With our busy lifestyles it can be hard to eat healthily and not resort to calorie-loaded convenience foods. But as its Nutrition Week, it’s the perfect time to make eating healthily a priority!
The key to healthy eating on the go is meal prepping. You’ve seen the pictures on Instagram- super healthy, super complicated meals with ingredients you didn’t even know existed. It can really put you off the idea. But don’t despair! We have some great tips for making meal prepping easy and affordable.
- Don’t overwhelm yourself: start small with just a few days to ease yourself in, and gradually build up from there
- Before you go on a supermarket sweep, plan the meals you will eat beforehand: stick to simple meals but with plenty of flavour so you won’t get bored
- Set aside time: all you need is a few hours on a Sunday to go shopping and prep your meals; its much easier than cooking a meal after a long day at work
- Pick foods that don’t spoil easily and are freezable; this ensures that your prepped meals will last all week
- Meal prepping has so many benefits- it gives you more time during the week for more important things like work (and sleep), and helps you eat healthily and save money from not grabbing fast food
Below are a few meal prep recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner; you can also prepare snacks for throughout the day by putting nuts, seeds and fruit into bags. These ideas will get you started, and there are plenty more online. You can even come up with ideas yourself – you could be the next Instagram health guru.
Oatmeal breakfast smoothies
Whiz together old fashioned rolled oats, Greek yogurt, milk and chia seeds in a blender, and add flavours of your choice! Below are some tasty and healthy combinations:
– Blueberries and maple syrup
– Applesauce, cinnamon and honey
– Banana, cocoa powder and honey
– Raspberries, raspberry jam and vanilla extract
– Cherries, chopped dark chocolate, honey
– Peaches, raspberry jam and vanilla extract
– Cranberry sauce and pecans
Simply keep them in your fridge and grab one in the morning. Healthy, fast and filling.
Breakfast omelette roll-ups
Season and cook lean ground turkey in a frying pan and drain. In a separate pan, cook whole egg and egg whites. Add goats cheese, spinach, bell peppers, and the ground turkey. Roll mixture and wrap in cling film. Refrigerate, and heat up thoroughly when ready to eat.
Grilled Chicken Veggie Bowls
Ingredients (makes 4 portions):
– 8 ounces cooked quinoa
– 8 ounces cooked brown rice
– 16 ounces prepared chicken, cubed
– 2 cups roasted asparagus, chopped
– 2 cups roasted broccoli florets
– 2 cups roasted cauliflower florets
Cook the rice, quinoa and chicken. Mix in your veg and add any seasoning/dressing of your choice. Store in the fridge and when you are ready microwave until heated through.
White bean and chicken salad
Ingredients (makes 3 portions):
– 1 small bulb fennel, chopped
– 3 cloves garlic, minced
– 2 tablespoons parsley stems, thinly sliced
– ½ roasted red pepper, chopped
– 1 can white beans, rinsed and drained
– 2 tablespoons chopped parsley leaves
Cook fennel in oil with salt and pepper for 4 minutes (until soft and translucent). Add garlic and parsley, cook for another minute. Add roasted pepper and white beans, cook for another 2 minutes. Let beans cool before storing in containers in the fridge. Add cooked and seasoned chicken breast. For the orange vinaigrette dressing- whisk together juice of half an orange, pinch of salt, 1 tsp of apple cider vinegar and 1 tsp of olive oil.
Put the salad into a large container, then in a small container add segmented orange and crumbled feta cheese, keep dressing in separate pot. At lunchtime, microwave the chicken and white beans for 1½ minutes, until heated through. Toss with the orange vinaigrette, then top with the feta and orange segments.
These dishes can be frozen- defrost and reheat thoroughly.
Chicken and stuffed sweet potatoes
Wrap sweet potatoes in foil and bake for 45-50 minutes on 210°C. Season chicken breast with chipotle sauce (or any sauce), cayenne, paprika and salt, and cook in frying pan. Slice potatoes in half, carve out insides, mix with any veg and beans you like and fill the potatoes again, top with crumbled mozzarella. Bake for another 8 minutes until slightly crispy, serve with the chicken.
One-pan garlic chicken pesto pasta
Ingredients (serves 4):
– 2 chicken breasts, sliced into ½-inch strips
– 2 tablespoons garlic, chopped
– ¾ cup cream
– ½ grated parmesan cheese
– ¼ cup pesto
– 3 cups penne pasta, cooked and drained
– ¾ cup cherry tomatoes, halved
Heat oil in a pan, combine the chicken, garlic, salt, and pepper, cook until chicken is browned. Mix in the cream, parmesan, and pesto. Bring to a boil and cook until the sauce has reduced, about 5-7 minutes. Toss in the pasta and cherry tomatoes, stirring until evenly coated. To serve, sprinkle parmesan cheese and basil on top.