Convenience along with cost and taste are the driving factors behind food choices these days. But you don’t have to sacrifice health for convenience and in fact you shouldn’t. Healthy meals can be quick and easy with the right ingredients, a little knowledge, and an ounce of effort.
The first step to creating healthy meals in minutes is keeping a well-stocked kitchen. Fill your kitchen with convenient items that you can quickly throw together for a balanced nutritious meal. Here are some of my favorite items I keep on hand:
Quick Grains: instant brown rice, quinoa, whole wheat couscous, whole grain pasta
Low Sodium Soups
Whole Grain Bread, Pita & Tortillas
Condiments & Sauces: mustard, marinara sauce, salsa, hot sauce
Oils & Vinegars
The second step to creating healthy meals in minutes is throwing together the simple ingredients to create a well balanced meal. Personally, I think this step is the most fun, but to get your creative juices flowing here are some quick and nutritious meal ideas:
Pita Pizza = whole grain pita + marinara sauce + frozen vegetables + cheese
Fajitas = whole grain tortilla + frozen vegetables + salsa + (grilled chicken strips)
Vegetable Penne = whole grain pasta + frozen vegetables + marinara sauce
Rice and Beans = instant brown rice + beans + salsa + hot sauce + frozen vegetables
Finally, if the first two options aren’t very appealing to you then you can always resort to preparing wholesome pre-made meals from the grocery store. Luckily food companies have caught on to the importance of convenience because in almost every grocery store you can find convenient meals that are made from nourishing ingredients. Amy’s products are one of my favorites! But you will have to do a little food label reading because there are also plenty of convenient meals made from nasty ingredients that will you leave feeling anything but nourished. Pairing your pre-made meal with a salad, cut up veggies, or wholesome grains will further ensure your are eating a balance nutrient rich meal in minutes.
Lastly, due to popular demand I created a list of some healthy convenient meals that you can find at my beloved Trader Joe’s. (Trader Joe’s is a grocery store that offers a wide variety of convenient healthy foods at a reasonable price.)
Chili Lime Chicken Burger with Sweet Potato Fries
1 Chili Lime Chicken Burger, frozen
2 Slices Sprouted 100% Whole Grain Bread
3 ounces Sweet Potato Fries, frozen
Minestrone Soup with Mixed Greens Salad
1 can Low Sodium Minestrone Soup
1 container Mixed Greens Salad with cranberries, blue cheese, candied pecans & raspberry vinaigrette dressing
Japur Vegetables with Brown Rice
1 container Indian Fare Japur Vegetables
1/2 pouch Organic Brown Rice, frozen (about 1 cup cooked)
Tilapia Citronette with Quinoa
1/2 container Tilapia Citronette, frozen
1/4 cup Organic Quinoa, dry
Black Bean & Corn Enchiladas with Mixed Greens Salad
1 package Black Bean & Corn Enchiladas (2 enchiladas)
1 container Mixed Greens Salad
Remember all it takes is a well-stocked kitchen and a little knowledge to create healthy home-made meals in minutes.
Have a great day!