I thought I’d start a new series of posts all packed with fun and practical things you can do at the weekend that can enhance your health and wellbeing! I just had to start with the Sunday Cook Up, something I try and do every single weekend. So what the heck is a Sunday cook up? Well it’s just about spending a bit of time on a Sunday to do some food prep so that meals for the coming week are made or at least semi prepared. I know a lot of us struggle with time to make a healthy meal during the week. Dedicating just 30 minutes to an hour on a Sunday can make your week day meals a lot less hassle and therefore healthier as the temptation to bung a ready meal in the microwave is removed.
I always start by meal planning so that I have a rough idea of what we’ll be having so I know what I need to prep. I start by looking in the kitchen to see what needs using up, then create some meal ideas from that. If I need to get anything else in, I’ll pop to the shops with a list. Then I write it all down, including a mini list of what needs to be prepared. You can find a handy free meal planning template in my freebies section, and make sure you check out my Instagram, Twitter and Facebook page on a Sunday evening as I always share it to hopefully give others some ideas.
What to cook
Sunday cook ups are great for making batches of anything that takes a little longer to make or cook. Some of my favourites include:
- Cooking up a pot of chilli
- Cooking up a curry
- Cooking up some soup
- Making bone broth
- Slow cooking a stew
- Slow cooking a cut of meat
- Roasting a tray of vegetables
- Baking some sweet potatoes
- Making up a crustless quiche
- Soaking and cooking a whole grain
- Soaking and cooking some beans
- Baking some crustless quiches
- Pre chopping veggies
- Making some nut milk
- Making some snack bars or balls
- Making up portions of trail mix in little bags for snacks
- Making some baked oats
- Bake a fruit crumble
- Make some fruit compote or stewed fruits
It’s always worth making up a big batch of whatever you make so that you get several servings out of it! Things like whole grains and beans can be added to a variety of different meals, for example quinoa porridge one morning for breakfast, quinoa salad for lunch the next day and quinoa stir fry the evening after. That way you don’t feel like you are eating the same meals over and over.
How to store it
Most things will keep in the fridge for 2-3 days so I tend to plan my meals out to use the Sunday cook up stuff, and then have a quicker easier option on a Thursday and sometimes a Friday. Other Fridays I like to take a bit of time in the kitchen creating a meal anyway. If you have lots of servings of something, pretty much anything will freeze. The only thing I haven’t tried freezing is the crustless quiches. Cooked whole grains and beans freeze really well to.
Making it work
As I said, even just setting aside 1 hour should be enough time to get a few things prepared. Sometimes it’s about planning to soak some beans or whole grains on a Saturday night (admittedly, not always that easy!) and just making sure you have a list to get what you need at the shops. If cooking more than one thing sounds like too much to start with, try just making one dish a week. I’d recommend the crustless quiches or a stew, chilli or soup to begin with.
Have you tried the Sunday cook up approach before? If not would you give this a try?