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Last week my lovely friend Miles asked me to help him to learn to cook. To say he is a novice is an understatement. He can’t even tell the difference between a courgette and a carrot. So I decided I would impart him with some of my wisdom and try and help him make a few meals. He is on a diet to help him lose weight, so we prepared some of my skinnier recipes. I only had so much time to give so we decided to spend one night cooking and make meals for the whole week. I have now realized what a wonderful idea this is. Especially for those who find cooking a chore. A few devoted hours on a Sunday and you will have a fridge and freezer full of healthy meals to last you the whole week.  So this week I even decided to have a go myself. It’s really up to you what you want  to make but here are just a few of the different things we made.

5 salads, consisting of lettuce, cucumber, whole cherry tomatoes and sliced red peppers. If you don’t add the dressing and you seal them in airtight containers they should at least last for 5 days. That’s one lunch every day of the week.

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12 chicken  burritos for easy dinners. 3 minutes in the microwave and dinner is served. Cut the cheese and sour cream out of my recipe and they are a pretty healthy dinner.

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A giant batch of my roast vegetable couscous. You can then just eat it by itself or add it to one those salads.

A batch of gazpacho which could be served as  a meal in itself, or used to top wholemeal pasta and a can of tuna. Tasty and easy, they can also be made in advance and used to top the salads or eaten as a hearty dinner.

gazpacho

A big batch of my Cajun chicken casserole. We portioned it out into individual containers and added brown rice and broccoli to each one. Just like a home-made version of a microwavable meal.

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I also had a BBQ to attend at the weekend to which I was bringing a potato salad and a coleslaw. I made twice as much and put the extra into containers in the fridge. That way I had quick sides all ready made for dinners or something fun to add to my salads.

I also marinated a packet of cut up chicken pieces using one of my favourite marinades. Then I can just put a couple of pieces into the oven when I get home and serve with the coleslaw and potato salad and have myself a home-made BBQ for dinner.

chicken

There are so  many things you can do to save time, if you do them in one go. Slice your vegetables and put them into separate containers then you can just take a few of each to make a quick and easy stir fry. Or roast those veggies in the oven if you have one. You can also portion out fruit into zip-lock bags in the freezer, ready to use in a quick smoothie for breakfast. The possibilities are endless and a bit of forward planning will definitely help you to stay healthy if you’re on a new Summer diet. So get down to your nearest Daiso and buy yourself as many containers as you can carry. Miles’s shopping for the week cost around 65,000 and that made 28 meals. He had virtually nothing in the way of condiments in his cupboards so if you keep a well stocked pantry it will be even cheaper.

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