I am all for an easy life in the kitchen; as a busy working mum, I have very little time for spending hours baking and cooking, as much as I would love too!
I guess when choosing what to eat I am always thinking :
- What is nutritious
- What tastes good
- What is easy to prepare – ideally no more that 15-20 mins
I love food, and luckily for me, I love healthy food – but I also think that is something I have trained my taste buds to like. In my youth, I had a terrible sweet tooth and would happily eat a packet of chocolate biscuits for breakfast – yep! I was pretty bad as a student!
After several illnesses, I have had to really address my diet and I now know what I can and can’t eat if I want to feel well and have lots of energy.
When thinking of a meal or snack I always consider where is the protein (beans, pulses, fish, eggs, cheese or yoghurt, nuts); where are my nutrients (vegetables or salad); which complex carb shall I have (oats, brown rice, sweet potato, quinoa etc.) and where are my healthy fats? (avocado, olive oil, flax oil, oily fish, nuts or seeds).
If I fancy something sweet I always try to go for a natural sweetener like honey, maple syrup or fruit…
I am also vegetarian, so tend to also need to be careful to include plenty of good quality protein into my diet… so here are some easy foods I have found to be my staples during busy times of my life…
Have healthy snacks in your bag/ desk if you don’t have a chance to cook/ or miss a meal-
My favourites are boiled eggs; oatcakes and almond butter; bags of nuts; nuts and dried fruits.
On a Sunday, roast vegetables like aubergines, peppers, beetroot, sweet potato and squash. Steam broccoli and green beans – and keep them all in the fridge. Boil several eggs at once and you can keep them in the fridge for one week – excellent to add to salads for lunch or a teatime snack. Use a handful of each of these; added to green leaves like rocket, watercress and spinach; a packet or puy lentils, some olives, avocados, boiled egg or some oily fish for a super quick lunchtime salad. Drizzle on olive or flax oil to dress. Ready in 5 minutes!
If you only have 15 minutes to make dinner – omelette with steamed vegetables is ideal; or a quick smoked salmon or falafels for a vegan alternative. Roasted sweet potatoes are super quick and delicious. Ready prepared packets of quinoa and lentils can be super helpful ; as can frozen homemade or carton soups.
For a quick snack try oatcakes, almond butter, banana and honey…mmm… delicious
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