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$50 ALDI Vegetarian Meal Prep for the Week

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[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sGDnHmj5Wak&w=560&h=315]

(bright music) – Hey munchies, welcome to the channel if you're new, or if you're not, I'm Alyssia, and I'm so happy you're here either way I have done a few Aldi videos in the past and you guys always get so excited about them

I used to shop at Aldi when I lived in New York City, but since moving to LA, I don't get over there as often because the nearest one is about an hour away But when I got out there recently, I was able to get stuff for a whole video which I already posted, and I decided to get stuff for a week of meal prep too, because why not? Today's meal prep is a super simple vegetarian meal prep for two for weekdays Now it cost me about 50 bucks for everything, but my intention was not to make it specifically a budget prep I did buy some organic and higher priced items I'll show you all of it along the way

But if you're trying to keep things as cheap as possible, you could easily do this very same prep for around 35 bucks with a few simple compromises and I'll show you what those are as well To keep it easy I am making a yogurt fruit and granola parfait for breakfast, a gluten free pesto pasta salad for lunch and an easy enchilada casserole for dinner with some snacks of course too This entire meal prep is vegetarian, so no meat or seafood, and it's also gluten free I will say, if you're on a budget doing no meat sometimes really helps with the price but it also makes it simple because protein is often the most irritating or time intensive thing to cook The thing about Aldi is you sort of don't know what you're gonna get until you're there

So I couldn't really go with a strict plan In fact, I did plan on getting oats to do an oatmeal bake recipe I've been wanting to share but they were completely out of oats So you'll have to wait for that recipe but I was able to keep it simple on weekdays with this yogurt fruit and granola parfait Aldi has some really affordable organic options like yogurt The organic berries were also on sale when I went, I grabbed blueberries because I know they'll last better for meal prep than raspberries or blackberries, but those prices were seriously good

I also splurged and got some chopped mango This would not be a budget buy, this was a convenience buy, a laziness buy, and that is honestly how I stay sane with healthy food I personally try to strike a balance between convenience and price But if your goal is keeping it cheap, don't buy precut fruit They did have single mangoes on sale for 25 cents that day

So I just felt like spending money I guess I've also got a gluten free granola by Aldi Simply Nature brand It's a cranberry and cashew honey granola and the ingredients are pretty solid There is added sugar in the dried cranberries but that's to be expected Added sugar is usually what I look for in granola and six grams is about as low as you can usually find, so not bad

Since I work from home, I'm not typically meal prepping for on the go, so I've actually just been assembling this breakfast when I'm ready to eat it because it's super simple, just yogurt, a little honey or syrup for sweetness since it's plain, the granola and the fresh fruit But if you want to do the mason jar applesauce container hack, which I've shared so many times, you can totally do that if you need to take your breakfast on the go Breakfast should be easy and this week it is For lunch, I am making a pesto pasta salad and it's gluten free thanks to Aldi's LiveGFree brand This pasta is organic brown rice and quinoa and I am a huge fan of that list, two ingredients, brown rice and quinoa, yes

Following the package directions, I boil the water and add pasta and salt, cook until al dente When it comes to gluten free pasta it is really important not to overcook it So I usually cook it for one to two minutes less than the package recommends and then taste it This package says to rinse with cold water and drain I let that cool completely before making the rest of the salad

To keep the noodles from sticking together, I add a little bit of oil and toss to coat I find this to be especially helpful with gluten free pasta varieties It is a pesto pasta salad and Aldi has a pre-made jarred pesto The ingredients are moderate I will say, Aldi tends to use more preservatives and often products that will have added sugar That being said, if this were the meat five years ago when I started this channel, I would have been like, "Heck no, I am not using that

" I have really chilled out about added sugar and even preservatives I do try my best to keep it clean if you will, but I have to find a sustainable balance I can't be pulling my hair out about sugar being an added ingredient when it's the only pesto on the shelf I don't want to make my own this week, I don't want to go to another store, and frankly, it's obviously so little sugar because it says includes zero grams of added sugars on the label It's not a big deal to me, if it is to you, that's okay

It's totally an option to make your own I have quite a few pesto recipes I've shared before that I will link in the description but today I am going with the store brand pesto because it's an Aldi meal prep after all I am actually getting double use out of that plain yogurt too from breakfast and mixing it in with the pesto for my creamy pasta coating I toss together my cooled pasta, some arugula and spinach, which was organic, and holy moly, $149 for the box, you won't find that anywhere else

I also add some chopped bell peppers, I got a bag of the organic mini-bell peppers They also had nonorganic if you wanted to save a few bucks, cherry tomatoes which I am leaving whole for meal prep purposes If you're eating this the same day or the next day you can cut them, but if you want this to last three, four or five days don't cut the tomatoes Don't forget the chopped mozzarella and some drained and rinsed chickpeas The beans at Aldi are another ingredient with preservative, so beans and salt won't be the only ingredients but it is what it is

And last, add that pesto yogurt mixture and toss lightly to coat Remember, there is no meat today Chickpeas are our protein and what an amazing source and so affordable They're the cheapest canned goods I found at any store I also used to be a lot more hesitant about legumes but I've really come around to chickpeas and I think they're a great source of plant based protein

And that salad is done Cold salad will last you four to five days in the fridge Leftover pasta is better cold than reheated in my opinion, so why not make it intentionally cold The pesto is tasty and herby Even though it's a pantry items, that yogurt helps to brighten and give a tang plus we've got fresh vegetables to add color, texture, nutrition and taste

I love when lunch is easy too During the week, there is no reheating or assembling required For dinner, I am making an easy enchilada casserole When I walked into Aldi, I wasn't sure what I was going to make, but a casserole is an easy thing to throw together without a specific recipe It's just a bunch of stuff baked together and all we have to do is have some intention with the flavors we choose and the ingredients we pair together much like the Mexican and Southwestern inspired flavors here and we'll end up with a real fake meal

Watch how easy it is First, I combine drained and rinsed canned corn and black beans The organic black beans did not have preservatives They were still affordable, so I got those Some enchilada sauce

I did not read the ingredients until I got home but it's got MSG in it Whoops! MSG as a seasoning made with sodium and glutamate A lot of people have heard that it's bad and can cause negative symptoms like headaches or digestive distress, although the FDA does maintain it's safe That being said, I don't wanna consume it regularly It's just a personal choice

Again, if that would be five years ago though, would have said, "No way" But the me now, the more chilled out and less restrictive version of myself says, "Okay, big deal, I'm still going to use it," but I will remember that this brand has MSG and not buy it again But you have to weigh it out and do what's right for you The enchilada sauce is green and that is what Aldi had, so that's what I got But red is fine too if you have that

I also added salsa I found this avocado tomatillo salsa in the specialty foods aisle and decided to try it It was a little more expensive than their regular salsa, but you can use any salsa you prefer And cilantro which was a whopping 15 cents that day, okay! Separately, I want to cook some veggies First of all, I didn't wanna buy a whole bag of onions at Aldi and they didn't have any individual ones, only bags of onions, but they did have green onion bunches for only 19 cents

A green onion is essentially an immature onion They're not as potent and a lot of times the top green part is just used as a garnish because of that, but further down the light bulb it's stronger in flavor, more like a real onion It's a fine substitute for a weeknight casserole, okay? The thing is, we don't wanna cook it as long as a regular onion So instead of cooking the onions first I'm adding just the whiter part to a pan with oil along with more bell peppers and cooking that for just a couple of minutes to soften not too long Add in some diced chilies and a little bit of taco seasoning and then cook to integrate for another quick minute

And then we're ready to assemble our casserole In a dish first layer some enchilada sauce and tortillas I am using white corn tortillas which does keep this gluten free but you can use yellow corn or any other tortilla you like will work I am telling you, you can't mess up a casserole Then I spoon on a layer of that bean and corn mixture, the veggie mixture, cheese, and repeat with tortillas, beans, veggies, cheese, tortillas, enchilada sauce and the most important part on top more cheese

This cheese was a specialty cotija Mexican style shredded cheese that they had available when I went It was a little bit more expensive but you could really use any blend or your favorite cheese And into the oven it goes until browning up nicely on top Remember everything inside is already cooked You may have noticed I did not add extra salt

A lot of those ingredients, even after draining and rinsing the corn and beans, have salt in them already So the salsa, the enchilada sauce, the tortillas, the diced chilies and cheese, they all have added sodium So I recommend waiting to see if you need to add it but if you know you wanna add salt, be my guest, you know best Then it is ready to serve I added cilantro, some of those green onion tops and lime wedges

Feel free to make a triple use of that yogurt this week with a dollop on top of your casserole in place of sour cream, if it's plain yogurt, not if you get the vanilla This was actually so good and I love that you can add whatever you have or whatever you can find, you can't go wrong Just add good flavors that go together with varying textures and I love when my food is colorful The tortillas give it all the structure and it's almost like a Mexican lasagna Maybe it's the MSG making it tastes so good

Just kidding For snacks throughout the week, have a look at all the cool options Aldi has I was amazed how much it's grown since I used to shop there about five years ago I got sweet potato chips, which were pretty clean actually, organic carrots and organic hummus and some seaweed crisps, but I also got a ton of stuff that I shared in my haul video recently that would make great snack options too if you wanna check that out Just remember, the point of this video and all of my videos is inspiration not replication

Stay it with me – [Modulated voice] Inspiration not replication – Seriously, take what you want, leave what you don't, let it inspire a new meal, a new ingredient, a new way of cooking or thinking But the point is not for you to make this exact meal prep It's to take it and make it your own to make it something that suits you and your preferences your family, your needs

You can add meat or other proteins, swap out ingredients, omit something that you hate, whatever you want These recipes are so easy, you can manipulate them and you cannot mess them up These are not baked goods here So don't be afraid to experiment If you want more inspiration, I have more Aldi meal prep and haul videos and tons of other meal prep videos too

I also recently shared a comparison video of prices at Aldi verses Trader Joe's It's pretty cool, and it's all linked in the description box I hope you found this helpful Let me know what else you would like to see and what other stores you'd like me to shop at and use for meal prep inspiration I appreciate you

I will see you next week for a brand new episode And remember, it's all a matter of mind over munch

Source: Youtube

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