Simplify Cooking - 4 Tips to Make Mealtime Healthy and Easy!
We’ve all been there – you get home from work (or if you’re working from home, you close the laptop) and suddenly, the clock (and the family!) are saying it’s time for dinner. Nothing is planned, no meat is thawed, and you simply look back at your family and say, “I guess we’ll have to eat leftovers…again.”
Making healthy meals often seems overwhelming, but it doesn’t need to be! Healthy meals can actually be super simple if prepared correctly with just a tiny bit of thought and planning (and sometimes even no planning!). Today, I want to provide several tips to help make mealtime less stressful when preparing healthy meals for your family, as well as introduce a new resource I have available to help you in this endeavor.
First up, when it comes to cooking healthy meals, remember this: Keep. It. Simple. Pair a protein with a vegetable and a healthy fat, and you are set!
Most “healthy” recipes seem to have the longest ingredient lists or ingredients you’ve never heard of. While there is a time and place for these recipes, for quick, simple, healthy recipes, keep it basic.
For example, one of my favorite meals in the summer is to pair roasted vegetables with a grilled protein of choice and avocado. Simple, but so good!
To roast vegetables, heat the oven to 400-450 degrees, and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Cut the vegetables of choice into pieces and scatter across the sheet. Drizzle with melted (real) butter or coconut oil, add a layer of salt, and bake 20-40 minutes (depending on the vegetable) or until finished cooking.
Additionally, one of my other favorite simple meals that can come together in less than 20 minutes is a skillet meal. Simply heat a large skillet over medium heat, add a little butter or coconut oil, and toss in diced or sliced vegetables of choice (zucchini, mushrooms, peppers, onion, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, snap peas, etc). Cover and cook the vegetables with a layer of salt on top until slightly tender. Then, add a pound of ground meat of choice, another layer of salt, and cover and cook until the meat is cooked through, about another 8 minutes.
Second, when cooking healthy meals, remember that sea salt is your friend. Foods like fresh meat and vegetables that do not have any salt added really shine when you add salt to the dish you are preparing.
We have been told that excess sodium is bad for us, but when we cook from real, whole food, we can add salt to the meal without as much concern (compared to eating processed foods). Using other spices like basil, thyme, chili powder, cumin, and garlic also help bring amazing flavor to foods.
Next, when you take the time and effort to prepare a healthy meal, why not save yourself some time later as well? Preparing more than you need makes building healthy meals at other times during the day easier.
For example, if you grill most nights in the summer, add another 1-3 servings of protein that can be used for other meals during the week. Or, if you are roasting vegetables, roast more than you need to use later in the week.
Lastly, if you are looking for the simplest of all healthy cooking methods, utilize your slow cooker. The slow cooker makes time your friend and works to transform tough cuts of meat or root vegetables into a delicious meal. Simply add a beef or pork roast or some chicken to the slow cooker, throw in some vegetables (carrots, onion, potatoes, sweet potatoes, peppers, etc), add sea salt and spices, and cook on low anywhere between 6-10 hours (depending on the cut of meat).
If you are looking for more help in learning how to cook simple, healthy, and tasty meals, I’m excited to announce that I am launching a new program that solves this problem – Cooking 101: Real Food Made Simple. ⠀ Throughout the 8 week program, you will learn the various cooking methods that are most helpful when cooking healthy meals made from real, whole food. We’ll explore:⠀ ⠀ Week 1 - Introduction to Cooking⠀ Week 2 - Slow Cooker⠀ Week 3 - Roasted Vegetables⠀ Week 4 - Egg Bakes⠀ Week 5 - Instant Pot⠀ Week 6 - Skillet & Stovetop⠀ Week 7 - Casseroles⠀ Week 8 - Meal Prepping and Planning⠀
As we go through the 8 weeks, you'll learn:
How to build your meals in a healthy format
How to dice and slice to save yourself time in the kitchen
Using the slow cooker to make mealtime super simple
Freezing slow cooker meals for use in the future
How to roast vegetables perfectly
Why the egg bake is one of the best breakfast options out there
How to customize the egg bake to make everyone happy
How to freeze an egg bake for eating later
Using the Instant Pot to cut down on mealtime or prep work
How to prepare meals in 30, 20, or 10 minutes using the skillet
How casseroles can be tasty (even without pasta or a sauce)
How to plan and prep food for a week
Tips for meal planning and prepping
Grocery lists and templates for meal planning
With over 50 recipes and endless customizations that are possible, this program will set you up for success now and going forward.⠀
The program begins on June 15th and is self-paced online. However, this first round of the program will also include weekly emails from me with more information and help to stay on track.
The cost of the program is $129 (the value is close to $500!) and is a true passion project of mine. I learned how to cook healthy meals slowly but surely with lots of trial and error so that now you can do it minus the error!
If you are interested in learning more or would like to sign up, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can get you signed up and ready to go! ⠀ ⠀