Lately I’m working to simplify healthy meal preparation. As many of you know, over the years I’ve experimented with several different eating styles including vegan and vegetarian. Yet strict adherence to these can require an inordinate amount of work and complicated recipes! I always come back to a basic plan, described best by Michael Pollan: Eat whole foods, mostly plants.
I love to cook and try new things. These days I’m on the hunt for recipes that involve just a few simple ingredients and a short and sweet instruction list. I also love to make extra when possible to ensure leftovers for easy meal prep the next day.
I thought it might be helpful to share what I ate yesterday – because who among us isn’t always looking for healthy meal and snack ideas? While simple, full of good nutrition and without processed foods or added sugar, everything here was filling, satisfying and delicious!
Oatmeal with Fruit (for two)
Measure 2 cups of rolled oats, not quick-cooking
5 organic strawberries, sliced thin (or berries/fruit of choice)
1/2 banana, smashed
1/4 cup raisins
2 tablespoons ground flax
Pinch sea salt, optional
1/4 tablespoon butter, optional
Place oats in a large bowl or pot and cover with filtered water, about 1 inch above oats. Add a pinch of sea salt if desired.
Cook in microwave or stovetop until all water is absorbed and mixture is creamy.
Remove from heat source. Add all remaining ingredients and stir. If too thick add a bit of almond milk to reach desired consistency.
I made Teriyaki Salmon for dinner the night before so we used the last piece of salmon to make a nice salad.
We added a big handful of mixed greens, thin slices of red onion, left-over cubed, roasted butternut squash and 1/2 an apple, chopped.
I also had some leftover caramelized onion that I topped the salad with and then used my favorite homemade balsamic vinaigrette plus salt and pepper. It was both satisfying and delicious; a nice fall salad!
1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1 cup water
1 cup frozen blueberries
1 cup frozen spinach (or raw if you have some)
1/2 frozen banana
1 tablespoon chia seeds or flax
1 Medjool date, optional for added sweetness
1 scoop high-quality protein powder without added sugar, optional
Add milk and water to high-speed blender followed by remaining ingredients. If you like your smoothie super cold, add ice cubes/chips.
I made my own soft tortillas using coconut flour. They’re super easy and healthy but if you don’t have the time you can use corn or whole wheat tortillas. Just be sure to read the label since most products are loaded with undesirable ingredients like hydrogenated oil and preservatives. You’re always safe at Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods.
2 chicken breasts (I bought organic ones at Trader Joe’s)
1/4 cup = 1 Tbs olive oil
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon honey
Juice of 1/2 lime, optional
4 large or 6 small soft tortillas
1 red bell pepper, sliced thin
1 onion, sliced thin
1/2 avocado, sliced
Sea salt and pepper
1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
Prepare the marinade by combining 1/4 cup olive oil with the chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, honey and lime juice. Stir or shake. Set aside.
Measure out the yogurt and place on the counter to take the chill off.
Pound the chicken breast between plastic to about 1/4″ thickness. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Place in a bowl or large ziplock baggie along with the marinade. Refrigerate while preparing the rest of the recipe.
Heat a skillet to medium-high then add about a tablespoon of olive oil. Add the peppers and cook until soft, about 4 minutes. Remove from skillet to a bowl. Repeat above with the onion then set aside in another bowl.
When ready to eat, cook the chicken in the skillet with the marinade on medium heat until completely cooked through and center is no longer pink. Remove from skillet and let cool, then cut into 1/4″ slices.
Assemble the fajitas:
Spread about a tablespoon of hummus on each tortilla. Distribute the onions and peppers evenly then add the chicken slices. Top each with avocado and a dollop of yogurt. If desired, sprinkle lightly with salt, pepper and a bit of chili powder. Fold in half and enjoy!
As a side dish, I tried broccoli rice which I bought at Trader Joes in the vegetable section. So worth a couple extra dollars to avoid the mess of making your own!
Here’s my version of Rice & Beans which could easily be an entire healthy meal. You can add chicken or beef also:
Broccoli Rice & Beans (feeds 3 as a side dish)
2 cups broccoli rice (you can find organic frozen packages at most grocery stores)
1/2 onion, diced
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 bell pepper cut into 1/2″ pieces
2 Tbs olive oil
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
Heat a large skillet with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the peppers and onions. Cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes until slightly softened. Add the broccoli rice and the seasonings. Stir to combine then continue cooking for another 5 minutes or so. Add the beans and 1 tablespoon of olive oil and stir to combine. Cook to heat through. Check for taste and add more seasonings if desired.
Sliced organic strawberries: delicious just as they are!
It’s week two of the Fall Total Wellness Challenge and I’ve challenged myself by abstaining from alcohol. I do often enjoy a glass of red wine with dinner but not this week! Today I drank about 36 ounces of water and then had a grapefruit flavored fizzy water with lunch and dinner. Zero calories total!
As you can see, it takes some thought and mindfulness to stick to a healthy meal plan. But the rewards are many: you’ll feel great, have more energy and take good care of your body – it’s the only one you get!
This Chicken Stir Fry is another easy, healthy favorite.