We would all eat more healthy food if we had more time to prepare our meals, wouldn’t we?
Even when you have very little time to make a meal, you can make conscious choices to eat healthier options. Don’t reach for a pre-packaged, microwave meal when you can give yourself a nutritious, healthy meal from scratch in five minutes or less.
Beans are a great staple for a fast meal. Keep a few cans of beans in the pantry to give yourself options when you need a meal in a hurry.
If you know you will have some busy days, try pre-cooking your brown rice and keeping it in the fridge. It only takes a minute to throw cooked brown rice, chopped greens, and an egg in the frying pan to make nutrient-rich fried rice. Add beans for extra protein and minerals.
Fast Fried Rice
1 cup cooked brown rice
1 400g can cannelli or black beans, rinsed and drained (optional)
Leafy green vegetables (spinach, cabbage, kale, etc), chopped
Heat vegetable oil in a pan. Add greens and stir until just wilted. Add rice and (if desired) beans. When all ingredients are heated through, break egg into fried rice and stir briskly until egg is cooked. Serve immediately.
Another alternative for rice and beans is to combine cooked brown rice and beans with steamed broccoli.
Rice And Beans With Greens
1 cup cooked brown rice
1 400g can cannelli or black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup lightly steamed broccoli
Flavourings of choice: minced garlic, soy sauce, Mexican chili powder, etc.
Vegetable oil for cooking
Heat vegetable oil in a pan. Add flavourings and fry for one minute. Add rice, beans, and broccoli. Stir until heated through.
If you don’t have pre-cooked brown rice, what then?
You can always pick up a piece of fish, and grill it while you steam some beans and carrots. Serve with lemon juice for a vitamin boost.
Don’t eat fish? Grill some haloumi instead – it goes really well with lemon juice, too!
Don’t forget the options available to you if you don’t want to make a hot meal.
Salads are a great quick meal, as long as you don’t get too fancy with a lot of fiddly ingredients. It’s amazing how few ingredients it takes to make a delicious salad meal.
Basic Chicken Avocado Salad
2 cups lettuce leaves, washed
1 avocado, sliced
½ cup grilled chicken, sliced.
Arrange ingredients on a plate. Dress with lemon juice or your favourite salad dressing.
If you want to get a little more fancy, add some sun-dried tomatoes. The oil they are in makes a great addition to the salad dressing, too.
A classic Italian salad is one of the most simple to prepare. Spice up your evening with a tomato and mozzarella salad.
Tomato Mozzarella Salad
2 ripe tomatoes, sliced
100g mozzarella cheese, sliced
Arrange tomato and mozzarella slices alternately on a plate. Top with basil leaves.
Optional additions: lemon juice, oregano, olive oil.
Even slicing up a salad seems like too much work? Keep a packet of tortilla wraps on hand to enable the fastest meals ever.
Simply take a tortilla wrap, a lettuce leaf, and a flavoursome filling to make a meal in just one minute.
Flavoursome filling choices could include sliced chicken or roast beef, cheddar cheese or flavoured cream cheese, flavoured tofu pieces, hard-boiled egg, or avocado.
For a quick and easy flavour boost to your one-minute wrap, add sun-dried tomatoes, guacamole, salsa, salad dressing, or dried herbs.
Still sound like too much work?
Here is the recipe for the ultimate healthy meal-replacement snack.
Reportedly, this is what one nutritionist would eat if they only had a few minutes to grab a meal.
1 waffle (or slice of toast)
2 tablespoons peanut butter (preferably natural)
¼ cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
Spread the peanut butter on the waffle, press the blueberries into the peanut butter, and enjoy!
Of course, you can vary this recipe endlessly, depending on what types of nut butter you have available, and what fresh or frozen berries you have in your refrigerator.
So, there you have it. With all these option available, you no longer have any need to eat fast food when you need to eat in a hurry!