When we have a bad day, even the smallest tasks seem like trying to scale the most overwhelming mountain in flipflops. But we know that to help us as much as possible, we need to eat a healthy balanced diet. So, whilst curling up in a ball with a family size bar of chocolate may seem like the most tempting idea in the world, it is not going to help us in the long run.
Yes, when things are bad I accept that we can’t always prepare a lavish meal but we therefore need to prepare as much as we can in advance so that when the cloud descends, we are ready for it. Before the start of the Autumn Term in Tomsett-Rowe Towers, we had an enormous cook up, producing 90 meals which only need to be bunged in the microwave, slow cooker or reheated in a pan on the stove, and now I’m free to use a good day for other things, or give into a bad day without worry.
For this section, we'll be looking at two methods for preparing food in advance.
I wouldn’t get by without my slow cooker (also known as a crock pot) and regularly use it to make large quantities of food for two portions that night and more to freeze. Slow cookers don’t have to be hideously expensive and can range from £20 to £70 depending on size and functions.
During a recent sale on Amazon I invested in a magic machine called an Instant Pot. The Instant Pot is a slow cooker and pressure cooker all in one and also allows you to sauté, steam and ‘fry’ your ingredients. They are absolutely incredible and hugely recommended. I made a Vietnamese Pho the other day- the recipe should properly take between 24-48 hours for a thick rich bone marrow broth- we did it in 6 hours and it was spot on!
Have a look at some of these options:
The best thing about slow cooking is making large quantities of food with minimal input and fuss. You can throw your ingredients in in the morning before work and supper is ready for you when you get home. You can also use the slow cooker (crock pot) for bulk preparation, preparing several portions at once and then freeze them for future use.
Try some of our favourite slow cooker recipes
HONEY GARLIC CHICKEN
VEGETARIAN SLOW COOKER
MAC AND CHEESE
african peanut stew
sweet potato curry
enchilada quinoa bake
potato corn chowder
Another option for meal planning comes in the form of the elegantly titled ‘dump’ meal. The idea is that you prep all of your ingredients in advance and freeze them. Then, when you are ready to get them out, you just defrost and dump them all in a pan and hey presto! Supper!
Some of my favourite dump meals include:
sweet garlic chicken
You can also create dump meals for the slow cooker so that when you switch it on in the morning, you don’t have to lift a finger (or a knife) in preparation. You can freeze most of the recipes above in their raw form to turn them into dump meals.