Autumn Prep

Ok, the weather is being it's usual pants self so I wanted to share some of my favourite meal prep recipes. Some of which can easily be ate hot or cold. Pure brilliance right?

So, first up the shopping list. I hope this helps outline just how easy this can be. I like to plan my meals in advance to make sure I have a variety but also to make sure I have the perfect balance to fit my macros. I've finally found a balance that suits me to a T. Plenty of protein with a smattering of carbs and low in fat.

I am a visual diner so there always has to be variety in colour, and textures, hopefully you can see how easy it'd be to swap things and change them up to be more suitable for yourselves too.

Chicken & cous cous
Tomato salad
4 chicken drumsticks
3 chicken stock cubes
2 tbsp lemon juice
70g cous cous
250g lean lamb mince
1 tbsp cayenne pepper
1 tbsp mixed herbs
1 tsp ground coriander
6 salad tomatoes
2 tbsp olive oil
1tbsp dried basil

Chicken & mushroom risotto
Lentil dhaal
150g risotto rice
500ml stock
200g chicken breast
150g mushrooms
2 cloves garlic
3 sprigs of thyme
1/2 red onion
1 tbsp. of olive oil
150g red split lentils
1 green pepper
1 onion
1 clove garlic
1tbsp ground cumin
1tbsp madras powder
Low fat Greek yoghurt
Overnight oats
Agave nectar
Mixed seeds

Sausage & sweet potato mash
Steak flatbreads
Roasted vegetables
6 sausages
300g sweet potato
100g garden peas
200ml gravy
250g lean steak mince
2 tbsp garam masala
2 linseed flatbreads
10 cherry tomatoes
30g baby spinach
Low fat yoghurt
¼ cucumber
100g mushrooms
1 bell pepper
1 red onion
2tbsp mixed herbs

The first thing I do when prepping my meals is sort out my protein. This gives me plenty of time to allow it to cool down enough to pop in the fridge without having to wait ages. I put my sausages in, season my chicken with salt, pepper, lemon juice, garlic and mixed herbs before forming my kebabs and meatballs, this gives it more time for the flavour to sink in. At the same time I boil the sweet potato ready to mash it.

An easy win for cutting prep time is my go to seasoning basket. It's a basket of ingredients that I use regularly meaning it can just be pulled out from one place quickly rather than having to hunt down the herbs and spices separately. I don't know about you but my spice draw is that crammed that if I didn't have cheats like this I'd waste quite a bit of my allocated prep time.

As well as mixed herbs, I have a bag of oregano, rosemary, basil, salt, pepper and an Italian seasoning mix that we picked up in Sorrento over the summer.

The second thing I prep is the tomato salad. I do this next to give the flavours time to mingle. This is a great way to pimp up tomatoes and really draw out and intensify the flavour of them. 

This side dish was inspired by bruschetta JB and I had in Verona a few years ago. I loved the simplicity of the ingredients and decided to see if firstly I could recreate it and secondly, what else it would work well with.

I've had the tomato salad with stuffed peppers or mushrooms for brunch as well as doing some kebabs and roast chicken for lunches. Super versatile and works well with a variety of flavours. Easy win right?

When planning my prep I always take into account what my week looks like out of work as well. Trying to eat a more balanced diet overall means that if I'm going out for dinner I try and get in a low carb, low fat and low calorie lunch so I can make the most of my evening meal. With that in mind, this poached chicken and veg is an absolute winning combination!

Don't be put of by the paleness of the chicken, this tasted immense I promise. I poached the chicken in stock with chilli, garlic and ginger to reduce fat content. To go with it I used red onion, peppers and mushrooms, all filling and low fat veg. Stir fry your veg in fry light, mixed herbs, season with salt and pepper. I used 100g chicken breast with any visible fat removed then placed on top once the veg was cooked. 

A really easy healthy lunch option with only 2g of fat, 12g carbs and a whopping 25g protein. What's not to love?

Next up, chicken and mushroom risotto. I think risotto is one of the best autumnal dishes even though it does require watching. It is filling and warming, perfect for a chilly day. I used carnaroli rice this time round as knowing I was going to be flitting to and from the risotto I think this kind is the best option.

My base flavours consist of red onion, garlic and a mixture of portobello and chestnut mushrooms. I throw in the chicken early on and pour in my stock a third at a time to make sure I get the consistency right. Obviously with this being a prep option I'm not eating it up right away so I tend to cook the rice a couple of minutes less than I usually would so it's perfect when re-heated. 

Add a dollop of cream cheese for extra creaminess if you're into that and you'll be good to go.

Once my steak meatballs are done it's time to plate them up, I love having these with both lentil dhaal and with flatbreads. With the meatballs being spiced they don't need much going with them. Some cherry tomatoes halved and some baby spinach is all I put in the flat breads. Great for when you need a speedy lunch as they don't need heating if you don't want to.

This dhaal is a recipe I've been playing with for a while. It's spiced without being spicy and is a great accompaniment to a variety of dishes. It's great with grilled meats and fish in particular.

Lastly, breakfasts. I never have time for breakfast at home so always make sure I prep them in advance. I love yoghurt with seeds and fruit but lately I've bought into overnight oats in a big way!!

Apart from the contrast in colour that makes them look so beautiful, they are easy to prepare and a well balanced start to the day. I really didn't think I'd like the texture of these but I definitely put my hands up and admit when I am wrong. Really nice and creamy consistency especially if you take them out of the fridge about 20 minutes before you want to eat them.

The recipe I use means I also get to whip out my EasiYo and make a batch of yoghurt so win win. I find that with the consistency of the overnight oats you don't need a huge quantity to fill you up. I use a mixture of non fat Greek yoghurt and milk for the base then top with a range of different ingredients.

Macros for this version aren't too shabby either, only 216 calories with 18.5g of carbohydrates and 4.6g protein.

My favourite combination at the moment is chia seed, agave nectar and mixed berries. I use frozen berries as you can usually guarantee they are at their best when frozen so they'll taste immense. I'm open to new ideas though, let me know what your favourites are : )

Happy prepping x