Meal prep for success!

Food is the centre of everyone’s day! We love it, we need it, but someone has to prepare it! So here is my challenge to you reading this! There needs to be a time in your week when you feel rested and happy to be at home to dedicate some time to meal prep. It can only be 1 or 2 tips from below, or be inspired to come up with your own in accordance to your diet and lifestyle!  You may need to be disciplined at first however once you start, you will dedicate more time once you realise how much better you eat and how much more organised you are! I personally guarantee it!
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So i have put together a list for you, may personal meal prep tips that will hopefully make it a little easier for you!

 

The Prep Commandments

1. When you bring your produce home, get into the habit of soaking them ASAP. To do this I invested in a bucket from bunnings. The moment i get home i soak all my hard vegetables ( i do delicate greens all separately) for approx 20 min in cold water and bi carb soda. This helps removes residual pesticides, herbicides and dirt from your produce. I line my table with a table-cloth and then place all my rinsed produce on there to dry off before packing them away into the fridge. Why does this set you up for success?  I know whatever is in the fridge is ready to be used and ready to be eaten!
2. My mum taught me this one: Buy onions in bulk and stick them in your food processor to chop finely. Divide them into freezer snap lock bags so you always have diced onions ready to go. I remember when i was little going into the freezer and seeing all these containers of ice cream only to discover it was all chopped onion inside!
3. Make up stir fry bags for the freezer. Next time you head to the market.. grab those big bags of green beans, snow peas etc. I usually clean them watching tv. I then divide them in freezer bags along with thinly chopped carrots, zucchini and broccoli. Whenever we have impromptu stir fry nights, I grab them from the freezer!
3. When meat is on sale buy them.. marinade them in a freezer bag.. stick some root veggies in there and freeze it ready for a quick roast dinner. Just remember to stick it into the fridge in a dish the night before so it can slowly defrost the following day!
4. Make a salad every 3 days. I like to cook up some quinoa, brown rice or cous cous so i can mix it into the salad.
5. Make a big batch of roast veggies every 5 days. I keep roasted veggies for a max of 4 days in the fridge, and re-roast  a fresh batch on the 5th day. What can’t be done with roasted veggies? You can add them to every single meal inc alongside your breakfast eggs!
6. Make a vegetable based sauce. My fav is roasted eggplant, capsicum, zucchini and olive. This type of sauce can be used for pasta, on-top of fish, onto of chicken parmigiana, stirred through beans and legumes and heated on the stove top, on top of poached eggs and as a base for baked eggs!
7. Sauté asian greens like bok choy, pak choy, chinese broccoli, choy sum, green beans until slightly tender. The green veggies can be used to mix with some rice or sweet potato noodles for a quick delicious nourishing bowl. Top it off with a fried egg that is gooey  or some marinade tofu for a great vegetarian protein meal.

A meal prep like this.. can become a meal like this!

8. Have the mentality: “Cook today to feed us another time” Try to include meals into your weekly schedule that are freezer friendly. Think: meatballs, vegetable rissoles, cottage pie, crumbed veal, fish cakes.
9.  Try to have a protein source in the fridge ready to consume. Some fried crispy tofu, a bean salad, boiled eggs, marinated cooked chicken, some grilled spiced portobello mushrooms. Try to include protein in every meal, a good amount of veg and finally some whole grain low gi carbs! Your goal is to eat less but fill up quicker! protein and complex carbs are your winners here!
10. Cut up carrot, celery, fresh fennel and Cucumber ( deseeded ) stick in cold filtered water in the fridge! Change water daily. I usually cut them up every 3rd day! Make sure you have dips on hand! Even some cottage cheese! Again pairing veg with something that contains some protein will leave you feeling more satisfied and prevent endless snacking.
Hope you found this useful! Share this with your friends or someone you know that needs some inspo! Any questions, fire them below!

 


Panzarotti

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These little pillows of fluffy potato are divine! Whenever we would go to my Nonna’s house for dinner, we could tell when we were getting out of the car when these were on the menu! the smell that they produce is warming, addictive and truly delicious!
I have added the addition of greens to this traditional dish.. really you could make them how you see fit! One tip here when it comes to frying: the longer a food takes to develop a crust or to develop its seal.. the more oil it is going to drink. You want the oil hot enough to quickly develop that crust in  a few seconds to prevent it from soaking up oil.. wether it is veggie patties, hamburgers.. no one enjoys greasy fried food. make sure you have a plate on hand with a paper towel to soak up residual oil.
One last point, instead of frying this can be pressed into a in an even layer and baked! It is equally as delicious!
In a bowl combine:
  • 3 cooled mash potato ( with a fork is fine)
  • 1 med zucchini grated
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped greens ( spinach or kale)
  • 1/4 cup grated hard cheese ( i used pecorino)
  • 1/2 breadcrumb of your choice ( i used sourdough)
  • Salt, Pepper and Garlic Powder to taste
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When you have done this, shape each into little long oval pillows, apron 1cm thick. Depending on the moisture content of the potato you may need to add extra breadcrumb.
As mentioned previously, ensure the oil is hot so the moment you add them they quickly seal up and get that crispy outer crunch!
Nothing left to say other then:
“Buon Appetito”

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Spiced Pumpkin Soup

 

Give this Classic Soup a Shake.. or should we say BAM! Bursting with Flavour, Nutrients and read to fill the hungriest of tummies!

This is the type of soup that is well balanced and can really be as potent as you want it to be. I love the way the flavours come together on your tastebuds; the tanginess from the Lime leaves that cut through the Tumeric and Ginger, whilst the Lemongrass gives it a depth to it that warms your body from the inside out. I have used Tumeric Paste in mine, you can easily grate or process your own in a food processor but I love the convenience of the packaged one. It contains only Tumeric and Filtered Water. No added nasties, fillers or preservatives…WINNING! I always end up staining something when I prepare Tumeric so this is a no stain guaranteed method!
Ingredients:
– 1.2kg JapanesePumpkin
– 1 large Sweet Potato
– 2 Carrots
– 1 Shallot
– 3 Garlic cloves
– 2 Springs Lemon Grass
– 4 Lime Leaves
– 1 TBL Turmeric Paste
– 1 TSP Grated Ginger
– 1.5-2 Litres Of either Vegetable or Chicken Stock depending on what consistency you prefer! You may want even less if you like a really thick Soup!
I like to use homemade Broth but you can use store bought just check those ingredients!
Method:
– I Like to start by sautéing the the Shallot, Garlic, Lemongrass, Tumeric, Ginger and Lime Leaves all together in a touch of Olive Oil. Fry until the beautiful aroma’s start lifting, then you know to add the vegetables and stock! You can season if you like with Salt and Pepper in this step swell, bare in my mind the stock will have seasoning aswell.
– Bring to boil, then simmer gently for approx 30-45 min or until the vegetables are tender. Once cooked, remove the Lemon Grass Stalks and Lime Leaves and then blend until super smooth.

“Buon Appetito!”

Pumpkin Soup
A warming, grounding soup that is pure and rich in anti-inflammatory ingredients
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