Der­val O’Rourke

Irish Examiner - Weekend - - Inside -

THIS week I’m chat­ting about ‘meal prep’ which is how the world of so­cial me­dia de­scribes be­ing or­gan­ised with your food. I’m shar­ing two recipes that are a great ex­am­ple of how to meal prep well.

When peo­ple ask me for ad­vice about eat­ing well, my num­ber one tip is to be or­gan­ised and pre­pared. Most of us are busy jug­gling work, fam­ily and friends. This can make it chal­leng­ing to cook all of your meals each day. This is why I con­sider ‘meal prep’ one of the best things you can do to sup­port your­self on your health and well­ness jour­ney. Here are my top tips:

1. Plan

Make a plan of what you’re go­ing to eat this week. Jot down what you’d like for break­fast, lunch and din­ner; what you want to eat post-work­out; and what kind of snacks you want to eat through­out the day. This does not need to be per­fect or ex­act, just sim­ply an idea of what you would like to eat for the com­ing week

2. Stock

Make a list and take time to stock your kitchen prop­erly. My larder es­sen­tials in­clude tinned toma­toes, co­conut milk, frozen fruits and veg­eta­bles, por­ridge oats and tinned beans. If you are time-poor it’s worth­while con­sid­er­ing on­line shop­ping and de­liv­ery. I did this a huge amount post- baby. Set up your ac­count and you can click re­order and not even think about it.

3. Time

Set aside ‘prep time’ — week­ends are per­fect. On Sun­days I of­ten roast a chicken, eat some for din­ner that night and use the rest for a curry or stew. I also like to roast some veg­eta­bles and bake a few pota­toes for dur­ing the week. I try to pre­pare some healthy snacks in bulk too.

4. Left­overs

Lov­ing your left­overs is an easy way to cut down on prep time and save money. When you cook an evening meal, make dou­ble and pop half in a lunch­box for the next day, many of my stews and cur­ries will taste even bet­ter by then.

5. Freezer

I con­sider freezer-stock­ing an im­por­tant sur­vival skill. By cook­ing in batches and freez­ing in in­di­vid­ual por­tions, you can trans­form your freezer into your go-to-place for tasty, health­ful, ready-made home-cooked meals. Plus you can keep food for a long time in your freezer which re­duces waste and saves you money.

Fit­spi­ra­tion

@the­lit­tle­green­spoon Check out In­die Pow­ers’ ac­count for lots of healthy, ev­ery­day recipes that aim to make eat­ing well as easy as pos­si­ble. With a range of recipes there is some­thing for every­one. Her chicken tikka recipe is de­li­cious and per­fect for ‘meal prep’ too.

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