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BACK TO SCHOOL MEAL AND SNACK PREP

With school back and the return of a touch more routine in life, I’m trying to make that so in our kitchen each week with meal and snack prep again. This year my little family have moved toward more of a vegetarian / pescetarian diet and to do that well, as with any healthy diet, we need to be well prepared. We’re also trying to be as resourceful as possible and have less of an impact on the environment with regard to waste, so anything that looks like it needs some love in the fridge drawer is going into whatever it can to make our week ahead nourishing and easy.

This week is a rainbow of goodies and plenty we can simply throw into meals without putting too much effort in for those moments when time is short:

  • Sauteed mushrooms with herbs and onion : great for wraps, zucchini pasta, to accompany eggs etc
  • Grilled field mushrooms : bit of a mushroom excess as you can see, these are great to whack straight on top of sourdough with chilli flakes tahini and avo, or to mix with the tomatoes, eggplant and rocket, maybe a touch of cheese to make a delicious salad for lunch
  • Stewed golden peaches – in season or just about close to finishing soon! These are the peaches with a golden skin but quite a floury flesh and not that great for eating fresh, but when stewed taste EXACTLY like those you would buy in a tin or packet (you know Goulburn Valley Gold style – but healthier!) Been making some massive batches of these and Jet has been loving them as a little dessert or afternoon tea snack with greek yoghurt.
  • Anzac cookies – not much explanation needed! I’ve plumped this weeks with some golden linseed and they were divine! Would really love some of your ideas on cookie recipes for lunchboxes this year if you have any please do comment below! Keen to gather about 26 different and hopefully lots of crowd sourced cookies/biscuit recipes to share with everyone – what you think? My little one Jet absolutely flips out with excitement when cookies are in the house and it really is one of the joys of childhood. I want to make sure there are always some healthy ones on hand!
  • Steamed broccoli – whack into salads, snack on as is or dipped in hummus for a great veggie + protein snack, eat in salads, you know the drill!
  • Steamed potatoes – haven’t done these for ages but between my partner and Jet (2 boys/men) both of whom love potatoes I thought these would be great stand by for snack, sometimes topped with cottage cheese tomatoes and chilli flakes for spice kick, or boiled in advance so if you wanted roast potatoes with dinner a quick flash in the oven with some evoo (extra virgin olive oil) will make dinner prep time quicker, also great to pop in an omelette with smoky paprika and fresh herbs for a tortilla (spanish omelette) style meal
  • Slow cooked tomatoes – roma tomatoes drizzled with evoo, sea salt, black pepper and a touch of balsamic, into the oven at about 160C for a couple of hours make these delicious babies which go well anywhere! Even great for a back up pasta sauce with some olive and your fave cheese /no cheese whatever tickles your fancy!
  • Grilled eggplant – so juicy! I could have a few pieces of this for a snack and be totally satisfied, eggplant so underrated but incredibly flavoursome cooked this way. Try topping with dukkah, miso dressing, coriander yoghurt, tahini, hummus, beetroot hummus, ricotta, cottage cheese – the options are endless!
  • Fresh veggie juices – carrot/ginger/celery and kale/spinach/celery/cucumber/mint/coriander/apple – these have become part of our snack repertoire, especially since my partner recently did a juice reboot and has felt a million bucks. We have enough for a few days, having about 1-2 veggie juices a day each. People often ask about the oxidation of nutrients leaving a fresh juice in the fridge for a few days – yes there is nutrient loss, but there is nutrient loss the minute you cut any fruit and veggie. My philosophy is that a fresh veggie juice is always better than some of the other snacks that may not be as healthy – coffee, chocolate, other sugary pick me ups. A small loss of nutrients versus sugary stuff – you see? Easy decision and juicing them at home doesn’t leave you without or hunting down a juice at 4pm when cafes are closing either!

Tell me some of your favourite meal and snack prep ideas in the comments below – would love to hear!

Jacqueline Alwill

Jacqueline Alwill, is an accredited nutritionist, author, founder of Brown Paper Nutrition and recently launched vegetarian meal delivery service Brown Paper Eats She is passionately committed to improving the health and wellbeing of individuals and families. Jacqueline is mum to her 8 year old boy - Jet.

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