Do meal-prepping differently...
Why do we find it so difficult to prepare our meals in advance? Why do so many people give up within the first couple of weeks? Today, here at Gloucestershire Chilli Farm, we are exploring the ever-growing trend of ‘meal prepping’ and endeavour to explain how even the most time poor people can build this routine into their lives. We have even included a meal-plan using our own ingredients to add some flavour!
Why Meal Prep?
There are many reasons why preparing food in advance is a good thing. In short, it’s a healthy way to save money and time so you can live better and do more of the things you enjoy doing. It’s incredible how much time you can save by sacrificing a couple of hours on a Sunday so you have meals for the whole week! By having a plan, you will free up time before and after work to do the things you want to do.
Another reason to meal prep is to save money. Buying ingredients is usually much cheaper than buying processed foods and ready meals. If your main goal is to save money, you can have a clear budget in mind before starting and research typical costs of the ingredients you need for the meals you want. Preparing your meals in advance can also help to prevent snacking and over-indulging in sweet treats. Our bodies react negatively to fast and processed foods, making us lethargic and demotivated. If you prepare your meals in advance you are more likely to make health-conscious decisions and stick to them!
Finally, if you have a busy life – like most of us these days – you know how hard it is to choose nutritious, substantial meals every day. By making your meals a week in advance you can ensure you have something ready for when you get home from work. Without having to worry about having food in the house, you can get involved in a regular hobby such as going to the gym or playing a sport and you can spend more time with loved ones/friends.
Give it a go!
Now that we have explained some of the fantastic benefits of meal prep, why not take some inspiration from our own tried and tested unique plan, inspired by our naturally grown British chillies? We have put together some easy-to-do, tasty recipes that won’t break the bank and are a bit different from your typical chicken, rice and broccoli. Because who wants to eat that every day?!
Prep Time: 10-15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
These healthy treats are great because you can make them in advance and they will last for up to four days in an airtight container at room temperature.
All you need to do is mash up a ripe banana in a bowl and add 100g of rolled oats, 2 tbsp. of honey and 1 tbsp. of Adam’s Original Chilli Infused Coconut Oil and stir together well. Leave it for 10 minutes so the oats can absorb the moisture. If you want, you can add dark chocolate chips or raisins (or both!) and a pinch of salt for taste. Divide the mixture and roll into small balls and place on a baking tray. Squash them down to create a better cookie shape, then cook for 15 minutes in a preheated oven at 170C. To add a little extra flavour, you can spread a little of Adam’s Original Pear Chilli Jelly on the cookie when serving.
Prep Time: 15-20 minutes
Cook Time: 30-40 minutes
This recipe takes slightly longer to prepare and cook, but it’s absolutely delicious and full of great food!
Start preparing a chicken breast by rubbing salt, pepper and Adam’s Original Spice Mix all over. In an ovenproof tray, heat up a tbsp. of Adam’s Original Coconut Oil then bake the chicken in the oven at 200C for 25-30 minutes. Ensure the chicken is cooked right through so there is no pink showing and all juices run clear.
Whilst the chicken is cooking, add the rice to a pot of 500ml of salted water. Bring to the boil then simmer for 10-15 minutes or until all water has been absorbed.
Drain the rice if there is any leftover liquid and leave to cool. In a bowl, shred the cooked chicken using two forks. Drain the kidney beans over the sink then rinse with cold water.
Add a tbsp. of Adam’s Original Chilli Infused Sunflower Oil to a pan and heat, then add the kidney beans and pan fry for a few minutes. Add the rice to the beans and cook for a couple more minutes.
To serve, lay a large tortilla on a sheet of tin foil. Put one leaf of gem lettuce on the tortilla, load it up with the chicken, beans and rice then add a chopped tomato, some Adam’s Original Pickled Jalapenos and 20g of grated cheddar cheese. Spoon a tbsp. of salsa, a tbsp. of guacamole and a tbsp. sour cream next to the mixture on the tortilla (to create a type of glue to hold the wrap together). Wrap up the tortilla, keeping it together with the foil and that’s it!
For a healthier option, use less cheese, swap your rice for quinoa and instead of a tortilla just mix the ingredients together in bowl for a healthy burrito salad.
Spicy Chicken with Sweet Potato Wedges
Prep Time: 10-15 minutes
Cook Time: 30-35 minutes
It’s not as difficult to make your own wedges as it may seem. This recipe is very simple, straightforward and still nutritious. The best thing to do when making your own sweet potato wedges is make sure you keep the skin on. This give a nice crunch to the wedge, as well as extra nutrients and holds the structure of the wedge better than without.
Cutting the potato into wedges is quite straightforward – cut length ways, then again, then cut in half and you should have chips that all look fairly even in terms of size. An even size helps cook the wedges evenly too. You only need to use one potato for one serving.
Next, you need to coat all the wedges in plenty of oil. Use Adam’s Original Chilli Infused Sunflower Oil for extra flavour. You could also add a sprinkle of Adam’s Original Spice Mix for a tasty kick. Place the wedges onto an oven proof baking tray and spread them out.
Next, you need to prepare the chicken breast. Rub salt, pepper, Adam’s Original Spice Mix and Adam’s Original Chilli Infused Sunflower Oil over both sides of the chicken breast then place in the centre of a pre-heated oven at 200C for 30 minutes. Place the wedges in the oven at the same time for 30-35 minutes. Ensure the chicken is cooked right through so that all juices run clear.
Serve with veggies for a fully nutritious meal!
We hope this has inspired some people to challenge themselves to a healthier diet in 2019! Let us know if you found this helpful in the comments...