Let’s talk MEAL PREP guys. So, I’ve been thinking a bit about the concept of meal preparation lately – about how we can make it into a healthy habit, and not a weekly chore. I’m a bit biased, because personally I both love and live by meal prepping. I’d say I do it twice a week at the moment, because I’m working in A&E and my shift hours are a bit funny, having random days off during the week, but a full weekend of work every second weekend.
The reason I’ve been thinking about it recently is because of my mom. She’ll probably kill me for mentioning her on this blog (hey Mom, love you!) but I have to explain. Since January, my mom has started a ‘meal prep’ habit of her own, making various versions of healthy, macro- and micro-nutrient balanced salads for her lunch in work. She’s doing it every night now for the past 3-4 weeks, and its now definitely a habit she’s proud of, and NOT a nightly chore. Making meal preparation fun is all about finding recipes you’re excited to try and excited to eat! My top tip is to aim to try a NEW recipe each week, and build a little list of 5-6 special favourites that you’ve made a lot and become effortless to you!
So THIS recipe is a perfect example of a recipe I was excited to try AND even more excited to eat. I’ve used a grain I hadn’t tried before and came across in Tesco – Kamut. Kamut is the brand name for an ancient strain of wheat known as khorasan wheat. It’s thought to be more easily digestible than standard wheat, and most importantly, its a known to be high in protein, as well as being a great source of slow-release carbohydrates, vitamins (B vitamins in particular) and minerals. It has a gorgeous buttery, nutty flavour – I will definitely be using it again!
This chili can be kept as a vegetarian dish, or you could have it with meat added, whatever your preference! I LOVE the spice blend – I’ve become obsessed with harissa lately, and it gives this dish a great spicy kick.
Recipe (Makes 3-4 servings)
- 1 tbsp coconut oil (for cooking)
- 1/2 white onion
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
- 1 tsp ground harissa seasoning
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp mild chili powder
- 1 red pepper
- 1 large sweet potato (weight approx. 400g)
- 1 400g tin of kidney beans
- 2 400g tins of chopped tomatoes
- 70g Kamut (Tesco do their own brand which is what I used!)
- Note: I was really excited to try new supergrains, which is why I bought kamut to use in this recipe. But you can easily substitute it for any grain – I would recommend quinoa or brown rice!
- Prepare your ingredients – chop the onion, pepper and sweet potato and set each aside in a small bowl. The sweet potato chunks should be about 1 inch in size.
- Add each of your dried spices to a small bowl and stir to combine.
- Cooking time! Sweet potato comes first. A great time-saver is to cook your sweet potato chunks in the microwave, usually takes about 5-6 minutes depending on size! Alternatively you can over-roast them for 25 minutes at 200c fan oven.
- Fill a small pot with water, and set on a medium heat. This will be your pot for cooking the kamut (or alternative grain). Once the water is boiling, cook according to package instructions.
- Set a larger pot onto your stove on a medium heat, and add the coconut oil. This will be the pot for the whole dish combined.
- Cook the onions and garlic in the oil for 2-3 minutes until the onions are translucent.
- Add your spice mix, and stir until the onions are coated (another 2-3 minutes).
- Add the tinned ingredients – chopped tomatoes and kidney beans – and allow to cook for another 5 minutes.
- Add the chopped red pepper, and cooked sweet potato, and stir until everything is well combined. If you feel the mix is a little dry, just add a bit of water to it.
- Lastly, once the kamut is cooked, drain the pot and add it to the chili. You might need to add a little extra water at this stage too!
- Bring to the boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for another 10 minutes.
- Lastly, do a taste test! If you think the chili needs a little extra spice, go for it, and cook for another 5 minutes. Just make sure it doesn’t dry out if you do!
Enjoy guys! Tag me if you try this one out – @theirishbalance on Instagram! I’d love to see your creations – remember, don’t be put off if you haven’t a notion where to find kamut – just use a different grain that’s easily sourced for you!
Ciara 🙂 x