Eat healthy food. Lose weight. Get fit. Manage stress. Quit smoking. Sound familiar? These popular (and admirable) New Year’s resolutions have one thing in common: They all improve your quality of life and sense of well-being. That’s worth working for – for you and for your loved ones!
Now, changing the way we behave takes a will, a way, and some inspiration along the way to stay motivated!
As far as healthy eating goes, I hear from people that they want to eat healthy but they’re short on time or ideas. So I spent this past weekend thinking about quick and simple healthy meal and snack ideas, all with the busy home cook in mind. Take a look at my pictures and recipes of what I came up with! Each dish took me 30 minutes or less to cook!
Verlasso Salmon – 2 Meal Ideas.
These meals feature heart-healthy, brain-healthy (and sustainable!) salmon. An added benefit of cooking with fatty fish like omega-3-rich salmon is that it can be pan-seared without added fat.
I used one fillet to make two plates with portion-perfect protein (size of a small woman’s fist). The salmon itself cooked up in under 10 minutes.
In one dish, I paired the salmon with curried red quinoa (vegetable oil, curry powder, onion, garlic, mixed with cooked quinoa – 15-20 minutes total), and lightly steamed green beans (2 minutes).
In another dish, I broke it into pieces and paired it with our microwavable vegetable medley (3 minutes or less).
Pan-Seared Chicken Tenders with Brussels Sprouts – 2 Meal Ideas.
These meals utilize tender lean protein and one of the healthiest veggies around – Brussels sprouts! They are both lightened up by adding fresh fruit.
On day one, I marinated our chicken tenders in a mix of rice vinegar and hot mustard. While marinating, I trimmed and halved Brussels sprouts to be oven-roasted. Then, while they were roasting (15 minutes), I pan-seared the chicken tenders (mere minutes per side), followed by a few minutes of rest. Then I peeled segments of red grapefruit to add a fresh accent to the dish. Left-over chicken was stored in the refrigerator for the next day.
On day two, I trimmed and shaved raw Brussels sprouts, tossed with lemon juice and blueberries for a fresh and light yet satisfying salad. I spent a few minutes toasting almond slivers on low heat (allowing them to cool before adding to the salad; or could have been done in advance for even quicker meal prep). The almonds add healthy fats and calcium, not to mention a pleasant crunch. After combining these ingredients, I topped with chopped chicken tenders.
Almond-Sesame Buckwheat Noodles with Light Firm Tofu and Bell Peppers – 1 Family Meal.
This cold noodle dish is quick and simple and full of whole grains, vegetarian protein, and healthy fats. It could also be made with peanut butter, but almond butter is just what I had on hand at home.
I got the water started for the buckwheat noodles first. Then I cut the tofu into half-inch cubes and gently tossed them with a couple tablespoons of low-sodium soy sauce and set it aside.
When the water was hot, but not boiling, I added the whole-grain buckwheat noodles (5 minutes: 4 minutes with lid off, 1 minute with the lid on, then rinsed in cold water). When cool, the noodles were added to the tofu-soy mix.
While the noodles were cooking, I blended low-sodium soy sauce, almond butter, chopped garlic, chili sauce, and a dash of sesame oil together. I added just enough sauce on top of the tofu-noodle mix and combined by hand (clean hands or clean plastic gloves both work).
Since the sauce settles to the bottom, I then lifted the mixture into each serving plate, which lets the excess sauce (and its calories) stay in the prep bowl.
Then I sliced an orange bell-pepper into strips (could be any veggie, really, this is just what I had at home). I also added fresh cilantro (optional).
Avocado-Citrus Bites – Great for a quick and easy afterschool snack.
The kids can get involved in prepping these snacks that are best enjoyed right after assembly (to avoid soggy toast).
Want to eat like this RD? Here are the 13 key ingredients in my cart that I used for these 5 Meals (+1 snack). Many of them happen to be on sale on my Healthy Living for Less page right now (bonus!).
- 4 vegetable items: Brussels sprouts, Green beans, Bell Peppers, Vegetable medley (carrots, broccoli, cauliflower)
- 3 fruit: Avocado (guacamole), Blueberries, Red grapefruit
- 3 whole grains: Quinoa, Buckwheat Noodles, Whole wheat melba toast
- 3 proteins: Salmon, Chicken, Tofu
- Additional ingredients that you may already have at home: Garlic, onions, cilantro, lemons, olive oil, sesame oil, low-sodium soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, garlic-chili sauce, curry powder, almond butter