How To Prepare A Healthy Meal In 15 Minutes
Having a few favourite quick ‘n easy go-to meals for when you’re short on time, inspiration and energy is an essential success building block to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. These take the same amount of time that it’d take you to choose, place and wait for your take-away order. Make it easier to stick to your healthy habits by having a few favourites up your sleeve. Complicated meals are not necessary. Let’s face it, whether you’re used to preparing all your meals from scratch or you’re in the process of transitioning away from your customary pre-packaged foods, the motivation to think about and prepare a meal just isn’t always there. Such is life.
My number one tip is to make friends with menu planning. This may sound like a time-eater to you now, but give it a go and you will be amazed at how much time and brain cells you save wondering what to prepare next.
Before we go any further, I must clarify that I’m a qualified nutritionist but I’m certainly no master chef. Nor do I like to spend more than 15-30 minutes in the kitchen preparing a meal. Here are some of my favourite go-to meals after a long day or when the sun’s waiting for us to get out there:
Basic method: prepare a grain base (millet, quinoa, buckwheat are my favourites), add whatever vegetables, herbs, spices you have. Whip up a dressing or just add olive oil or just tamari.
Buckwheat Noodles – 15 minutes
- Put water in a saucepan on to boil. During this time chop some mushrooms. Open a tin of coconut milk. Chop some sun-dried tomatoes
- Add buckwheat (or rice) noodles to boiling water. Whilst cooking lightly fry mushrooms in coconut oil. Add the coconut milk once the mushrooms are done
- Take mushrooms off the heat. Add sun-dried tomatoes. Add a spoonful of umboshi plum paste. Add drained noodles
- Sprinkle pepper. Add a sprig of parsley or coriander
Buddha Bowl – max 15 minutes
- Cook up some rice, quinoa, millet, buckwhat or (gluten-free) pasta
- Add all sorts of chopped veggies, whatever you have (frozen veggies allowed). Steam/sautee the vegetables = optional. Add fresh herbs if you have them. Add your choice of chopped garlic, onion, ginger
- Make a dressing with whatever you have (or just tamari), e.g olive oil, apple cider vinegar, tahini, lemon. Add your choice of spices, herbs, coconut oil. The sky’s the limit!
Stir Fry – 15 minutes (with or without grain, if you use enough veggies I find it’s enough without)
- Put your grain of choice on to cook (rice, millet, quinoa, buckwheat)
- Chop up a ton of various veggies including green leaves, onion, garlic
- In your pre-heated wok fry (in ghee or coconut oil) the onion, herbs of choice. Add the veggies. Add garlic and green leaves at the end. Sprinkle of tamari.
- Drain the grains, add to the wok for a couple of minutes. Top with sesame seeds.
Raw Sprout Plate – 5-10 minutes (requires that you have sprouts on hand)
- Salad leaves/baby spinachtopped with your choice of sprouted chickpeas, mung beans, lentils
- Add a selection of chopped raw vegetables, avocado
- Add nuts/seeds
- Make up a dressing as above
If you don’t have sprouts on hand, you can also just make a big mixed salad, eggs optional.
How about a big platter of roasted vegetables, once you’ve chopped and placed them in the oven you are free to get on with another task whilst they cook. I like to add coconut butter, onion, garlic to the roasted vege platter.
These are really simple meals. My theory is just mix and match, be brave, as long as you like all the ingredients going in there it’ll turn out great 9 times out of 10! Creating delicious meals does not have to take up copious amounts of time or resources. Keep it simple. Keep it easy. Keep it practical. Keep it enjoyable.
What’s your number 1 go-to meal when you’re short on time and imagination?…or do you panic and run for the take-away?