Food and Flying

3 Meal Prep Ideas

Now that university is back in full swing and I’ve taken permanent residency in the library, lunch hour has become oh-so-valuable working time I can’t afford to lose slaving over a nutritious healthy lunch. Cue: shop bought sandwiches and a cheeky library brownie (they’re only one pound, who can resist?!!!) – we all know how easy it is to fall into the trap of impulse buys, especially when you’re in a rush to get back to work. It’s these poor lunchtime judgements made day after day that all add up by the end of the week – money and calorie wise, and no one likes empty calories.

So the obvious solution: MEAL PREP! Why didn’t I think of it sooner? Healthy and economical – perfect. Now, I take an hour out of my Sundays to prep 2/3 meals for the week, and if I need more I’ll make extra dinners to tupperware up and eat for lunch the following day.

The hardest thing about meal prep is deciding what to make. What combination of foods go together, am I getting all my nutrients, etc, etc. But have no fear I have a triple whammy for you! A vegetarian option, a pescetarian option, and a meat option – all of which I have tried to ensure are quick and easy to make, taking shortcuts wherever possible (e.g packeted quinoa, microwaving sweet potato, etc). All of these preps should last up to 4 days in the fridge… Enjoy!

IMG_6793

Week 1: Vegetarian Prep 

Ingredients (yields 2 lunches)

4 eggs

Pesto Beans:

2 handfuls basil

1 garlic clove chopped

1/2 cup grated parmesan

1 handful pine nuts

Splash of good olive oil

Pinch of salt

210g tin butter beansIMG_6796

210g tin red kidney beans

Quinoa:

250g packet ready to eat quinoa

3 garlic cloves crushed

1 small sweet potato

1/2 medium courgette

Splash of tabasco

Method

  1. Lightly toast the pine nuts in a dry frying pan for 2-3 minutes, set aside to cool in a bowl.
  2. Meanwhile, chop up the courgette into bite size pieces and crush the 3 garlic cloves. Drizzle some olive oil in a frying pan (I re-used the pan the pine nuts were in) and fry the garlic and courgettes on a medium heat for  3-4 minutes.IMG_6797
  3. Whilst the garlic and courgettes cook, pierce the sweet potato all over and place in the microwave for 4 minutes to soften it up.
  4. Chop up the sweet potato into bite size pieces (careful it’s hot!!), and add to the frying pan, cooking for a further 2 minutes before turning the heat down to low.
  5. Heat the quinoa in the microwave for 40 seconds and then add to the frying pan with the sweet potato, courgettes, and garlic. Add the tabasco to your taste. Take off the heat and set aside.
  6.  Put all the ingredients for the pesto beans (apart from the beans and the olive oil) into a food processor and slowly process, gradually adding in the olive oil until you reach the right consistency for you.
  7. Drain and empty the beans into a bowl, add the pesto and mix thoroughly.
  8. Portion out the quinoa and the pesto beans between 2 tupperware boxes.
  9. Boil the eggs for 7 minutes in a saucepan of water. De-shell them and slice, add 2 to each tupperware box.
  10. Ensure the quinoa has cooled completely before leaving in the fridge.

IMG_6883-4

Week 2: Meat Prep 

Ingredients (yields 2 lunches)

Avocado and Spinach Salad:

1 avocado

1 handful of spinach

Chili flakes

IMG_6887-2

Library lunch!

1/2 lemon juiced

Chicken:

4 mini breasts of chicken

1 tbsp coconut oil melted

Dash of paprika

Quinoa:

250g packet ready to eat quinoa

5 chiquino mixed peppers

1/2 red onion

1 handful kale

3 garlic cloves

Method

  1.  Heat a griddle pan on the stove. Whilst it warms up add the chicken, coconut oil, and paprika to a zip-lock bag and shake until the chicken is evenly coated.
  2. Turn the heat down to medium and add the chicken to the already hot griddle pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side, then take off the heat but leave in the pan.
  3. Chop up the peppers into bite size pieces and slice the red onion. Add crushed garlic, onions, peppers, and the kale to a frying pan with some olive oil and cook on a medium heat for 5 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, slice the avocado and add to a bowl with the spinach. Pour lemon juice intIMG_6884o the bowl and mix – ensuring the avocado is well covered otherwise it will go brown in your fridge! Add chilli flakes to your taste.
  5. Heat quinoa in the microwave for 40 seconds then add to the frying pan with the kale, peppers, garlic, and onion. Mix well and take off the heat.
  6. Portion out the quinoa, chicken, and avocado/spinach salad into 2 tupperware boxes. Leave in the fridge once the quinoa is cool.

IMG_7003-1-4

Week 3: Pescetarian Prep

Ingredients (yields 2 lunches and 1 small)

4 eggs

Rice:

1 cup brown rice

1 vegetable stock cube

Tuna Salad:

160g no-drain tinned tuna

198g tinned sweet corn

5 chiquino mixed peppers

1/2 carrot

1 tbsp greek yoghurt

Method

  1. Crumble the vegetable stock cube into boiling hot water in a saucepan. Once it has dissolved add the rice and leave to simmer with the lid on for 25 minutes, stirring on occasion.
  2. Whilst the rice cooks, chop the peppers into bite size pieces and grate the carrot.
  3. Add all the tuna salad ingredients to a bowl (apart from the greek yoghurt) and mix. Add the greek yoghurt and combine.
  4. Boil the eggs for 7 minutes in a saucepan of water. De-shell them and slice, add 2 to each tupperware boxes.IMG_7002-10
  5. Once the rice has cooked, portion out in the tupperware with the tuna salad. This recipe normally leave a little extra of both the rice and tuna, so I also make a small tupperware without the eggs for the days I have a heavy breakfast.
  6. Ensure the rice has completely cooled before leaving in the fridge.
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This entry was published on October 13, 2014 at 10:03 pm. It’s filed under Lunch, RECIPES and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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