It has been quite some time since I have uploaded a blog or shared anything on my page - apologies! But this weekend I purposefully left my Sunday free of plans so I could spend the day relaxing, recharging and preparing for the week ahead! This also included a food shop and big cook up which I am going to share with you all :)
Something new that I have been loving lately is making my own yoghurt. I'd heard really good things about home made yoghurt and how simple and easy it was so for Christmas I asked for (and received!) a Easi-Yo and it is the best! All is required is milk and culture - mix together in the container provided, place in the larger 'incubator' and let sit for 24hrs.
I've been loving having this for breakfast each morning. Now that I am working more regular hours and aren't home in the mornings to cook breakfast, it's nice having something easy to prepare on the weekend and grab each morning to bring to work. Stay tuned for the end product!!
For lunches this week I've prepared a black bean quinoa chilli with spinach, peas and tempeh! This is something I make quite often as it only takes a minute or two to prepare and only 5 minutes to cook in my pressure cooker. Over all this meal is high in complex carbohydrates and protein plus includes lots of other beneficial nutrients!
I start by sautéing the onion in the base of my pressure cooker in a dash of water. I then add some minced garlic, chili flakes and smoked paprika. Once the onion has cooked down I add some tomato paste and cook for 1-2mins. After the tomato paste has heated through, I add the corn kernals. 1-2mins later I then add some rinsed quinoa and cook for 2-3minutes so the quinoa gets a toasted/nutty flavour. After a couple of minutes I then add a can of drained and rinsed black beans, a can of crushed tomatoes and a can of water. I give the mixture a stir, place the lid on the pressure cooker and set on manual for 5 minutes at a high pressure. I allow the pressure to reduce naturally before removing the lid and diving into 4 serves. *SWIPE THROUGH TO SEE PHOTOS!*
To go alongside the black bean chilli I'm also prepping some peas and tamari flavoured tempeh. These sides provide another intake of vegetables to the day and also a big hit of plant proteins!
This cook up made 4 serves which is perfect because it means later in the week I can cook up something different for Friday & the weekend so I'm getting a larger variety of plant foods and also keeping things fun and enjoyable... there's nothing worse than having the same thing every.single.day!
Although I'm home for dinner most nights, I still like to have things prepared. Sometimes I will cook up a bunch of individual ingredients such as potatoes, prep a big salad, roast vegetables or cook some rice or cous cous. This makes throwing a meal together very quick. My partner cooks dinner on Mondays so that's really nice not having to worry about cooking on Mondays. Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday evenings I go to the gym and don't get home until about 8 or 9pm so having things prepped is important for me on these nights. This week I decided to make a tofu stir-fry with a pre-cooked rice pack that I had in the cupboard... these packs are really great and save a lot of time. Frozen vegetable are also a great thing to keep on hand for meals like this!
I started off by sautéing the onion in a large pan with a splash of water, tamari and Chinese 5 spice. I then added the cubed tofu and allowed to cook for about 5 mins. Once the tofu had soaked up the sauce and the onion was cooked, I added the frozen vegetables. I placed the lid on the saucepan and allowed to cook.
Once the tofu and vegetables were cooked I divided the rice/quinoa pack into 3 serves and then added a serve of the tofu & veg. This was a large batch so I had some vegetables and tofu spare which my partner can have some time throughout the week.
While I was out at the shops I picked up a large watermelon that was looking nice and fresh. I chopped that up and placed it in a large container to keep in the fridge to snack on throughout the week. I've also got some apples and bananas to grab as snacks too!
Now that my yoghurt has been in it's incubator for 24hrs, it's time to prep! The first time I made this I was sooo impressed and happy with the consistency and flavour. Choosing to use a high protein soy milk also gives this yoghurt about 8-10g of protein per serve.
The toppings I like having with my yoghurt make this a complete meal. If I was to have the yoghurt on it's own I'd be feeling hungry again not long after but by adding some carbohydrates and a protein source this will keep me going for hours. Lupin flakes are an incredible plant protein source and are very versatile! I love lightly toasting them with a sprinkle of cinnamon.
The 1L of soy milk makes 5 serves of yoghurt which is amazing! I divide it up into individual containers, ready to add the toppings the night before so I can grab and go in the morning! Topping include a sprinkle of rolled oats, some spoonful's of the toasted cinnamon lupin flakes, frozen blueberries and some sunflower seeds.
And that's that! This meal prep only took about 1.5hrs and no doubt comes in at a very low cost compared to if I was to purchase lunch at work each day or order take away dinners. When you've got a plan in mind and all your ingredients in the house, it's really easy to whip together a healthy and nutritious meal prep. Over time it becomes second nature, you learn which meals are the quickest and which meals you enjoy eating!
Hope you enjoyed my Sunday meal prep! If you have any questions or would like advice on how you can get the most out of your weekly food shop and meal prep please reach out to me!