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Katie is a meal prep expert. These are the 5 freezer meals she made in bulk before she had a baby.

Katie Lolas, otherwise known by her online alias Lady Lolas, is the queen of meal prep. 

On her Instagram (which boasts over 150,000 followers), she shares her quick recipes, healthy habits, and now, everything she's learned since becoming a mum. 

Watch: Pregnancy safe exercises with Emily Skye. Post continues after video.


Video via Mamamia.

Katie, an ambassador for Elevit and the brand's The First 1000 Days initiative, welcomed her daughter Harper in February. Ahead of her arrival, she meal-prepped five meals in bulk that she's still eating, four months later. 

"I made them like the month before so I haven't got through all of them but we're almost there," Katie told Mamamia

She recommends all soon-to-be mums do it too.

"100 per cent, you will thank yourself later," Katie said. "There are some days when Harper doesn't want to be put down, she just wants to be on me all the time. So there's no way I'd be able to make a fresh meal every single day with a newborn baby.

"I feel like the good thing about making the meals yourself is you know you're going to like them," she added.

We asked Katie to tell us about the five meals she made ahead of Harper's arrival, and because she's keen for fellow mums to utilise this hack, she shared the recipes with us too.

From chickpea curry to loaded bolognaise, here are the five freezer meals Katie Lolas made before she had her baby.

1. Pumpkin, Lentil and Chickpea Curry.

Image: Supplied/Lady Lolas.

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Ready in: 25 minutes.

Serves: 4 

Ingredients:

  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup shallots, finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom
  • 2 cups of pumpkin, diced
  • 2 cups of vegetable stock 
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1x 400g can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1x 400g can tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/3 cup red lentils, rinsed
  • 120g fresh baby spinach
  • 4 tbsp plain yoghurt and fresh parsley to serve (optional)

Method:

1. In a large frying pan, add a splash of olive oil and cook the shallots over medium heat until fragrant and soft.

2. Add the garlic and spices and cook for a few more seconds until fragrant.

3. Add 1 cup of vegetable stock, chickpeas, pumpkin, lentils, tomatoes, and tomato paste. Bring to the boil and then simmer covered for 15 minutes until lentils and pumpkin are soft.

4. Check halfway through cooking and add a second cup of stock so that the lentils cook and the curry doesn’t dry out.

5. Simmer for an additional 5 minutes if needed for the sauce to reduce and thicken. Add the baby spinach and stir through until wilted. Season with salt to taste.

6. Serve with rice and top with yoghurt and chopped coriander.

2. Loaded Beef Bolognaise.

Image: Supplied/Lady Lolas.

Ready in: 40 minutes.

Serves:

Ingredients:

  • 1 x 500g packet pasta
  • 500g lean beef 
  • 1 x 400g can lentils, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium zucchini, grated
  • 2 medium carrots, grated
  • 1 cup mushrooms, sliced 
  • 1/2 cup shallots, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped 
  • 700g passata (tomato cooking sauce) 
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste (optional) 
  • 1 tbsp oregano leaves
  • 1 tbsp nutmeg
  • 1tbsp fennel seeds (optional) 
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh or 1 tbsp dried basil leaves
  • Salt and pepper 
  • Grated parmesan cheese to garnish (optional)

Method:

1. Boil and drain pasta as directed on packaging.

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2. Place a large pot over medium-high heat, add the olive oil and then stir in shallots and garlic. Cook for 2 minutes or until soft.

3. Stir in lean minced beef, oregano, nutmeg, fennel seeds (optional), and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook for 5 minutes or until well done, breaking up the mince with a spatula.

4. Add the carrots, mushroom and zucchini and cook for 3-4 minutes until tender.

5. Stir in lentils and passata, cover, and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium, partially remove the lid and simmer for 7 minutes.

6. Remove from heat, stir in chopped basil and adjust seasonings with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with grated parmesan cheese (optional).

3. Sweet Potato Mexican Soup.

Image: Supplied/Lady Lolas.

Ready in: 45 minutes.

Serves: 8

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup shallots, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 packet Mexican seasoning
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled & diced into 1cm cubes
  • 1 cup corn, fresh or frozen
  • 2 fresh tomatoes, diced
  • 5 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 x 400g can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 x 400g can crushed tomatoes
  • Lime and coriander for dressing (optional)

Method:

1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic and sauté until softened, roughly 5 minutes.

2. Add the Mexican seasoning, sweet potato, fresh tomatoes, corn and sauté for 2-3 minutes.

3. Add the vegetable stock, black beans, canned tomatoes and salt and pepper to taste and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes until the sweet potatoes are soft.

4. Remove from heat and garnish with lime juice and coriander if you wish and adjust seasoning if necessary.

Notes: You could serve this soup warm with tortilla chips or toasted bread.

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4. Easy Beef Stir Fry.

Image: Supplied/Lady Lolas.

Ready in: 30 minutes. 

Serves:

Ingredients:

  • 500g beef strips
  • 1 cup rice (I use brown basmati)
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce (I use a reduced-sodium soy sauce)
  • 1/4 cup sesame oil 
  • 1tbsp maple syrup 
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch 
  • 2 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 200g mushrooms, sliced 
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 cup shallots, sliced
  • 1 bunch broccolini florets, sliced
  • 1 x 225g can water chestnuts, drained 

Method:

1. Cook rice according to packet instructions or in a rice cooker with a pinch of salt and a dash of olive oil.

2. Heat a splash of sesame oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Add beef strips, 1 minced garlic clove, salt and pepper, sauteing for 2-3 minutes until seared. Remove from heat and transfer to a plate.

3. Without wiping the pan clean, add all the veggies and cook for 3-4 minutes until veggies are tender, stirring occasionally. Add in water chestnuts, sauteing for another 2 minutes.

4. Add beef strips back to the pan, along with soy sauce, sesame oil, maple syrup cornstarch, 2 tbsp fresh ginger and remaining garlic clove, tossing well to coat. Cook for 1-2 minutes until sauce thickens slightly.

5. Serve with rice and enjoy!

Notes:

  • Optional step for more tender beef (skip if you're in a rush). Add 1 tsp cornstarch, 1 tsp baking soda and 2 tbsp soy sauce to beef strips. Toss to combine and let marinate for 30 mins in a large bowl.
  • The veggies can be swapped out for whatever you have at home.

5. Chicken and Prawn Brown Basmati Rice Paella.

Image: Supplied/Lady Lolas.

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Ready in: 40 minutes.

Serves: 5

Ingredients:

  • Olive oil
  • 300g raw prawns, cleaned
  • 500g chicken breast, diced
  • 1 small bunch green shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1 red capsicum, finely diced
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 cups brown basmati rice 
  • 400g can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 1/2 cups reduced-salt chicken stock
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • Fresh flat-leaf parsley and lemon to garnish

Method:

1. Heat a large heavy-based frying pan over medium-high heat. Add a splash of olive oil and diced chicken. Cook for 3-4 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Remove and place on a plate.

2. Add raw prawns and also cook until golden. Re-add chicken to the pan once prawns are complete.

3. Add another small splash of olive oil, shallots and capsicum. Cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes or until soft.

4. Add turmeric, cumin, brown basmati rice, Italian tomatoes and chicken stock to pan. Stir until well combined. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low. Cover. Simmer for 12-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until rice is soft.

5. Remove the lid. Stir through the cup of peas. Cook for another 1-2 minutes or until heated through.

6. Garnish with parsley and a side of lemon. 

Which one will you be cooking? Let us know in the comments.

Feature image: Instagram/@lady.lolas

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