Let’s face it – we are all so busy rushing around that the last thing we want to think about is slaving in the kitchen preparing healthy food. There are times when we just want to grab a quick meal – and takeaways and ready-meals are the obvious choice. But they often come laden with calories, added salt and sugar plus other nasties.
So, it’s worth having a few quick and easy meal ideas up your sleeve.
Here are my go-to convenience foods without the calories:
If you have prawns in the freezer and some wholemeal noodles in the cupboard, it just takes some finely shopped veg – peppers, mushrooms, spring onions, chillies, broccoli, carrots and more to create a stir-fry. Add a splash of soy sauce, chilli sauce or similar, a handful of cashews and you have a healthy meal in minutes.
2. Homemade soup
So easy to make in batches and freeze. Butternut squash with coconut milk and Thai spices, chicken and mixed veg or roasted tomato with balsamic are some of my favourites. Make them into a hearty meal by adding some pulses or serving with slices of fresh, warm multigrain bread – quick, easy and full of great nutrients.
3. Baked potato
An old favourite but so simple and full of fibre. Top with Greek yoghurt and smoked salmon for your omega 3 fix, or home-made baked beans to boost the fibre even more. Sweet potatoes make a delicious change
Eggs were once thought to be unhealthy – but they provide great protein and aren’t the villains we once thought. Sautee some finely chopped veg like onions, mushrooms and tomatoes in a teaspoon of olive oil or butter, add 3 beaten eggs and top with a few pieces of goats cheese or some tinned tuna and cook under a grill for a just a few minutes. As quick as a microwave ready-meal and much more nutritious!
OK, they may take hours to cook but they are super quick to prepare and then can be portioned up and shoved in the freezer ready for a 3 minute defrost, heat and serve with quick prepare grains like cous-cous, ready cooked wholegrain rice or other store-cupboard essentials. I love chicken with roasted veg and tinned tomatoes, beef with onions and mushrooms in red wine or vegetarian options with meaty veg like squash or aubergine.