Create a habit of having healthy wholesome foods ready to go for a quick meal, and you will be less likely to eat take-out or snack on random things until you feel like poo. This doesn't mean you eat like this for every meal. When you have extra time make a point to try a few fancy recipe, or a new local restaurant. But for the days when you can't be bothered throw together a grain bowl, salad, stir-fry or something with the items below.
Once a week prepare the following:
Wash and dry thoroughly. Store so they are ready to be a base for a salad, or tossed into a stir-fry or sauce. Pre-washed greens are a great option for super busy times.
Romaine, mixed lettuces, spinach, arugula, etc.
1. Roast a batch of hearty vegetables which can be tossed into a salad, or reheated on the stovetop with nuts, herbs and a grain for a side dish. Cooked hearty vegetables will keep for a full week in the fridge.
Carrots, sweet potatoes, purple potatoes, Brussel sprouts, kohlrabi, squash.
2. Steam or sauté some lighter or more delicate vegetables for side dishes or salad add-ins.
Green beans, asparagus, zucchini, mushrooms.
3. Raw vegetables are great for adding to salads, or dipping in hummus for a snack. Clean them before storing so that all you have to do when the time comes is chop and eat.
Cucumbers, carrots, jicama, tomato, fennel, avocados.
Prepare a large batch of a whole grain to use as a base for a grain salad, or toss with one of the vegetables you have on hand for a side dish.
Brown, jasmine or basmati rice, farro, couscous, quinoa, wild rice, sourdough bread (veggie loaded sandwich anyone?)
This is a building block of a healthy meal. Keep in mind that a single serving is the size of the palm of your hand. Make several servings at a time so you have leftovers to add to things like salads, soups or to have with one of the sides you will create from the things above.
Hard boiled eggs, roasted whole chicken, smoked salmon, fish, tempeh, hummus
Can be used on a cold salad or warm side dish. Here's a super basic one.
2 tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
1 teaspoon whole grain mustard
Salt + Pepper
Mix all of this together in a jar with a tightly fitting lid.
1/4 C Extra Virgin Olive Oil (maybe a little more)
Slowly pour in the oil, put the lid on and shake until well mixed. I like 1 part ACV to 3 park EVOO, but adjust to taste. Keeps in the cabinet for several weeks.
When working with basic ingredients quality is important. If you put care into the items you choose to buy, you will be excited to cook and eat them! Buy fresh, local and work with seasonal produce when possible. Utilize your freezer to reduce waste. A lot of unfinished veggies can be frozen and used later in smoothies or sauces.