Eating Healthy When You Have No Time To Cook?

Discussion in 'Let Food Be Your Medicine' started by Mattekat, Jun 15, 2016.

  1. Mattekat

    Mattekat Ice Queen of The North

    I need easy, healthy meal ideas guys!

    So until recently I have always cooked almost every meal I eat. I love cooking and have never minded taking lots of time making meals at the end of the day. I was actually getting my ibs under control too, but life has gotten very very busy now. My summer job is back, my parents are moving and have needed a lot of help from me the last few months (and probably will for a while longer...), my cousin is taking a course right now and has been asking me to take care of the kids a lot... lots of stuff! I have had less and less time to cook and when I do I'm normally exhausted anyways.

    Basically it's been takeout or salads every single night and the last few weeks it's really only been takeout. My ibs is back with a vengeance and my boyfriend is getting a bit chunky (I'm always chunky that doesn't change :p ). He got pretty upset the other day when he couldn't do up a pair of his shorts. We've both been having fun trying all the different restaurants we've always wanted to eat at, but this has got to stooooop!

    So guys, load me up with healthy meal and snack ideas that take little to no time!
  2. My go to foods are prepared in advance and include:

    1) Whey Protein
    2) Frozen Chicken Breast
    3) Mixed Nuts
    4) Granola Bar
    5) Frozen Fish Filet
    6) Hard-Boiled Egg
    7) Peanut Butter

    I make the chicken and fish on the weekends then keep it in a tupperware all week until I run out, then do it again the next weekend. The other stuff is easy to grab or make on the go. I especially recommend the Whey protein!
    2 people like this.
  3. Ashalicious

    Ashalicious Senior Member

    * following topic so I can write my 2 cents in when I get home from the gym this morning.
  4. Meliai

    Meliai Banned

    I buy frozen, pre cut veggies a lot. They're so quick and easy to steam or throw together in a quick stir fry.

    Crock pots are a lifesaver too, even if you dont have time to put together a whole crockpot meal you can throw a couple of chicken breasts in the crockpot in the morning and serve them with whatever in the evening.

    One of my favorite go to healthy quick meals, what i'm making tonight actually, is to simmer chickpeas in tomato sauce for a few minutes with onion, garlic, and herbs, and serve over couscous. Top with parmesan cheese and voila!

    I am in the same boat right now, i havent had a day off work in almost 10 days and I have eaten corn dogs and boxed mac n cheese more times than I would like to admit.
  5. Asmodean

    Asmodean Slo motion rider

    For to go I would say spelt bread sandwiches :-D Just throw some stuff on it you like, some recommendations: tomatos, cheese (they go together as well), banana etc.

    But me myself am actually trying to cut back on bread. It's just so easy for breakfast and lunch...
  6. Ashalicious

    Ashalicious Senior Member

    Veggies are excellent for snacks. I try and keep a plate of cut up veggies in the fridge at all times, so when one of us is feeling peckish, there is something healthy there to eat. Hard boiled eggs also make a great snack - I like to keep hard boiled eggs in my fridge at all times as well.

    For dinners on the fly, I agree with Meliai - your crock pot is your friend! There are so many healthy crock pot recipes, and if there is only two of you eating, then you will definitely have enough leftovers for lunch and/or supper the next day. One of my favorite things to make in my crock pot these days is a vegetarian chickpea coconut curry. I can send you the recipe if you can't find it on google.

    Grilled/oven roasted veggies are an excellent choice as well. If you cut up all your veggies at the beginning of the week, then you shouldn't have too much prep to do on week nights. You'll want to add a protein to that.

    Do you have a large, glass baking dish? You could also make a big crust-less quiche. I like to add spinach, black beans, jalapenos, and a bit of cheese to mine. I usually make enough so there is leftovers for breakfast or lunch the next day.

    If you do HAVE to go out to eat - you could order a burger without the bun and a salad on the side. I've always found this to be a satisfying and guilt free meal. You'll avoid a lot of calories without the bun and fries on the side.

    Sushi is also a healthy option for takeout, if you get the sashimi and salads. The calories really add up if you have 2 or 3 rolls. This is advice I give, but do not take. I am a sushi addict, and when I eat it, I binge on rolls until I have a belly ache. It is a very unhealthy practice, so I try to only do this 1 or 2 times a month.

    Oh, fried brussel sprouts make an excellent side dish, and if you get the frozen ones, there is literally NO prep. Just open the bag, toss them in a pan with a little bit of oil, and fry until cooked. Pair this with a piece of grilled or baked chicken or fish, and you have an incredibly healthy and easy meal. You can also mix a bit of greek yogurt and relish for a healthy, homemade tarter sauce.

    Chicken caesar wraps are another fairly easy meal, if you get the ceasar salad in a bag. All you need to do is cook the chicken, dice it up, toss it in the bag with the salad, shake shake shake, and load it onto a wrap. This used to be my favorite camping meal, back when I was still eating meat.

    Do you like pasta? You could also substitute half of your normal pasta portion for frozen veggies. Just boil the pasta and veggies together and add sauce. I probably make this about once a month, usually when I am feeling really lazy and not wanting to cook.

    I hope this helps. If I think of anything else, I will let you know.

    To add: If you don't have time to even cook the chicken, you can pick up a whole, roasted chicken from safeway and toss it into your salad or eat it with your grilled veggies. When I first went vegetarian and was adjusting to my new diet while still respecting my husbands wish to continue to eat meat, I was buying one or two of those roast chickens a week, and he would just add them to whatever I was cooking. Now, he doesn't mind eating the vegetarian meals I cook, and I usually make him ribs or pork or something in the crock pot, a few days a week.
    1 person likes this.
  7. Mattekat

    Mattekat Ice Queen of The North

    Thank you guys for all the ideas! I'm getting frozen Brussel sprouts asap ash!
    1 person likes this.
  8. Ashalicious

    Ashalicious Senior Member

    Sometimes I even cook them up as a snack....

    If they are too bland for you as is, try adding some crushed walnuts or almonds to them.
  9. Heat

    Heat Smile, it's contagious! :) Lifetime Supporter

    When you do have time do batch cooking and freeze for the times you don't. One thing that I do often when pushed for time is to buy a cooked chicken at the grocer and the make something with that as it cuts out a lot of prep.

    I also find that there are a lot of good recipes on Rachael Rays site for her 30 minute meals. She cuts the time by using some convenience items but the end results are good and it is still better in most cases than take out foods.
    1 person likes this.
  10. Asmodean

    Asmodean Slo motion rider

    I love brussel sprouts and they are terribly good for you too, but I never pictured it as an ideal food when you're in a hurry. But I never get them frozen and pre uhm cut (or what you call it).
  11. Mattekat

    Mattekat Ice Queen of The North

    I actually did up some frozen Brussel sprouts last night and they were awesome. I had pecans so I threw those on them with a bit of mustard/maple syrup/acv sauce and it was sooooooo good!
    1 person likes this.
  12. Mattekat

    Mattekat Ice Queen of The North

    Well I grabbed one of those precooked chickens at the grocery store today and a bag of baby spinach and made the laziest chicken salad ever. There's lots of chicken left for tomorrow too.

    These ideas were really helpful guys! Thanks!
    1 person likes this.
  13. Mattekat

    Mattekat Ice Queen of The North

    I've been perusing the Rachel ray site and I love some of the ideas I'm getting from it! Thanks heat!
  14. Pressed_Rat

    Pressed_Rat Do you even lift, bruh?

    vegetables, chicken, beef, repeat.
  15. Bilby

    Bilby Lifetime Supporter and Freerangertarian Super Moderator

    Try making a casserole to last the week. Cook a batch of brown rice that lasts several days. Always soak brown rice overnight.
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2021
  16. Purple44

    Purple44 Members

    Sometimes during times like this the only workable thing is to do a salad. Mix in half cooked half raw ingredients. Egg chicken anything. A nice recipe is strawberry chicken salad. You can mix a huge portion of n eat it for 5 days as at least a lunch. Helps any?
  17. In a shared kitchen finding the time or enthusiasm/motivation to cook can be daunting.

    I do eat, but I eat things that mostly don't require me to cook anything. Occasionally I make tofu hot on the stove.

    When I need to get something healthy that doesn't necessitate ousting mom from the kitchen, I go to Whole Foods. They have a variety of pre-packed vegan, veggie, and plant-based goodies. So I'll get some quinoa, sushi (w/x fish), or some form of salad (w/x meat).
  18. Vladimir Illich

    Vladimir Illich Lifetime Supporter Lifetime Supporter

    Salad ??? Salad ??? - that's rabbit food !!! - nothing nicer that big plate of Sunday roast (look at the plate before me on my avatar photo) or a large pot of stew and suet dumplings. Then there's Cottage pies, Toad-in-the-hole, Steak & Kidney pudding, Liver,bacon and onion casserole, Fish 'n chips - the list is endless !!!
  19. :D

    Vladimir, that's not healthy, mate. ;)

    Your doctor will have a heart attack... :eek:
  20. Vladimir Illich

    Vladimir Illich Lifetime Supporter Lifetime Supporter

    Its the kind of food I've been eating for the past 69 years, and whilst I do have some medical problems, my digestive system is in top form !!!
    soulcompromise likes this.

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