A low fat southwest protein bowl that is easy to meal prep for simple to heat and eat freezer meals.
I did something this week that I don’t do too often. A little bit of meal prepping for the week. Don’t get me wrong, I like what meal prepping does for me. I just don’t always love the planning and actual prepping.
But this week I got it together and did it. I made some deviled eggs, browned a bunch of ground beef, and made this low fat southwest protein bowl recipe for the freezer (that I’m sharing with you).
Sometimes I just want something quick and easy to warm up during the work week for lunch. Leftovers are great but sometimes those are not available or you just want something different.
Before THM, I would keep a few of the “healthy” TV dinners in my freezer for those types of days. But although there are a couple frozen meals that are pretty close to on plan, there are very few that are 100% on plan.
So I set out to make my own. But ya’ll know me. If I am going to spend part of my Sunday meal prepping, it better be easy! It is, promise.
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Low Fat Southwest Protein Bowl (THM E)
A homemade TV dinner is nice because you can control the ingredients! No yucky additives and you decide what goes in. Hate onions? Don’t add them. Love mushrooms? Throw some in! Your bowl, your choice.
If you are on the Trim Healthy Mama plan, this is an E recipe due to the healthy carbs and low fat. If you are on Weight Watchers, this should be relatively low in points as well.
These are so easy to make! Here is what you need:
2 chicken breasts (use rotisserie to save time)
Frozen Quinoa/Kale Blend (Aldi)
Cilantro & Spices & Olive Oil
Frozen Seasoning Blend (onions and bell peppers)
This is a picture of the quinoa/kale blend that I used in case you need a visual of what to look for! Completely on plan for my THMers.
Frozen Dinner Assembly
There is virtually no cooking involved in prepping these! So if you want simple, you got it!
*Want No Cook? Just sub some salsa in place of the veggie blend. Use a Rotisserie chicken instead of cooking your own.
All you need to do is cook your onion/pepper blend. I did this with a teaspoon of olive oil until desired tenderness. If your oil runs out and your vegetables are not soft enough, add a few small dashes of water while you finish cooking.
Then in the same skillet with your vegetables, add the tomato paste, spices and lime juice. Stir gently to combine and remove from heat. This will be a thick mixture.
Set out your 4 containers in a line. I used this size.
In each container, these are your measurements to add:
- 1/2 cup frozen quinoa/kale mixture
- 1/4 cup black beans
- 1/4 cup kidney beans
- 1/2 chicken breast (cooked)
- 1/4 of the onion/pepper tomato mixture
You will have leftover tomato paste and beans if you only make 4. The next time I do this, I will double the onion/pepper/tomato paste/spices and the chicken breasts to make 8 containers for basically no additional effort.
Live and learn!
Loosen the top of the plastic container and vent it slightly. Cook for 2 minutes in the microwave or until heated through.
Why Make Your Own Healthy Frozen TV Dinners?
Here are a few reasons why I liked making my own low fat southwest protein bowl dinners for the freezer.
Control Your Ingredients
While I was doing some research on frozen dinners you find at the grocery, I checked out the ingredient lists on many different nutrition labels from a variety of brands. Here is some of what I found:
Modified Corn Starch
Dried Cane Syrup
In general, I am not one to be alarmed by an off plan ingredient here or there. But I have to say that this was startling. Many of these “healthy” frozen options had just as many or more things in them that are not real food. Tons of fillers, preservatives etc.
If I can make some easy, Drive Thru Sue type meals at home with little effort and avoid these things, I am happy to do so.
Cost of Freezer Protein Bowls
The low fat southwest protein bowl recipe also has something else going for it other than taste. They are inexpensive to make!
Red Bell Pepper 1.49
Green bell pepper .79
Tomato Paste .14
Black Beans .325
Kidney Beans .325
Frozen Quinoa/Kale Mix 2.25
These work out to $2.80 per serving. If you subbed a $1 bag of frozen seasoning blend (onion/bell peppers) you could get it down to $2.32 a serving. You could also save money by shopping exclusively at Aldi. I mixed Aldi and another grocery store when I made this batch.
Another money saving trick would be to cook your own chicken breasts instead of the Rotisserie. Not quite as Drive Thru Sue ish but it would be cheaper. You could throw them in the crock pot to make it easy.
Easy Drive Thru Sue Meals For Another Day
I always think of myself as somewhere in the middle of a Drive Thru Sue and whatever you call the opposite of that (Hattie Homemaker the Purist?).
Some days I’m a “rotisserie chicken, frozen bag of vegetables and a bowl of Halo Top” Mama.
Other days, you might find me making a full homemade dinner from scratch.
I like to cook but life happens and I need easy a lot of days.
These lowfat southwest protein bowls for the freezer make super easy meals for a busy day or night. And the upfront prep work is very low. Completely worth it to me to spend just a few minutes to get these in the freezer.
Follow the Protecting Your THM Pennies Instagram for a food diary with lots of ideas for what to eat on Trim Healthy Mama!
|Prep Time||10 minutes|
- 2 cooked chicken breast, chopped (Rotisserie is ok)
- 2 cups Frozen Quinoa / Kale Mix
- 1 can Black Beans (divided)
- 1 can kidney beans (divided)
- 1 can tomato paste (divided)
- 1/2 tsp Cumin
- 1/2 tsp Chili Powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 lime
- 1 bag frozen seasoning blend (onion, red and green bell peppers)
- 1-2 Cilantro leaves (optional)
- 1 tsp olive oil
- In a medium skillet, saute the frozen seasoning blend and 1 tsp olive oil until the desired level of tenderness is reached over medium heat. (I cooked until soft)
- Add 1 tablespoon tomato paste, juice of one lime, garlic powder, chili powder, cumin and cilantro.
- Stir to combine, cook one minute and remove from heat. Allow to cool.
- In your individual containers, add the following amounts to each container: 1/2 cup frozen quinoa/kale mix 1/4 cup black beans 1/4 cup kidney beans 1/2 chicken breast, diced 1/4 of the onion/pepper/seasoning mix
- Cover each container with lid and place into freezer until ready to eat.
- To heat the individual freezer meals, loosen the lid to vent. Microwave for 2 minutes or until heated through.
If you make 4 individual meals, you will have about 1/2 of the can of black beans, kidney beans and tomato sauce leftover. You can save it or easily double this recipe on everything but those items to make 8 meals without leftovers.
I love these recipes, I will try them.
Stacy Craft says
I hope you enjoy!