As the university year comes to an end, I thought it the best time to attempt the final Pro Plus challenge. The challenge is to come up with my best fuel-filled meal that can keep me energised and my brain ticking as exam season comes around. You can check out my previous challenges of how to party like a pro in Liverpool and how to budget like a pro at university.
During exam season, it’s incredibly easy to binge on sugary snacks, Tesco meal deals and Subways while you are sat in the library for hours on end. It’s convenient, quick and you just always need something to nibble on, right? To avoid the exam bloat or gaining an extra 10lbs in the few weeks leading up to exams, I like to prep my meals the evenings before I go to the library and bring healthy snacks with me to stop that little 2pm trip to the vending machine for a Kinder Bueno (not that it ever works).
My go-to meal to prep is full of carbs, protein and veg to keep me full, healthy and give me lots of energy aka brain-food. It’s super easy and cheap to make (I’m no Gordon Ramsey) and also easy to make multiple portions at one time to keep in the fridge for the week. It’s tasty and I never get bored of eating it. So here is my exam fuel of tomato based salmon, rice and vegetables. Easy!
This usually makes four portions for me, so here’s what you’ll need:
- 4x salmon fillets – I buy a frozen bag of four from Tesco at £3.80 which is less than £1 per salmon portion – so good!
- 2x packs of Batchelors savoury rice – I usually buy two Golden Vegetable savoury rice packets from Home Bargains (much cheaper than Tesco/Sainos)
- Lots of brocolli – again I buy this frozen from Tesco – gives you so much more for your money
- Two tins of chopped tomatoes – can pick these up from Aldi very cheap
- Vegetables of your choice – I usually add two red onions and three bell peppers
- Herbs/spices – my go-to herbs are lazy garlic, garlic granules, mixed herbs, chilli flakes and basil (just to add some flavour)
And here’s the easy recipe:
- Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees, boil kettle with water and chop red onions and bell peppers.
- Once oven is ready, pop in frozen salmon on a baking tray enclosed in tin foil (I usually spray with some fry light). Measure boiling water for savoury rice, and fill saucepan with boiling water for frozen broccoli.
- I usually leave the salmon in the oven for 20 minutes to make sure it’s cooked through but can take less time than this. While that’s in the oven, add frozen broccoli to boiling water. It will take longer than normal broccoli as the water cools back down again. Empty savoury rice into measured out water in saucepan and keep on a high heat.
- Add a teaspoon of Lazy Garlic to a pan sprayed with fry light (or oil) and brown. Add red onion and sweat/fry. Then add the bell peppers and stir while on a high heat to soften. Once both red onions and peppers are softened add the chopped tomatoes to heat.
- In the mean-time, check broccoli is boiling and stir the savoury rice.
- Once chopped tomatoes are heated through, add garlic granules (bless the person at the computer next to you but I really like garlic), mixed herbs, basil and chilli flakes, stir through and let it simmer.
- Once the water has been absorbed by the savoury rice it will be ready to serve.
- Drain the broccoli, scoop out the savoury rice, add the veg with chopped tomatoes and add your salmon fillet to the top and voila.
And here’s what my finished product usually looks like. This was dinner time for me so I had a bigger portion than usual. Look at all that colour though! So filling, tasty and all healthy. And it comes to just under £2 per portion – think how much you will save!
What’s your go-to meal when it comes to exam time? Do you keep it healthy or are you one of those ‘Let’s order Domino’s to the library’ kind of people?
*This is a sponsored collaboration with Pro Plus. All views are my own, and I wouldn’t recommend anything I wouldn’t use or purchase myself. If you know me, then you’ll know how much I like my caffeine.*
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