The Fit Foodie: Make your week a whole lot easier with 'meal prep'

THIS week I’m chatting about ‘meal prep’ which is how the world of social media describes being organised with your food. I’m sharing two recipes that are a great example of how to meal prep well.

When people ask me for advice about eating well, my number one tip is to be organised and prepared. Most of us are busy

juggling work, family and friends. This can make it challenging to cook all of your meals each day. This is why I consider ‘meal prep’ one of the best things you can do to support
yourself on your health and wellness journey.
Here are my top tips:

1. Plan

Make a plan of what you’re going to eat this week. Jot down what you’d like for breakfast, lunch and dinner; what you want to eat post-workout; and what kind of snacks you want to eat throughout the day. This does not need to be perfect or exact, just simply an idea of what you would like to eat for the coming week

2. Stock

Make a list and take time to stock your kitchen properly. My larder essentials include tinned tomatoes, coconut milk, frozen fruits and vegetables, porridge oats and tinned beans. If you are time-poor it’s worthwhile considering online shopping and delivery. I did this a huge amount post- baby. Set up your account and you can click reorder and not even think about it.

3. Time

Set aside ‘prep time’ —weekends are perfect. On Sundays I often roast a chicken, eat some for dinner that night and use the rest for a curry or stew. I also like to roast some vegetables and bake a few potatoes for during the week. I try to prepare some healthy snacks in bulk too.

4. Leftovers

Loving your leftovers is an easy way to cut down on prep time and save money. When you cook an evening meal, make double and pop half in a lunchbox for the next day, many of my stews and curries will taste even better by then.

5. Freezer

I consider freezer-stocking an important survival skill. By cooking in batches and freezing in individual portions, you can transform your freezer into your
go-to-place for tasty, healthful, ready-made home-cooked meals. Plus you can keep food for a long time in your freezer which reduces waste and saves you money.

Fitspiration

@thelittlegreenspoon

Check out Indie Powers’ account for lots of healthy, everyday recipes that aim to make eating well as easy as possible. With a range of recipes there is something for everyone. Her chicken tikka recipe is delicious and perfect for ‘meal prep’ too.

Fit Foodie Chilli Con Carne

This one of my go-to recipes. The garlic and chilli give the dish a kick, which will brighten up any dinnertime. Leftovers are portable and perfect for a workday lunch. The meat sauce freezes really well too, so it’s a great recipe to make in big batches. If I had a whole rugby team over for dinner, this is what I would make.

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 45 minutes

Serves: 5

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 chilli, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 and a quarter kilo lean minced beef
  • 2 × 400g tins of chopped
  • tomatoes
  • a handful of cherry tomatoes halved
  • 500ml beef stock
  • 5 tbsp tomato purée
  • 400g tin of kidney beans drained and rinsed
  • 250g natural yoghurt
  • a handful of chives, chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • brown rice, to serve

Melt a tablespoon of coconut oil in a large pan over a medium heat.

Add the onions and cook for 5 minutes, until softened. Add the garlic, chilli and paprika and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

Melt a tablespoon of coconut oil in another large pan over a medium heat. Add the beef and cook for about 5 minutes, until golden brown.

Use a slotted spoon to remove the cooked mince, discarding the fat in the pan. Place the cooked mince into the pan with the onions.

Add the chopped tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, stock and tomato purée and stir well. Simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Stir in the kidney beans and cook for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix the yoghurt and chives in a medium bowl. When you are ready to serve, season the chilli con carne to taste. Ladle into warmed serving bowls and top each portion with a tablespoon of the yoghurt and chives.

Serve with brown rice.

One-pot chicken stew

This stew is done in one big pot meaning very little hassle or washing-up. While the stew serves four, the leftovers reheat well so consider making it, even if its just for one or two people. I use chicken legs here because they’re economical and add lots of flavours. I love it served with the warm buttery baby potatoes.

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Serves: 4

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 3 celery sticks, chopped
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 4 chicken legs
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • a glass of white wine
  • 2 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • salt and pepper
  • baby potatoes, to serve

Melt the butter in a large casserole over a medium heat. Add the celery, onion and thyme and cook for 5 minutes.

Place the chicken legs skin-side down in the pan and cook for 5 minutes, until the skin is browned. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Pour in the wine and cook on a high heat for 2 minutes, until the wine reduces.

Reduce the heat and stir in the carrots and tomatoes. Simmer, uncovered, for 40 minutes.

Stir in 200ml of water and turn the chicken legs so that they are skin-side up. Simmer, uncovered, for another 40 minutes.

Meanwhile, boil the potatoes in salted water for 10-15 minutes, until tender.

When the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are tender,
season to taste.

Ladle the stew into warmed serving bowls and serve with the baby potatoes.


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