Guys, I don’t have time. And I don’t mean it like the ‘I’m just going to lay in bed all day and scroll through social media’ sense. I literally, don’t have time to be whipping three-course meals every day. Or to serve meals that take 2 hours to make. As a full-time, working mom to a busy toddler, any free time I have is used to brush my teeth and wash my hair. However, as busy as I am, I still like to serve my family home-cooked meals as often as possible. So what I do is keep some simple ingredients ready-made that can easily be whipped into healthy meals.
Of course, the initial prep needs to be done, but that is what Sundays are for.
What I have learnt from meal prepping, is that not only can you still eat healthy food, but it doesn’t have to take forever to make. So if you’re keen on finding ways to cut corners, here are some tips and tricks that will keep you healthy… And sane!
So here’s my list of simple ingredients for a quick and easy meal!
Cooked chicken breast
If your household is anything like mine, cooked chicken is definitely a must-have staple to keep in your fridge. There are so many fun meals you can make with chicken breast that don’t require much effort. Examples being
- Chicken Wraps
- Chicken Pasta
- Homemade pizza
- Chicken salad
- Chicken Fried rice
The list obviously goes on, but I’m sure you get the point. And if you needed more convincing, keeping a stash of chicken breast ready to throw into any meal means some healthy protein added to any dish!
Oh and if you’re vegan, just substitute the chicken breast for tofu.
If you don’t keep your fridge stocked with eggs, you’re missing out. What I have found about this versatile food is that you can add it to almost anything for protein and/or some added flavour. Plus, boiled eggs literally take less than 10 minutes to make!
Some of my favourite egg recipes that require simple ingredients include:
- Egg muffins
- Cozido à Portuguesa (an easy Portuguese meal that includes boiled eggs)
- Potato salad
- Eggs in salad
Frozen fruit and vegetables
As a busy millennial, I find it a bit tedious to prepare something green with every meal. Tedious, but that doesn’t mean I don’t do it! Of course, laziness has helped me cut corners, and there is a sharp corner cut here. You see, where I live, I can easily buy frozen veggies that can quickly be steamed in my microwave. I know many people prefer fresh produce, but unless you plan on shopping a few times a week, the veggies might be better conserved in the freezer.
If you’re one of those that always finds the time to give fresh veggies some TLC, definitely add some to the mix.
When it comes to frozen fruits, these are great for smoothies. I generally freeze my spinach right along with the fruits to preserve the freshness for longer. This way, when I want to make smoothies, I always have a bag of greens ready to use.
In case you don’t already know, leftover rice is definitely a thing. Pair that with eggs, soy sauce and whatever else you want to toss in there and you have some fried rice. Of course, this still does require some prep, but
Frozen comfort food (basically a bunch of paired, simple ingredients)
I’ll admit, I snuck this one in here more for the convenience of saving a pretty penny. But on those nights when you just can’t be bothered to whip even the simplest of meals or when you’re craving some junk food, just heat and eat. Not only will it save you money, but it will also be faster than ordering in.
You can do the same with almost any comfort food. Here are some that freeze very well:
- Cookie dough
- Chili con carne
When it comes to freezing your own foods for easy heat and eat, keep in mind there are some things that don’t fare too well once defrosted. This is especially true for foods that include precooked potatoes or contain raw produce (eg.sushi).
And there you have it! You see, eating healthy doesn’t have to take time.
Do you make dinner for your family? If so, what other simple ingredients give you hassle-free meals?
Pssst! Let’s hand on social media!