Food Prep

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“Fail to prepare or prepare to go hungry!!”20170801_093019.jpgWell that’s my motto in life anyway! Of course you won’t starve as there are shops, cafes and restaurants in abundance only ready to soothe your hunger but also deplete your wallet.

Every day can be tough when living on a budget, travelling frequently, juggling a hectic schedule or just trying to make improved food choices for you and your family. This is where planning and preparation come into play. We plan and prepare ourselves everyday for a variety of tasks and activities. Sometimes to the outside world we can display ourselves as extremely organised but behind closed doors and particularly in the kitchen it can be chaos.

This is normal life for many and can be easily altered by following my top tips for each mealtime of the day.

Breakfast

I love breakfast and kind of can’t understand how people can leave the house without something eaten or a meal packed to eat on the commute. My favourite breakfast options can all be prepared in advance and take only minutes.

Top my homemade granola with some yoghurt and fresh fruit. Prepare an overnight oats pot the night before to grab and go in the morning. Freeze a batch of cupcake quiches for a quick protein hit in the morning. Blend a colourful juice or smoothie to get your day off to a colourful start. Overnight oats, bircher muesli, meal prep, Delalicious

Lunch

Depending on the time of year and my plans for the day my go-to lunch options are leftover dinner, salads and soups. Soup is a great option as it can be frozen in batches and defrosted quickly in the microwave. Have the soup on it’s own or add a slice of oat bread on the side. Salads can be eaten everyday, all you need to do is rotate your fillings. Store your salad contents in a jam jar to stop it going to mush with the more delicate items like salad leaves on top and the juicer contents like beetroot and tomato on the bottom. Here are my favourite combinations:

Dinner

You arrive in late from work, starving and don’t have the energy to cook, this is where your freezer becomes your best friend! Batch cook a big curry, lentil stew or risotto at the weekend, then simple portion and freeze. All you need to do is allow it to defrost in the fridge during the day or when you get home in the microwave. Revitalise this dish by adding some fresh leafy vegetables or adding a grilled protein source to a vegetable dish. Tinned fish is another great protein option to add to a frozen vegetable dinner. Here are some of my tried and tested batch cooking options:

Snacks

My mother used to describe me as a “grazer” at home and unfortunately I haven’t changed. Snacking is important for everyone but ensure you are eating correct portions. 

Nuts are such an easy option, pop a bag in your car, handbag or desk drawer to always have them on hand. A whole bag of nuts can disappear before you know it so check out this great infographic for nut portions.

Vegetable sticks and hummus I find are great for travelling. Snacking before exercise, I tend to eat a plain banana or some of my Banana & Nut Bites made ahead. Homemade muffins baked in advance, frozen and defrosted are perfect for outdoor adventures.Nuts, snack, meal prep, DelaliciousAs you can see, there are plenty of recipe options for each and every mealtime. Now it’s over to you. I challenge you to make one thing on this list and freeze or store it for later. Schedule some time during the next week or month to plan what meals you need to prepare in advance, what you would like to cook and the ingredients you need to purchase. By writing these things down, you formulate a plan and consciously make decisions about your mealtimes.

Before you know it, a healthy habit will be formed. Not only will this habit reward you with a full belly but also save time and money, keep you well nourished and in control of your mealtimes!

Keep an eye on my Instagram story where I often share the contents of my lunchbox.

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Stewed Apple & Poached Plum Quinoa Porridge

Breakfast, Snack

It’s so tough getting up these winter mornings, from the darkness that your body still thinks it’s nighttime to the frosty chill the minute you put a toe outside the covers. That’s why you need something warm and filling to get your warmed up quick whilst also keeping your energy levels maintained for the day ahead. Stewed apples are pure comfort food to me, they are perfect at any time of the day as a quick dessert with a scoop of yoghurt or ice-cream. Likewise the poached plums are great topped with some granola and yoghurt as a simple dessert or breakfast option. Both can be prepared well in advance and will keep fresh in your fridge for at least one week or can be frozen. Stewing and poaching fruit is also a great way to use up fruit a little past it’s best, just remove the gone off bits and you’ll still be left be plenty of fruit to work with.

Serves 4.

  • 5 small apples, peeled, de-cored, quartered
  • 4 plums, halved, de-stoned
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 4 x portions of Quinoa Porridge
  • 4 tsp nut butter
  1. Place the apples and plums in two separate saucepans.
  2. Add the vanilla essence to the plums.
  3. Cover both the apples and plums with just enough water, you don’t want them fully submerged.
  4. Bring the saucepans to the boil and then reduce to a gentle simmer with the lid on.
  5. Continue to cook until the apples are fully broken down into a nice stew. Keep an eye on the plums as you want them cooked through but still to retain their shape.
  6. Remove from the heat and if your using immediately add to whatever dish you like otherwise allow to cool in the saucepan.
  7. Once fully cool, transfer to a resealable container and store in the fridge or freezer.
  8. Prepare the Quinoa Porridge, divide amongst four bowls, top with 2 tablespoons of stewed apple and 1 plum, drizzle over some of the plum syrup and finish with a teaspoon of nut butter.

Green Eyed Monster

Breakfast, Juice, Snack

Not quite a monster but a great way to get your quota of greens in a really easy way. I like to have this first thing in the morning with some Echinacea added to really give your immune system a boost and kick-start the day.

*The recipe makes about 750mls & a normal serving for me is about 200mls.

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  • 2 stalks celery, finely sliced
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • a thumb sized piece of fresh ginger thinly sliced
  • 1 large apple
  • 300ml water or coconut water
  • 5 large leafs kale
  • 1/2 cucumber
  1. Simply chop up the apple, kale, ginger, cucumber and celery and place in a blender. Make sure to remove the stalks from the kale.
  2. Add the lemon juice and water.
  3. Set the blender to the highest setting until all the pulp is reduced.
  4. Give the mix a shake to ensure no lumps left in the juice. You may need to add some more water at this stage if it is quite lumpy.

*Keeps fresh in the fridge for about 5 days.

*I often substitute or use a mix of spinach and kale or apple and pear.

Oat & Seed Loaf

Breakfast, Snack

Everybody loves bread but possibly something we all could do with cutting down on. This bread was inspired by FoodFlicker which leaves you nicely contented after one slice, freezes well and contains no flour, preservatives or sugar and suitable for gluten-free diets. Perfect with soup, salad or simply banana for breakfast! As always change up the mix of seeds to suit your taste.

  • 300g oats
  • 2 tbsp pumpkin & sunflower seeds
  • 1 tbsp hemp seeds
  • 2 tbsp milled linseed
  • 2 tsp bread soda
  • 500g natural yoghurt
  1. Pre-heat oven to 180°C.
  2. Place all the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Add in the yoghurt and mix thoroughly. 
  4. Place oat mix into a lined loaf tin, sprinkle some more seeds on top and bake for about 40 mins or until a knife comes out clean. 

Happy Tuesday!!

Breakfast, Snack

These are literally the easiest flour-free pancakes out there! Ideal for a lazy last-minute brunch, perfect pre or post training/match with 2 tbsp oats added for some extra fuel.

  • 1 egg
  • 1 banana
  • 2 tbsp milled linseed
  • 50-100ml milk of any variation
  • Coconut oil
  • Toppings:
    Natural yoghurt
    Fresh fruit
    Flaked almonds/desiccated coconut
    Honey

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1. Whisk the egg in a measuring jug.
2. Add the banana and linseed and whisk further until the banana is well combined.
3. Add in the milk slowly until you get a runny texture.

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4. Heat 1/2 tsp coconut oil on a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat.
5. Once melted pour a third of the batter on the pan and even out.
6. Once little bubbles appear on top, flip over and cook the other side.
7. Place in the oven whilst you cook the remaining batter, you should get 3 medium pancakes.
8. To assemble: place one pancake on a heated plate, spread a tsp yoghurt over, add some fruit, repeat with the others until you reach the top, simply spoon some yoghurt on top, the remaining fruit pieces and scatter some almonds/coconut over the stack with a drizzle of honey.

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The Best Way To Start Your Day!!

Breakfast, Snack

Homemade granola is the easiest and possibly most tastiest thing you can make. It can be enjoyed at any hour of the day, will save you a shed load of dollars compared to bought cereals and is simply the best way to start your day! I love to enjoy it with some seasonal fruit and a good dollop of natural yoghurt!!

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  • 10 tbsp oats (jumbo/porridge/gluten-free/organic)
  • 2 tbsp of each pumpkin, sunflower, chia, poppy & sesame seeds
  • 2 tbsp desiccated coconut
  • 2 tbsp milled linseed
  • 2 tbsp mixture of raisins, cranberries & chopped dried apricots
  • 2 tbsp nuts (chopped walnuts, hazelnuts, pecans, peanuts, cashews)
  • 1 tbsp flaked almonds
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 3 tbsp melted coconut oil
  1. Preheat an oven to 180°C.
  2. Mix the honey and melted coconut oil well together.
  3. Place all of the dry ingredients excluding the dried fruit in a large mixing bowl and mix through the melted oil and honey and until it is well coated.
  4. IMG_1620Spread the mixture evenly on a baking tray lined with parchment and place in the oven until it’s nicely browned, add the dried fruit when you begin to stir the mixture.
  5. Make sure to keep a close eye on it as it can easily burn and ensure to stir the oat mix so that it browns evenly!!

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6. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before placing it in a large jar to be enjoyed every morning…that’s if there’s any left by then!!

*Customise the mixture of nuts/seeds/dried fruit to your liking, believe me you can’t go wrong!