image.jpg
If you are interested in supporting my writing, please visit my Patreon page to find out how you can donate as little as $1 a month to help keep me afloat: patreon.com/kristenforbes.

I'm a big recipe lover. I enjoy finding a new recipe in a cookbook or online, shopping for the ingredients (okay, I don't actually love that part), and putting together a meal from scratch. I'm also a huge advocate of meal prep. By putting together my meals for the week on Sunday nights, I'm never caught off guard when hunger strikes during the week. I always have something healthy and delicious ready to go. However, there are some weeks when the idea of going through a recipe step by step when there are a million other things going on seems impossible. When those weeks or days strike, I like to fall back on some classic standbys. These are meals that require absolutely no recipe. I just pull an ingredient from one category, another ingredient from another category, and so on. Then I throw it all together. 

IDEAS FOR LEAFY GREENS:
spinach, romaine, kale, arugula, collards

IDEAS FOR VEGGIES:
broccoli, corn, carrots, tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, mushrooms, cucumber, peas, artichokes, asparagus, cauliflower, squash, brussels sprouts, peppers

IDEAS FOR WHOLE GRAINS: 
quinoa, brown rice, whole wheat pasta, couscous, whole wheat bread, whole wheat tortilla, brown rice pasta, polenta

IDEAS FOR PROTEIN: chicken breast, pork tenderloin, scallops, shrimp, tilapia, turkey breast, beans, lentils, tofu, edamame, tempeh, seitan, eggs 

IDEAS FOR HEALTHY FATS: nuts, nut butter, avocado, olive oil, coconut oil, flaxseed, seeds, cheese, Greek yogurt, hummus

IDEAS FOR HEALTHY HOMEMADE DRESSING: vinegar (red wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, apple cider vinegar) plus fat (olive oil, Greek yogurt, tahini) plus extras (lemon juice, dijon, oregano, parsley, soy sauce, Parmesan, garlic powder, pepper)

Salad:
Layer 1: leafy greens
Layer 2: veggies (raw, roasted, grilled, stir-fried)
Layer 3: protein of choice
Layer 4: healthy fat of choice
Layer 5: homemade dressing

image.jpg

Bowl:
Layer 1: whole grain (quinoa, brown rice, whole wheat pasta)
Layer 2: veggies
Layer 3: protein of choice
Layer 4: healthy fat of choice
Layer 5: homeade dressing (tahini, lemon juice, soy sauce)

image.jpg

Wrap: 
Layer 1: whole grain (tortilla)
Layer 2: veggies
Layer 3:  protein of choice
Layer 4: healthy fat of choice
Layer 5: homemade dressing

image.jpg

Pizza:
Layer 1: whole wheat pita or gluten-free crust
Layer 2: veggies
Layer 3: protein of choice
Layer 4: healthy fat of choice
Layer 5: tomato sauce (homemade or store-bought)

image.jpg

Sandwich:
Layer 1: whole wheat bread or gluten-free bread
Layer 2: veggies
Layer 3: protein of choice
Layer 4: healthy fat of choice
Layer 5: homemade dressing

image.jpg

Breakfast: 
Layer 1: oatmeal
Layer 2: fruit
Layer 3: healthy fat of choice (nuts, seeds)

image.jpg

Smoothie: 
Layer 1: base (Greek yogurt, almond milk, silken tofu)
Layer 2: fruit
Layer 3: healthy fat of choice (nuts, seeds)

image.jpg

Simple Snack Ideas:
1: Piece of fruit and handful of nuts or slice of cheese
2: Whole wheat toast with avocado
3: Rice cake with nut butter and berries
4: Veggies and hummus
5: Whole grain tortilla, nut butter and banana

image.jpg

This method of taking something from each category and throwing everything together to create a meal works for more than the categories I've listed here. It works for soups, casseroles, tacos and more. If you're intimidated or annoyed by complicated recipes and it's become an obstacle to healthy eating, consider this your permission slip to ditch the recipes and make your meals your own way. And don't forget the power of herbs and spices. Adding garlic powder, cayenne, chili powder, onion powder, cumin, paprika, basil, thyme, rosemary, mint, parsley and/or pepper to a dish can have a big impact on flavor. 

image.jpg

2 Comments