Last week, after returning from Madrid, I spent a few days at home with my family. Whilst I was at home, I couldn’t resist making a visit to my favourite local health food store. This store is called The Grape Tree and I find that it offers a better price point for healthy food items than other larger chains such as Holland and Barrett in the UK. I thought I would share with you a mini food haul and the lunch prep I made using some of those ingredients!
The Grape Tree is not a particularly big store in my hometown but it has a lot of variety and I have always found everything I wanted from coconut oil to nut butters. They even stock spices which I have not seen in Holland and Barrett! I bought some Chia seeds, popcorn kernels, couscous, ground ginger, mixed herbs, fajita seasoning and an Almond and Coconut Butter! I do not remember all of the exact prices I paid, but, the couscous was 99p and the spices were 3for2 and each tub was £2 each which I thought was a pretty good price considering how large the tubs are! I am excited to try the Almond and Coconut butter as I have not tried it before but I heard a lot of rave reviews! Pip and Nut is my favourite nut butter butter brand so I have high hopes for this new flavour. All of these items came to the grand total of under £10! Bargain!
On Sundays I have got into the habit to prep my lunches for the week ahead. I spend so much time in the library that I need to always carry food to keep me going until dinner and if I’m not prepared, I end up eating rubbish and spend a fortune doing so!
I made a vegetable couscous salad for my main meal and then homemade salted popcorn for a snack.
Firstly, I made the couscous by simply boiling some water and adding 1 1/2 cups of water to every 1 cup of couscous. I added a stock cube to the hot water to add more flavour. I mixed it all together with a fork and then let the couscous absorb the water. Then I put it aside. Whilst the couscous was doing its thing, I chopped up some mushroom, pepper, red onion, cherry tomatoes. I lightly fried the pepper and mushroom in a little coconut oil to soften and flavoured it with salt, pepper, oregano and chilli for about 2-3 minnutes. Once this is done, I added the fried veg to the couscous and then added the tomatoes, onion and spinach. Lastly, I made sure it was well mixed and then served it! So simple, nutritious and filling to fuel a productive day whether it be at school, work or university!
I accompanied my main meal with a light snack of homemade popcorn. I am the typical “grazer”. I love to snack especially if I am working! I prefer little nibbles like these so I can chomp for hours on end. It isn’t as unhealthy as eating a bag of crisps so I don’t feel to guilty when I spend most of my day eating! I tried to find a simple salted popcorn recipe but I was unsuccessful. However, I came across Naomi Smart’s ‘Bombay Popcorn’ in her new book Eat Smart. This looked really interesting but I wasn’t brave enough to try it so I followed the instructions and just added a little salt and pepper to season. I couldn’t believe how little coconut oil you needed (only half a teaspoon!). These turned out a little plainer than I liked but they were still munchable! Next time, I shall add a little more seasoning to really create a punch of flavour!
I absolutely loved my lunch today and cannot wait to have some more tomorrow! The best thing about prepping is that lunch is already made for you so all I have to do is grab it and run out of the door!
What is your favourite prepped lunch?