Sunday, 20 September 2015

The importance in tips on how to plan for the week ahead

There are two main reasons why I tend to plan my food for the following week if I know I'm going to be out and about for the majority of the day...the first reason is that ever since I started cooking for myself as a student, I've found that organisation is key to any successful budget meals. The second reason is that being allergic to dairy, eggs and nuts, there's little that I can eat without having the worry of having a reaction, even more so now that I've moved to Paris! There's something very satisfying in having tupaware boxes filled with meals that I can grab every morning of the week. All it takes is a little time and effort on a Sunday afternoon and you're good to go!

1. Make a plan of what it is that you want to cook in bulk...perhaps this is two different dishes with the idea in mind that the freezer is your best friend (or not, if it doesn't work like mine at the moment!) For example, last week, I made a big batch of cauliflower and chickpea curry which lasted me a good 5 days.

2. Write down the ingredients of everything that you will need to bring to the supermarket. These days, I enjoy opting for the vegetarian recipes for lunch and saving the meat that I buy for will save money if you cut down on the amount of meat and simply swap a couple of breasts of chicken for extra vegetables and canned beans for example.

3. Stock up on some cupboard essentials: chopped tomatoes, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, dried herbs, canned beans, lentils, rice, pasta, frozen peas, ketchup...I could go on!

4. Keep it simple...stick to either one option for lunch throughout the week, or two if you're likely to get bored!

5. For dinner, I like to buy either one or two different kinds of meat and some kind of fish. For example, this week I have bought two chicken breasts, a packet of mince and two salmon fillets- this will be plenty to last me longer than a week no doubt!

6. Get up a little earlier, turn on the radio and get cooking! Begin by laying out all the ingredients for the first lunch you're planning to make, chop and prepare everything before you actually begin cooking (this will make everything more relaxing and enjoyable, I promise!)

7. Invest in some good tupaware, preferably with clickable (is that a word?!) lids. There's nothing worse than a smelly spillage in the bottom of your bag!

8. Proudly pile up all that you've made and store in the fridge or the freezer in meal sized portions (if you have space).

9. In addition to making the actual meal (maybe you've opted for a lentil dahl, or a chilli non carne), cook up 2-3 days of rice, potatoes, pasta to have with each meal.

10. If you're feeling extra adventurous, why not make some energy- boosting snacks to accompany your mains?! I love to make some kind of raw chocolate energy balls that I can munch on mid- afternoon (the recipe for these will be up on my blog soon)

So there you go, soon enough you'll become a tupaware queen or king with fabulous new lunches every day of the week, secretly very smug with yourself!

Check out my vegetarian chilli non carne dish that is perfect for this sort of thing!

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