MY PREP GAME IS STRONG

I've been at it again! 
Meal prep has now become part of my Sunday routine and I still love it. I've got it down to a fine art and managed to reduce my time to a smooth 90mins including washing up WOOP! 

I imagine for some of you that still sounds like an impossible challenge but honestly, practice makes perfect.

If you don't have a slow cooker it may be a good idea to invest in one as it is a life saver, especially in winter months when all you want is to come home to a hearty stew or casserole. This week I got my prep started with a slow cooker chasseur, I dust my chicken pieces in flour then fry of in a pan until the outsides are sealed and have that lovely caramelised colour then pop them into the slow cooker. Add your other ingredients and leave on high with the lid on, simple right?



Sausage and mash
Kofta with cous cous
Chicken chasseur
Heck chicken sausages
400g sweet potato
300ml chicken gravy (made from granules)
Lean steak kofta (I bought mine plain and pre-made from Crawshaw's but they're easy enough to do)     
Cous cous 
Salsa             


2tbsps olive oil
1tbsp plain flour, for coating
4 chicken thigh portions 
1 small onion
100ml white wine
1 chicken stock cube
300ml passata
125g mushrooms
1tbsp tarragon


2tbsp chopped parsley 

I know that I'm repeating myself but don't put your shopping away. Yet again will need a lot of space and your containers ready to go so that once everything is cooked you can portion it up easily. With one dish on the go you can then get the rest of your dishes on the way. The easiest way to do this is to prep all your protein, I make sure its pre-cut into bite sized or portion pieces for the most part. 


I season mine with a range of mixed herbs, salt, pepper and sometimes a splash of lemon juice then pop in the oven for 20mins to 30mins depending on the cut. For the pork I used bay that I'd ground down in my pestle and mortar as it works well with the remaining flavours I used in my faux pho. For the turkey steaks I used cayenne, smoked paprika, chilli and garlic powders and turned it into a paste with a little melted coconut oil.


Faux pho
Turkey salad
Snacks
125g diced lean pork
125g lean smoked bacon with fat trimmed
1 nest rice/soba noodles
2 large eggs 
1/2 inch fresh ginger
1 red chilli
2tbsp soy sauce
2tbsp white wine vinegar
1tsp black pepper
1/2 red onion
3 mushrooms
1 vegetable stock cube
1 beef stock cube
1 tbsp lime juice
300g turkey steak
Mixed leaves
Yellow pepper
Cherry tomato
Cucumber

Strawberries
Grapes
Blueberries
Blackberries
Mango
Grenade carb killa protein bars

The easiest accompaniment I make for my meals is the sweet potato mash. I peel and chop
the potato roughly they boil till soft and mash. There's no need for anything else as it has a lovely flavour of its own. This worked really well with the chicken sausages I got, one of my besties got me into them. If you haven't tried heck chicken sausages then you need to, they're super high in protein, low fat and come in at less than 100 calories for 2...WIN! Make up a bit of gravy and you have an awesome flavoured foodie favourite at less than half the calories you'd usually be eating.


Next up my kofta. The accompaniments with this are so simple. Just make sure you put the cous cous in dry and add enough water to cook through when heating your lunch. 

The salsa is something I really struggle to make in small batches (good thing it keeps well). I dice the tomatoes, finely dice the onion and garlic before adding a little coriander, lime juice and salt to taste. I make sure it is well mixed then add a few jalapenos than are again finely diced. 

The longer the flavours are left to mingle the better. It keeps really well in the fridge in a sterilised jar with a lid.

Let's talk umami. For those of you not in the know, umami is a Japanese word, it is a savoury taste that makes up one of the 5 basic tastes: sweet, sour, bitter and salty. I like to think of it as that flavour you cant really describe, its regularly in savoury dishes and has a mild but lingering aftertaste of yum. Foods like tomatoes, fish, mushroom and cured meats have strong umami properties so you'll probably recognise the flavour. I use a lot of umami rich foods in my cooking to get a lovely balance of flavours. You can also buy umami powder in supermarkets as well as umami mayonnaise which tastes sooooo good!

If you haven't checked out my recipe for a quick noodle broth then you need to. My faux pho recipe is so simple and can be left to reduce while you slice and dice ingredients for the salad. I always add mushrooms to get that umami flavour. This week I have served it up with the pork I roasted earlier but it can also be done with chicken or rare steak. As it was for work I ditched the soft boiled egg but it was just as good without. Pop it in one of those tall containers from £-stretcher that I bang on about and it's completely leak proof.


Lastly a leafy salad. Apart from being easy to prep, it is also really nice just to have something light and fresh in the sporadic weather that is the British summer. Once baked I slice up the turkey steaks and throw it together with the rest of my sliced ingredients. This week I went for pre-bagged mixed leaves and some lamb's lettuce with carrot, pepper and cucumber. I find that when I eat out a lot during the week, the bagged stuff is my best bet, I use it over 2 portions so it's all gone and means I'm not left with half a soggy lettuce in my fridge crisper drawer.

As with the last lot of food prep ideas and recipes, all the meals can be stored for a week and as long as you re-heat until piping hot you'll be good to go!

I hope you give this a try. If you do let me know how it goes : )

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