When life gets stressful or busy, it helps to have a make-ahead meal (or two!) in the fridge or freezer. You quickly assemble and heat without much trouble. My fav go-to is tray baking veg, then, whatever is sitting in the fridge/freezer can be assembled with salads or grains into a multitude of meals. And a simple trick is to cook a whole packet of grains and pulses. Then parcel cooked rice, quinoa, pearl barley, lentils, chickpeas etc. into meal sized portions – for 2 or 4 or 6 people and freeze! As a guide 250g cooked is enough for 2 people. Other requirements? Tasty, not take too long to prepare, and fill you up when you need it most!

Harissa Baked Veg

  • 1 medium carrot, chopped into chunks

  • 1 medium beetroot, (or parsnip, or fennel) chopped into chunks

  • 1 red pepper, chopped into chunks

  • 150g butternut squash, peeled, chopped into large pieces

  • 1 red onion, peeled and thickly sliced

  • 1 courgette, chopped into chunks

  • 1-2 tablespoons harissa paste

  • 1-2 tablespoons maple syrup/honey

  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon, ground

  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

  • 40 ml olive oil

  • Salt + pepper to taste

To Serve

  • 45g dried apricots, roughly chopped

  • 200g cooked chickpeas or lentils

  • 150g cooked couscous, or pearl barley, millet, quinoa, lentils

  • 30g coriander leaves

  • Salt to taste

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C FAN. Place all the veg onto tray or oven dish.

  2. Mix the oil, harissa, cinnamon, maple syrup/honey, vinegar, salt + pepper

  3. Then , pour the harissa mixture over the veg and ensure they are all coated.

  4. Place in the oven and cook for 25 minutes. Now add the dried apricots and chickpeas. Stir together. Return to the oven and cook for a further 10 minutes, or until all veg are soft.

  5. To serve, use cooked grains.

  6. You can stir extra harissa into the vegetables; sprinkle coriander over to taste and add salt if needed.

Kale Baked Risotto


  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 onion, sliced

  • 2 tablespoons thyme leaves

  • sea salt and cracked black pepper

  • 300g arborio rice

  • 1.25 litres vegetable or chicken stock

  • 100g baby spinach leaves

  • large handful shredded kale leaves (stems removed)

  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon rind

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

  • 5g roughly torn basil leaves

  • 40g finely grated parmesan

1. Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan

2. Heat a large deep ovenproof frying pan or flameproof roasting pan over medium heat. Add the oil, leek, lemon thyme, salt and pepper to cook for 5 minutes or until the leek is golden and soft.

3. Add the rice and stock and stir to combine. Cover with a tight-fitting lid or sheets of foil and bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Allow to stand, covered, for 5 minutes.

Make the pesto

  • 100g walnuts, coarsely chopped

  • 1 small garlic clove

  • 1 large handful fresh parsley leaves

  • 2 handfuls torn kale leaves

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 60ml water

  • Salt + pepper to taste

  • ​Pulse garlic and toasted walnuts in a food processor until very finely ground. Add parsley, chives, kale, remaining 2 Tbsp. oil, and ¼ cup cold water; process until smooth; season pesto with salt and pepper.

4. After the risotto has stood for 5 minutes, remove the lid and stir in the spinach, kale pesto, lemon rind and juice into the baked risotto. Continue stirring until the risotto is creamy. Stir through the basil and parmesan then serve.

Curry Chickpeas

  • 1 x 400g can chickpeas, drained, rinsed

  • ¼ teaspoon mild curry powder

  • ¼ teaspoon each salt + pepper

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • Mix the chickpeas with the oil and flavours

  • Bake for 20 minutes

Bowl Food is made up from a portion of grain or starch (rice, barley, millet, quinoa, sweet potatoes, corn), smattering of protein (tofu, chickpeas, or beans), assortment of vegetables, both raw & cooked. Plus, dressing. A nourishing meal that’s made up with little bites of a selection of healthy wholefoods.

Teriyaki Marinade/Sauce

  • 70 ml soy sauce

  • 30ml water

  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar

  • 1 tablespoon mirin

  • 1 large clove garlic, minced

  • 1 tsp grated ginger

  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar

  • ½ lime juiced

  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil


© 2020 by Jen Roach