Easy healthy quick meals can be a reality for you starting now. Your time is valuable and healthy eating is essential. Learn to cook simply and make the most of your time! Read on to discover some great tips.
Cooking is one of our most valuable skills for reaching optimal health. However, it can also be one of the most time-consuming. But don’t worry – there are some easy ways to make cooking easier, quicker, and more enjoyable.
4 Invaluable Tips for Creating Easy Healthy Quick Meals
1. Start With a Plan Before You Step into the Kitchen.
Planning will help you save significant time when cooking easy healthy quick meals. If you plan what you need to do before starting, you won’t waste time searching for ingredients or running back to the store.
Read my post, “Healthy Meal Planning Tips for Busy Families,” for the ins and outs of how to accomplish this.
2. The Cook Simply Formula for Easy Healthy Quick Meals.
You can save time when preparing meals by choosing recipes that require few steps, use simple ingredients, and are completed quickly. Long, drawn-out recipes can wear you out and have you skipping steps as you near the end, leading to a lesser quality meal. There is no need to spend an exhausting amount of time on daily meals. Focus on the nutrition of the meal and the ease of preparation for your regular meals and save the elaborate cooking for special occasions.
Using simple ingredients, meaning those that don’t require a lot of preparation but are also as close to their natural, whole form, will give you the foundation of an easy meal with the greatest nutritional punch. Whole foods provide us with the best source of nutrition for our bodies. Science can’t duplicate the magic of what mother nature has put together in a whole, unprocessed food.
I have a tip for you to use when you don’t know what to cook. This will provide you with an option that will always be healthier than running through the drive-through and doesn’t require much time and effort:
Learn to create some basic “formula” meals that you can memorize. See below for how to do this easy type of meal.
Use This Formula for Easy Healthy Quick Meals :
1. Choose a protein (proteins from clean, organic, pasture-raised, wild-caught sources are best)
2. Choose a starch/grain (whole food, whole-grain choices are best)
3. Choose a vegetable or two (organic and local choices provide you with the lowest amount of chemicals and the greatest amount of nutrition)
Learn to cook three proteins. There a many options available to choose from. I have listed a few simple ones below.
- Saute chicken in broth.
- Brown ground beef.
- Scramble eggs.
Learn to cook three starches or grains. Here are a few very easy choices:
- Bake potatoes.
- Cook rice in a pot.
- Steam frozen corn.
To learn how to make baked potatoes tasty and a trick to make them faster, see my post “How to Bake Potatoes in the Oven (a trick).” With fall weather approaching, a warm baked potato cooking in the oven is so comforting.
Learn to cook three vegetables. I often double the number of vegetables listed as a “serving” to ensure I get a large quantity of healthy, healing fiber and nutrient-rich vegetables in my diet each day.
- Stirfry broccolini.
- Saute a mix of vegetables in a pan.
- Make a salad with lettuce and other raw vegetables.
Mixing and matching these items means you have 27 different meal combinations. That is a lot of easy healthy quick meals ready to go!
You can switch in different sauces to jazz the meals up more. Try pasta sauce, olive oil and lemon juice, or even just a little butter. Another simple sauce and dressing is my “Homemade Salad Dressing Recipe (Healthy).”
Also, change up the meals by sometimes mixing the ingredients in a stir fry or bowl meal versus serving the items separately.
Also, check out my cookbook, SHORTCUT REAL FOOD: 20-minute meals. It is full of easy, healthy, quick meals that use few ingredients and cook quickly.
To view more great easy healthy recipes check out my blog category “Recipes” here “The Easy Anti-Inflammatory Lifestyle Blog – recipes category”.
And, learn about quick and easy school lunches in my post “Quick & Healthy Lunch Ideas for School”. While making school lunches quick and healthy, your kids also learn the invaluable, life-long lesson of how to put together a healthy meal. And, when kids put these healthy meals together themselves, they are much more likely to eat them.
3. Buy Good Equipment.
If you want to cook efficiently, you need some basic, good equipment. Invest in high-quality knives, pots, pans, and other tools that will perform well. My dad is an amazing home improvement genius and he always stressed to me the importance of having the right tools. He would say that if you use the wrong tool the job will inevitably take longer, you might damage what you are working on by using a poor substitute, and you will enjoy the job altogether more with the right tool that performs at its best – helping you perform at your best.
You don’t need to buy a lot, but make sure you have this list of essential cooking items to make easy healthy quick meals successful:
Food Preparation Tools
- 8-inch chef’s knife (see below)
- Serrated knife
- Paring knife (see below)
- Can/Bottle Opener
- Grater, choose one that has a variety of grating sizes
- Nesting Measuring Cups and Spoons
- Mixing bowl
- Cutting Board
- Heat-resistant Spatula
- Soup Ladle
Pots and Pans, etc.
- 10-12″ skillet, depending on the size of your family
- 4-quart pan (and 8-quart if you have a large family)
- Oven Mitts
- 9 x 13 baking dish
- 8×8 baking dish
- A baking sheet
Having the right size pan makes your dish go smoothly without spilling over the edge. It is better to use a too large pan than a too small one.
Keep your knives sharp. Sharp knives make chopping, slicing, etc. much faster and safer. Surprisingly, a dull knife is more likely to cut you than a sharp one because it won’t slip off the food as easily.
You are not limited to these pieces of equipment. Certainly, you can have more items, but even some kitchens full of gadgets are missing some of these essentials that make cooking easier and more efficient than the latest hard-to-clean, hard-to-store new-fangled gadgets.
4. Ask for Help in the Kitchen (this is a must for easy healthy quick meals)
Learn these sayings,
“If you eat, you cook,”
“Many hands make light work.”
I even have to remind myself of these words of wisdom when I find myself alone in the kitchen working when the rest of the house is quietly engaged in leisure activities in other rooms. Instead of feeling resentful, ask for help. Helping run the kitchen and the house is a family bonding experience and teaches responsibility to children.
Anyone over the age of two should have at least one task in the kitchen. The youngest ones can tear lettuce, for example. The oldest ones can do the chopping, etc.
It takes time to establish a new routine of everyone helping. But, once everyone is used to the new way, there won’t be as much reminding necessary. And, it will be a huge burden off your shoulders, helping you enjoy your time in the kitchen.
If you have small children, adding kitchen tasks to a fun, eye-catching “chore chart” helps them learn that helping in the kitchen is just part of life.
Hint: Spending time in the kitchen with children offers excellent opportunities to chat with your kids and learn more about them. You’ll be surprised what they might share!
Do your best and don’t beat yourself up. This will help you in sticking to healthy eating for the long term.
No one can eat perfectly all the time. A good rule of thumb is to shoot for 90% healthy food and 10% satisfaction food. (Start with an 80/20 ratio if you are new to eating healthy.) Healthy food is food that while hopefully delicious and visually interesting is nourishing, not just not bad for you. A diet soda, for example, should not count as “healthy food.” One may think it is healthy because it is not full of high fructose corn syrup, which is great, but it does not actually provide any nourishment.
Satisfaction food may also be healthy, but its key is that it fulfills needs beyond just vitamins and minerals, etc. Satisfaction food could be the birthday cake at a loved one’s birthday party, a slice of pumpkin pie at the end of the Thanksgiving meal, or a drink out with the girls after a long week of work. These foods give us emotional satisfaction, provide connection to others, enhance a sense of community, etc.
Also, cooking is an art and science that takes patience and practice. It’s also a skill that will last a lifetime.
Be patient with yourself as you learn. Even accomplished cooks have much to know when they adjust to a new way of eating or a new way of cooking.
The best way to learn is by doing, so start cooking now!
Sum Up of Cooking Easy Healthy Quick Meals:
Learning a few important tips makes your time in the kitchen faster and easier.
1. Start with a plan so everything flows well and with the greatest efficiency.
2. Choose simple meals without a lot of ingredients that don’t take a long time to cook.
3. Use the best tool for the job – get quality cooking equipment.
4. Don’t hold the burden of all the preparation, cooking, and cleanup on your shoulders. Allow those around you to support you.
5. Be kind to yourself as you do your best to provide great health through great food to you and your family.
What is your favorite easy healthy quick meal which is so simple you have memorized it? Share it in the comments section for everyone to enjoy and benefit! Thanks.
Don’t forget to share your favorite posts with friends and family – get the word out about easy healthy eating!
This blog post is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to treat any health condition or to be prescriptive for anyone. Always be sure to work with your healthcare practitioner before making any changes.
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