Meal Prep Sunday: w/c 23 January 2017

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Dinners: Thai steamed fish parcels, chahchouka
Lunches: Buddha bowls, turkey meatballs with chilli beans 

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First, the chachouka – its a North African pepper and tomato stew and I wanted to to get this on first to slow cook down a little.  I fried onions and red peppers off in a little oil with garlic and salt. I then added chopped tomatoes, Harissa and some cumin.  I simmered it down until it was thick and everything was soft.  When it comes to serving, I’ll reheat in a frying pan and crack some eggs on top too.

img_2501Next, turkey meatballs.  Mixed turkey mince with oats, coriander stalks and seasoning and baked for 20-25mins until golden and cooked through.  Flip them halfway through cooking.  Made a really quick chilli beans to go with them.  Good hot or cold for lunches.

Then Buddha bowls (I really hate that name!)
I roasted some sweet potatoes, boiled some eggs, spiralled some carrots, chopped some peppers, toasted some sesame seeds and made some sesame, soy and finer dressing for Jim and decanted some homemade hot sauce for me.

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Last dinner to prep – Thai steamed fish parcels. Salmon fillet on some spring greens with ginger, chilli and coriander.  I wrapped them in parchment and then in foil.  They then stay in the fridge and can straight in the steamer.

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All done!

Re: that bag marked “smoothie” at the front
I got mad fat over Christmas. Like my favourite skirt doesn’t fit anymore and I’ve been eying up doing the 10 day green smoothie cleanse. So, on Wednesday, whilst Jim tucks into turkey meatballs and then has a Scottish Burns Night feast, I’m going to try one day of it…

Meal Prep Sunday: w/c 9 January 2017

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Happy New Year!

First Meal Prep Sunday of 2017 is here – I’ve missed it very much!

Dinners: Beef & bean hotpot, slow cooker chicken soup. 

Lunches: Serrano ham, apple and watercress bagels, tomato and mushroom pasta with herbed roule cheese.

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First, always put on the thing that will take the longest.  My slow cooker chicken soup is a lengthy process.

img_0068Joint a whole chicken, stick in the slow cooker with carrots, leeks, celery, shit that is kicking around in the bottom of your fridge, salt, pepper, water. On high until the chicken is tender.  Strip off the meat, bones back into the water and leave for as long as you can (preferably another four hours) for a solid chicken stock. Strain the whole lot, reduce the stock, divide between two jars with the chicken meat, done. Stir through some egg noodles and fresh green when reheating.

img_0071Next, beef and bean hot pot which is 1) not fancy at all 2) relatively cheap 3) not hugely terrible for you.  Beef mince is browned off, add in onions, carrots and potatoes and beef stock. Add in a tin of your favourite beans (even baked beans work). Add herbs or spices. Season it well. Simmer until everything is cooked through.

img_0073Ah pasta, staple of a packed lunch. Made a simple tomato and mushroom sauce. Added to cooked pasta and topped with herbed roule cheese. Easy.

img_0079Onwards to bagels, these have Serrano ham, apple and watercress. Cheese topped bagels because cheese is life.

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And all done!

Meal Prep Sunday: w/c 28 November 2016

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Dinners: Coq au vin and chickpea curry. Store cupboard gnocchi for Friday if we are in.
Lunches: Sticky soy chicken with broccoli and rice, and spicy beef bowls

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First, coq au vin.  I browned off some chicken thighs and legs in one pan, and in a separate I gently cooked some carrots, onions and garlic.  Chopped some mushrooms, added in the browned chicken with some cooked bacon lardons. Added in a bottle of wine, some chicken stock and let it simmer down.

fullsizeoutput_250Next, I put some rice on to boil, with broccoli steaming over it.  I pan fried some chopped chicken mini fillets and added soy sauce, honey, water and some cornstarch to thicken.  Hefty pinch of flaked chilli and left it to cook until sticky.

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Made a quick chickpea curry and then cooked some beef mince with taco seasoning, tomato puree and beef stock.  Prepped all the salad for the spicy beef bowls so it’s nice and easy to put together.  Will also have some tortilla chips in there too for crunch.

fullsizeoutput_257All done!

Meal Prep Sunday: w/c 21st November 2016

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Dinners – Root Veg Crumble, Turkey Curry, Butternut Squash, Brown Butter and Sage Gnocchi*, Calzone*
Lunches – Salami, Butter Bean and Radish Winter Salad and Apple, Cheddar and Prosciutto Bagels
(*Mr Fork It is in charge of calzone and the gnocchi is a store cupboard throw together that doesn’t need prepping)

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Very dark and dramatically stormy day at the cottage left no good light for photos. But, first I made the turkey curry, I pan fried off the turkey mince with two small onions until brown, added spices, a carton of passata and some boiled salad potatoes cut into bitesized pieces.  Simmered down until thick and then stored away in some big mason jars.  Will serve with some rice.

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Next, I moved onto the root veg crumbles, using a recipe recommended by a lovely lady called Jenny on Instagram and then onto the winter salad.

fullsizeoutput_24c Butter beans, finely sliced mushrooms and onions are mixed with olive oil, white wine vinegar, minced garlic and seasoning. Then salami is stirred through.  Sounds weird, tastes amazing.

I chopped up the remaining butternut squash from the vegetable crumbles and stored it in a jar so it’s ready for the planned gnocchi and then made bagels with crunchy apples, strong cheddar and prosciutto ham.

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Meal Prep Sunday: w/c 14th November 2016

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Menu for the week:
Dinners – Lasagnes, carrot and coriander soup, jacket potatoes*, mushroom risotto*
Lunches – Gruyere, bacon and courgette quiche, and sausage rolls
(*no prep required)

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First, I cooked the bacon lardons for the quiche whilst I chopped onions.

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I chop all the onions I need for the meal prep in one go because onion eyes are the worst.

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Next, I started on the meat sauce for the lasagne. I wanted this to have plenty of time to reduce down to a thick, beefy sauce.

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Whilst the meat was browning off, I started on the white sauce for the lasagne whilst chopping the carrots for the soup.

With  the white sauce finished, I focussed on getting the soup on to simmer.

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With the soup simmering, I moved onto the quiche.

fullsizeoutput_221And whilst the pastry case was baking, I made sausage rolls.

fullsizeoutput_223I took the quiche pastry case out of the oven, popped in the sausage rolls and moved onto the filling for the quiche (spiralling courgettes, grating and cutting some gruyere, making the egg and cream binder)

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Compiled the quiche and popped it in the oven too. By now, the carrots were soft so I transferred them into a blender to whizz with single cream and some fresh coriander. I moved the soup back into the pan to bring it back to a boil, checked the seasoning and poured into sterilised mason jars.

The meat sauce for the lasagne was ready by now. I put the two lasagnes together.

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I bought some glass baking dishes with plastic clip top lids from Zyliss and I’m a bit in love.

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The sausage rolls finished cooking, followed by the quiche.  I left them to cool before packing away.

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When everything was cool, it was packed up, labelled and put in the fridge.

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FYI – kitchen is now a mess…

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Oh, fork it – Welcome

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Or, how I started meal prepping and it has changed the game.

I’ve meal planned for a long time. But I found that it’s all well and good having a lasagne on your plan for Wednesday night but if you want to face plant onto your sofa at 8.30pm after a nightmare commute home, you’re not going to want to make it.  You’re going to scream “fuck it” into your sofa cushions and order pizza.  All the pizza.

Meal prepping is like having homemade ready meals. Often it’s just a case of reheating some soup or sticking the lasagne you made on Sunday in the oven. It takes the stress of cooking actual proper adult human food out of the weekday.

That being said, meal prepping does take time. And a little practice – mainly to find out what works for you, how to cut down your prep time, and how to store things.

I’ve banged on about meal prepping on my instagram (and instagram stories) for a few weeks now and I thought I would migrate it into blog format.

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