A Week of Meal Prep

Recently, I’ve fallen back into old habits. I’ve been eating toast for breakfast, which leaves me hungry and unsatisfied, I’ve been snacking at midday and losing track of time so that I miss lunch altogether, and I’ve been forgetting about dinner until my mum makes it for me.

From day one of my week of meal prepping, I had to get out of these habits and I felt so much better for it.

For breakfast, I found that I still had time to spare in the morning but I also had a delicious, nutritional breakfast. All I did was top the oats with chopped almonds, raisins, desiccated coconut, almond butter, and agave nectar, and my breakfast was done. I ate this breakfast for 5 days and at no point did I stop enjoying it.

For lunch, I just toasted some almonds and then microwaved the butternut squash and couscous, finishing the meal off with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. This salad continues to be one of my favourite meals and I would recommend buying Áine Carlin’s Keep It Vegan just for that recipe! It is also transportable as all you have to do is heat it up for 3 minutes in a microwave and its ready to eat.

Dinner was still ready-made but by me. It may not have looked very appetising but it was healthy and the marinated tofu was unlike anything I’ve had before. As time went by, I found that the tofu really didn’t last very well and I now know that I should have just marinated it for the meal prep and left the frying until the day. On the last day, instead of heating it up, I cut it up and put it into some wraps and it tasted so much better!

At the end of a week of meal prepping, the only thing I would do different would be to change it up a little and provide some small alterations. When I went out for dinner, 4 days in, I couldn’t tell if the burger and chips I ordered were the best I’ve ever had in my life or whether it was just the novelty of different tastes!

Now that food prep isn’t a part of my day, I have so much more time. I’m a meal prep convert and look forward to a fridge full of aesthetic jars of overnight oats!

Meal prepping?

I have been wanting to try meal prepping for so long but had no idea how to start. What meals were the best to make? Should I keep them in the fridge or the freezer? What if some foods don’t do well when kept in the fridge for week after cooking?

Meal prepping is a pretty modern take on batch cooking, which is a normal part of family life for many people. I have never cooked my meals in batches. I’ve reheated leftovers but never set out to make more food than I need. But meal prepping is a great way to save money and to lose weight so it seems worth a try.

To start, I found 3 recipes I like from Áine Carlin’s recipe book and bought all the ingredients to make 5 portions of each.

This week, I won’t have to cook in order to eat which hopefully will stop me from grabbing snacks (which tend to be crisps or ice cream in the summer) when I’m hungry because I can’t be bothered to cook.

My menu this week is:

Breakfast: Cocoa and almond butter overnight oats

Lunch: Winter (yeah, I know) squash and couscous salad

Dinner: Sweet and sour marinated tofu with stir fry vegetables

If I get bored, I can change the toppings on my oats, add vegetables to my salad, and change what I eat with my tofu. As I failed to properly cut my tofu, the last portion is pretty measly, so I may cook up some really quick tofu scramble on the last day to go with my vegetables. But this way of eating should allow me to get all that I need as everything is decided beforehand and I know what nutrients and what portion sizes I will be eating.

meal prep intro