How to Make Quick & Healthy Meals

We all have those moments of sheer panic when we have some place to be and not much time eat, let alone cook. More often than not I come home from work with barely an hour to get everything together before I parade off into the sunset for some kind of commitment I made.

But if you’re not prepared and if you’re not confident in your awesome kitchen abilities, you can fall victim to the devil himself: aka. fast food.

We’re guilty of it. But as we’ve moved forward with our baby steps to a happier, healthier life, we’ve moved away from the quick grabs that lead to the belly bloats and the grumpy grease-induced comas.

And I’m not going to lie, I think I finally figured out how to have a quick and easy meal that doesn’t take much prep at all.

Usually, I’d throw things in a crockpot that morning or cook something with enough leftovers the day before. But that doesn’t alway happen. And then I’m left in a panic. But not anymore.

Here’s the formula: frozen portion of lean meat+ frozen vegetables and/or ready to cook fresh vegetables

I recently discovered this with fish. I had stumbled upon a sale on individually wrapped 4 oz. tilapia filets at Food Lion so I grabbed a couple. The first night I was in a frenzy, this is what I did.

Asian Tilapia with Stir Fry

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1. Defrost frozen fish by weight in microwave (roughly 6 minutes)

2. While defrosting, start sauteeing frozen stir fry vegetables in low-sodium stir fry sauce (roughly 10-13 minutes)

3. Season fish (I used olive oil, low-sodium soy sauce, onion powder, pepper, and red pepper) and throw on George Foreman (roughly 5 minutes)

That’s right…this whole meal came in under 15 minutes.

Then the other night, I had a little more time but still not a lot of time to dawdle. This was more involved, but still pretty quick.

Italian Tilapia with Sweet Potato and Stir Fry

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1. Defrost frozen fish by weight in microwave (roughly 6 minutes)

2. While defrosting, poke holes in a medium sweet potato, chop onions, spinach and tomatoes (same time as above!)

3. Season fish (I used olive oil, pepper, salt, Italian seasoning, and garlic powder) and set aside while I pop in sweet potato (under 8 minutes).

4. While sweet potato cooks, throw in onions into olive oil and garlic. Sautee. As they begin to soften, throw in balsamic vinegar. (While sweet potato was cooking).

5. Replace sweet potato with frozen broccoli steamer bag in the microwave (roughly 8 minutes).

6. While broccoli is steaming, throw in rest of vegetables into sauté pan and in last 6-5 minutes of steaming, throw fish onto George Foreman grill.

Yup…this meal too was just a little bit longer than 20 minutes. And really, it was easy. If it wasn’t for the chopping with a large knife for the veggies to top the fish, I’d say a 5 year old could do it. It really took no skill.

The truth is, this was quicker than if I had run out, sat through a drive through, and ordered some fast food. Mind blowing, huh?

Just remember the formula:

Individual/Small package of Frozen Lean Meat:
And it doesn’t just have to be fish. When you buy in bulk chicken breasts to freeze, maybe package a few as individual breasts or just two (or whatever size your family is) instead of freezing a larger quantity for meals that would last for two days (like I usually do).

Frozen Veggies
Whether its a steamer bag or something you can sauté really quick– it’s worth it. It literally takes seconds to prepare.

Fresh Veggies that are easy to prepare
Maybe start off with something easy like a side salad. But trust me when I say keeping onions and sweet potatoes on hand really can be a game changer and up the “fanciness” of any meal. Plus, those sorts of vegetables stay fresher longer so they make a nice pantry staple (as long as you don’t forget about them.

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4 thoughts on “How to Make Quick & Healthy Meals

  1. I love this! This has been my go-to for quick, last minute recipes too and H is always amazed how quickly I can throw together a healthy meal! Too bad we don’t like fish, cause these looks delish! Thanks for sharing 🙂

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