By now we have all been schooled on the healthy way to eat. The problem is, between work and extra curricular activities, it ends up being easier to grab something quick and breaking all the healthy eating rules.
By preparing a few key foods at the beginning of the week, fast food can be found right in your own kitchen. There are 5 foods I use for throwing together tasty, healthy meals in minutes. On Sundays, I start a fresh batch of broth. In my pressure cooker or crock pot, I put aromatics, bones if I have them, and plenty of water to cover it all. Cooking this down and seasoning with salt and pepper, I can chill it in the fridge and have a good start for soups, liquid to cook my complex carbs in (more on that below), and even as a quick mug of hot broth to go with my toast in the mornings when I am busy. Homemade broth is first on my list of must have foods to prep.
Here you can choose your favorite. I like quinoa, brown rice, and wheat berries. Any of these makes a hearty base for many recipes. Usually, I make a batch of carbs and layer them in my salad jar. I add salad greens and some protein, for a grab and go meal that can be made ahead of time. Use some of that homemade broth to cook your carbs and add so much more flavor to the recipe.
I know it sounds too good to be true, but if you prep once a week, you will find yourself eating healthier the rest of that week. I chop onions, peppers, celery, carrots, and any other veggies that are in season. By making them all ready to dump into a pan or bowl, it's not nearly as daunting to pull together a meal. Use them in your omelets, in a quick soup, in stir fry and just for eating fresh.
Kale or Cabbage
You are wondering how these two made it on their own, right? Well, both are mainstays of our diet. I grow kale all year in my little greenhouse, and not many days go by that we don't have a serving or two. The trick is to pick and eat kale while it's young. If you do find only large leaves available, just mince them fine and you will love how easily the pieces saute into a recipe. I use cabbage in much the same way. Cutting it up finely, and adding handfuls to anything I have on the stove keeps me full longer, and is so cheap and easy to keep on hand.
Finally, protein. Lean protein can make or break healthy eating. Try cooking a package of chicken breast and keeping it on hand all week for salad and stir fry. Top your quinoa bowl with lightly steamed vegetables and some pre cooked chicken. Add a bit of sesame oil and soy sauce for a hearty but light meal that fills you up fast. Any other proteins work well. I have cooked hamburger, pork, chicken, hard boiled eggs, and tofu ahead of time and then just added it to my meals throughout the week.
This is how I manage my farm and family, without resorting to the drive in or something out of a box for dinners. A little bit of prep on a Sunday morning can make the rest of the week much smoother.