If you think the words ‘meal prep’ mean boring and dull food, think again. Healthy bites can be more exciting. Here’s how….
January might be over but there’s no denying we’re still trying to stay healthy.
But we are caught between a rock and a hard place - our budgets haven’t quite recovered enough to go to the latest Instagram-worthy salad spots but the old veg in the fridge isn’t quite as appealing as we hoped.
Enter Melissa Hemsley, who has nailed that perfect balance of being a down to earth foodie while also being an expert on this whole healthy eating thing.
Below she’s rounded up her tips on how to make healthy meals more fun.
1. Remember there’s no place like home
“With home cooked food you always know what’s in it, and anything made with love is always better for you.
While it’s still dark and gloomy outside, it’s the perfect time to do a big shop.
Go to the farmer’s market or go online if you’re in a rush, and go: “Right, what can I put in my fridge, cupboard and freezer that tastes good and does you good?”
For me, home cooking is about looking after yourself and also discovering new things that you want to eat.”
2. Have a go-to dish
“We all love Shakshuka.
For a fun, green twist on it, try frying up kale and black beans, a real cheap and cheerful store cupboard staple.
Drop the eggs in, give it a splash of Tabasco Green Sauce and you’re good to go.
You can even do a guacamole on the side. You can bulk a guac out with lime, peas and chickpeas, then you can set the table and everyone’s got their Shakshuka.”
3. Be social
“Food brings people together. I love cooking for myself, but its twice as fun with friends.
We’re all working long hours, weekends, everything, so cooking feels like another stress, but you can make it social by sharing food.
I love to host with friends and get everybody involved because it’s more fun to be like: ‘Okay, can you chop for this for me?’ And get together.
Or, when cooking for yourself, make some extra and bring it into work the next day to your colleagues.
Maybe the next time they make a banana bread they’ll share it with you. I call it food karma!”
4. Eat seasonally
“I’m all about seasonal eating. Buying seasonal tends to be cheaper anyway, and it keeps things interesting.
For example come May, tomatoes will be amazing, so I don’t want to eat one now.
I’m really into comfort food that energises you. At this time of year, that means root veg and lots of greens.
It’s not about: ‘If I eat kale am I going to feel really healthy and if I don’t eat kale am I going to feel really unhealthy.’
A vegetable doesn’t make you a different person! It’s more about feeling good, that’s healthy to me.
It’s about working with what suits you and eating what you want to eat. So if you don’t like kale, don’t eat kale. There’s plenty of other great green veg to choose from.”
5. Embrace food trends
“I think it’s all about adding fuss free flavour.
Roasting is such an easy way to cook. Adding Tabasco Green Sauce is a really great way of making roasted vegetables extra delicious.
Or grab a tin of butter beans, roast them in oil, salt, pepper and the pepper sauce, and add them to a simple stew.
To me, it’s about good food and switching things up, working out what suits you, what you like.”