Real. Good. Fud.

and other joys in life

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Quick and Easy

I often get asked what I kinds of things I regularly eat, and where I buy my food.  People who know my passion for healthy, homemade foods sometime think that always means lots of work and lots of money.  I’ll write a separate post on the money situation- and where I buy my food.  For now, I’ll focus on some tips and ideas to incorporate healthy food into your everyday diet… not just on the weekend when you have some extra time.

First and foremost- PLAN!  I could write a whole post on how I do my meal planning, but just think ahead.  And, when you do your grocery shopping, only buy healthy options- what you have in your house is what you will eat.  If you don’t have any canned soup and Cheetos, you probably won’t eat them!  Check out a previous post on more ideas for planning.

For now, I’ll share some recipes to use after you’ve done your planning.

A few great weeknight meals regularly consumed at our house:

Pasta, with pesto made from pureed kale and olive oil, with random vegetables I needed to use up!

Sweet Potato Tuna Melts

Tilapia with Roasted Garlic, Potato, and Kale Crust (you don’t have to roast the garlic- just microwave potatoes and stir in other ingredients).

Whole Chicken– just put it in the crock pot, and use the leftovers all week.

Greens with Carrots, Feta, and Brown Rice (use any cheese, grains and vegetables)

Learn to use what you have, and don’t pressure yourself by thinking every dinner has to be extravagant.  Make a big salad, and use leftovers as toppings.  Toasted sandwiches.  Breakfast for dinner- make a quiche, homemade pancakes and eggs, or French toast.

And finally- get creative.  Use the following ingredients to mix and create something that your family enjoys, depending on what you have available and what your personal preferences are.

Eggs, beans, lentils, leftover meat/chicken/fish

Grains- barley, brown rice, wild rice, quinoa, pasta

Vegetables- onion, garlic, carrots, greens, peppers, broccoli

Use the above Greens with Carrots, Feta, and Brown Rice recipe and play around with it!  Make extra- and use leftovers for tomorrow’s lunch.  You could even stir in some raw greens and avocado, sprinkle with some lemon juice- and there’s a hearty, healthy, and delicious salad.

I leave you with my meal from last night- nothing fancy, whatsoever.  But, practical… easy… I think it took 10 minutes

Saute onions and peppers in coconut oil until just cooked, but still crunchy.

Add spinach and garlic and stir together.

In a separate portion of the pan, or a separate pan… cook an egg (or two, or three…).

Serve your greens, with the egg on top.

I had a protein bar before dinner, so I just ate this with some sweet potato chips (from Food Should Taste Good).  However, serve over some grains, with some leftover chicken, or with a side such as sweet potatoes for a more filling meal.

What are your very favorite, busy night meals?  Or, what tips have saved you from running through a drive through after a long day?



Busy Bodies

Grad school is intense… and working two jobs doesn’t help the matter any.  With that being said, there has not been a whole lot of extreme cooking going on at my house.  Therefore I will be sharing ideas on how to maintain a wholesome and delicious diet with limited time.

The first, most important thing to do is plan! Think about what you will eat this week, stock up, and prep.  That way, there will always be something available, and you won’t find yourself rushing through a drive-thru!  For example, wash and cut up lettuce, spinach, or other greens, onions, peppers, fruit, and whatever else you like on salads.  Make salad dressing Sunday night, or whenever you have a few free minutes.  Each night you can just throw all of these prepared things into a container and there is lunch for tomorrow.

Make extra.  When you do have time to cook something at home, make extra for leftovers!  Put the leftovers in individual glass containers to take for lunch the next day.  Simple!  And/or, freeze the leftovers.  When you are home, but don’t have time to cook something, just grab one of these ‘frozen dinners’ and warm it up.  Viola; a delicious, homemade dinner in no time!

What I’ve been doing a lot of lately is cooking lots of brown rice, and then using it throughout the week for meals.  Just mix in some fresh or frozen veggies, protein if desired, and some herbs/spices!  Here’s a few combo’s I’ve made:

Pasta with olive oil, peas and carrots, sautéed garlic and onions, tomatoes, pepper and tuna.  It’s like a quick, light tuna casserole!

Pasta with pesto and any vegetables.  For the pesto, just puree any fresh herb of choice (basil is the classic, in this picture I used parsley), garlic, pepper and any other spices, and olive oil.

Rice with sautéed onions and garlic, carrots, red peppers, leftover chicken and eggs.  Quick fried rice!

And don’t be afraid to have a dinner-sized salad! You can make about anything into a salad; even use leftover meat and veggies.

Plan ahead and be creative, and time will not get in your way of a real, good dinner!