This is the time of year when my meal planning falls apart. I have the best intentions but when dinner-making time rolls around, I want something that takes 5 minutes.
There is just so much else to do (and as much as I enjoy cooking, I prefer holiday gift shopping, wrapping and gingerbread-people-making.)
I need a go-to list of some healthy, fast options when I'm in a rush. These are a few of my favorites:
The name sounds fancy but don't let that intimate you. If you have a pan that can go on the stove top and in the oven (cast iron is ideal) this comes together in no time. If you don't, you can let the whole thing set with a lid over low heat on the stove.
Start by sauteing any veggies you have on hand (shortcut: use frozen onions/peppers or broccoli and spinach). Add 6-8 whisked eggs and sprinkle with sea salt, pepper and (optional) cheese. Let the bottom set on the stove top and then broil it for 2-3 minutes to brown the top. Delish! (Full recipe here.)
Easy Coconut Curry
Have you ever tried the recipe off the small Thai Kitchen green or red curry paste jar?
Do it. This meal also comes together in 10 minutes and the sauce combo of coconut milk, curry paste and a dash of fish sauce is amazingly delicious.
You can use strips of frozen chicken, pork, beef, shrimp or tofu and throw in any fresh or frozen veggies. The combinations are endless.
We like to make big batches of pesto in the summertime and freeze it in ice cube trays, then store in freezer bags. Trader Joes also has jars of pesto you can keep in your cupboard for a last minute meal.
We like to throw it over brown rice pasta (or black bean pasta or spaghetti squash) with shredded or sauteed veggies and parmesan cheese. Fast and good.
There are endless recipes for stir fry but it can be so simple. Our go-to 5 minute stir fry is to melt a few tablespoons of coconut oil, saute the meat or tofu and veggies, sprinkle with 1/2 tsp ground ginger and garlic, then add a few tablespoons of soy sauce (coconut aminos are a great, healthier alternative) and serve over anything... rice, baked potatoes (shortcut- use the microwave!), quinoa, etc.
For more spice, add fresh ginger and sprinkle with crushed red pepper or hot sauce.
Bean or Fish Tacos
We don't use a lot of canned food but refried beans are handy for a last minute meal. I try to keep tortillas on hand for a throw together taco dish. Warm the beans and tortillas and set out salsa, shredded cheese, greens, olives, scallions, guacamole or whatever you have on hand.
Not a bean fan? White fish from the freezer can quickly be sauteed for easy tacos instead. Saute them in a bit of olive oil and squeeze half a fresh lime, salt, pepper and a dash of chili powder over them.
Or use pesto in place of the cilantro sauce in this easy recipe.
Salmon, Sweet Potato and Asparagus
Salmon and asparagus store well in the freezer and sweet potatoes keep for weeks. This can be an easy last minute meal.
Salmon can even be baked frozen if you forget to thaw it in the morning. For a last minute veggie, we saute frozen asparagus in a little olive oil and it holds the texture much better that I would have expected. Sweet potatoes can be cooked in the oven for an hour, or 5 minutes in the microwave.
Of course, you can keep it really simple with scrambled eggs or canned soup for dinner. Or teach your kids to cook. I'm looking forward to that day!
I'm putting together my annual January reset. Stay tuned for more details soon!
In the meantime, the ongoing 90/10 Clean eating community takes on one small challenge each week. If you're looking for extra accountability, join us on Facebook!
What are your go to easy, healthy meals?
Does cooking get less priority during the holiday prep time in your house?