Every day the same question: what’s for dinner?

And every day you have a choice: to eat healthy (cook) or to eat conveniently (get take out/ready meal).

The thing is, with a little bit of planning, you don’t need to make that decision. By finding and mastering a few healthy freezable meals and dedicating a little bit of extra time to their preparation, you guarantee that you have a healthy, filling meal that is easy to prepare when time is at a premium.

RELATED: RECOMMENDED PLANS FOR YOU

Bad habits prevention

As a weight loss coach, I always emphasise to my clients the importance of meal preparation and planning as the best defence against falling into bad habits. Whether you are trying to lose weight or simply want an easy way to eat healthy meals throughout the week, these five healthy freezable meals will save you time and calories!

1. Cottage cheese meatloaf

Depending on time, this easy and delicious cottage cheese meatloaf freezes in two forms. Either mix up all the ingredients, freeze in loaf form and cook later or cook it up, cut into servings and freeze.

Ingredients:

300g low fat mince

150g low fat cottage cheese

125g low fat bacon

1 onion, diced

½ cup breadcrumbs

2 Tbsp. tomato sauce

1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

4 egg whites

Black pepper

Olive oil spray

Directions:

Preheat oven to 200 degrees C.

Lightly spray a loaf pan with olive oil spray.

Combine all ingredients together in a bowl and mix thoroughly with your hands. Pat mixture firmly into a loaf pan.

Freeze for later or bake in oven for approximately 45 minutes.

2. Bacon and barley soup

Make a big batch of this hearty bacon and barley soup and freeze your leftovers in individual servings. It is easy to reheat over a stove or in a microwave for a great midwinter dish.

Ingredients:

3 onions, finely chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

375g low fat bacon

3 carrots, diced

½ bunch celery, diced

½ cup barley

2 litres chicken stock

1.5 kg tomatoes, chopped

¼ cup parmesan cheese

1 bunch parsley, chopped

Olive oil spray

Directions:

Place a non-stick pot over medium heat and coat the bottom with olive oil spray.

Add in onions, garlic and bacon and cook for 2-3 minutes to soften.

Add all remaining ingredients into the pot and allow to simmer for several hours, stirring occasionally.

Spoon into individual servings and freeze.

Defrost in microwave on high for 5 minutes or on a stovetop over low heat.

3. Bean and bacon muffins

These muffins make a great midday snack that can help stave off hunger and prevent unhealthy snacking. Packed with protein, they are also hearty enough that you can pair 2-3 with a salad for a light lunch.

Ingredients:

1 cup wholegrain, self-rising flour

¼ low fat cheese, grated

125g low-fat bacon

220g can baked beans

1/3 cup low fat milk

2 egg whites

Olive oil spray

Cracked black pepper, to taste

Directions:

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.

Chop bacon and microwave on high for about 3 minutes, until cooked through.

Lightly coat a 24-hole mini muffin pan with olive oil spray.

Combine flour, cheese, bacon, pepper and baked beans in a large bowl.

Add milk and egg whites and stir until just combined. Spoon evenly into muffin tins.

Place into oven and bake for approximately 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the centre of a muffin comes out clean.

Cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes before removing.

Once completely cooled, freeze each muffin individually in a freezer-safe zip-top bag.

Thaw in fridge or microwave until heated through.

4. Spicy tomato crab

This is an easy recipe to cook up in one big batch, eat one serving and freeze the rest. The ingredients below make enough to feed four, so it is easy to multiply out for as many extras as you need.

Ingredients:

4 cloves of garlic

150g low-fat bacon

4 tomatoes, diced

½ onion, diced

½ tsp. cracked black pepper

6 drops Tabasco or other hot sauce

2 x 170g crab meat, drained

½ cup pizza sauce

Directions:

Heat a frying pan over medium heat.

Add onion, garlic and bacon and cook until soft/crisp.

Add tomatoes, pizza sauce and Tabasco.

Cook for a further 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add crab and pepper; cook through, stirring for an additional 1-2 minutes.

Divide into individual servings, cool and freeze.

Reheat by thawing in the fridge and microwaving or place frozen, serving directly in a sauce pan and cook over low heat until melted.

5. Pork and bean casserole

This one recipe makes six servings of this hearty dinner, so it’s easy to cook up one night and freeze the rest in individual portions for later.

Ingredients:

1.5kg pork fillets, cubed

2 onions, sliced

2 tsp. curry powder

440g can baked beans, drained and rinsed

500g bottle low fat pasta sauce

440g can diced tomatoes

500g fresh baby spinach or frozen spinach, thawed

2 Tbsp. tomato paste

1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

Cracked black pepper, to taste

Directions:

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.

Heat a large non-stick pan over medium heat.

Add pork and cook through. Place cooked pork in a large casserole dish.

Use the same pan to cook onion and curry powder until the onion is translucent.

Add all remaining ingredients to the pan and bring the contents to a boil.

Turn heat to low and simmer for 10-15 minutes.

Pour the entire mixture over the pork in the casserole dish and stir to combine.

Bake in oven, uncovered, for 20 minutes.

Stocking your freezer with healthy food is not as hard as you think. Simply get into the habit of making extra of anything you cook and freezing the leftovers. Try these meals first and then integrate the practice with other favourite recipes and variations.

Ready? Get cooking!

Looking for more meal inspiration and information about Sally Symonds? Visit her Expert Profile.

WatchFit Experts change lives!

And they can do the same for you.

Expert:

Pollyanna Hale Health and Lifestyle coaches
Lost 13 Kg in Total
Mel, 32y Location: London, United Kingdom Working with Pollyanna changed everything. I lost 13kg, got toned and have more energy than ever! Get same results!

Expert:

Chriz Zaremba Fitness Consultant
Lost 45 Kg in Total
Chris, 50y Location: London, United Kingdom Lost 45kg after the age of 50 and now competes and wins physique competitions and runs marathons Check our weight loss plans