So the gifts have been exchanged, the turkey has been eaten, and you have most probably overindulged to some degree this holiday season. We don’t blame you! Christmas is that time of year when you are supposed to take your foot off the pedal a little, and this year, in particular, has warranted a little festive comfort eating.
But now, with the new year fast approaching, the time has come to think about a year of healthy eating. With many of us finding ourselves confined to our homes for the vast majority of the year gone by, our physical health may have taken a hit along with our mental wellbeing.
January is as good a time as any to put things right, increase our exercise regimes, and begin a new journey in healthy eating. If you are finding yourself unhappy when looking in the mirror and want to make a change, now is the time to do it. But, it is important to do it right.
Diets, unfortunately, don’t tend to work very well for those looking to lose weight or get in shape. Contrary to the reams of adverts you are probably now seeing spread across your social media platforms, diets tend to have a yo-yo effect on those who try them. You lose weight for a while, then you inevitably put it all back on if you binge at some point when you are feeling low. Instead, a healthy eating routine, aided by sensible and easy meal prepping is a far more realistic way of losing weight and keeping it off. With meal prepping you can practice portion control, while also prepping meals ahead of time, making it less likely that you will ‘snack’ during the day, or be left without enough energy to cook a healthy meal in the evening (which can lead to you grabbing that takeaway menu a little too often).
So, to kick start your new year, here are three extremely easy and quick meal preps that can help you get started in the world of meal prepping!
Baked Salmon Tray with Rice and Tomatoes
Delicious, simple, and quick to cook, baked salmon is a great meal for fish lovers, and wonderfully high in protein and healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 30 mins
14 oz. (400g) salmon fillet, skin removed
1 tsp. honey
2 tbsp. soy sauce
2 tbsp. olive oil
4 slices of lemon + 2 tbsp. of juice
200g jasmine rice
150g cherry tomatoes
handful basil leaves
4 tbsp. natural yogurt, 0% fat
2 tsp. paprika
½ tsp. curry
1 tsp. oregano
pinch of chili flakes
Cut the salmon fillet into 4 pieces. Rinse, dry and place in a bowl. Season with salt, pepper, paprika, curry, and oregano. Add honey, soy sauce, 2 tbsp. of olive oil and 2 tbsp. of lemon juice. Mix everything and cover the bowl. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).
Cook the rice according to the instructions on the packaging. Drain it, then transfer into a baking dish and spread the rice over the whole surface of the dish. Place the salmon fillets on top of the rice, add the cherry tomatoes and basil leaves, then sprinkle with chili flakes. Top salmon with lemon slices, and drizzle over the remaining marinade and bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes.
You are now ready to put the contents in your containers, and once cooled, into the fridge. Quick, easy, and ever so tasty!
Egg Broccoli and Ham Muffins
Another low carb option here, and a great idea for a healthy lunch or breakfast. It also doesn’t get simpler than this when it comes to the actual cooking either. If time is of the essence, this meal prep idea is for you!
Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 15 mins
2 bacon medallions
2 hardboiled eggs, chopped
½ large avocado, chopped
1 tbsp. red onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp. red bell pepper, finely chopped
sea salt and ground pepper, to taste
As promised, this recipe is ridiculously simple. Fry the bacon until crisp on a non-stick pan. Let it cool slightly and chop. Combine the bacon, eggs, avocado, onion and bell pepper in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper to serve.
It really doesn’t get much simpler than that!
Spicy Cauliflower and Chickpea Rice Bowl
Cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable that is naturally high in fibre and B-vitamins. It provides antioxidants and phytonutrients that can protect against cancer. It also contains fibre to enhance weight loss and digestion. Tasty, filling, and healthy too, this dish can help warm you on a cold winter evening!
Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 25 mins
1 medium cauliflower, broken into florets
14 oz. (400g) can chickpeas, drained
1 tbsp. olive oil
3 cups cooked rice
For the sauce:
2 tbsp. sriracha
2 tbsp. tamari
1 tbsp. maple syrup
2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
2 tsp. fresh ginger, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. sesame oil
2 green onions, chopped
¼ cup (30g) peanuts, chopped
Preheat oven to 230°C (450°F) and prepare a baking dish or tray. Break the cauliflower into bite-size florets and place them on the tray along with drained chickpeas. Drizzle with olive oil and season to taste with sea salt and pepper -bake in the oven for 20 minutes.
In the meantime, prepare the sauce by mixing all the sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Once cauliflower and chickpeas are roasted, remove from oven and mix with the earlier prepared sauce. Increase the oven temperature to broil, return the tray into the oven and cook for about another 5 minutes.
Remove from the oven divide between your Igluu meal prep containers and serve with a portion of rice. Voila! a gorgeously filling dinner that can feel like internal central heating on those cold winter nights!
For those of you who are new to meal prepping, the key is consistency. When you get yourself into a routine of cooking your meals on set days, you quickly realise just how much time it frees up for the rest of the week, and how much easier it is to keep on track when it comes to your intake. A little effort at the start pays dividends later in the week, and before you know it, you will be looking forward prep day, and enjoying the process. Happy new year, and happy meal prepping!
Igluu Meal Prep containers come in a range of shapes and compartment types. Head on over to our shop to get the right container for you!