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24 Tesco Foods Essential for Easy Meal Prep, According to a Nutritionist

Jenna Hope

It’s Back to Health month this September on Women’s Health (because: why not apply the new pencil case and fresh notebook vibe to your adult days, too?), which means we’re decoding how you can live a healthy, streamlined and hassle-free life.

Next on the agenda: helping you simplify your weekly meal prep. You’re not alone if you’ve ever spent way over your budget on veggies, pulses and proteins, only to wind up in the kitchen scratching your head at how you’d actually make a healthy meal idea from your haul. Straight up, HelloFresh stats found that a quarter of Brits are only confident making three recipes. Yep.

To sort this one out, WH tasked a qualified nutritionist, Jenna Hope (@jennahopenutrition), with hitting the shops, filling her trolley on a £30 budget and showing what meals she’d make, come home time. The results? 24 items, £27.82 spent, and 25 meals for you to whisk up – that’s seven breakfasts, eight snacks and ten main meals perfect for lunch al-desko or post-gym refuelling.


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Tesco meal prep ideas

Screenshot this and stick on your wall.

That way, you’ve got easy meal prep ideas roaring and ready to go.


Breakfasts on the go

– Egg and vegetable muffins

‘For these, I bought one box of six eggs which would make muffins for days, you’d also need one pepper, one courgette, one onion and one sweet potato.

‘This is a great source of complex carbohydrates, healthy fats and protein.

‘Eggs are rich in choline which are vital for brain function and they’re also great for stabilising blood sugar levels throughout the morning.’

Total price = £1.85


Breakfasts on the go

– Granola, yoghurt and banana

‘Yoghurt and most toppings are an ideal way to start the day as they’re nutritious and quick and easy to make – you could even assemble at your desk.

This time, I bought Alpro soya yoghurt to mix things up, it’s great as the newest version contains no added sugars and is fortified with B vitamins, calcium and vitamin D2 which is the plant form of vitamin D.

‘I also bought the Kellogg’s no added sugar simply granola which is slightly more expensive than other cheaper options although it is relatively lower in sugar than regular granolas and contains no artificial sweeteners either.’

Total price = £6.40



– Additional bananas
– Extra yoghurt
– An orange
– Lemon drizzle Nakd bars
– Canned pineapple

‘Because what is life without energy-boosting snacks to keep you satiated on the go?

‘Eating fruit in between meals is great for getting added micronutrients into your diet, and yoghurt bowls add a touch of protein to any snack.’

Total price = £3.25



– Tofu stir fry

‘Here’s a great option for plant-based eaters. Tofu is rich in calcium, selenium and phosphorus.

‘Selenium is vital for fertility particularly in males and phosphorus is essential in the maintenance of healthy bones and teeth. For this you’d need one pepper, tofu, one onion, one courgette and one broccoli.’

Total price = £3.21



– Hake with crushed chickpeas and roasted vegetables

‘Frozen hake was considerably cheaper than the fresh variety and is therefore a much better option for a £30 budget. Crushed chickpeas are rich in iron and magnesium and are a great source of fibre, too.

‘I’ve opted for marrow as one of the roasted vegetables here as it’s great value for money and it’s rich in folate which is essential for red blood cell production.

‘Hake is also a great source of iodine which is vital for thyroid function and phosphorus which is required for the maintenance of fluid balance.

‘For this dish you’d need: hake, one marrow, one courgette, one broccoli and chickpeas.’

Total price = £6.35



– Red lentil pasta with peas and sweetcorn

‘Red lentil pasta is all the rage at the moment. I love it as it’s speedy to cook, cheap and filling, thanks to it’s higher protein content than regular pasta.

‘It also contains prebiotic fibres, which help to feed the good bacteria in your gut. Tinned peas and sweetcorn here not only save on price but also on plastic.

‘This would last you two or three meals throughout the week.’

Total price = £2.10



– Bean and turkey chilli with pearl barley

‘Beans are a super cheap way to pack out a chilli or bolognese, plus they’re high in fibre, b-vitamins and zinc too.

‘I opted for turkey as it’s leaner than beef, meaning you’ll be consuming less saturated fat whilst still ensuring an optimal amino acid profile. It’s important to mix up your grains which is why I went for pearl barely.

‘It’s also a great source of calcium and iron to support bone health and energy maintenance. This should last you two to three meals.’

Total price = £2.98



– Jacket sweet potato with beans in tomato sauce

‘Sweet potatoes are rich in beta-carotene (a phytonutrient which provides the deep orange colour).

‘Beta-carotene is vital for eye function and also helps to support a healthy immune system. Buying beans which are already in a tomato sauce is a great way to save money and time as they’re already flavoured and ready to go!’

Total cost = £1.24



That’s a total shop of 24 items, under the allocated £30 budget, which Hope reckons would make around 25 meals over the course of the week.

There’s granola and fruit topped breakfasts in there, sweet all-natural snack bars that are great for on the go or enjoyed as a pudding, and enough simple but healthy lunch and dinner ideas to last you for a while. Who said eating well had to be expensive?

If you’re still feeling unsure where to start, our expert backed meal prep tips from Dr Hazel Wallace will help. Happy cooking.

Total cost = £27.82

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