At these unprecedented times there are so many people now cooking or learning to cook at home and trying new recipes, which is great to see. However, meal planning could definitely be chaotic and stressful, especially for those multi-tasking parents juggling working from home, home schooling, entertaining the kids and cooking family meals. With everything else going on, it’s quite easy to get into cooking the same meals and recipes day in and day out.
My tops tips for meal preps are:
1. Batch cooking and freezing meals.
The easiest meals to freeze are soups, stews, dhals, curries and anything which has a rich saucy texture. You would need to double or triple all of the ingredients in your favourite recipes.
2. Making large roasted vegetable trays.
Vegetable trays do not require much of a prep time. Chop any vegetables you have, sprinkle some olive oil, add spices you like and roast in an oven. Make a large tray, so you could have it next day for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Having any leftover vegetables with a couple of eggs (fried, scrambled or poached) and a green salad would make a great meal next day too!
3. Freezing chopped onions and herbs.
Chopping onions, fresh herbs (such as dill, coriander, basil or parsley) and keeping them in a freezer is an absolute game changer when you only have 30 min to cook a healthy meal. I like making “ice cubes” of grated ginger and garlic too to use when I am short of time.
4. Making a jar of a salad dressing.
A delicious salad dressing full of flavour would upgrade your green salad to a whole new level. However, making a dressing beyond mixing a balsamic vinegar and an olive oil does take time. My favourite salad dressing combination has 2/3 extra virgin olive oil and 1/3 vinegar. Choose an apple vinegar, white or red wine vinegars or a balsamic vinegar. Top it up with a crushed garlic cloves, a squeezed lemon or lime juice. You can keep it in a fridge for up to a week and use in salads, legume- or vegetable-based dishes.
5. Cooking beans, lentils and grains in advance.
Beans, chickpeas, whole lentils and grains tend to have a long cooking time. Cook them in advance and store in a fridge for a couple of a days. They are great as bases for soups, stews and salads, as well as sides for your main meals.
In good health,