Food isn’t always pretty. I rushed these pics after a particularly brutal hill workout to show, once again, that food can be fast, nutritious and delicious! I didn’t even bother to wipe the rim of the plate to make it look pretty for you—this is real life not Instagram!
Arriving home hot and hungry, I chopped up a couple zucchinis and threw them on to a cookie sheet lined with a sheet of parchment paper with some chopped onions, a handful of grape tomatoes (no cutting!), a squidge of olive oil, garlic powder and sea salt. (More proof this is real life, not Instagram: You can see I’m so lazy I couldn’t even be bothered to cut the parchment paper to a reasonable size.) They went into a 400F oven while I put 10-minute quick-cook barley in a pot of water, to which I added some low-sodium vegetable bouillon and chopped onion. No big whoop. I also drained and rinsed a can of cannellini beans and with 5 minutes left of baking, I tossed them on to the pan with the zucchini.
While everything was cooking, I whipped up a salad using vegetables already chopped ahead of time. In the time it would have taken to order a pizza or stand in the ridiculously long line at Chipotle, I had a great dinner on the table.
Here are a few of my tips for healthful meals fast:
• A balanced plate is about half vegetables, a quarter protein and a quarter starch, preferably a starchy vegetable or a whole grain. I start there when meal planning
• Prep vegetables for the week ahead of time: I have a zillion containers full of chopped vegetables, including cucumbers, bell peppers, onions and more, making it easy to throw them into a salad, into cooking grains or on to a roasting pan
• Take flavor shortcuts when you’re short on time! Garlic and onion powder is a fine substitute for chopped fresh garlic in a pinch. Low-sodium stock or bouillon adds fast flavor to cooked grains. Dried herbs add tons of flavor—seeds, too!
Food fast doesn’t have to be fast food! I’d love to hear your food fast formulas—share them here or on Facebook!
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