Who said preparing meals and eating healthy always had to be difficult and time consuming and well, not satisfying?
Read my 5 Steps To Prepare A Healthy, Satisfying Meal in Less Than 15 Minutes and learn the key components of a balanced meal that won't leave you feeling deprived!
Step #1 -Pick Your Protein
Make it an easy protein that's quick to cook and doesn't require a lot of time and energy. Allows search for quality if you can - organic, grass fed, pasture raised etc.
The following examples fit this category:
- Ground beef, bison, chicken, lamb, pork, turkey
- Pre-cooked uncured, nitrite free sausage
- Canned Fish (Tuna, Sardines, Salmon)
Step #2 - Pick Your Seasoning/Add Your Flavor
Sometimes meals don't necessarily need additional flavor, but seasonings can always help make more flavorful. Sometimes the way of adding flavor can also help you accomplish Step #3 - Evaluate Your Healthy Fat.
For example, a healthy dressing, avocado or coconut butter can add flavor and also fit into the healthy fat category.
Here are just some examples of how I add flavor to my meal:
- Sea salt, celtic salt, himalayan salt (never skimp! these salts will help provide your body with trace minerals and help support the adrenals!)
- Coconut aminos (nice light asian flare, soy sauce alternative)
- Fresh garlic (great anti-microbial, adds a ton of flavor)
- Turmeric, curry seasonings
- Italian seasonings (oregano, basil, rosemary)
- Taco seasonings (chili powder, cumin, onion powder, garlic powder)
- Or buy a Taco Seasoning pre-mixed along with Steak Seasoning and Seafood Seasoning at Primal Palate.
Step #3 – Evaluate your healthy fat
Healthy fats are possibly the most common missing meal component I see with my clients. Healthy fats are extremely important in building your meal because they:
- Help keep you satiated
- Promote digestion or movement of food through the intestines
- Building blocks for different hormones (estrogen, testosterone, progesterone etc)
- Help you absorb essential vitamins (A,D,E,K)
- Help food taste good!
I generally recommend at least 1-2 servings of healthy fats. If you have a leaner meat (like chicken or turkey) I say add in 2 servings. Or if you're someone who isn't used to adding in healthy fats, maybe just stick with one.
Examples of different fats include:
- 1/2- 1 Tbs Cooking fat (butter, ghee, coconut oil etc)
- ¼ - ½ Avocado
- 2 Tbs Healthy dressing (Tessamae's, Primal Kitchen or homemade dressing)
- 2-3 Tbs raw sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds
- 1 Tbs coconut butter
Step #4- Throw in Your Vegetable
Again, make it EASY. The following are vegetables that all cook extremely quickly OR require no preparation at all.
Remember, pre-cut vegetables are always an option. Many grocery stores carry pre-cut cabbage or broccoli slaw. Trader joes often has griller packages with pre-cut varieties including asparagus, mushrooms and onions or pre-cut bell peppers.
The following are examples of vegetables that cook quickly or require no prep:
- Collard greens, kale, swiss chard, spinach (cook down quickly, add at the end!)
- Bell Peppers
- Beets (great on a salad raw!)
- Green Beans
- Kohlrabi (great on a salad raw!)
- Sumer squash
- Fermented vegetables (kimchi, sauerkraut)
Step #5 - Evaluate Your Carb
This may be something you end up leaving behind if you're in a time crunch. A carb (like rice, quinoa, sweet potatoes or any carb dense vegetable) generally takes longer to prepare.
In the scenario where you are crunched for time, the carb could be either prepared ahead of time, left out or prepared on the stove while the meat and vegetable cook.
- 1/2 cup - 1 cup brown rice
- 1/2 cup- 1 cup quinoa
- 1 medium sweet potato (2 1/2 x 5")
- 1 cup parsnips, butternut squash
- 1 cup beets
- 1/2 apple
Putting It All Together
The following are examples of some meals that were cooked in 15 minutes! Stay tuned to my blog post for Healthy Recipes Cooked In Less Than 15!
Over Easy Eggs, Green Beans & Collards
Turkey, Butternut, Kale Hash
Healthy Tuna Salad Wrapped in Collards
Asian Ground Turkey, Kimchi, Sauteed Cabbage & Spinach