Welcome my friend, Amy, who always provides great recipes for living fit. Today she is giving us tips on how to eat healthy even when we don’t have time.
Tips for Eating Healthy while Spending Little Time in the Kitchen
My mom and I are working on losing a few pounds before a family member’s wedding this summer. We are concentrating on eating whole foods, limited carbs, no processed food, and no sugar other than fruit. Seems straightforward enough, right? The challenge is she doesn’t like to cook. In fact, she downright hates cooking. It got me thinking, can someone that doesn’t to cook, eat a healthy, whole foods diet? Below are some tips I’ve come up for those who avoid the kitchen and also those who may love the kitchen but have limited time to spend in it.
- Veg Preparation
I admit that I get very excited about having a fridge full of fresh produce. However, I have found after busy work days, my beautiful veggies can often be forgotten about in the crisper. How to avoid such a sad scenario? Wash all the veggies, chop and dice, and place in individual zip lock bags or containers when you get home from the store. This can be baggies of diced bell peppers, chopped squash, and diced green onions. So now that they are in cute containers and ready for your use, what do you do with them?
- Veggie Omelets or scrambled eggs. Add diced green onions and bell peppers to scrambled eggs in the morning.
- Salad preparation. In addition to placing chopped and diced vegetables in containers, I also place olives, artichokes, and chickpeas in individual baggies. That way when I open my fridge, it’s a salad bar waiting to be assembled. For protein on the salad, you can use one of the packets of tuna or salmon. Quick, easy, healthy!
- Grab a bag for a snack. I often cut up summer squash and bell peppers and place in the snack size baggies. These are great to grab in the morning to eat during the day. Another snack idea is to add natural peanut butter to celery that you cut earlier in the week.
2. Pre-made food at markets
Whole Foods is my fast food. When I don’t feel like cooking, I run into Whole Foods to pick up a variety of greens and lean proteins on the hot bar. Dinner – done! Another option is a rotisserie chicken that can be picked up in most grocery stores. Pick up a chicken and some fresh or frozen veggies, a sweet potato that is ready to microwave, and you have dinner ready in less time that it takes to drive through a greasy burger joint.
I buy a rotisserie chicken about once a week and have noticed the later I buy them at night, the cheaper they become. When I get home, I pull apart the chicken and place in a storage container. I eat this chicken for several days alongside with fresh veggies or toss in a salad. One thing to make the chicken more interesting is to try out different mustards or hot sauces to add on top to spice things up.
3. Crock pot
A favorite kitchen appliance for those who don’t cook (and even those that do!). You can throw in the food and let it cook all day while you’re at work and the house will smell wonderful when you arrive home. There are so many recipes for the crock pot that require very little preparation. Google Crock Pot or Slow cooker recipes and you’ll be amazed!
My favorite is salsa chicken. I throw in boneless, skinless chicken breasts and top it with my favorite salsa and a can of diced tomatoes. If you have them around, you can even add frozen corn and a can of black beans. I let it cook on low all day for 8 hours, then take two forks and shred the chicken about 30 minutes before serving. You can eat this alongside fresh vegetables, in tacos, on top of a salad, or over brown rice and black beans. If you are a sour cream lover, add a dollop of plain Greek yogurt. I promise you won’t be able to tell the difference and you’re saving fat and adding the nutritional benefits of greek yogurt.
These are just some of the ideas I have for people that don’t have a lot of time or try to avoid the kitchen. There are a lot of unhealthy ways to eat without cooking, but hopefully some of these tips above helped identify ways to enjoy whole foods with little effort.
Amy Edmonson, CHHC