Grilled Harissa Chicken and Grilled Umami Chicken with vegetable hash and sweet/spicy roasted sweet potatoes, Chicken Taco Lettuce Wraps and Caprese Salad

Harrissa Chicken with optional avocado

Three is the magic number when it comes to meal prep. If we can get 3 different dishes made for the week, we never get tired of what we have to eat. It allows you to rotate what you planned to have for lunch and/or dinner. Another thing you can play around with is to change the seasoning or the protein of the dish and use the same sides such as veggies and carbs. Doing this changes, it up enough to keep things interesting, at least for me.

For example, this week I seasoned some chicken breasts with umami seasoning from Trader Joe’s and the other I used a harissa marinade. I have been wanting to try Trader Joe’s umami seasoning because there is some hype about it on their social media. My impression of it is that it’s nothing special. It has a really salty, herby mushroom flavor. I think I could make something better with a dried porcini powder. Plus, I think Trader Joe’s is being liberal by calling it “umami seasoning”, since “umami” is supposed to be sweet, sour, bitter and salty flavors, I don’t really get that from it. I do however like Trader Joe’s harissa, but I’m not going to go into detail about it, if you like a spicy marinade give it a try. Harissa is one of my favorite chili sauces. Making it yourself is pretty easy, but I love the convenience of just buying it.

Sorry if this post is turning into a Trader Joe’s commercial, it’s not my intention at all. However, another thing we used is their individual guacamole packets on the chicken taco salad. Using these for meal prep is really helpful because you don’t have to cut an avocado every time you pack your lunch. You also won’t waste your other half of avocado because they tend to turn brown quickly even if you try to wrap them carefully. Okay that’s enough writing about my love for Trader Joe’s this week. Check out our recipes for meal prep below.

Grilled Harissa Chicken and Grilled Umami Chicken with vegetable hash

  • 2lb Boneless-Skinless Chicken Breast
  • 3 Tablespoons Trader Joe’s Harissa
  • 2 Tbsp Trader Joe’s “Umami” seasoning
  • 1 yellow onion, medium diced
  • 2 ea. zucchinis, medium diced
  • 1 ea. red bell pepper, medium diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1lb bag mixed baby kale and spinach
  • ½ cup goat cheese, crumbled

For Roasted Sweet and Spicy Sweet potatoes

  • 2 ea. sweet potatoes, medium diced
  • 1 Tbsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil

Instructions

  1. Put 1 lb. of the chicken breasts in a freezer bag add 3-4 tablespoons harissa. Shake and massage until harissa covers the meat and place in the fridge for 3-4 hours to marinate.
  2. Put the other 1 lb. of chicken on a plate and season with Trader Joe’s umami. Cover and set in the fridge.
  3. Pre-heat oven to bake on 425°
  4. In a bowl, combine paprika, cayenne, chili powder, black pepper, salt, brown sugar and potatoes. Toss to coast seasoning on potatoes, then add olive oil and toss again (This will allow an even coating of the spices on the potatoes).
  5. Place potatoes on a cooking sheet in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Flip potatoes and bake an additional 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool when done.
  6. While potatoes are cooking, sauté onions, garlic until translucent, then add bell pepper then add zucchini and cook until soft. Remove from heat and carefully mix in baby kale and spinach until wilted. Season with salt and pepper and taste for seasoning. Let cool.
  7. On a med-high heat grill, cook all chicken until done. If you need to use a thermometer it should reach 160-165°. Let chicken rest 10 minutes before slicing into small pieces.
  8. Assemble containers with potatoes on one side then veggies the other. Crumble goat cheese if desired, then place sliced chicken on top. Pack everything up to place in the fridge for the week.

Chicken Taco Lettuce Wraps

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. Boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 4 Tbsp taco seasoning
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Bunch Romaine lettuce leaves, rinsed
  • 4 pks single serving guacamole packets
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • ¼ cp onion diced

Cilantro Dressing

  • 1 cp loosely packed cilantro
  • 1 cp Greek yogurt
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 2 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Place chicken, garlic, olive oil and spices in a large freezer bag and seal. Shake to mix together seasonings and place in the fridge to marinate 20-30 minutes or overnight.
  2. Remove chicken from marinade.
  3. In a hot pan on med-high heat, sear chicken and continue to cook through until the temperature reaches 165° internally. Set aside chicken to rest at least 10 minutes before cutting into bite sized pieces.
  4. Prepare the cilantro dressing by placing all ingredients in food processor and blend until creamy.
  5. Assemble in containers with chicken to one side, 1 packet of single serving guacamole, then tomatoes and onions to the other side. Place whole romaine leaves on top (make sure all ingredients are cool so romaine doesn’t wilt) then secure close with the lid. Place in the fridge.
  6. Pour dressing in small containers to pack with your salad.

Caprese salad

Ingredients

  • 1 large container of mixed cherry tomatoes
  • 1 bunch fresh basil
  • 1 container of Fresh Mozzarella or Burrata
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt and Black Pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Cut cherry tomatoes in half
  2. Slice fresh mozzarella in ¼ slices
  3. Tear basil into bite size pieces using your hands
  4. Assemble mozzarella, then basil then tomatoes in alternating layers in food containers
  5. Before packing for lunch or eating for dinner, season with salt and pepper then drizzle balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Eat and enjoy.
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