Habit-based nutrition

Author: prepandpepllc

[RECIPE]: Thai Chicken Noodle Soup

[RECIPE]: Thai Chicken Noodle Soup

Hello, Fall! I am so happy to see you!   It was nearly 90 degrees here in Arkansas for the first few weeks of October so the cooler weather is welcomed by me!   To kick off the Fall season, I made Thai Chicken Noodle […]

[RECIPE]: French Bread Pizza

[RECIPE]: French Bread Pizza

With football season quickly approaching (EEEK!), I wanted to share one of my favorite game day recipes – French Bread Pizza.     This is a great recipe for a few reasons. For one, it’s EASY to make. You can keep most of these convenience […]

[RECIPE]: Curry Chicken Salad

[RECIPE]: Curry Chicken Salad

This week I prepped one of my favorite recipes: Curry Chicken Salad.


I'm in the final weeks of my 5-week Organic and Biochem lab and have to pack my lunches. I don't want to worry about running to a microwave so I'm always opting for a no-heat lunch outside of a typical sandwich.



If you like regular chicken salad, give this tasty variation a try! I love it wrapped in lettuce cups or over whole wheat crackers. Truthfully though, whenever I make it, my 4 year old and I stand over the bowl eating spoonfuls of it because it's just THAT good!


Golden raisins are a bit more expensive than your regular raisins, but SO worth it and the peanuts, celery, and apple gives this salad a nice crunch. You could sub your favorite nut or seed in this recipe if you aren't a peanut fan (I sometimes make it with cashews but prefer peanuts when I'm prepping a batch for meal prep).


I use nonfat plain greek yogurt to cut the mayo amount in half. This lowers the fat content and calories, ups the protein, and adds a little boost of probiotics (make sure you get yogurt that contains live and active cultures to get this benefit). This still allows for the flavor of the mayo, but makes it a little bit better off nutritionally!



Check out the recipe below and let me know if you make it!



What You'll Need:

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut to bite-size pieces
  • salt, pepper, garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup nonfat plain greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 2 tablespoons golden raisins
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1/2 large apple, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons toasted peanuts


What You'll Do:

  1. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat.
  2. Season chicken with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
  3. Add chicken to pan and cook until chicken is fully cooked and no longer pink.
  4. Remove from heat and let chicken cool.
  5. In a large mixing bowl combine yogurt, mayonnaise, lemon juice, and curry powder.
  6. Add raisins, celery, apple, and peanuts to bowl and combine.
  7. Fold in cooled chicken and combine.
  8. Enjoy over salad, lettuce cups, with crackers, or on bread!


Yield: 4 servings. 3/4 cup contains 222 calories, 8g Fat, 9g Carbs, 1g Fiber, 5g Sugar, 28g Protein

[RECIPE] Taco Tuesday: Taco Pizza

[RECIPE] Taco Tuesday: Taco Pizza

Tonight’s Taco Tuesday dinner was one of those “Gotta get it on the blog IMMEDIATELY” meals! I mean……just look at it……     Always looking for ways to spice up Taco Tuesday and tonight’s version – Taco Pizza – did not disappoint! This was SO […]



SUMMER IS HERE!! IT’S REALLY HERE!   Honestly, I’m partial to summer. I’m a July baby, my husband is a July baby, our dating anniversary is in July, and my second kiddo was born in July (I went into labor with him on the night […]

Budget Hack: Make Your Own Dips/Dressings [with recipes]

Budget Hack: Make Your Own Dips/Dressings [with recipes]

If you're anything like my family, we love a good dip or salad dressing.


I have a few favorite brands (Bolthouse Farms, Newman's Own, and Simple Truth), but as often as we use them, the expense adds up FAST!


Making your own dressings and dips is so EASY and so QUICK. Often times, you don't even need to buy anything - you already have a lot of the ingredients in your pantry! 




Check out my recipes for my favorite dips and dressings:


*Some of these savings have a ~ because they're "around" this much. Depending on different brands, ingredients, and yield sizes, the price difference may be slightly lower or higher.*




Citrus Honey Vinaigrette




Savings: ~$1.75




  • 1/4 cup avocado oil (or whatever oil you prefer)
  • 1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • juice of 1/2 an orange
  • 1 tbsp orange zest
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Whisk all ingredients in small bowl or add to jar with lid and shake.
  2. Serve over your favorite salad.
  3. Store in fridge.


♥ This dressing is so great over a leafy salad with dried cranberries, soft cheese, and pecans or walnuts.

♥ I love how easy vinaigrette's are to make - simply add all ingredients to an old, clean jar, shake, and keep in fridge!

♥ I used avocado oil because I love it's incredibly light taste. It's a little pricier, so you can save even more money by using your standard oil and it tastes just as great!

♥ If you don't have an orange sitting around, trade out the white balsamic for apple cider vinegar.





Buttermilk Ranch Dressing




Savings: ~$2.70




  • 3/4 cup nonfat plain greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil mayonnaise
  • 1 cup 1% milk
  • 2 tbsp buttermilk ranch dressing seasoning


  1. Combine first three ingredients in small bowl.
  2. Whisk in the ranch seasoning.
  3. Store in airtight container in fridge for 2-3 weeks.


♥ The fat content of the recipe will vary depending on what kind of yogurt, milk, and mayonnaise you use. Use what you like!

♥ I used homemade Greek yogurt, but the price difference reflects if ranch is made with Fage 0% plain greek yogurt, which I sometimes do.

♥ You can use a ranch packet and still save some money, but this is still slightly more expensive than using a jar of seasoning and you will need to buy more often. Invest in a good jar of Ranch Dressing Base - you will spend a little more upfront, but save money in the long run (especially if you use ranch a lot!) I LOVE Penzeys Spices [check out the link below to see more of their great products].

♥ This ranch dressing is great as a dip for veggies! If you like a slightly runnier dressing (like for salad), adjust the recipe by adding a little more milk 1 tbsp at a time until you reach your desired consistency!




Honey Mustard Dip



Savings: ~$1.90




  • 1 cup olive oil mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp yellow mustard
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice


  1. Whisk all ingredients in small bowl.
  2. Store in fridge. for 2-3 weeks.


♥ My family LOVES this honey mustard recipe. We have it with baked chicken strips often! It's also great to use as your condiments for a turkey, bacon, lettuce, and tomato wrap.

♥ You can also use the greek yogurt method above (3/4 cup nonfat plain greek yogurt with 1/4 cup olive oil mayonnaise) to up the protein and lower the fat content.

♥ I love using olive oil mayonnaise. The calorie amount is the same as regular mayonnaise, but uses olive oil, which has those heart-healthy monounsaturafted fats!

♥ If you want to make this more of a salad dressing, skip the lemon and add 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar and salt and pepper to taste!




Give these recipes a try and save yourself a little money!


Penzeys Spices Link:


Product Review: Beanitos

Product Review: Beanitos

It’s been a while since I did a product review and I could not have picked a better time.   My mom and I recently took a girls trip to Northwest Arkansas and while we were there we visited Whole Foods and I hit the […]

Recipe: 3-Ingredient Lemon Tart Greek Yogurt

Recipe: 3-Ingredient Lemon Tart Greek Yogurt

It’s officially April and we all know the saying…   “April showers bring May flowers.”   And as I sit and watch the rain pour out my office window, I can’t help but smile because I have a new recipe to share that is ALL sunshine. […]

Crock Pot Chicken 6-Ways

Crock Pot Chicken 6-Ways

Cook chicken ONCE and get SIX meals?!


Yes indeed. I promise it's not too good to be true!


I hear it often and I also fully understand it - cooking healthy meals can be time consuming.


Convenience foods require little to nothing - a preheat of the oven, removing the item from the box, a few spins of the microwave and BAM! Dinner is served.


A home-cooked meal requires a thought out plan and grocery list, washing and cutting of the vegetables, preparing the protein and grain, assembling and cooking - you get the point. It takes longer!


But there are ways to cut down on time! If you follow me on my Facebook page (Prep & Pep, LLC), you've seen my posts this week sharing my meal prep 101 tips. Most of these have included ways to eat healthy and save time doing it.


One of my favorite way to save time- batch cooking protein.


Hands down, this makes a WORLD of difference for someone who is pressed for time. I used this trick just this week. I won't even get started on my (growing) laundry list of obligations this semester, but I will say it's A LOT. And I find myself using those tips and tricks I have shared with others often.



This week I batch cooked chicken in the crock pot and made 6 meals total - 3 lunches and 3 dinners (although these could all be used for lunches OR dinners!) And the best part is I only cooked the chicken ONCE!


On Sunday I threw 3 pounds of chicken into the crock pot, seasoned it with a little salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. Turned it on low and let it slow cook all day while we took a trip to the zoo.



When we got home it was finished so I pulled it out, put it on a plate, shred it with two forks, and placed it into tupperware containers  to put in the fridge.



Y'all. I can't even tell you how easy this made my life this week. I made six TOTALLY different meals using the same protein and sometimes the same veggies as well. Life-SAVER!


Check out what I made below!

*Note: lunches are in single-servings, dinners are four serving sizes*





White Bean, Spinach, and Chicken Soup 


-4 cups chicken broth

-1 can cannelini beans, drained and rinsed

-1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut into quarters

-2 cups spinach

-2 cups cooked chicken

-1 tsp dried oregano, 1 tsp dried basil

In a large soup pot I boiled 4 cups of chicken stock and brought it down to a simmer. I added the beans, tomatoes, and herbs and let it cook for 10 minutes over medium-low heat. I then added the chicken and spinach and let it cook another 5 minutes. Turned to low and served in bowls topped with parmesan cheese shavings. Served with multigrain french bread.



BBQ Chicken Sandwiches



-2 cups cooked chicken

-4 whole wheat hamburger buns

-1/2 cup green cabbage

-1/2 cup red cabbage

-4 tbsp bbq sauce

I simply heated up the chicken in the microwave and assembled the sandwiches! Each sandwich got 1 tbsp of bbq sauce and this was served with oven fries (recipe will be in my eCookbook) and green beans.



Lettuce Wrap Chicken & Black Bean Tacos


-10 pieces butter lettuce, washed and dried

-2 cups chicken

-1/2 cup black beans, cooked ahead in chicken broth

-1/2 cup cherry tomatoes

-1 avocado

-4 tbsp nonfat plain greek yogurt


Again, I reheated the chicken in the microwave as well as the beans. We had the ingredients set out "buffet style" so you could make your own. I also had other toppings, such as shredded cheese, salsa, jalapenos.





Chicken, Veggie, & Goat Cheese Pizza


-1 whole wheat greek style pita flatbread (Sam's choice brand)

-1/2 cup cooked chicken

-1/2 zucchini, chopped

-1/4 orange bell pepper, chopped

-1/4 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

-2 tbsp premade pizza sauce (Kroger brand)

-2 tbsp mozzarella cheese

-2 tbsp goat cheese

-dried oregano, dried basil

I preheated the oven to 400 degrees F. I lined a cookie sheet with foil, placed the veggies on one side, sprayed them with avocado oil cooking spray, salt, and pepper and let roast in the oven for 10 minutes. I then placed the wheat pita on the other side and let them cook for 5 more minutes. I removed the pan and assembled the pizza with sauce, mozzarella, chicken, veggies, goat cheese, dried herbs (in that order) and placed back in the oven for another 10 minutes.



Chinese Chicken Salad


-1 cup Asian style cabbage salad mix (Kroger brand)

-2 tbsp matchstick carrots

-2 tbsp red cabbage

-1/2 cup cooked chicken

-1/4 cup edamame, cooked ahead

-2 tbsp chow mein noodles

-1 tbsp sliced almonds (came with salad mix)

-1 tbsp Newman's Own Asian Sesame dressing

I ate the chicken cold with this salad. All it took was assembling! The chicken could be heated if you prefer it that way and all you really need is the bag of salad - I just happen to have the extra stuff around and needed to use it!



Berry Chicken Salad



-1 cup spinach

-1/2 cup strawberries, halved

-1/4 cup blueberries

-2 tbsp pecan pieces

-2 tbsp goat cheese

-white balsamic and apple cider vinegar dressing (recipe will be in my eCookbook), made ahead

I simply heated the chicken and assembled again!



Next time you have a busy week, try batch cooking your protein and tell me it isn't a lifesaver! You can thank me later! 🙂

RECIPE: Mom’s Breakfast Sandwich

RECIPE: Mom’s Breakfast Sandwich

A few weeks a go I spent the night with my parents to get away and work on a few projects uninterrupted. The next morning my mom brought me in a breakfast sandwich she had prepped for her week and it was DELICIOUS.   I […]