These make-ahead meals will make your life easy - GulfToday

These make-ahead meals will make your life easy

food salad 1

Egg salad lettuce cups. TNS

Gulf Today Report

It has been more than half a year and a lot of office folk are still working from home and the students are still taking online classes. People have let go of their routines and then re-established them in a bid to return to some kind of normalcy in their lives.

You may be busy working from home and must be too busy to have a healthy meal. If that may be the case, you can plan for some nutritious meals to squeeze in your busy schedules. Here are some meals you can prep ahead of time.


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Add this simple egg salad on slices of your preferred bread and with lettuce and tomato.


1 or 2 small inner ribs celery

1/2 yellow, orange or red bell pepper, seeded

2 skinny green onions, very thinly sliced OR 3 tablespoons minced and rinsed sweet onion

1/2 jalapeno pepper, very finely chopped, optional

1/4 to 1/3 cup organic mayonnaise

2 or 3 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs, such as a combination of dill and cilantro

1/4 teaspoon celery salt (or regular salt)

6 hard-cooked eggs, peeled

Flavour additions: Crumbled cooked beef bacon, diced sun-dried tomatoes, diced dill pickle

Crunch additions: sunflower seeds, crushed potato chips


1. Very finely dice the celery and bell pepper; tumble into a bowl. Stir in onions, jalapeno, mayonnaise to taste, herbs and salt. Mix well.

2. Set the peeled eggs on a cutting board. Cut each egg lengthwise into quarters, then thinly slice the egg quarters. Add eggs to the bowl; mix gently to moisten them with the mayonnaise.

3. Serve topped with any of the flavour and crunch additions you fancy.


food salad chicken 1 Salmon sandwich. TNS



2 salmon fillets, about 1 pound each and 1 1/4 inches thick

1/2 small red or white onion

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 teaspoon sweet paprika

1 teaspoon each: salt, turmeric

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper or red pepper hot sauce

1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt

1 tablespoon milk, half-and-half or whipping cream

2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger or refrigerated ginger puree

2 or 3 tablespoons thinly sliced green onion tops or chives

6 pita breads (with or without pockets) or 6 thick slices country-style bread

1 large tomato, halved, seeded, chopped

1 avocado, halved, pitted, diced

Chopped fresh mint or basil or a combination

Lime wedges


1. Pat fish dry with paper towels; place it in a baking dish. Use a four-sided grater to finely grate the onion into a mixing bowl. Stir in oil, garlic, paprika, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, 1/2 teaspoon of the turmeric, cumin and cayenne. Mix well. Transfer 1 tablespoon of the mixture to a separate bowl; set aside. Smear remaining mixture over all sides of the fish. Let sit at room temperature while the grill heats (maximum 30 minutes) or in the refrigerator for several hours.

2. Prepare a charcoal grill or heat a gas grill to medium hot. When the grill is hot, heat the grill grate. Alternatively, heat a broiler to high and position the rack so the food will cook 6 inches from heat source.

3. While the grill heats, make the sauce by stirring the yogurt, milk, ginger, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and turmeric into the reserved 1 tablespoon of marinade. Stir in the green onions or chives. Makes: 2/3 cup

4. Set the fish on the grill directly over the heat source, skin side up. (Or on the broiler pan.) Grill, covered, without turning the fish until it releases from the grill grates, about 4 minutes. Use a thin spatula to gently flip the fish fillets. Grill, covered, until flesh almost flakes, 3 to 5 minutes more. Transfer to a platter.

5. Set the flatbreads over the grill grates (or in a toaster); cook turning, until warmed and a bit crisped, about 2 minutes.

6. Top fish with a generous spoonful of the yogurt sauce, tomatoes and avocado. Serve garnished with herbs and lime wedges for squeezing over everything. Pass the grilled bread. For sandwiches the next day, simply break the fish into large chunks and serve tucked inside the pita or piled on top to fold in half to eat.

FOOD BREAD 1 Peanut butter and jelly panini with fresh peach and berries. TNS



4 to 6 tablespoons chunky peanut butter, cashew butter or almond butter

4 slices marble rye bread or whole grain bread

1/3 cup fresh blueberries or very thinly sliced fresh peaches or strawberries

2 to 3 tablespoons blueberry, peach or strawberry jam or preserves

Softened butter


1. Heat a panini press or the flat sides of a waffle iron. Alternatively, heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat.

2. While the pan heats, spread the nut butter evenly over 2 slices of the bread. Press half of the fruit into the nut butter on each slice of bread. Spread the jam evenly over the other 2 bread slices. Sandwich the breads together.

3. Spread the butter over the outside of the sandwiches. Place on the hot panini press (or into the cast-iron skillet). Close the panini press (or use a heavy lid or smaller skillet to stack onto the sandwiches in the cast-iron). Cook until crisped and golden, about 4 minutes. (You’ll need to flip the sandwiches if cooking them in the skillet).

4. Transfer to a cutting board. Cut in half and serve hot.

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