Meal options for the busy you

Like most of us, I’m really looking forward to the long weekend. The last few weeks were rather packed with work, travel and fun activities. A few peaceful days with my loved ones and without email will be great.

A number of my friends are in a similar position. A little be of quiet time to reflect. One friend is regularly looking at her life and is making changes to improve it. Having started a new role recently, she’s now facing the daily cooking dilemma. Going out, ordering in, picking something up from the supermarket or making something from scratch?

Are you also struggling with the daily question “Honey, what’s for dinner”? Whatever your family situation, meal planning can take a load of your shoulders and give you some peace of mind.

Go out to a restaurant

In Dubai, it’s so easy to eat out. Vouchers from the Entertainer or Time Out, for example, can help you save on the meal.

Unfortunately, not many restaurants are outlining the ingredients or nutrition values. You may not know how many calories or how much sodium you’re consuming. Control of your food is no longer in your hands and thus going out shouldn’t be part of your daily routine.

Order a meal in

In recent years, food delivery companies have sprung up like mushrooms and it’s almost as common to order in as it is going out. Check for flyers in your tower’s reception area or in your community centre. Almost every day, there’ll be new flyers brought their or directly to your house.

While you may be spoilt for choice, you’ll be facing the same health and nutritional challenges as going out for a meal.

Create your own meal plan

If you want to eat a healthier meal but don’t want to cook yourself, you can participate in a meal plans. Providers like these have various meal plans created for weight loss, diabetics, detox or just lunch/dinner allowing you to customise as required.

Pick up a ready-made meal from the grocery store

Most supermarkets have a deli section with meals prepared in-store. Choices ranges from simple salads over sandwiches and grilled chicken to rice dishes, Chinese noodles and pies.

Numerous food manufacturers also have their own selection of ready-made meals which you just need to put in the oven or pop into the microwave.

Hire a cook

Having your own cook is a good way to influence the nutrition of your meal. Traditionally, this has been a popular option especially for Asian expat in the Middle East. However, more and more Westerners are realising the value provided and the benefits gained by employing a chef.

Cook from scratch

Create your own meal plan and together with your partner or family, chose the meals. It’s an easy process which will save your energy deciding at night and allows you to save time cooking. If you want to include more veggies in your meals and are struggling for ideas, click here for a weekly meal plan and a shopping list.

Consider cooking in batches and freezing the additional meals. It takes almost the same effort to make 2 portions as it is to cook 1 portion or 4 portions instead of 2 portions. You can simply take a portion out of the freezer in the morning and heat it up on the stove for dinner. Popping in the microwave is obviously quicker.

How do you chose your meals in the evenings? What time saving tips can you share with us? Looking forward to reading your comments.

Until next time,




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