Meal prep can be a helpful and healthy eating strategy! It saves you having to think about what to cook after a long day and last-minute supermarket shopping. A busy schedule is actually one of the top reasons why people choose to order in, so keep reading to see how I can help you plan and prepare meals ahead of time!
This post is not designed to enforce a rigid schedule upon you! Hopefully it can give you some ideas on how best to use leftovers and plan your daily meals with a little less stress. Get ready to save money and time whilst still staying on track with your health goals!
Key meal prep recipes
HEARTY LENTIL STEW – courtesy of Harvest Kitchen
Nutritional Benefits: Brown, green, yellow, red or black lentils are rich in iron and folate and are an amazing source of protein.
Sana Vita Meal Prep Tip: Lentil stew can be served by itself or as a lovely accompaniment to fish. This freezes well so you can make double and freeze the rest! For a quick lunch, defrost the stew and add some more stock to create a hearty and filling soup.
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 celery stalk, chopped
- 2 leeks, white and tender green parts, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups lentils (green or brown)
- 2 cups kale, chopped
- 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into large pieces
- 2 red potatoes, cut into large pieces
- 2 large carrots, peeled and cut into large pieces
- 1 15-ounce can chopped tomatoes
- 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 2 cups water
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon onion power
- 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
HOW TO MAKE LENTIL STEW
This lentil stew comes together in about 40 minutes start-to-finish.
- Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat.
- Add the onions, celery, and leeks and cook for about 4 to 5 minutes.
- Stir in the garlic and cook for another minute or two.
- Add the remaining ingredients and stir.
- Bring to a boil, then cover, and let simmer on medium-low heat for about 30-40 minutes or until lentils are tender.
MEXICAN CHILLI RECIPE – courtesy of Niomi Smart
Nutritional Benefits: Beans are a great source of fibre, keep you full and keep your body strong. Quinoa is high in amino acids and contains twice the amount of protein as normal rice.
Sana Vita Meal Prep Tip: This delicious chili can also be frozen. To mix it up a bit, you can use the chilli as a filling in a wholemeal wrap to make a burrito or serve the chilli on top of a sweet potato!
- 1 onion
- 1 tsp of coconut oil
- 2 garlic cloves
- 60 ml of red wine or vegetable stock
- 1 Red pepper
- A handful of mushrooms
- 1 tsp yeast extract
- 1 tin of chopped tomatoes or tomato puree
- 1 cup of water
- 1 tin of red kidney beans
- chilli powder
- 150g quinoa
- half a vegetable stock cube
- pink Himalayan salt or sea salt and freshly ground pepper
HOW TO MAKE MEXICAN CHILLI
- Fry off the onions until softened and add the garlic.
- Add the rest of the veg and the stock with water.
- Add the spices and herbs, kidney beans, tomato puree and chopped tomatoes. You can try adding chopped sweet potato and lentils.
- Bring to the boil until thickened.
- Make your rice or add your quinoa to the mix and cook through.
- At the end, you could add spinach, serve over sweet potato or add sweet potato in the mix.
- Benefits: Super Nutritious and Packed with Plant-Based Protein.
- Rich in Ingredients Proven to Help Fight Inflammation.
- High in Fibre That Promotes Digestive Health and Feeds Your Good Gut Bacteria.
Sana Vita Meal Prep Tip: Hummus is a great on the go snack! It also freezes very well so feel free to make a big batch!
HOW TO MAKE HUMMUS
- 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas or 1 1/2 cups (250 grams) cooked chickpeas
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) fresh lemon juice (1 large lemon)
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) well-stirred tahini
- 1 small garlic clove, minced
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- Salt to taste
- 2 to 3 tablespoons (30 to 45 ml) water
- Dash ground paprika or sumac, for serving
In the bowl of a food processor, combine the tahini and lemon juice and process for 1 minute, scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl then process for 30 seconds more. This extra time helps “whip” or “cream” the tahini, making the hummus smooth and creamy.
Add the olive oil, minced garlic, cumin, and a 1/2 teaspoon of salt to the whipped tahini and lemon juice. Process for 30 seconds, scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl then process another 30 seconds or until well blended. Open, drain, and rinse the chickpeas. Add half of the chickpeas to the food processor and process for 1 minute. Scrape sides and bottom of the bowl, then add remaining chickpeas and process until thick and quite smooth; 1 to 2 minutes.
FROZEN CHOCOLATE BANANA PEANUT BUTTER BITES – Courtesy of Not Enough Cinnamon
Nutritional Benefits: These tasty treats are perfect for satisfying our sweet cravings. Dark chocolate is a powerful source of antioxidants whilst can aid digestion and help beat gastrointestinal issues.
HOW TO MAKE THESE DELICIOUS SNACKS
- Slice the banana into 1/4 inches (0.7 cm) slices
- Arrange half of the slices on a lined baking sheet and set aside the other half.
- Then, microwave the peanut butter to make it easier to spread (around 30 seconds to 1 minute).
- Spoon about 1/4 teaspoon to 1/2 teaspoon of peanut butter on the banana slices
- Top with the other half of banana slices you set aside before
- Freeze for about 2 hours.
- When the sandwiches are frozen, melt the chocolate and coconut oil in the microwave.
- Then, take a few bites out of the freezer and, one by one, dip them in the chocolate and cover all sides
- Place on another lined baking sheet (or plate) and repeat with remaining sandwiches.
- Return to the freezer until set and keep them in there until you’re ready to eat them.