For many of us with hectic lives, it’s often quicker and easier to heat a frozen dinner or grab a takeout than cook a meal from scratch. But there is a healthy alternative. Preparing food the old fashioned way—at home in your own kitchen does not have to be time consuming or complicated. With some simple guidelines, you can create quick, delicious meals the whole family will enjoy.
Healthy Recipes: Making fast, healthy, and delicious meals
Taking a few minutes to prepare quick and healthy meals gives you more control over what you and your family are eating. Seeking out a variety of healthy recipes and preparing nutritious meals can help prevent many common medical conditions, and engages your senses in a sumptuous world of flavors, textures, aromas, sights, and sounds. It can also be a wonderful way to bring your family together, while helping you save money.
Healthy breakfast recipes
Healthy Breakfast Recipes Many people feel too busy to take 15 minutes for breakfast every day. But this vital first meal of the day gets your metabolism going and gives you energy. People who eat breakfast are less likely to be overweight. Breakfast can be quick, easy, and nutritious. Try starting your day with one of these tasty recipes:
Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal
Cinnamon has many beneficial properties, including a mild anti-inflammatory effect, anti-microbial properties (helps stop the growth of bacteria as well as fungi), and better blood sugar control. It’s also an excellent source of manganese and the smell can boost brain activity.
1/3 cup rolled oats (or steel cut oats*)
2/3 cup liquid (1 cup liquid for steel cut oats*)
1/2 an apple cut into small pieces
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
Dash of salt
Add all ingredients to a small pot.
Bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer and cook until soft, about 5 to 7 minutes (about 20 minutes for steel cut oats*).
* Steel Cut Oats are a much heartier cereal. They have more fiber and nutrients. They have a wonderful, chewy texture and you will stay full longer when you eat steel cut oats.
Healthy lunch recipes
Healthy Lunch Recipes If you have a busy schedule, lunch can often be a rushed meal a takeout eaten at your desk or a quick bite in a diner or restaurant. Health Tips for Today - Healthy Recipes. But with a little planning, it’s easy to prepare a nutritious and tasty lunch yourself. Things like sandwiches or leftovers from a previous dinner can make quick, easy, and healthy lunchtime meals.
Build Your Own Sandwich
Healthy dinner recipes
Healthy Dinner Recipes for many of us dinner is typically the major meal of the day. It can feel overwhelming to come home from work and still need to prepare a meal for yourself and your family. Thankfully, there are a number of ways to make cooking dinner at home quick, easy, tasty, and fun.
First, you can think of the time as an activity that brings the family together. Get the kids involved in helping prepare the meal. They can do things like washing and tearing up vegetables and measuring out ingredients.
Chop vegetables ahead of time over the weekend or on a night when you have more time and energy. Store them in containers in the fridge and use them as needed.
Use a crockpot so that meals are ready when you get home. Health Tips for Today - Healthy Recipes. You can eat right away and use the time after dinner to do other things or plan for tomorrow’s meals.
1 16 oz. can of black beans, mostly drained & mashed until smooth (other beans work, too)
1 egg beaten
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup onion, chopped
1/4 cup low-fat cheese
Dash of salt
1/2 tsp. cumin (optional)
Mix all ingredients together.
Form into patties and place on a slightly greased cookie sheet (or onto a frying pan or skillet).
Broil (or fry) until one side is brown & slightly crisp.
Carefully flip and broil (or fry) the other side until also brown & slightly crisp.
Enjoy with all the usual hamburger fixings.
A healthy diet can include snacks. Some people actually do better when they eat three small meals plus a couple of healthy snacks throughout the day. Healthy snacks can help keep your blood sugar level even, giving you steady energy throughout the day instead of peaks and crashes.
Healthy snack ideas
Be a kid again and enjoy celery with nut butter and a few raisins or cranberries on top.Fruits & Nuts
This wonderful combination provides fiber and protein for a satisfying snack. Have a piece of fresh fruit and a small handful of nuts. A great twist on this one is fruit with nut butter spread on top.
Hummus & veggies
The chickpeas in hummus offer lots of good fiber and protein. It has no cholesterol and is a very fulfilling, tasty snack.
Pop your own light popcorn for a great, tasty snack. You can even be adventurous with spices. Try adding curry, onion powder, or anything else you like after it’s popped.
Plain, low-fat yogurt with fresh fruit mixed in. Using plain yogurt you control how much sweetener you add. Also try adding a dash of vanilla or some cinnamon for different flavors. For a heartier snack add a handful of cereal or granola.
Altering recipes to make your favorite meals healthier
There are many easy ways to alter recipes so that they are healthier while maintaining their wonderful tastes, flavors, and textures. Health Tips for Today - Healthy Recipes.
- Avoid cooking with soy or Worcestershire sauce and products that contain monosodium glutamate (MSG).
- Blot all fried meats on paper towels. Or better yet, try baking instead of frying.
- Buy reduced-fat cheese or use mozzarella, which is naturally lower in fat.
- Choose whole-grain versions of pasta and bread; substitute whole-wheat flour for bleached white flour when you bake.
- Cut the sugar called for in most recipes by 1/3 to 1/2.
- Decrease the meat and increase the vegetables called for in stews and casseroles.
- In recipes calling for milk or cream, substitute reduced fat versions or try using other “milks” such as rice milk, nut milk, or soy milk. Also use low-fat cream cheese, yogurt, and mayo.
- Serve imaginative whole-grain side dishes like bulgur or kasha instead of white rice or pasta. Cook with less fat by using non-stick skillets.
- Sweeten waffles and quick breads with cinnamon, cardamom, vanilla or almond extracts in order to cut the sugar content.
- Try salsa on a baked potato or salad rather than high-fat dressing or butter.
- Unhealthy fats like certain oils, butter, or margarines can usually be cut by 1/3 to 1/2 in recipes. At first try a small reduction and then use less and less over time; you'll hardly notice the difference.
- Use fresh-frozen fruit without added sugar if fresh is unavailable.
- Use garlic or onion powder instead of garlic or onion salt, and use unsalted or low-salt vegetable broths and products.
- You can also use fat substitutes like prune purees and applesauce in baked goods.
Time saving tips for making healthy recipes
What if I just don't have time to cook? Or prepare my lunch? Or eat breakfast? Health Tips for Today - Healthy Recipes. These are common refrains from people who don't realize how easy and fast it can be to prepare your own meals. Start by adding one more meal at home each week. Cooking is like any new skill: it takes a little practice to become competent. So give yourself some leeway. It’s okay to burn the rice or over-cook the veggies. After a few tries it will get easier and quicker. Start out with simple dishes. Cooking doesn't have to be complicated.
- Cook more than you need for one meal. It’s great to have leftovers that can be used for a quick and easy lunch or dinner the next day. Also, when making things like whole grains, cook at least double the amount you need and store it in the fridge to use with other meals.
- Cook simple. Steam or sauté some veggies. Bake a sweet potato. Grill some fish or chicken. Simple cooking is a great way to keep things easy and quick. To make the food more interesting, you can add condiments, spices, and/or dressings to your food when you eat it. Individuals with different preferences can spice up their food in their own unique way. This is great for families.
- Invest in kitchen tools. There are many tools that make cooking easier and save time, such as a rice cooker, crock-pot (slow cooker), immersion blender, and food processor. Some of these devices save you time by cooking while you do other things (rice cooker and crock-pot). Others make it easier and quicker to make things like soups, smoothies, and hummus. If you’re on a budget, you can often find these items at garage sales or second hand stores.
- Prepare food ahead of time. This will allow you to have easy access to items that you can add to your meals. Chop veggies ahead and store them in containers in the fridge. Hard-boil some eggs for breakfast. Package meal-sized portions to grab and take with you for lunch.
- Use a timer. Many things don’t take a lot of preparation time, but need longer to cook. Using a timer allows you to prepare food in a short period of time and then do other things as they cook. For example, it does not take long to wash some root veggies and put them in the oven, or measure, rinse, and throw rice into a pot to cook.
Please read our previous post Health Tips for Today - Basic Fitness
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