We can all appreciate what it’s like to be busy. For some of us, having a full schedule is part of our daily lives and therefore we become accustomed to prioritising certain tasks and possibly delegating others. As a business owner, I’ve often found it difficult to juggle domestic tasks with a heavy work schedule. I like to eat healthily but finding the time to shop and cook home cooked, nutritious meals can be somewhat of a challenge! Over the past couple of years I feel that I’ve conquered a meal planning and preparation strategy that works perfectly for me. I hope that my domestic time management hacks and tips prove helpful for you too!
I’m a huge fan of planning. When I’ve written lists and planned out what I have to do, I feel more organised and in control. I also write lists for meal ideas too, which I keep in my Bullet Journal. I add to the list whenever I get an idea for a new meal that I know I will likely cook and I use the list as a reference whenever I feel low on culinary inspiration. Personally, after pouring my energy and concentration into work-related tasks that I’d consider more important, I have little creativity left to think up possible meal options. This is why my list of meals is such a handy tool to have! Whenever I need to go food shopping, I consult my list of meals, work out what I want to make and write my shopping list accordingly. What I also really like about this ‘bird’s eye’ way of planning meals in advance is that I’m able to get a good idea of what I’m eating and if I feel that my intended meal plan is particularly heavy in carbohydrates, fats or too much of the same ingredient then I can change it before buying my ingredients.
Food Prep and Storing
Depending on how much time I have for cooking, I will buy enough food to make meals that will last up to a week or longer. I usually allocate a cooking morning, afternoon or full day on a day when I have less work or after I’ve finished a big work task and want to have a break from screen time. Cooking is the anecdote to my day job and I like to allocate cooking to times when I know that I will really appreciate the break. I’m not going to lie, cooking isn’t my favourite thing to do but it’s really important to me that I eat a balanced diet full of natural ingredients. A large part of my meal planning strategy revolves around batch cooking. Most recipes make four portions of a dish, so I will make the recipe, divide the servings and freeze them.
Healthy Fast Meals in 40 Minutes or Less
Recently I discovered spice mixes and since then I’ve really enjoyed incorporating them into my meal plan. They’re perfect for when I want to cook up something different or if I’ve forgotten to defrost a dish from the freezer. I use The Spice Pioneer spice mixes which serve 4 portions, so I cook the entire recipe and freeze a couple of portions. I’m always quite dubious of using ready made flavouring products in my cooking because more often than not they’re full of additives and I find that they even taste false. The Spice Pioneer seasonings are free from oil, preservatives, additives and refined sugar. They are also made from 100% natural ingredients, are gluten free and suitable for vegetarians.
I’ve tested five of The Spice Pioneer seasonings, including: chicken lollipops, Peri-peri chicken, chilli con carne, katsu curry and fajita. I've also experimented and used these seasoning mixes with vegan alternatives instead of meat (as per the recipe) and they worked out great! I substituted mince meat for vegan mince in the chilli con carne and tofu instead of chicken in the chicken lollipops recipe. So if you follow a plant-based diet or plan to incorporate some meat-free meals into your menu, these spice mixes make it easy! All of the meals can be ready in 40 minutes or less and the recipes are incredibly easy to follow!
Have you got any tips that you use for your meal planning? Let me know over on Instagram.
#Gifted - The Spice Pioneer very kindly gifted me a box of their seasoning mixes but all opinions are my own.