We thought we’d share a few handy hints when it comes to getting yourself organised for the week food-wise, but first of all, why do we bother??
We’ve found that being organised at the beginning of the week with food ready prepped means less hassle, less stress, more beneficial food choices throughout the week (over ones that don’t make us feel so good), quicker meals made and less food wasted, all of which really matter to us. We don’t have hours of spare time each day to be making things from scratch but with a few little tricks we can make breakfast and lunches in as little as 3-5 minutes leaving only dinner to start from scratch each day (and even then we often find quick and easy ways around things or enjoy leftovers!). It’s one less thing to think about in an already busy week.
If all you can spare is 1 hour after the kids have gone to bed or all your work is done, maybe at the weekend (we like to do ours on Sunday) you can get yourself prepared and prevent yourself making choices when you’re tired or in a rush that really don’t benefit your health. There’s nothing wrong with those choices every now and again, remember it’s what we do MOST of the time that counts.
So with that, here are some handy hints/things that we’ve found useful to get you winning the food prep game…
- Eggs!! We boil LOADS at the beginning of the week, enough for snacks if we’re hungry, a great protein source to add to lunches or even a couple for breakfast on the go. We’ve found ours last just fine in the fridge for 4-5 days.
- Rice/Quinoa salad – cook up a big batch of rice/quinoa and chop in PLENTY of veg (peppers, tomatoes, courgette, broccoli are all good), maybe add in some beans and season well – salt/pepper/mixed herbs are easy and quick. Andy likes to box his up in portions and it sees him through the week! Sarah makes a big batch of quinoa at the beginning of the week and adds it into salad.
- VEGGIES! The basis of all our meals, you can’t argue with the science saying we all need to be eating plant based stuff (vegan/veggie/meat eater or not!). Sarah’s favourites? Aubergine, red onion, courgette, peppers, cabbage and carrot chopped and thrown in a pan with 2cm water to soften (or fry if you prefer). Add in seasoning of your choice (taco seasoning, mixed herbs, ginger and chilli are all delicious) and fry. Keep in a tupperware in the fridge for 4 days or so. Also a delicious combo roasted on a tray in the oven along with…
- Potatoes!…Easy to roast in a bit of oil and seasoning or batch bake jackets (we love sweet jacket potatoes!) and last 4-5 days in the fridge. Add to salads or leftover meat from dinner the night before. Forgotten to do it beforehand? Sweet potatoes take 5 minutes in the microwave!
- Leftovers – We love to make more at our evening meal than we need (especially the meaty bit), if you’re going to make one lot you might as well make extra and have it for another day. Sarah keeps the leftover stuff from people’s plates (really!) and adds it to her lunch the next day – we’re REALLY keen not to waste what we’ve been blessed with.
- Bake! – For all those moments when you want something sweet, we like to have some baked goods like our chocolate muffins, or oat-y bars ready made. Take a look in our recipes section for some inspiration!
- Porridge – back to the batch making, if we’re going to make one batch of porridge on the stove for breakfast (with added protein powder or an egg on the side!) we might as well make two lots. It keeps just fine in the fridge and you can have it the next day cold or reheated.
- Roast chicken – we don’t do this regularly but when we do it’s a great way to have protein for a weeks worth of lunches that you can quickly add to whatever else you fancy.
- Tinned fish – zero prep here but add to your ready prepared potato with some of those veggies and there’s a meal in 2 minutes, done!
- Salad – tomatoes, cucumber and some spinach make a great base for any of the above whilst getting your body some much needed vitamins and minerals. Not the most exciting (feel free to add more, we do!) but as a starting point they do add some nice crunch to whatever else you’re having and are so quick to add in. Extra tasty with some olive oil and lemon juice.
Hopefully you’ll find something in here that tickles your fancy and motivates you to get on it with the food prep – we’d love to hear any more ideas that you use to save time, money, food waste and effort!