The most common reasons people give me (and in honesty, the most common excuses I try to give myself) for making bad food choices are “no time” and “no money.”
Where did we get the idea that healthy food has to be expensive and time-consuming? Sure, organic food costs a little more (and I have a post on that one coming soon), and it’s always going to be hard to beat the SHORT-TERM costs of uber-subsidized, hyper-processed fast food nastiness … but tasty, healthy meals can be made in minutes.
Following are a few foods to keep on hand so that when you’re out of time and out of money, you can still make something super-delicious in minutes … buy in bulk when they’re on sale! And at the end, I’ve thrown in a quick recipe I invented tonight, when I got in late after a 3-state day (lots of travel!) and couldn’t face the grocery store!
- Canned Beans of any type, like black beans, kidney beans, white beans, lentils, whatever (but buy ones with no BPA in the cans)!: Added to just about any veggies, create filling, healthy meals in minutes
- Canned Tomatoes (again, no BPA)
- Frozen Veggies: Broccoli, green beans, peas, carrots – whatever you like. Just don’t get the ones with sauces and seasonings added – you’re going to do that yourself, with healthy ingredients!
- Raw Almonds: A meal in itself when you truly have no time … and delicious crushed over salads, etc.
- Quinoa: quick-cooking deliciousness that meshes with just about any flavor, sweet or savory
- Olive Oil: But of course!
- Spices: Start with a good set of the basics, and keep adding new ones when you see them. Go online to find recipes for them, or stir-fry some of those veggies in the freezer and just toss in the spices to see what happens!
Turmeric-Garlic Broccoli & Chickpea Saute with Crisp Red Pepper Strips
Tonight when I got home, I knew I was short on veggie servings for the day, I didn’t want to load up with too much food because it was late, but (as always), I was unwilling to sacrifice taste or texture! So, I grabbed what I had on hand:
- 1 Bag frozen organic broccoli
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- dash of olive oil
- 1/2 can organic chickpeas, drained
- pinch of salt
- 1 tbsp turmeric
- 1/2 medium red pepper, cut in strips
Put about 2 Tbsp of water, a dash of olive oil, and the crushed garlic into a pan, and add the bag of frozen broccoli (mine says it’s three servings, but it’s really just one decent-sized one). Cook about 4-5 minutes until the broccoli is no longer frozen. Add the chickpeas, turmeric, and pinch of salt, and cook until the chickpeas are hot. If you’re like me and love pepper, add some fresh-ground white or black pepper. Serve with cool, crisp red pepper strips.
Serves one, or two as a side dish. Doubles easily. And as always, PLEASE experiment with the measurements and ingredients: cook the red peppers with the broccoli, add onion, throw in a handful of spinach or cherry tomatoes, whatever you have on hand – PLAY with your food!