salad dressing recipes that Autumn includes in the Eating Plan, we have a collection of recipes on Pinterest. Just take care that they are FIX COMPLIANT…a swap or two is all that may be necessary. Homemade Salad Dressings Pinterest Board
Ideas for Simple Buffet Style Meals
I try and get my Fixers AWAY from the reliance on recipes (except when you’re entertaining, of course!). If we put Martha Stewart pressure on ourselves, we WILL eventually burn out!
As you get accustomed to the buffet style meal prep way of cooking, it gets easier and easier to come up with delicious SIMPLE meals. Here are some ideas and examples from my kitchen:
- Tuna salads. Romaine lettuce, wild caught canned tuna, celery, fresh herbs, lemon juice…even beans…can make a SUPER delicious buffet style meal. Here is a recipe that you can commit to memory and that works perfect with the buffet style meal prep system: Italian Tuna & Bean Salad.
- Regular salads. Choose a protein/red container, grab a green container or two of your cut up lettuce and veggies, maybe even a little fruit/purple, nuts or cheese or avocado/blue and toss it all with some fresh herbs and some homemade salad dressing. Have some fun and get creative to you don’t get bored with your meals! Here are some tips on making a salad into a healthy meal: How to Make a Salad into a Meal
- Stir fry. Similar to a salad, you can grab your protein/red and veggies/green and add special touches like raw cashews, sesame or sunflower seeds, and, of course, your favorite seasonings and/or salad dressing.
- Tacos. These are so easily customizable based on whatever containers you have available and…who doesn’t love a taco???
- Pizza. You CAN make a Fix-compliant pizza. See how I do it here: 21 Day Fix Approved Pizza
And, let’s PLEASE not forget that there’s ALWAYS just a simple plate of a mix of containers—like salmon, brown rice and veggies or a lean ground turkey burger with a side salad. Unless you ARE Martha, don’t put pressure on yourself to BE Martha!
Most of these work GREAT for family meals! Buffet style meal prep is perfect for when you have a group with different eating preferences and/or needs because it’s so easily customizable.
Here are some recipes that work well with buffet style meal prep when you feel like expanding your repertoire of meals. I am in FULL support of simple recipes you can make ahead during your weekly meal prep session!
- Healthy Fast Weeknight Dinners
- Mediterranean Summer Vegetable Ratatouille
- Egg & Black Bean Breakfast Tacos
- 15 Breakfast Ideas Under 300 Calories
If you haven’t done so already, you can download a copy of a 7 day meal plan I created that demonstrates how great the buffet style meal prep system is. Remember, it’s really not about “recipes”—it’s about single whole ingredient foods prepared simply. You can download it HERE.
Join my Tribe!
I hope you know that the people you surround yourself with have a HUGE impact on your success. If you’re constantly around people who don’t make healthy choices, it’s likely you’ll be anywhere from influenced to pressured to make unhealthy choices. Your tribe impacts your vibe!
Are you in my Fix Family tribe on Facebook yet? If not, you need to be! Click below to start the (quick and free) process of joining. If yes, then I’m proud that you’re here learning new habits so you can rock your healthy new lifestyle.