Preparing Meals In Advance
Convenience can be crucial when it comes to eating habits. The problem is that cooking healthy homemade meals can be time consuming. Whilst there are many food options available for people who need something quick and easy, the majority of takeaway or microwaveable ready meals options have high levels of salt and saturated fats, not to mention all the artificial colours and preservatives. So what can you do if you want to eat healthily but don’t have the time to prepare and cook meals throughout the week?
Meal prepping has become really popular because it is possible to eat healthily and also save time and money. Preparing meals for the week in advance also makes you more likely to stick to an eating plan or diet too so meal prepping is also great for people with specific fitness goals and diet plans.
Ideally a pre-prepared meal can be refrigerated or frozen and reheated really easily for a perfectly healthy, nutritious and delicious meal. This takes all of the stress out of making sure you are eating healthy meals all week. There are so many great recipes that are well suited to this cooking style too. The challenge for some people can be finding the time to prepare meals, so we have put together some of our favourite hacks to help people get on board with a healthy eating plan.
Batch Cook For Multiple Meals
Batch cooking is the ultimate efficiency in the kitchen. You get greater economy on all of the energy, washing up and of course the ingredients. It can also be a great way to reduce food waste as you can plan your meals properly before you go shopping and then use everything you buy.
To batch cook effectively you will need some big pots and pans. If you are really organised with meal planning then you can end up cooking parts that will make up several meals in one pan. For example, cooking a basic tomato pasta sauce can form the base for a vegetable pasta dish, meaty bolognese (and lasagna), tomato soup and a chicken mozzarella sauce.
Tomato Sauce Base
The following base sauce is incredibly healthy and can be made with minimal effort too. The ingredients you will need for the base sauce are:
- 2 Large Brown Onions
- 2 Sticks of Celery
- 2 Carrots
- Half A Leek
- 30g Tomato Puree
- 300ml Passata
- 2 Tins of Chopped Tomatoes
- Dried Italian Herbs
- Salt and Pepper to Season
Finely chop the onions, carrots, celery and leek and saute in a pan with olive oil until translucent. Add the tomato puree and cook off for 30 seconds before mixing the whole pot and then add the chopped tomatoes and passata. Leave to simmer for 30 minutes to combine the flavours and add the herbs and seasoning.
Roast Vegetable Pasta
- 1 Red Pepper
- 1 Yellow Pepper
- 1 Red Onion
- 1 Courgette
- 4 Cloves of Garlic
- 250g Pasta
- 100ml of Passata
- Salt and Pepper to Taste
Roughly chop all of the vegetables and add to a roasting pan with olive oil and salt and pepper. Place the garlic in a small parcel of tin foil with some olive oil to roast separately (this is added back into the mix at the end). Cook at approximately 170 degrees for between 30-40 minutes, or until everything has softened. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a pan with boiling water and once cooked, fill the pan with cold water to stop the pasta from cooking further.
Once the vegetables are cooked through, just combine everything in a pan and add the passata to bring everything together. Then add parmesan cheese for a tangy twist to the dish. You could also add some creme fresh to make this dish ultra creamy.
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Ragu (Makes Bolognese & Lasagna)
- 1 Brown Onion
- 500g Mince meat or Quorn Mince
- 300ml of
- 10ml Worcestershire sauce
Chop the onion and saute in a pan with olive oil. Then add your mince and brown off before adding Worcestershire sauce and mushrooms. Then pour in
- Creme Fresh
- 125g Parmesan
- Lasagna Sheets
- Ragu Sauce
Mix together the creme fresh and grated parmesan to form a low calorie cream sauce to go with the ragu. All you have to do is layer the ragu sauce, cream sauce and lasagna sheets until you are happy with the portion.
- 1 chicken breast
- 1 ball of mozzarella
- Tomato sauce
- Broccoli or tenderstem
- Serve with mashed, boiled, new potatoes, chips or roast potatoes (whatever your preference)
Slice the chicken breast length ways to about half way and place in a foil parcel with a little olive oil and seasoning. Now slide the sliced mozzarella in the cut and top of the chicken with the tomato sauce. Close the parcel and cook at 180 degrees for 40 minutes until cooked. Meanwhile, cook the broccoli and potatoes to your liking and then serve.
- Tomato Sauce
- Creme Fresh
Add the tomato sauce to a pan and bring to the boil. Add 20ml of chicken stock and cook out for around 5 minutes, then add your creme fresh to finish.
Healthy Meals Made At Home
As you will see, if you are organised with your meal preps you can create multiple meals using the same base ingredients. All of these meals, apart from the chicken dish, can be cooked ahead of time and then refrigerated or frozen. This is great for having healthy meals that can be heated in the microwave in 15 minutes or less.
If you like the idea of quick and healthy home cooked meals, but don’t have the time or skill to cook meals, then get in contact with us for more information about our meal prep service. Recipe For Results can help by providing a full week’s worth of healthy meals that can be kept in the fridge and easily cooked in the microwave.