Everyone desires to always have a healthy meal. But not everyone have a big budget of time to prepare healthy meals on a daily basis.
But for most of us preparing healthy meals seems too difficult, time consuming, and intimidating. Well, I’m here to tell you that you can have quick healthy meals on hand anytime and every time.
The first step to achieving this success is by planning and having healthy food staples. Purchasing healthy foods takes not more time or effort than buying pre-package, processed, unhealthy foods. In order to able to toss together a quick healthy meal anytime, you must have essential staples on hand. First are the fresh groceries that you have already stocked your refrigerator with, second are the staples that you should have in your pantry and/or cabinets. Some essential pantry staples are:
Canned fish and vegetables– Canned fishes like salmon and tuna provide omega-3 fatty acids and add a protein punch to sandwiches, salads, and pasta. Canned and marinated vegetables like canned tomatoes, pumpkin and marinated mushrooms and artichokes help transform an ordinary grain, soup, or sauce into a more flavorful, exciting meal, plus they’re chock-full of nutrients.
Whole Grains– Experiment with different grains like barley, bulgur wheat, quinoa, millet, and brown rice, which is also available in long and short grain, and basmati. Whole wheat and quinoa pastas are great for a quick, healthy and filling dinner. Mix things up and use assorted shapes and sizes of pasta with a varied combination of vegetables and lean proteins.
Broths, bouillon cubes and powders, which are also available in healthier versions like fat-free, low sodium, all natural and vegetarian add guilt free depth of flavor to meats, grains, soups, casseroles, and sauces.
Nuts– Pine nuts, almonds, hazelnuts, cashews, and walnuts contribute heart-healthy fats, as well as adding texture, flavor, and substance to salads, grains, and hot vegetables dishes.
Oils, Vinegars, and Spices of various varieties.
A toaster oven is one kitchen appliance that no one should be without if they want quick meals.
In our busy lifestyles thinking about cooking can be seen as an unnecessary hassle. But now that you have much staples in you cupboard it doesn’t have to be like that and below are a few quick, easy and healthy meals that will hopefully inspire and encourage!
Tomato Pesto Pasta
This is a tasty, simple dish that you can throw together any day of the week and that will fill up even the biggest of eaters. Simply throw an eight ounce package of oil packed, sun-dried tomatoes into a food processor or blender then add: 6 medium tomatoes, 4 cloves of garlic, A handful of fresh basil, or 1 tablespoon of the dried variety, A dash of red pepper flakes1/3 cup of olive oil; Mix the ingredients together until it’s all blended. Then just toss the sauce with cooked whole wheat pasta and you’ve got yourself quick healthy meals that takes less than 15 minutes to eat. Consider serving salad and a piece of bread to complete the meal.
Tacos are easy to make and fun to eat. Buy some taco shell and heat them up in the oven. In the meantime, fry some ground beef and use a packet of taco seasoning to give it an authentic Mexican flavor. Grate some cheddar cheese. Chop some tomatoes and onions. Fill the taco shell with the ground beef then put on the grated cheddar cheese. Top it off with the chopped tomatoes and onions and then spoon some salsa sauce. You can make burritos the same way just replace the taco shells with burrito shells.
Canned ingredients isn’t always a bad thing, especially when it’s a really hectic and busy day. If you’re in need of a filling meal that takes little time to prepare, this is the chili for you. Start with a can of corn and two cans of your favorite beans (black beans and pinto beans work well), and throw them in a large sauce pan.
Next, chop up the following ingredients and add them to the pan as well: 6-8 medium tomatoes, 1 medium onion, 4 cloves garlic, Fresh herbs and spices to taste; Simmer on low heat for about 15 minutes and it’s ready to be enjoyed. This low fat dish is excellent served on a bed of freshly prepared brown rice or even over mashed potatoes.
Stuffed Collard Greens
These are quick healthy meals that can be put together in literally minutes. In fact, it’s extremely versatile and the ingredients can be switched up every time it’s made. Start with large collard leaves (three per person is usually a good number) and leaving the stems in tact, throw the leaves in a large pot of boiling water. Let them simmer for six minutes, then drain and let them dry. In the mean time prepare your filling. Some ideas are:
-Mashed potatoes dressed up with tomatoes, basil, olive oil and garlic
-Seasoned chicken breast that has been broiled or baked-Prepared corn bread stuffing
Brown Rice Pasta With Broccoli And Garlic
Prepare the pasta water in a large pot. Add some olive oil and salt and pepper to season the water. Bring it to a brisk boil and add the brown rice pasta. Brown rice pasta takes a bit longer to cook than regular pasta. It is difficult to overcook it, but it should be stirred often to ensure that it doesn’t stick together.
It is a good practice to prepare the broccoli as the pasta is cooking. To start, cut up the broccoli. Take the stalks off by cutting the heads where they branch. If you make vegetable juice at home, use the stalks in your vegetable juice. You can also chop them and use them in soups. Or, just discard. Rinse well.
Use a wok to cook the broccoli. First add the olive oil and let it heat slightly. Chop or crush the garlic and add it to the oil. Add 1/2 cup of water and the broccoli. The water will create a little bit of steam.
Cover and cook the broccoli for about 7 minutes. Stir it occasionally. Don’t let the broccoli get mushy. It should be a bit firm when done.
When the pasta is finished cooking, drain it and rinse it. Move it to a big bowl so you can complete the dish by adding the broccoli. Pour the broccoli, garlic and oil over the pasta and mix well.
Add salt and pepper to taste and a little bit more olive oil.
Serve the pasta and broccoli with a big green salad.
Thanks for Reading… Please share your experiences and suggestions in comments.