Hi friends! Can you believe how quickly this year has been flying by?
I don’t know about the rest of you, but lately it feels like my days are growing shorter and there isn’t enough time to get everything done. Spring is one of the busiest times of the year at our office!
I purchased a gym membership in the new year to try and get back on track with my fitness goals, and I’ve quickly discovered how much easier it is to stay on track when I take the time to plan and prepare my meals and snacks in advance.
Most people hate prepping meals, but it’s something I’ve come to enjoy doing – especially on a Sunday, when I have plenty of time to shop for fresh ingredients and flip through old cookbooks for recipe inspirations.
For those of you looking to save some time during the week, I encourage you to give meal prep a try! I went all-out last weekend and cooked all of my breakfasts, lunches and dinners for the week, but you can start small and focus on one meal. Although it might seem like a lot of work, taking the time to do it has many benefits:
- It eliminates the stress of having to cook every single night after you come home from work or school
- It leaves more time later in the week for activities you actually enjoy doing
- It can help you control your portion sizes, to ensure you’re not over-eating
- It reduces the chances of opting for fast food/junk food
- It helps you stay on track with your health/fitness goals. As the saying goes, if you fail to plan, plan to fail.
To help you get inspired, I’ve taken the time to compile a list of some of my favourite go-to recipes that I’ve been preparing over the past several weeks.
My go-to breakfast is steel cut oats in a jar. They’re simple, delicious, wholesome, and can be thrown into a lunch bag and heated up at work on mornings where I’m running late. They’re also RIDICULOUSLY easy to prepare in large quantities! I simply boil 1 cup of oats in 4 1/2 cups of water, and then mix in extra ingredients to add flavour, such as cinnamon, coconut oil, shredded coconut, maple syrup and chia seeds. I portion out the oats into mason jars and VOILA – I have breakfast for the week. I also like to prep small containers of chopped dates and walnuts to mix in to the oats. The beautiful thing about oatmeal is you can experiment with a wide variety of ingredients/flavours, to prevent you from getting bored of eating the same old thing. Try throwing in some chopped apples, dried fruits, or stirring in a couple of tablespoons of nut butter!
Another breakfast I prepped recently was this kale mozzarella egg bake, which can be easily re-heated in the microwave for a quick meal in the morning.
*Helpful Tip: I have a hard time getting through an entire bunch of kale on my own (my boyfriend hates the stuff), so I often take half of it, put it through a blender with a bit of water, pour into a muffin tin and freeze. That way, I have frozen kale pucks that can be easily thrown into green smoothies or soups!
Have some leftover spinach or kale that you’re looking to use up? These quinoa kale patties are the perfect way to use up leafy greens, and are excellent to pack in lunches with a side salad or soup. The recipe calls for four eggs, but I usually use two and prepare two flax eggs instead. It also calls for parmesan cheese, but I typically substitute with nutritional yeast for an extra boost of vitamin B12.
This recipe makes about 12 patties – I usually pair 2-3 patties with a side salad or soup. Tomato soup is my favourite and super easy to make from scratch. I like to toss some onions and Roma tomatoes with a bit of olive oil and roast in the oven, and then blend with some organic vegetable broth. Recently, I roasted some potatoes, carrots and red bell pepper as well and blended them into the soup for added nutrients. I find the potato also gives the soup a nice, creamy texture without having to add cream!
To save some time, you can prep the quinoa kale patties while your veggies are roasting. Before you know it, you will have lunches ready to go for the week!
*Helpful Tip: When chopping carrots and red peppers for the soup, chop more than you need so you can throw the veggies into some containers and enjoy as afternoon snacks, perhaps paired with some hummus for dipping.
I’ve had a mild obsession with eggplant recently and tried experimenting with an eggplant lasagna recipe. The result was pretty darn fantastic, and faster to make than a noodle lasagna. Prep this bad boy on a Sunday and you’ll have dinner ready for the next few days!
If eggplant isn’t your thing, you can try this vegan lentil walnut loaf. I found it was surprisingly tasty, especially alongside some garlic mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli :)
For those of you with a sweet tooth, I also have to share this recipe for chocolate tahini cups.
I used a mini muffin tin when I made this recipe so they turned out extra cute and bite-sized. I keep them in the freezer so I have a yummy treat on-hand when I’m craving something sweet.
Be Well xo