Healthy and Affordable: My Meal Prep Guide

Somewhere in the midst of my Endorphin Stew brainstorm, you’ll find that one particular driving force behind this blog was my burning desire to learn more about the world of food. Sounds weird right…surely the whole point of setting up a blog is to share what I already know with everyone else? Well for me, not really. In my mind, it’s more about letting you all in as I fill in the gaps myself.

I, Ryan, am just a (kind of) normal student who loves healthy food enough to want to share each and every thing I eat with you all. I’m enthusiastic about it, I love eating well, feeling great both mentally and physically and learning about the advantages and – perhaps – disadvantages as I go along. I want to help you as I help myself.

As with many things that help us feel great these days, however, money is involved. So in week 2 of my meal prep, I’d like to share some recipes with you that I’ve come up with this week, along with a rough idea of how much it will all cost you. This week, a relatively small amount was spent on a bulk shop in comparison to what I’d usually spend on less wholesome feeds out and about before. Today, it’s my aim to show you that less can mean more sometimes.

Unless stated otherwise, all products were purchased from Tesco Ireland. Total cost = €45. Average cost per serving = €2.50. 🙂

Sweet potato cakes with marinaded chicken, sprouts and brown rice (3 servings)

INGREDIENTS

  • Lean chicken breast x3
  • Lentil and super sprout mix from Good4U Nutrition
  • Tesco, boil in the bag brown rice

Marinade:

  • Pinch of sea salt
  • Pinch of black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika
  • Approx. 1/2 of a red onion
  • A handful of fresh basil or coriander, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves

Sweet potato cakes:

  • 2″ of a washed leek, chopped finely
  • 2 eggs (free range)
  • 500g of ground almond
  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 1.5 tbl spoons of cayenne pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Add all of the above marinade ingredients into a blender and blitz into a paste-like mixture. If you’re having trouble with this, add a few tblspoons into the mixture and try again.
  2. When the paste is ready, smear it evenly over the back and sides of the three uncooked chicken breasts. If possible leave the marinaded chicken in the fridge for a couple hours for the flavours to infuse.
  3. Pre-heat the oven at 180 degrees Celsius a few minutes before you place the chicken breasts into it. Cook them off for 30 minutes, ensuring they’re cooked through by cutting them in half and ensuring that the centre of the largest breast is white throughout.
  4. Place the rice packs into a pot over medium heat and cook through for approx. 30 minutes.
  5. Peel, wash and dice up your sweet potatoes; place in a pot covered with water over a medium heat and cook through for approx. 35 minutes or until each potato is tender.
  6. When the sweet potato is cooked through, drain the boiling water and mash the potato with a potato masher, set the potato aside and allow to cool.
  7. When cooled, add the rest of your ingredients to the pot and mix them all together very well.
  8. After washing your hands, roll the mixture into as many medium-sized balls as you can, place them onto a tray lined with baking paper, gently beat each down with the  back of a spoon and bake them under 180 degrees Celsius for approx. 20 minutes.
  9. Voila, add it all together and top it off with some gorgeous, nourishing super sprouts!

Coconut truffles (3 servings)

Truffles

INGREDIENTS

Truffle ingredients

I’d like to quickly thank Vita Coco for sending me out some amazing samplers! Until now, the coconut oil I’ve been using has been really bland in comparison. This tastes and smells fantastic.

  • Almond milk, 6 tbl spoons
  • Large dark chocolate cooking bars, x2.5 (the higher percentage of cocoa the more bitter but also the healthier)
  • 2 tblspoons of Vita Coco coconut oil
  • 11 blended Ryvita wholegrain crackers
  • 2 tea spoons of vanilla essence
  • Coconut flakes

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Blend the crackers into to a floury consistency, pour into a large bowl and set aside.
  2. Melt x2 bars of chocolate with the almond milk, coconut oil and vanilla essence in a pot under low heat. What I did was place a metal bowl over a saucepan containing boiling water over medium heat to melt the contents.
  3. When the contents are all melted, add them to the bowl containing the milled Ryvita and mix everything together very well.
  4. Making sure to wash your hands, roll the mixture into balls. The mixture will be gooey so I’d advise washing your hands between two or three balls to make things easier. Place the balls onto a plate lined with baking paper.
  5. Leave the plate in the fridge for at least an hour to allow the balls to harden.
  6. After this time, dunk the truffles into x.5 a bar of plain, melted dark chocolate and sprinkle some coconut flakes on top of each ball.
  7. Leave the truffles in the fridge for another while until the outer layer of chocolate has hardened.
  8. I hope you enjoy these as much as I did!

Black pudding and mince meatballs (3 servings)

Meatballs

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 bag of Tesco, brown wholewheat fusilli pasta

Meatballs:

  • A pound of beef mince
  • Full package of black pudding
  • 2 tblspoons of tomato purée
  • 2 free range eggs
  • 3 slices of wholemeal bread
  • 3 drops of tabasco
  • 2 tblspoons of Dijon mustard

Sauce:

  • 1 carton of tomato passata
  • 1 full aubergine
  • 1 full courgette
  • 1/2 red onion chopped
  • 1.5 tbl spoons of ground garlic

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Finely chop up the black pudding and add to a mixing bowl followed by all of the other ingredients used to make the meatballs.
  2. Making sure hands are washed, hand mix everything together very well and set aside for a few minutes.
  3. Place your pasta into a medium sized pan, barely cover with water and place over a medium heat for approx. 30 minutes. When the pasta is soft, drain the water and set aside for a while.
  4. Oil a pan with olive oil or rapeseed oil. When hot, add in the chopped aubergine, sliced and diced courgette, chopped onion and garlic. Stir frequently until all veggies are cooked and tender. Place all onto a plate and set aside for now.
  5. Roll the meatball mixture into proportional sizes and place on the same pan you used for the veggies, topped up with another few drops of oil. Cook the meatballs for about 2 minutes on each side, add the carton of passatta into the pan with the meatballs, followed by half the plate of veggies (other half will be used in the quinoa jar recipe later). Cook through for approx. ten more minutes.
  6. You’re good to go!

Sweet potato, carrot and chilli soup (5 servings)

Soup

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 carton of tomato passata
  • x2 carrot
  • x2 large sweet potatoes
  • x2 red chillis
  • 2 teaspoons of orange zest
  • Pinch of sea salt

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Peel, wash and chop both the carrot and sweet potat and add them to a medium sized pan.
  2. Add in the chopped chilli and orange zest (not essential).
  3. Barely cover all veggies with some water, place over medium heat and boil for approx. 30 minutes.
  4. Turn off heat, pour in the salt and passata and blend with a hand blender. 🙂

Snack box (3 servings)

Snack box

Since this combo went down as such a treat last week, I said I’d include a slightly adapted version again. I found it great for keeping me satisfied between meals, it really helped maintain my energy levels and kept my concentration going too! 😉

Quinoa jar (1 serving)

Jar salad

INGREDIENTS

  • Veggies from the Black Pudding Meatballs recipe
  • Olive oil
  • 1/2 package of Tesco quinoa
  • Lentil and supersprout mix from Good4UNutrition
  • Pinch of sea salt

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Place one part quinoa and two parts water into a small pot and boil over low heat until the quiona expands and the liquid evaporates. Add in a pinch of salt and mix.
  2. Allow the quinoa to cool for a while before adding it to the base of a jar, pat it down with the back to a tblspoon to allow for more room.
  3. Tumble in your prepared veggies over he quinoa.
  4. Cover with your Lentil and super sprout mix.
  5. Drizzle a little olive oil on top! 🙂

As always, thanks a million for reading today. If you like what you’ve seen, you might check out my Facebook and Instagram page or keep up to date by dropping your email into the subs box below! 🙂

Until the next time,

Happy healthy eating,

Ryan. 🙂

 

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