05 Sep 7 Quick and Easy Healthy Meals You Can Make at Home
Everyone knows that you need to eat right if you want to stay healthy and fit, but it can be difficult to find a decent healthy meal in this age of super-cheap fast foods. Even if you have the will to eat nutritious food and have the right ingredients, why waste time cooking when most fast food joints make home deliveries? Well, for one, cooking your own food can be fairly cheap, you get to control what goes in it, so you can make it according to your own tastes. Most importantly, you get to make sure that the food is not packed with unnecessary calories and that the ingredients are fresh. Here are a few quick and easy meal ideas, for those times when you just can’t be bothered to run around the kitchen for an hour and wait as long for everything to be ready.
Muesli and oatmeal
The vast majority of people have gotten used to the idea of breakfast cereal. You get in the morning throw some cereal into a bowl, pour milk over it, grab a spoon and you’re on your way to eating a tasty breakfast in under a minute. The thing is, those cereals are packed with sugar and have very little actual nutritional value. Muesli, on the other hand, incorporates dried fruit, seeds, nuts and a variety of grains. This gives you a more complete nutritional profile, with less total calories. Alternatively, you can get some oats, nuts and fruit, and make some nice oatmeal just as quickly. You can switch thing up by adding different ingredients – to keep things from getting boring.
When you think of a healthy meal, you probably envision a variety of vegetables, some spices and some relatively lean meat. The trouble is that it takes a while to combine these ingredients and cook them properly. Unless you’re making a stew, that is. While some variations will take 2 hours to cook, a simple stew will take you 10-15 minutes to prepare and another 15-20 minutes to cook and serve. You just chop up some beef, onions, a bit of garlic, a couple of bell peppers, some carrots, a couple of potatoes, celery and season with rosemary or whatever combination of vegetables and spices you prefer. You can even get frozen vegetable mixes prepared specifically for stews and just pour it right in with the meat.
Whole wheat pasta
“Oh my God, I did not just read the word pasta in an article about healthy food” – I can almost hear you exclaim in a high-pitched teenage girl voice. Well, imaginary reader who doubts me for some reason, allow me to retort. First of all, it’s whole wheat pasta, which makes a lot of difference. There is also no reason to consider pasta a “bad” food. Yes it has a good amount of carbs, but as long as you don’t eat a couple of pounds of it in one go, you’ll be fine. It has a good amount of fiber and protein in it as well and can be mixed with tons of different ingredients including tuna, minced meat and tomato sauce, olives, cheese and so on. It’s fast, versatile, filling and incredibly tasty.
The staple of any good healthy diet, whether your focus is weight loss or not, should be big salad bowls filled to the brim. Salads are insanely simple and extremely nutritious. You wash and chop up some vegetables, add a bit of seasoning and voila, dinner is served. You can add things like salmon, tuna, boiled chicken breast or boiled eggs to make it a full-fledged meal. Use olive oil, apple cider vinegar and different spices, but stay away from store bought salad dressings as they are loaded with extra calories, and that kind of defeats the purpose of eating a salad.
Fruit and veggie smoothies
A good smoothie is a delicious treat very few people will pass out on. On top of being both delicious and nutritious, fruit smoothies are simple to make and it takes only a few minutes to get from “raw ingredients” to “a tall glass of tastiness”. You have a lot of creative freedom as well, and you can even add in some good fat and protein sources – e.g. nuts, protein powder and milk – to get a nice little meal replacement smoothie. You can also make veggie smoothies to get some important micronutrients with very few calories. Leafy greens are an excellent choice and can be combined with things like carrot or tomato juice.
This is another fast meal that allows you to play around with the ingredients. There are literally hundreds of variations out there, the most popular ones incorporating grilled or boiled chicken breast, mushrooms, zucchini, mozzarella and parmesan cheese and shrimp. If you can boil some rice do some basic frying without burning down the kitchen, you will be able to make a fairly good risotto with a bit of practice. A good basic, no thrills risotto can be prepared and served in about 40 minutes or so.
Protein pancakes and waffles
Pancakes and waffles are an incredibly popular breakfast choices. They are sweet, soft and can be topped with just about anything you imagine. To make these treats healthier and cut down on the calories a bit, just make them using a combination of whole-wheat and buckwheat flour, instead of traditional white flour, coconut oil, almond milk and adding some protein powder into the mix. Instead of drizzling it with syrup or chocolate, you can opt for sugar-free syrup, fresh fruit like a banana or berries, low fat yogurt, coconut and peanut butter. This makes for a great treat, and everything is nice and healthy, without too much calories.
When you’re sitting at home with a rumbling stomach that demands to be fed right now, you can turn to these simple and fast, yet incredibly delicious and, most importantly, healthy meal ideas.