Eat Better in 13 Steps
As a Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist clients are always asking me for tips on eating healthier, and the number one way is to prepare your own meals!! Saving time in the kitchen is important to maintaining your sanity with a busy lifestyle and it also makes cooking much more enjoyable. So here are some ways to trim minutes (and perhaps hours over the week) from your kitchen routine.
Always have pantry basics for healthy meals such as olive oil, canned beans, canned or bottled tomatoes, sliced almonds, plant based milks, frozen veggies, onion and garlic powder and other seasonings. Making extra trips to the grocery store just before cooking is a time waster so keep a running pantry staples list on your fridge to replenish weekly.
Keep long-lasting vegatables in your refrigerator such as onions, garlic, carrots, zucchini, and kale -- you can whip up a stir-fry in 15 minutes, just add your favorite protein like chicken, shrimp or beans.
Frozen Veggie Winners:
Broccoli florets, shitake mushrooms and asparagus tips all make great additions to a stir fry. Try pouring 1 tbsp of Coconut Oil or Olive Oil into a heated skillet, then adding a mix of your favorite frozen vegetables. For added flavor, add 2 tbsp of Tamari Sauce or Gluten-Free Teriyaki Sauce.
Don't Want to Spend Time Cleaning Greens?
Shop for pre-washed, packaged greens that you can toss into soups, stews, smoothies, and sauces to multiply your nutrition and portion size with hardly any calories. Go for superfood greens like baby spinach, kale, or other delicious green blends. They cook in seconds, so toss a handful into soups, chilis, stews, and even into your favorite marinara sauce while you warm it.
Chicken Soup Fix?
If you need a chicken soup fix, but don't have time to make it from scratch, start with a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store. Remove the skin and shred the meat. Just add low-sodium chicken broth and your favorite chopped vegetables and warm for 20 minutes. Soups on.
Want to Eat More Whole Grains?
Want to eat more whole grains like quinoa and short grain brown rice? Cook up a batch of each grain and cool to room temperature. Store each grain in an air-tight container in your fridge for up to 5 days. Scoop and toss into meals when you need whole grain goodness.
Don't Toss Those Bananas that are About to Go Bad:
Peel and freeze them in zip lock bags along with other smoothie ingredients like nuts, oats, seeds, and other fruits to make your own "smoothie packs".
Have a Carrot Craving?
Use baby carrots, carrot sticks, or shredded carrots to make fast recipes, like carrot side dishes or carrot fries.
Love Baked Sweet Potatoes but Hate the Wait?
Cook in batches on the weekend and reheat during the week. Store in the refrigerator in containers and reheat in toaster oven, microwave, or conventional oven. Sprinkle with cinnamon or drizzle with honey!
High Veggie, High Protein, Low Carb Meals:
Want to eat more high veggie, high protein low-carb meals? Start with these super fast cooking proteins like shrimp or a white fish (like wild cod) and cut into 1-inch chunks, or use pre-cut raw chicken tenders. Each protein takes only about 3 minutes in a hot skillet.
Stock up on canned beans to fill out a meal in a snap. Just remember to drain them well under cold running water before tossing them into salads or your blender for quick dips, or adding them to soup to stretch left-over soup.
Did You Run Low on Tomato Sauce?
Don't have any marinara sauce on hand, but need tomato sauce? If you have canned tomatoes, blend them in a blender with a tablespoon of olive oil and balsamic vinegar along with a 1 garlic clove. Use in your favorite recipe.
Dispense with the Cleanup.
Cook fish and chicken in aluminum foil packets or in parchment paper: less mess, less dishes and moister chicken, and flakier fish.
Contact me to learn other fun and easy ways to improve your and your family's nutrition.