Why meal prep

Meal prepping has become a biggest part of my life since my life style change. It has not only helped me build a healthy relationship with food but also changed my family dynamics in a positive way. Being a mom of 3 active kids with varying taste buds and good appetite, preparing meals ahead has helped reduce “fusyness” if there’s any word like that.. hahaha<a href="http:////pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/js/adsbygoogle.js (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({ google_ad_client: "ca-pub-4083265031148074", enable_page_level_ads: true }); “>http:////pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/js/adsbygoogle.js (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({ google_ad_client: “ca-pub-4083265031148074”, enable_page_level_ads: true });

Everyone ate what was on the table, kids and husband now have a healthier palate. I couldn’t be happier! here are some other benefits if you are ever wondering why you should prepare your meals in advance.<a href="http:////pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/js/adsbygoogle.js (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({ google_ad_client: "ca-pub-4083265031148074", enable_page_level_ads: true }); “>http:////pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/js/adsbygoogle.js (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({ google_ad_client: “ca-pub-4083265031148074”, enable_page_level_ads: true });

  1. Improves your family health : What we eat, how we eat and when we eat have a huge impact on our health. If You meal plan you will reduce the risk of exposing your loved ones to unhealthy options, because your meal is already prepared, and it’s healthy! What better way to introduce healthy eating habit early in life. It helps teach your young ones about good nutrition. plus the added advantage of the whole family eating well-planned, nutritious meals. good habits are formed early in life!
  2. You will save money

Eating healthy doesn’t have to be expensive if you plan ahead! Buying your ingredients in bulk and taking advantage of your freezer space, if you don’t have a freezer trust me it is the best investment you’d ever make . Planing ahead will help you know exactly what you need to buy, instead of multiple trips to the grocer each week to pick up last minute ingredients.(been there!) you will save money on pricey lunchtime meals. Plus the added advantage of knowing exactly how much you spend on food a month. You really want to try it if you have a family and want to free up some cash for other things.

2. Reduces food waste

Have you ever had to throw away vegetables or other ingredients that went bad before you had a chance to eat it? I used to that a lot and feel it’s an avoidable way of throwing hard earned money away. It’s not a good feeling. But when you meal prep, you tend to use up all of your ingredients for the week or month reducing the chances of any left over if you plan well!

3. Quick and easy grocery shopping

once you’ve planned what meals you will be eating for the week or month, wandering aimlessly around the aisles will be history. I go to the grocer prepared with my food list categories like -fruits, vegetables, meat, frozen food, dairy, grains, and fats. This has helped me to avoid the aisles I don’t need to be in. time saver!

3. It will help you lose weight

Weekly or Bi-weekly meal plans will allow you to know exactly what you are eating and control how many calories you are loading up . and in return reduce or prevent extra body flabs. Tried and tested but consistency is key!

4. Will teach you portion control

The best part of meal prep is that it teaches you balance. Portioning your meals in tubs stops you from over eating and in turn help you loose weight. Eat the right amount of nutrients and experience the magic of balance( tried and tested).

5.Time saving

All it takes is one saturday or sunday a month or week to plan out your meals properly and cook them, Once that is done and dusted , all you then need to do is take them out of the fridge, heat them up and eat. less washing up and kitchen time for the rest of the week or month

6.Increased willpower

All it takes, is 21 days to form a habit. and once you get into the swing of consistently eating healthy, you will gradually stop craving unhealthy foods. having a routine in place is key to healthy eating, and you will find it easier to turn down the foods you know you shouldn’t be eating!

7. It will reduce stress

Coming home from work and trying to figure out what’s for dinner can be stressful. definitely not with meal prep! You can say goodbye to the “what’s for dinner” and chill knowing that your meal just needs to be heated up! wrong food choice can cause digestive problems and affect your sleeping pattern( Avoidable stress).

7. It will help you eat a varied balanced diet

If you are able to consciously plan your meals ahead of time, it will become easy to eat from different food types such as protein, carbohydrates, fat, grains, vegetables, etc in order to get the right mix of nutrients you need to fuel your body. I tend to mix it up every week, sometimes the same main base and different toppings You won’t be limited to the basic foods or bored as most people think, Meal prep helps you get more adventurous!

Remember, there is no right or wrong way of creating a meal prep routine. Everyone has their own way of doing things once you start you’ll find a rythm. If after reading about all this benefits and you still can’t find time to cook your meals ahead shmply outsource it to a trusted healthy meal prep vendor close to you and you will still enjoy all these benefits!

Thanks for stopping by and hope this helps you make changes towards becoming the best version of you!

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BLACK EYED BEANS PLANTAIN PIZZA

Black eyed beans is a nutritious plant based whole food with a good proportion of dietary fiber 4g, total carbohydrate 16g, protein 9g and calories 128kcal per 100g serving.(according to nutritionaldata.com and fitnesspal).

I grew up eating beans pottage served with plantain, yam or rice as it was thought that black eyed beans is a complete protein so needed to be balanced with carbohydrate and most of us still believe that beans is a complete protein and still eat this way. from the nutritional composition we can see that it is more carb than protein. knowing the nutritional composition of an ingredient helps with choosing the right ingredient that will pair well with it so as to not only maximize the nutritional benefit but also reduce the impact on the waistline.
Black eyed beans is quite versatile, it can also be eaten as a pudding ” Moin-Moin” the skin of the beans is peeled, blended with onions, peppers, oil, salt and steamed in plantain or banana leaves. A delicacy traditionally eaten in the western part of Africa(recipe coming soon)

So I have paired black eyed beans with half ripe plantain which is also a nutritional bomb to create a delicious , fluffy, chewy crust different from other healthy pizza alternatives out there (bready in texture).
Good news is, this pizza is a combination of complex carbohydrate with a low glycaemic load, so takes time to break down when eaten, this means no blood sugar effect, you’ll be feeling full for a long time, less appetite and consequently no extra flabs!!

If you are from west Africa precisely Nigeria, you know how precious moin-moin is ? talk about something quick and healthy moin- moin tops the list.
So I made black eyed pudding for the week and by day 3 my kids were bored already, so I thought to try something close to what they enjoy eating without a fuss PIZZA!. with the left over ingredients (about 100g peeled black eyed beans and half ripe plantain) pinch of salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, oregano and a table spoon of extra virgin olive oil I was able to put together this delicious healthy pizza crust..
It is gluten free, flourless, no raising agent, just as natural as can be. easily adaptable to vegan, simply swap toppings and you are good to go.
It is super filling and can be served with or without salad and oven baked wedges and spicy chicken wings for a complete pizza night experience.

let’s get cooking!

INGREDIENTS FOR CRUST
– 100g black eyed beans
-1 half ripe plantain
– 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
-I Tsp garlic powder
– I Tbsp Italian seasoning/oregano
– Pepper and pinch of salt to taste.

INGREDIENTS FOR SAUCE
-Half canned tomatoes or fresh tomatoes
-peppers,
-1onion
-2 garlic cloves
-1/2 tsp salt,
-basil leaves
-1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
Blend all ingredients and cook in extra virgin olive oil over low medium heat till fragrant and cooked.(8mins or less) take off the hob and set aside

METHOD FOR CRUST
1. Blitz all ingredients in a blender

2. Grease lined pizza tray, pour your batter and cook in pre-heated oven for 20-25mins (flip other side to cook half way cooking time) turn off heat. 20180728_174428
Allow to cool, then spread the marinara sauce over it
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layer with toppings of choice.
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Enjoy!!

please leave a comment if you make it and don’t forget to tag me on Instagram #hardynoye#healthfulnonye
. thank you.

ORGANIC EDAMAME SPAGHETTI IN CHERRY TOMATO SAUCE WITH PAN SEARED SALMON FILLET

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I’m so thrilled to have found a healthier alternative to spaghetti!!
I have been off pasta due to blood sugar spikes,(once diabetic but now fine) so for nearly four years now, I intentionally stayed off any high glycaemic food type.I have had to swap with courgettes/zucchini noodles which is no where close to regular pasta in taste and texture but healthier and served the purpose of keeping my blood sugar normal and the extra pounds off…hahaa

So my excitement when I found this organic edamame spaghetti at my local store(sainsburys) was beyond words. After scanning through the nutritional content I quickly threw it into my trolley, I had to definitely try this one out!!

WHY YOU SHOULD TRY EDAMAME SPAGHETTI?
Edamame spagetti is made from 100% Edamame,a young soy beans harvested early before they are ripened or hardened. is a complete protein, provides all the essential amino acid needed in your diet.(humans can’nt make this type of protein, so they get it from their diet).
Naturally high in healthy fats( polyunsaturated fats omega-3 alpha lineolic acid).
It is gluten free, low calorie and excellent source of protein, good source of calcium, fiber and iron about 45% of your iron recommended dietary intake.(goodnews if you have low blood iron levels)

SO in comparison with traditional spaghetti edamame spaghetti is a nutritional winner with 42.2g of protein, 23.3g of fiber, 13.1g carbs, 6.6g fat per 100g. Whereas, regular spaghetti has 7g of protein, 0g fiber, 28g total carb, 0g fat.
Studies suggests that eating varied plant based foods can reduce the risks of many lifestyle related health problems such as Osteoporosis, heart disease, obesity, type 2 diabetes, cancer and a host of others, so this spaghetti really is a go to if you are looking to keep healthier and cut back on flabby pounds.

WHAT DOES IT TASTE LIKE?
This is the million dollar question…haahaa in all honesty I did’nt know what to expect, I thought it will be funny and mushy maybe, but surprisingly with every bite was like mmmmhhh…so oo good. it has the same soft texture and taste as regular pasta but with little edamame flavour(not to bad)

So I whipped up a home made pasta sauce with cherry tomatoes, cooked the spaghetti for just 4mins(according to instruction in the pack) it is a bit fragile so needs to be handled carefully if you dont want it all broken up. drained and tossed into my sauce and served on a bed of veggies with buffalo mozzarella(optional) topped with pan seared salmon. so scrumptious and comforting.

INGREDIENTS(2 servings)

-A handful of edamame spaghetti
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– cherry tomatoes
-1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
-1Tbsp oregano
-3 garlic cloves crushed
-1 onion chopped
-1 tsp paprika
– buffalo mozarrella(optional)
-peppers and salt to taste
-basil or parsley for garnishing

METHOD

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1.Bring water to a boil in a pan , add pinch of salt and gently add edamame spaghetti cook for 4mins, drain and
Set aside.
2.In a skillet over medium heat saute onions and garlic till fragrant, then add fresh tomatoes and season, cook for about 5mins
Then add your spaghetti allow to simmer on low heat for 3mins and turn off heat. garnish and serve with topping of choice.
Enjoy!!
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ONE POT GREEK ORZO VEGETABLE PILAF

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If you are wondering what ORZO is, just like I did the first time I heard that word.. orzo!
It is a small shape pasta that looks like rice. used mainly in greek cuisines, pilafs or salads.
I had the pleasure of enjoying this meal while on vacation in greece. like always, I have recreated a healthier version of the original recipe.
I believe healthy eating is fun and sustainable when you can still eat and enjoy your favourite or comfort meals by using alternatives with health bursting benefits, and closer to what you are used.
So I have used a fiber rich orzo made from 100% whole durum wheat instead of the traditional white flour wheat.
According to research whole wheat grains are healthier because they still have 3 parts of the grain intact, They are rich in nutrient and full of fiber which makes them one of the best carbohydrates for weightloss or weight management.

Orzo has a low GI and the combination of veggies makes this recipe a nutritional winner. here’s a good read about health gains of mixing pasta with veggies at pastafits.org/note-dietitian-glycemic-index-pasta/

This pot is easily adaptable to your goals, vegan( add grilled tofu for protein), meat lover just depending on what you throw in.

I have cooked my orzo in a rich spicy tomato sauce with disease fighting polyphenols and immunity boosting vitamin C, bulked it up with savoy cabbage, broccoli, eggplant powerful antioxidants and spices that help boost metabolism like scotch bonnet chilli, garlic and paprika… S .P.ICY!! a shaving of parmigiano-reggiano cheese to satisfy your italian taste bud😃

So not only is this meal a nutritional winner, but it is also a fusion dish hello Africa, hello greece and hello Italy! showing a happy fusion of cultures( Ahh..mazingly delicious and beautiful)
Great for week night dinner or lunch .It allows your 5 a day serving of veggies, very simple to make, with less cleaning ( gr…eat!) also a perfect cook one eat 4x or more ( 😃 handy!)

LOW CARB? LOW CALORIE? PASTA? IDEAL FOR WEIGHTLOSS? HEALTHY?

My idea of a healthy life style from my little knowledge in basic nutrition science is not deprivation or dieting but being active and eating from all food types in moderation. however allergies, food intolerances, religious, health or ethical reasons are exceptions. I have tried various diets for weightloss ( story for another day) and back to enjoying all food types in moderation( still keeping my carb low -moderate to avoid blood sugar spike) , being portion aware is key. So I have been practicing weighing out my meal bases and bulking up with vegetables and lean protein and it I’m beyond happy with the results. no food type is magic on it’s own, It’s all about balance, variety ensures that you are getting a wider selection of micro and macro nutrients that are needed for physical and mental health.

So many studies have shown that a combination of all food types in a meal increases the rate at which the meal is broken down. According to research when pasta is cooled the temperature drop changes the chemical content to RESISTANT STARCH which has been shown to promote breakdown of fat and weightloss.So let’s get cooking!!

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INGREDIENTS
-200G Whole wheat orzo
-100g cherry fresh tomatoes and half canned chopped tomatoes( mix to make up 100g)
-1 savoy cabbage chopped( leave some leaves for wrapping) />


-1 eggplant chopped
-1 broccoli(steamed to be served with cooked orzo)
-2 Onions
-1Tbsp smoked paprika (or more for colour)
-1Tsp oregano
-1/2Tsp thyme
Salt to taste, a handful of parsly to pretty it up and shavings of parmigiano-reggiano cheese (optional)
METHOD
1- Blend onions, garlic,canned tomatoes, peppers and set aside.
2- In a large skillet, Add 2tbs of olive oil and pour in the pepper and tomtoe paste allow to cook for 3mins add about a cup of water or chicken broth then to a boil over medium-high heat. Once boiling, add orzo and cook for 9-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, add more broth or water while cooking if still strong .

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3-Once orzo is fully cooked to al dente, reduce heat to low, add fresh cherry tomatoes and chopped vegetables.cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened. Remove from heat and add parsley.

Serve and enjoy with cheese shavings! (optional)

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I served mine on a lightly steamed savoy cabbage leaf with grilled chicken breast pomegranate seeds and cheese shavings… yum…my
and remaining 5 portions with steamed broccoli dinner or lunch for the week sorted!!

A quick breakdown of this delicious one pot orzo based on calories per 2cups(200-260g) cooked portion. data from fat nutrition.com and fitness pal
NUTRITIONAL CONTENT PER 200g COOKED ORZO
Calories-628cal
carb-130g
Protein-20g
Fat-2.8g
fiber-10.8g
Iron-35%
-calories per gram(carb=4cal, protein=4cal, fat=9cal)
CALORIES 1 COOKED EGG PLANT=72 cal
fat-3.8g, carb-8.39, protein-0.8g
-CALORIES PER CUP OF COOKED BROCCOLI-31 cal
total carb 6g-3g fiber=3g
protein 3g
sugar 2g
CALORIES IN 100G COOKED TOMATOES-20cal
carb-3.91g, protein-0.8g, Fat-0.13g

-CALORIES PER CUP OF COOKED SAVOY CABBAGE-19Cal

CAlORIES IN 2 TABLESPOONS OLIVE OIL-252cal
total fat-28g
saturated fat-4g
polyunsaturated fat 4g
monounsaturated 20g

TOTAL CALORIES IN THIS ONE POT RECIPE =(628+252+72+31+20.13+19)=1,021.9Calories
So this pot makes 6 servings if you divide total calories by no of portions -1021.9÷6= 170 cal per serving so roughly 250 cal to account for other ingredients like garlic, pepper and herbs, still under 500 cal per meal( now that’s good news to your waist line plus all the nutritional gains.

DISCLAIMER: I’m not liable to any damage that may arise from the use of the information provided, people are different and metabolize differently so some of the information may not apply to everyone if you are concerned about your eating habits or diet and wish to change them ,then you should consult a dietician first.

STUFFED EGGPLANT BOATS

A simple delicious combination of carbohydrate(low), protein(high) healthy fats and vegetable with loads of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients(antioxidants)that are brain and heart healthy.

Egg plant or Aubergine stuffed with spicy ground beef and chick pea sauce, the egg plant balances the flavours from the fiery ingredients in the sauce, giving this meal a subtler taste, simply divine.
Great for a week day dinner, easy and simple to make. This meal was inspired by “Moussaka” a Greek cuisine made with eggplant or potatoes, flour, milk and seasonings. I fell in love with this dish while on vacation in Greece mainly due to it’s simplicity. And the chef at the hotel was kind enough to write me the recipe( I had to ask for the recipe to satisfy my adventurous palate 😃).
As always I had to recreate the recipe to make it healthier and that’s how I ended up with these lovely boats!20180626_190339.jpg
Before we go to how to make, let’s get a sneak peek into our base AUBERGINE which is the main ingredient for this dish. If you’ ve read my About page, you’ll know why I pay close attention to my ingredients I like to know what I’m eating and how it benefits my body. So, I don’t mean to bore you with long reads…Ha-ha

sure, you’ll find it useful!

Aubergine is a great low calorie addition to any meal. it is high in dietary fibre both soluble and insoluble fibre (about 3g fibre per cup) and adds a lot of bulk to your meal which helps reduce your appetite because it absorbs water in the digestive tract making you feel fuller for longer. Fibre regulates rate at which food is digested and contributes to satiety which keeps us feeling fuller for longer.

Soluble fibre dissolves in water and forms a gel that moves through the intestine and slows digestion preventing cholesterol and high blood sugar.(so great for maintaining a stable blood sugar)
while insoluble fibre– does not dissolve in water, helps to bulk up stool and so that it can be passed easily. prevents constipation, eliminates toxic wastes through the colon and balances the PH level in the intestine stopping your gut bacteria from producing substances that can cause colon cancer both types of fibre are needed for weightloss or weight management and for a better digestive health.

I try to add more fibre to my meals and tend to go for ingredients that contain a fair dose of both soluble and insoluble fibre and egg plant is one of them.

Also why getting enough fibre in is good it also important to maintain a balance because if fibre is taken in excess it can make food move too quickly reducing the amount of minerals absorbed from food and can lead to digestive problems like
Gastritis, bloating, diarrhoea and cramps.

the recommended daily reference intake for adults is about 30g according to the British nutrition foundation
AGE 2-5(15g), 5-11 years (20g), 17 and over (30g).

So it is important to keep your meals as balanced as possible because no single ingredient is magic on it’s own.
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choose ones that are firm, smooth shiny with a vibrant colour. I have also learnt to check that my egg plant is not bruised before buying as this means that the flesh inside is decayed.
the stem and cap should still be green as pictured above.
Always test for ripeness by gently pressing the skin with your thumb, if it bounces back the egg plant is ripe, but if the mark remains then it is not.

INGREDIENTS
– 1 Large Aubergine(egg plant)
– 1/2 pack ground beef
– 1/2 can chick peas ( I used freshly cooked, i always batch cook my chickpeas store in tubs and freeze makes it handy for speedy meal preps)
– 1/2 canned tomatoes(low sugar option)I used 3 fresh red tomatoes
– 1 scotch bonnet or 1tsp chilli powder(depends largely on how spicy you can go, adjust accordingly)
– 1/2 Tsp dried oregano
– 1 onion (chopped)
– 1 Tsp coriander or cumin
– 2 cloves of garlic and oregano
– 1Tbsp olive oil and pinch of salt to taste
– handful of grated mozzarella for topping
– Parsley or herb of choice and a slice of lemon for garnishing

METHOD

1- wash and half your egg plant, use a spoon to scoop out the inside leaving about an inch, careful not to pierce the skin. Gently rub with pinch of salt oregano and olive oil(feel free to use any other herb)
Place in a greased oven tray and pop into pre heated oven and bake for 10mins. Then chop the meaty part scooped and set aside.

2- While the eggplant is baking, sauté your garlic and onions in a skillet, then add ground beef crumbling with a wooden spoon till meat is brown and no longer red. then add tomatoes, chopped meaty flesh of the egg plant, season with the rest of the ingredients and cook for about 8mins and remove skillet from hob.

3- divide sauce between the halved eggplant, sprinkle with cheese
20180626_185136.jpgand pop back into the oven just for the cheese to melt. take out and garnish with lemon and parsley.

VEGAN/VEGETARIAN
just use chickpeas with other veggies of choice.

Serves 1