Delicious Vegetarian Make Ahead Meals
Spending the time prepping your food for the week ahead will save you the hassle and frustration of trying to have a healthy meal midweek, when you are too busy to cook.
The following meals are fantastic in that: they can be made in advance and simply reheated or defrosted, so that you can enjoy a nutritious meal in minutes.
Bean burgers with spinach – makes 2
Double the quantity of these ingredients to make more and leave them in the fridge for you to grab during the week for lunch or dinner. Serve with a green salad or sweet potato chips.
1 tsp of olive oil
½ onion, chopped
1 clove of garlic, chopped
Pinch of cayenne pepper
50g frozen spinach, thawed
1tsp ground cumin
1 tbsp coriander, chopped
Heat the oil in a small saucepan and cook the onion, garlic and chilli for 5 minutes until softened. Squeeze the excess moisture from the spinach and place in a large bowl.
Mash the beans well and mix with the spinach, cumin and coriander. Add the fried onion mixture and stir together
Season to taste and shape into 2 burgers, grill on each side until crisp
Sweet potato curry
Nothing is as satisfying as a big bowl of steaming curry on a chilly night. Curries are a great way to add medicinal spices and phytonutrients to your daily diet to help stave off any colds. Make a big batch and separate into containers to store in your fridge.
200ml redued fat coconut milk
100g of red split lentils
100g of mushrooms- chopped
2 large sweet potato
2 peppers – sliced
1 onion diced
1 inch of fresh ginger, finely chopped
1-2 cloves of garlic – crushed and chopped
1 -2 birds eye chillies (depending on how hot you like it)
1 tablespoon of cardamom seeds
2 tablespoons garam masala
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon ground turmeric or freshly grated if you have it
2 teaspoons of cumin
1 teaspoon of crushed black pepper
Dry roast the cardamom seeds in a pan to help release its flavour and then add the coconut oil and lightly sauté the ginger, the onion, the chili and one of the cloves of garlic.
Pour in the coconut milk, some water and lentils and bring to the boil. Allow to simmer and cook for 15 minutes.
Add the remainder of the spices and stir through thoroughly. Next, add the sweet potato and chopped up vegetables.
Once the sweet potato is cooked through, add the remaining clove of garlic and take the pan off the heat.
If it is possible to leave the curry overnight, so that all the flavours can fully develop, it will taste even better the following day.
Serve with some basmati rice or cauliflower rice.
Cauliflower rice is so popular, due to the fact that it is not a grain, but can be used as a replacement to ordinary rice. Cauliflower also provides us with a good source of vitamin C, folate and manganese amongst other vitamins.
1 head of cauliflower
Sea salt and pepper, to taste
This recipe makes 2-3 servings, depending on the size of your cauliflower.
2 cloves of garlic
1 tbsp coconut oil
Remove the green stalk and leaves of the cauliflower and chop up the entire head of cauliflower into small florets; blitz in your food processor until it resembles rice pieces.
You have now created cauliflower rice! You can add this to stir-frys, steam cook it or eat it raw in a salad.
If using the additional options, follow these steps below:
After you have blitzed the cauliflower into florets, dice the onions and garlic to your desired size.
Add coconut oil to a pan over medium heat. Add in onion and garlic until slightly browned.
Add in grated cauliflower, salt and pepper and stir until heated.
Soup Glorious soup
So, as we come into the autumn months, we begin to crave warm, nutritious meals. Soup is a great go to for lunch or as a snack between meals and you can fill it with lots of colourful vegetables, herbs and spices. It is always better making your own soup, as you can control exactly what goes into it. Let’s try the vegetable soup with silken tofu.
200 gram organic silken tofu
4 carrots – peeled and chopped
2 sweet potato – peeled and chopped
Herbs and spices used here are your own preference but turmeric, chilli and cumin are great as is parsley and thyme.
In one pot add the carrots, parsnip and sweet potato and fill with water. Bring the pot to a boil, then simmer.
Drain the water and place vegetables in blender/food processer.
Add the silken tofu and your herbs/spices and blitz the soup.
Serve with some grated cheese on top if desired.
Sugar Free, Delicious Granola
100g pumpkin seeds
¼ tsp of sea salt
1 tbsp of coconut oil
1 tsp of cinnamon
Pre-heat the oven to 200 C/ Gas mark 6. Place all the dry ingredients in a bowl and mix.
Melt the coconut oil in your hands and cover the dry ingredients with it.
Spread on a baking tray and bake until the granola turns golden. Store in a clean, glass container.
To read more about Sinead Loughnane, visit her Expert Profile.