There are endless amounts of reasons as to why clean eating works. If you take any other diet like juicing or ones that ask you to ignore certain food groups, why are people so attracted to it?
The simple answer is that they are looking for an “instant hit.” Most people who are after a quick fix don’t want to do any work but reap the rewards.
What is the point in having the best diet if you’re not going to stick to it? If you can’t cook meals on the fly, then there is no point in your trying to eat clean.
That is why this chapter is dedicated to telling us how to cook quick, healthy meals while spending less time doing so. Below are a few tips to help you spend less time preparing.
• Make a lot
Cooking stew or soup, the tip here is to prepare a big batch of it. You can refreeze the rest and take it will only take a few minutes to reheat. It’s a simple way to spend less time cooking.
• Get the Right Equipment
We’re talking quick meals here, so if a recipe asks you to cut plenty of vegetables and you are spending 1hr cutting a carrot, it’s a good idea to invest in the right equipment.
Instead of using a knife, you can use a blender that comes with a variety of cutting options. There is a gadget for any type of manual food prep you can think off.
• Implement Workflows
Now that you have new gadgets, you can begin to think about how you’re going to implement them into your cooking routine. Think about how they can save time and if you need other machines, how they can help.
Keep your tools/gadgets for ease of access and use. The last thing you want to do is spend an hour looking for that one particular blade for your blender.
Have an apron and personal cloth to hand so that you can clean as you go — the last thing you want it to clean up a big mess after your cook.
Always look at improving yourself. If you can do a task quicker next time, remember it and get better.
• Mix it Up a Bit
As our lives are getting busier, commuting is taking hours away from us, and it can be quite challenging to think of what you want to eat. You don’t have to have a big meal at the end of the evening.
Settling for healthy sandwiches may be a better option than wasting time just thinking about what you can eat. Keep it clean and straightforward.
• Stock Your Pantry
If you know someone that loves grocery shopping, consider yourself unfortunate if you’re like most people then you probably hate shopping.
To avoid making mistakes and having a cheat day, it’s recommended that you stock your pantry up will all the necessary ingredients to cook your meal.
This can range from spices & herbs to long life milk, rice, tins of canned food, etc.
• Manage your Time
Preparing big meals that you can eat now and store for later consumption, but you need to make time available. As well as having time to prepare your meals, it’s a good idea that you’ll have enough energy left after cooking.
Not having enough energy will make you feel tired and can only lead to eating junk-food late at night which is a big no. Don’t be strict with yourself at the beginning of your clean eating journey, instead work in gradual steps and take it easy.
• Lean Quick Recipes
There will be times when you fall short on time and not able to cook those meals you’ve been looking forward to so grab your tablet, PC or favorite magazine and look for quick recipes. Learn them inside out, so you always have a backup plan.
Not sure where to look for quick recipes? Don’t worry as the next couple of sections will be able to help you out.
1. Quick Breakfast Meals
Breakfast is considered the most important meal of the day but why spend a lot of time preparing when you can put something together in no time.
Yogurt is healthy with ample amounts of protein and bacteria that is good for your immune system. Don’t just settle for plain yogurt thou.
Add a few nuts and strawberries and if you want to add a little bit of yumminess, add a little honey to it.
• Avocado on Toast
Avocado contains the right amount of healthy fat and fiber which can help you feel less hungry during the morning. Try and use wholegrain bread as much as possible here. It doesn’t get any easier, merely slice half an avocado and lay on toast.
• Scramble Eggs
This is a classic easy dish. Add milk, eggs and a little butter in a frying pan. Although butter does contain fewer calories than needed, the eggs are what provide you with the nutritional values.
There are a wide variety of oats, but the best ones to use are gluten-free oats, you can add a little fruit to make them more delicious.
Tip: Buy frozen fruit, and you can prep three days of oats. Prepare the oats and put into separate dishes. The evening before, add the fruit to the oats and come morning you’ll have a fantastic breakfast.
Grapefruits contain little calories and benefit you by boosting your metabolism and contain a lot of nutrients and vitamins. Simply slice and eat.
2. Quick Lunch Snacks
Keep your lunches minimal as eating a big lunch will leave you with less energy which in turn may cause you to skip dinner and snack later at night. The breakfast options shouldn’t be more than 400 calories, and your lunch will take you safely up to 900 calories. Let’s take a look at these quick and simple taste lunches.
• Chicken Caesar Salad
This may not be something to look forward to, but it can be a healthier option to a subway sandwich. Grab a sliced cooked chicken, a handful of mixed leaves and low-fat Caesar dressing. Chuck a cucumber and tomato on and you’re good to go.
• Egg Salad Sandwich
If you’re looking for something crisp and fresh during the afternoon, an egg salad sandwich can go far. Packed with many nutrients, this is an absolute tasty lunch. Mix hard-boiled egg with light mayo and fresh dill served with a crusty baguette.
• Salsa Topped Eggs
Ditch the chocolate bar for a snack and eat two salsa topped eggs. Boil two eggs cut them in half and scoop out the yellow yolk. Mix the yolk with a little mustard and fill the eggs up. Top with a little ready-made salsa sauce and enjoy.
• Avocado and Bean Paste
A meal that contains healthy snacks should be introduced into your diet at least once a week, and this one is it. Boil a little pasta, cut avocado into little chunks and mix with black beans. Add all ingredients together with a little lemon juice and enjoy.
• Turkey Pepper Sandwiches
This is quite light and should just be used as a snack, but if you feel you can’t eat a steady lunch, then this is for you. Slice up half a bell pepper and wrap the pepper sticks with a turkey slice.
Keep on track with your lunches; keep them light so you’ll be able to enjoy your mealtime later in the evening.
3. Quick Dinner Recipes
If you’ve you have successfully followed the sections for breakfast and lunch; you should have eaten around 900 calories. You’ll be able to eat dinner and still have 500 – 1000 calories left which are great if you want to lose weight.
• Beans on Toast
Let’s get this out the way first. If you’re in a hurry, open a tin of baked bins which is a fantastic source of nutrients and enjoy on a slice of gluten-free brown toast. Add a little cheese to make it a bit more filling.
• Chicken Stir-fry
Grab a selection of vegetables, some spring onions, diced chicken and soy sauce. Gently cook the chicken in soy sauce until brown on both sides. Add the veg, onions and cook until the veg is tender. Serve HOT! Enjoy.
• Salmon and Asparagus
This meal can be cooked with a dash of lemon and garlic in one pan which makes it a no brainer. Hardly any prep is required. Add a little butter to your pan, heat and slowly add asparagus, cook gently then introduce the salmon.
Cook for 4 minutes on each side, add garlic flakes and a little lemon zest for added flavor.
• Steak Salad
You’re allowed to eat steak, in previous chapters it was mentioned to eat what you like in moderation. Steak is healthy. So, whip out that rump, cook it your liking and serve on a bed of leafy greens.
• Chicken and Brown Rice
Go for a full clean, healthy dinner here and steam brown rice till cooked. Add sliced cooked chicken breast and serve with a little veg. Healthy and Fresh!
There is plenty of information on the internet today, but the above little quick recipes will keep have you cooking meals in the fastest time possible.
Remember to be prepared and cook as much of something that you can store for later use. This is the best bit of advice for someone who is eating clean.