Sorry I’ve been a little quiet the last few weeks, honestly I’ve been struggling a little mental health wise and have been focusing on me and college, so my blog got pushed to the side. Hey, I never intended to post with a perfect rigid schedule anyway, I’m just not that kind of person, try as I might! Anyway…
Ahh Sunday. The day to lie in bed and relax. NOPE! Not this weekend! I’m on Mission Meal Prep. I’ll be honest, I’ve been really lazy with cooking lately (see above) and just eating anything I can shove in the oven quickly. Fresh, home cooking? What’s that? I’ve been feeling pretty crap for it, so I’ve decided to plan and prep ahead my meals for the week. I’m off this week but when I’m back at college I’ll really need to be doing this otherwise I’ll just keep eating rubbish.
I decided to make the following:
Recipes in full at the end
- Quorn Irish Stew
- Quorn Shepherds Pie
- Leek Potato and Broccoli Soup
- Red Lentil and Tumeric Soup
- Masala Chickpea Burgers
- Chickpea and Spinach Stew
- Lemon Garlic Orzo With Roasted Vegetables
Wash your hands and put on your pinny! Get a good playlist ready and let’s get started.
For mass meal prep, you have to be organised. So I began by making a table which shows me all the ingredients I need to prepare and all the instructions in one place.
Next, I made the following plan of action:
- Prepare all vegetables (chop, slice, dice)
- Mix all spices for each dish. For chickpea and spinach stew put in an airtight container and set aside.
- Put the vegetables for the orzo in the oven to roast for 35-40 minutes.
- Soup: saute the leeks then add the potatoes. Simultaneously put all the ingredients for the lentil soup in another pot. Bring both to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes. Add broccoli to the leek and potato soup and simmer for another 10 minutes. Meanwhile, puree the lentil soup. Once the broccoli is done, puree the leek and potato soup. Divide both into portions and freeze, or keep in the fridge if you’ll use it in the next few days. You can also do this step at the end.
- Boil the potatoes for the shepherd’s pie for 25 minutes.
- Pie: Brown the mince and onion. Half fill the pot with boiling water. Add salt and pepper. Bring it to the boil. Add carrots. Simmer for around 20 minutes. Use a heaped tablespoon of bisto powder and make gravy. Add and cook for another few minutes then put in a dish. Mash potatoes and put on top.
- Stew: Brown the mince and onion. 2/3 fill the pot with boiling water. Add salt and pepper. Bring it to the boil. Add carrots and potatoes. Simmer for around 45 minutes. Use a heaped tablespoon of bisto and make gravy. Add and cook for another few minutes then transfer to a dish.
- Finally make the masala chickpea burgers. I’m serving these for dinner tonight
- The chickpea stew will be made whenever I’m eating it. I have prepared all the ingredients in advance so all I have to do it throw it together.
Once everything had cooled I divided it up into what I was freezing and what I was putting in the fridge. I froze 2 portions of stew, 2 portions of shepherds pie, and one of the chickpea burgers. The leek potato and broccoli soup freezes well, but I haven’t tried freezing the lentil and tumeric soup as this was my first time making it so I only made a small batch (it’s delicious so you should probably go ahead and double the recipe…)
The Recipes In Full
Leek Potato and Broccoli Soup:
I use 2 bags of leeks from Tesco which usually have 3 leeks in each. To prepare the leeks, slice the tops and bottom root end off and discard. You’ll just use the white and light green parts. Slice each in half (length-wise) and then in half again. Chop the leeks and then wash thoroughly – I usually just do this in a colander.
Peel the potatoes (8 cups) and chop into roughly 1 inch pieces. Chop up one head of broccoli into florets. Prepare a litre of stock using 2 vegetable stock cubes.
Add some olive oil to a large soup pot and saute the leeks for around 5-7 minutes until soft.
Add the potatoes and stock to the pot. Add around 1tsp of salt, to taste. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the broccoli and simmer for another 10 minutes.
Blend blend blend! I like to leave mine with some chunks of potato in it, but it’s down to personal preference. I also like mine pretty thick – add some hot water for a thinner soup. Add more salt if necessary. Serve with toasted pine nuts.
Lentil and Tumeric Soup
Add all the ingredients into a soup pot and bring to boil and simmer for 15 minutes until the lentils are cooked – keep an eye on it so the water doesn’t all evaporate and end up burning the lentils.
Transfer the mixture to the blender and pulse to obtain a creamy soup. Add more water as necessary as this is a very thick soup!
Garnish with toasted seeds, and serve warm.
Boil the potatoes for roughly 25 minutes.
Meanwhile, briefly fry the mince and onion.
Half fill the pot with boiling water. Add salt and pepper. Bring it to the boil.
Add carrots and simmer for around 20 minutes.
Using a heaped tablespoon of bisto powder, make gravy. Add and simmer for another few minutes then put in a dish.
Mash potatoes with butter and put on top. Smooth out with a fork and dot a little butter on top. Put in the oven for 20-25 minutes.
Briefly fry the mince and onion.
2/3 fill the pot with boiling water. Add salt and pepper. Bring it to the boil.
Add uncooked carrots and potatoes. Simmer for around 45 minutes until the potatoes are cooked.
Use a heaped tablespoon of bisto and make gravy. Add and simmer for another few minutes then transfer to a dish.
Masala Chickpea Burgers
Rinse and drain 2 tins of chickpeas.
Mash them up! I found the easiest way to do this was put them in a big bowl and use my pestle from my trusty pestle and mortar set to smash them up.
Add the spices: a sprinkle of cinnamon, 1 teaspoon of hot chilli powder, 1 teaspoon cumin, 4 cloves, 1 teaspoon ginger, ½ teaspoon turmeric. You can adjust these to personal taste. Mix well.
Shape into patties. I used a round cookie cutter and squashed the mixture into it then flattened it out. I made 5, but it depends on the size you make them.
Next, heat up some oil in a frying pan. CAREFULLY put the burgers in and fry them for a few minutes on each side until browned and warm through. Be VERY CAREFUL when flipping them as they’re very crumbly! You could try using egg or maybe a little milk/plant milk to bind them better.
Serve in freshly toasted pita with toppings of your desire!
Lemon Garlic Orzo with Roasted Veg
Turn oven on to 200C. Line two sheet pans with parchment paper. Place the mushrooms, bell peppers, courgette, tomatoes, garlic and shallot in a bowl. Mix all the veg together with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Spread the vegetables over 1 or 2 pans, making sure there’s no overlapping. Roast for 25 minutes (due to oven variations, they may need longer) Rotate pans 1/2 way through roasting.
In a large pan, heat 1 Tbs of Olive Oil on medium heat. Add the orzo and stir, coating the orzo throughly. Stir occasionally for about 3 minutes or until the orzo is toasty and golden. Add the vegetable stock. Bring to a simmer, turn down the heat to low, cover and cook for about 15 minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed. Stir. Remove from heat, cover and set aside.
In a small bowl add the olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Mix well.
In the large pan, add the roasted vegetables to the orzo and stir in the dressing and pine nuts.
Heat up the oil in a large frying pan. Add chopped onion and fry on a low heat until almost translucent, stirring from time to time. Add chopped garlic. Keep stirring frequently until the onion is translucent and garlic softens.
Add all the ground spices. Fry them off gently for a minute or two. Add tomato paste to the pan and stir it in.
Squash plum tomatoes with a potato masher in a separate bowl before adding them to the pan. Season with salt. Let the sauce thicken by simmering it on a low heat, stirring occasionally.
Once the sauce thickens, taste it and season with some black pepper.
Stir in chickpeas and let them warm through. Add in the spinach and let it wilt.
Serve with brown rice.
Sorry about the image quality, I was losing light and very tired! Let me know if you try any of these recipes, and what your meal prep days look like!