Natalie has lost her baby weight twice after giving birth to three daughters in just three year.
In fact, the mum-of-three has shed 9kg twice on the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge and drinking The Healthy Mummy Smoothies.
Natalie says the MAIN things that helped her reach her goals INCLUDE altering her attitude towards food, being prepared in the kitchen (like having the right pantry staples) and of course MEAL PREPPING!
“Meal prepping doesn’t need to be hard. It doesn’t need to be over the top. It just needs to get you ahead. It needs to give you no reason to opt for the bad stuff!” says Natalie.
Check out Natalie’s favourite meals to prep below.
10 EASY and healthy recipes to meal prep
1. Five ingredient No Bake Cookie Dough Bars
With only 5 ingredients these are a no brainer to make!
Cookie dough is one of those foods that is just beyond delicious eaten raw, whether it’s straight out of the mixing bowl or set inside ice-cream, everyone LOVES it and these no bake bars will love you due to their all natural ingredients!
- 2 cups almond meal
- 1 tbsp honey
- 3 tbsp melted coconut oil
- 2 tbsp Healthy Mummy Smoothie powder vanilla
- 1/4 cup dark choc chips melted
In a food processor add everything except for the melted dark chocolate
Mix until it comes together and forms a dough
Use a silicone loaf pan or muffin tins to put the cookie dough mix in.
Firmly press down the mix into the pan, and then pour the melted chocolate over the top
Place in the fridge to set for an hour
Cut into 8 bars. To prevent the chocolate on top from cracking when cutting it, use a knife that has been heated in a jug of just-boiled water.
2. Choc Mint Balls
Bliss balls are having a major moment right now and what better way to celebrate them than with choc mint flavoured ones!? A classic pairing, cacao and peppermint extract will make your caving for a mint slice diminish!
- 1/2 cup almond meal
- 1 cup dried dates pitted
- 1 tbsp water
- 1/2 tsp peppermint extract
- 2 tbsp cacao/cocoa powder
- 1 tbsp honey
- 2 tbsp desiccated coconut
Place all ingredients, except the coconut, in a food processor and process on high until smooth. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides as needed.
Spread desiccated coconut on a plate. Roll tablespoons of the mixture
into 12 balls and coat with coconut.
Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week, or store in the freezer.
2 balls is one serve.
3. Wholemeal Choc Chip Muffins
Muffins but healthy! Substituting flour with wholemeal takes this recipe from drab to fab and your little ones will be pining to lick the bowl and spoon.
- cooking oil spray
- 2 cups wholemeal self raising flour 240 grams
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate bits 75 grams
- 2 free-range eggs 100 grams
- 1 cup reduced-fat milk of choice 250 mls
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil 62.5 mls
- 1/4 cup honey 62.5 mls
- 1 tsp vanilla extract 5 mls
Preheat oven to 170C and lightly spray 12 holes of a muffin tin tray with cooking oil spray or line with muffin cases.
Sift flour into a large mixing bowl and combine with the chocolate bits.
Whisk eggs and combine with milk, olive oil, honey and vanilla.
Make a well in the flour mix and add all the liquids, stir to combine well.
Divide batter between each muffin tin hole and bake for 15-20 minutes until a skewer comes out clean when inserted in the centre.
Store leftovers in an airtight container for 2-3 days or freeze to defrost as needed.
4. Devilled sausages
A fussy eater friendly meal these devilled sausages will be a big dinnertime hit due to its simplicity. What kid doesn’t like a snag or 2 especially when they’re in a yummy sauce?
- 1 teaspoon mustard powder
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce salt reduced
- 1 tablespoon corn flour
- 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 8 lean sausages of choice
- 1 brown onion peeled
- 1 apple peeled, cored and thinly sliced
- 3 sweet potatoes peeled and chopped
- 2 cups trimmed green beans
- 2 cups cauliflower
- 2 carrots peeled
- Fresh parsley to serve
Slice onion into rings.
Whisk together mustard, Worcestershire, soy sauce, corn flour, tomato paste and water in a mixing bowl and set aside.
Heat 2 tablespoons of water (per serve) in a large fry pan, add sausages and poach evenly on all sides for about 5 minutes, until just cooked. Remove the sausages from the pan and chop into bite sized slices and set aside (don’t worry if the sausage is a little under cooked as they will be returned to the heat).
Add the onion to the frying pan and sauté until soft. Return sausage pieces and add apple slices to the pan. Pour over the mustard sauce mixture. Allow to simmer, while stirring, for 5 minutes or until the sausage is cooked thoroughly and sauce has slightly thickened.
While simmering the sausages, boil the sweet potato in water until soft, then mash. Season with pepper.
Slice carrots into rounds and steam with beans and cauliflower in the microwave or in a steaming basket on the stove top until tender.
Serve sweet potato mash with devilled sausages and sauce and steamed vegetables on the side.
Sprinkle over the parsley to serve.
5. Warm Chicken and Quinoa Salad
A great recipe for a budget, this warm chicken salad is the easiest thing to whip up for those work day lunches or dinners.
6. Spanish Rice with Chorizo
Meal prep this Spanish rice and you’ll be laughing all the way through the week!
- 1/2 cup brown rice uncooked
- 1 chorizo sausage chopped
- 1/2 brown onion diced
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 2 Tomatoes diced
- 1/2 cup frozen peas
- 1/2 cup corn kernels fresh or tinned
- 1/2 red capsicum diced
- 2 teaspoons fresh parsley
- 2 wedges fresh lime
Cook brown rice according to packet instructions or reheat already cooked rice until piping hot.
Place a non-stick fry pan over a medium heat and cook chorizo slices on both sides for approximately 3 minutes until edges are crisp. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
Add onion to the pan and cook for 2 minutes or until it starts to turn golden. Add tomatoes, vegetables and paprika. Toss to combine and cook for 3 minutes or until vegetables are lightly tender.
Add cooked rice and return chorizo to the pan. Toss together and garnish with parsley.
Arrange on serving plate with a wedge of lime per serve.
7. Satay Fried Rice with Egg
Are the Thai takeaway cravings setting in? Whip up this stunning satay fried rice and you can kiss you cravings and extra calories goodbye!
8. Double Choc Mini Muffins
Mini muffins couldn’t get any cuter if they tried and these double choc ones are simply cute enough to eat. A little afternoon treat for the kids, can be the difference between them doing their homework or not.
9. Slow Cooked Asian Chicken
Chicken with rice can be your families staple dinner if you make it this recipe. All nourishing and fresh ingredients that require minimal chopping and even less time to slave over the stove.
- 2 Large Skinless Chicken Breast
- ½ Onion diced
- 1/3 cup Gluten free soy sauce
- 1/3 cup honey
- ½ cup water
- 1 tbsp Minced Garlic
- 1 tsp Minced Ginger
- Juice of a small lime
- Rice of choice
- 1 tbsp Cornflour mixed with a little water
- Sesame seeds and spring onion to decorate
Place chicken breast in the bottom of your slow cooker
Add the diced onion over the top
Mix soy sauce, honey, water, ginger, garlic and lime juice all together and pour over the chicken
Set your slow cooker to low and cook for 6-7hrs
Once cooked, take the chicken out, and shred the meat with a fork
Cook rice according to packet instructions
Tip the sauce from the slow cooker into a small saucepan, slowly being to a boil and add the cornflour and water mix. This will thicken the sauce.
Once the sauce is thickened, pour over the chicken and mix so all the chicken is covered in the sauce
Top cooked rice with Asian chicken mixture and sprinkle sesame seeds and green onion on top
10. Rice Paper Rolls
These rolls are always a hit with guests, make a batch the night before and they will think you’ve been in the kitchen all day!
- 2 cooked chicken breasts sliced lengthways
- 1 cup mint leaves
- 2 medium carrots grated
- 1 medium cucumber peeled into strips with a veggie peeler
- 1 avocado sliced into long strips
- 8 rice paper wrappers
To make the rice paper rolls, place one wrapper at a time into a bowl of warm water to moisten as per packet directions.
Lay out flat on a chopping board and add your fillings of choice.
Fold the bottom and tops in, then pull over the left side of the rice paper and wrap tightly, rolling over to join onto the right side.
Place on a plate lined with baking paper.
Serve with the dipping sauce.
Natalie’s top 5 tips to meal prep on a budget
1. Use what you’ve got
Since following The Healthy Mummy I am very conscious about what I cook with and making sure I use up things in my pantry BEFORE I shop.
2. Meal plan according to what’s on special
Two things I love to meal prep, because they freeze really easy and taste nice, are the Satay Fried Rice with Egg and the Wholemeal Choc Chip Muffins. I have all the ingredients in the house for those at any given time.
I try to cook when the kids are asleep, as I have three kids under 3.5 which makes life pretty hectic. They love to join in but for me it’s easy to focus on the job at hand and enjoy some ME time whilst cooking.
3. Bulk cook
I freeze portions of mains in food containers. They stack nicely in the freezer and we’re able to eat straight from the container as opposed to making more dishes. It’s also easy for my husband to grab one and take it to work.
4. Swap meals with friends
Swapping meals with friends is great because I can make a double batch of Choc peppermint balls and I can swap half for something a friend has made. It means I don’t have to cook twice but we get the best of both worlds. I would never do that with Cookie dough bars though, they taste way too nice to share!
5. Alternate veggies or meats if you need
The important thing to remember is meal prep and HEALTHY eating doesn’t have to be expensive. Use up things in your cupboard, so if the recipe calls for lamb I almost guarantee you it tastes the same with chicken.