As I’m sure other mamas will appreciate, it’s really hard to find the time to prepare food when you have a new born to take care of! I think I’ve actually managed quite well, but I have certainly been relying on some ‘ready made’ options. I have a post about that in the pipeline, but one of my favourite short cut meals have been Innocent Veg Pots. If you aren’t familiar with them, they are basically plastic microwaveable pots of grains, beans and veggies with some kind of sauce. As far as ready meals go, I think these are a half decent choice.
However, I thought that with a little preparation, I would be able to come up with my own cheaper and dare I say tastier version! I know that time spend preparing them can negate the whole point of eating them, but it really doesn’t take long and in less than 30 minutes you can have a tasty and nutritious lunch prepared for 4 days in a row.
I’ve used quinoa, chickpeas and a coconut milk based sauce for this recipe, however you could easily swap the quinoa for another whole grain and the chickpeas for another bean. You could also try all kinds of sauces in place of the coconut one. A tomato based sauce would be a little lower in fat and calories if that’s what you are after. You can also get experimental with the flavouring as all kinds of curry pastes could be used instead of or even alongside the ginger and chilli.
- 1 cup of quinoa (I used red, but plain quinoa is also fine)
- 2 tins of chickpeas
- 1 small pack of assorted stir fry vegetables
- 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 small red chilli
- 1 thumb size piece of fresh ginger
- 1 tin of full fat or light coconut milk
- 1-2 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari for gluten free
- 1. Rinse the quinoa well in a sieve. Place in a pan with 2 cups of water. Bring to the boil and simmer until all the water has been absorbed, 15-20 minutes. Leave to cool.
- 2. While the quinoa is cooking, de seed and finely chop the chilli and grate the ginger. Heat the coconut oil in sauce pan and fry the chilli and ginger for 2 minutes. Add the coconut milk and soy sauce / tamari, bring to a simmer then allow to cool.
- 3. Drain the chickpeas.
- 4. To assemble the veg pots get 4 jars or plastic containers. Divide the cooled quinoa between the jars. Next add half a tin of chickpeas to each jar followed by the vegetables which should fill the rest of the space. Next pour over the coconut sauce divided between each jar.
- 5 Store in the fridge. When it comes to eat them, transfer to a sauce pan or to microwave use a microwaveable container and cook on high for two minutes (adjust to your microwave settings).
Have you tried one of the Innocent Veg Pots? What combination of grains, beans and sauce would you like in this recipe? Do you struggle to find time to prepare food from scratch?