With September often thought of as a second January, it’s the perfect time to set goals and form new habits. Meal prepping is a great way to help you stay on track and reach your goals. Benefits include helping you to stick to healthier foods, saving money, minimising food waste, saving time and reducing stress.
Sophie Dillon, head of nutrition at Fresh Fitness Food, has put together a few nutritious recipes (breakfast, lunch and dinner) that take less than 30 minutes to prepare and cook.
Yoghurt and granola with berries
Greek yoghurt is a great source of protein, and can also be beneficial for your gut, as it is a food-sourced probiotic (so long as it’s labelled to contain live cultures), and this homemade granola recipe is packed with slow-release carbs, providing a sustained energy release for your morning, and to help keep your blood sugar levels more stable.
Tip: Batch-cook your granola and store in an airtight container for ease and an on-demand, nutritious addition to your yoghurts, smoothies, or if you just fancy a simple carby snack.
Time: 25 mins the first time, 5 mins once you have the granola on hand
Handful of berries of your choice
½ cup ricotta cheese
½ cup Greek yoghurt
½ vanilla pod
1 scoop of vanilla whey
For the granola:
50g buckwheat groats
20g maple syrup
5ml olive oil
½ tsp ground ginger
1. Blend the ricotta cheese till smooth and then mix in the Greek yoghurt, vanilla pod and whey protein.
2. Preheat the oven to 170C.
3. Place all ingredients for the granola into a bowl and thoroughly mix together.
4. Line a baking tray with some grease-proof paper, pour the granola mix onto the tray and pop in the oven for 10 minutes.
5. After 10 minutes, remove the tray and mix around the granola to break up any large clumps.
6. Place back into the oven for a further 10 minutes, then take out to cool.
7. Place the yoghurt in a bowl and top with granola and the berries of your choice.
Bang bang chicken stir-fry
Quick, easy meals are key when it comes to nailing your fitness goals, and this stir-fry is an easy lunchtime winner. We’d recommend cooking an extra couple of portions and popping them in the freezer for an easy dinner on busy days.
Tip: If you end up with extra chicken, put it to the side to have in a bang-bang chicken salad.
Time: 15 mins
2 chicken breasts, cut into strips
½ juice of a lime
1 tbsp peanut butter
½ tsp tamari sauce
½ tbsp sriracha
½ carrot, julienne or grated
½ red pepper, sliced
1 spring onion, sliced
1 tbsp oil of choice (we recommend sesame for a nice, nutty flavour)
3 nests rice noodles
½ tbsp sesame seeds (optional)
½ red chilli, sliced and de-seeded (optional)
1. Mix together the sriracha, lime, salt, lime, peanut butter and tamari thoroughly with a whisk.
2. Mix all ingredients together so the chicken is well coated
3. Heat the sesame oil in a wok. Once hot, add the chicken to the pan, and cook until golden.
4. While the chicken is cooking, cook your noodles per the instructions on the packet, and leave to stand for one minute before adding to your pan.
5. At the same time, add your carrots and red pepper and stir until everything is coated in the sauce/oil mixture.
6. Once the chicken is cooked and the veg is soft, mix in your spring onions, and plate up.
7. Garnish with sesame seeds and chilli, if desired.
Crispy tofu poke bowl
Tofu is a great source of plant-based protein, containing all the essential amino acids your body needs. It’s also rich in vitamins and minerals, including calcium, iron and vitamin A.
The great thing about crispy tofu, aside from its nutritional benefits, is that it works just as well in leftovers, too. Throw it in a tofu satay curry, pad thai or into a salad for a plant-based protein boost.
Time: 30 mins
1 block of firm tofu
1 tbsp olive oil
½ tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp cornflour
150g uncooked rice
100g tenderstem broccoli
1 tbsp sesame seeds (optional)
1 nori sheet, sliced into strips (optional)
Salt to taste
1. Drain the tofu and cut into equal-sized pieces.
2. Mix the tofu with cornflour, salt, olive oil, smoked paprika, and tofu together.
3. Roast on lined trays at 190C until brown and crispy – around 20 mins. Drain once cooked.
4. While the tofu is cooking, cook your rice as per the instructions.
5. In the meantime, prepare your veg. Chop and de-seed your cucumber.
6. Steam your tenderstem, peas and edamame.
7. Once your tofu is crispy and your rice is cooked and drained, plate everything up, and garnish with the nori and sesame seeds.