Trainer Haley a.k.a Hales “Healthy Hacks” to provide quick and effective meals in under 20-minutes!
Love it or hate it, cooking food at home is one of the best ways to improve your diet, lose weight, and transform your health.
Yet, as any busy person can attest, whipping up a healthy, nutritious meal at the end of a long day can be time consuming and stressful. However, cooking doesn’t have to be tedious and no joy. Producing healthy meals at home is a lot easier (and quicker!) than you might think.
Skeptic? Keep reading to learn Hales Healthy Hacks to provide quick and effective meals in less than 20-minutes.
Picture this, you come home after a long day, and the only thing that’s on your mind is FOOD. If you don’t have a fast execution plan for dinner, cooking can seem like a daunting task. So what do you do? Order in or go out? Pop a pizza in the oven or mac and cheese in the microwave? Not anymore. Follow some of my simple recipes and secret tricks in my toolkit that helps me get dinner on the table FAST!
Hales Healthy Hacks:
Remember this Trio:
- (1). Choose quick-cooking protein (fish, chicken or lean meats are my faves), (2). a quick-cooking whole grain/carbohydrate source (quinoa, Minute brown/wild rice, sweet potato, baby potatoes) and (3). a vegetable (red pepper, spinach, zucchini, yellow squash, snap peas). You can have a super tasty dinner on the table in as little as 10 minutes if you know how to simply prepare these three things.
Winner, Winner Chicken Dinner:
- Pick-up a rotisserie chicken at the store as a quick, ready-to-eat source of protein. I will slice the chicken onto a big green salad with pumpkin seeds, cranberries and have a quick-cooking carbohydrate source for dinner (sweet potatoes/regular potatoes, rice). Or use it as a base for a pasta dish. Whatever leftovers you have make a healthy chicken salad for lunch.
Here is a salad dressing recipe to help.
Salad dressing recipe:
3/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) or Grapeseed Oil to ¼ cup Apple Cider Vinegar
1 1/2 tbsp. Lemon Juice
1 tbsp. Garlic, minced
2 tsp. Mrs. Dash Lemon Pepper seasoning
Orange Zest, roughly half an orange
This is a simple recipe that will make a big batch so you can keep it in your fridge.
Shop the Frozen Aisle
Stock up on frozen fruit and vegetables. They’re picked and frozen at peak freshness. Their nutrients are comparable to those in fresh produce; and if you’re in a pinch, you can just toss some frozen greens and shrimp into a stir-fry and you’ve got dinner on the table in minutes.
Cheat When You Chop
Dust off your food processor, insert the grating disk and use it to “chop” your veggies. Vegetables can take a significant amount of time to prep and even more time to cook—especially root vegetables. For example, beets take 45 minutes to cook if you steam or boil them, and 1 hour or more in the oven. However, they cook in minutes when they’re grated and sautéed.
By grating beets, parsnips, zucchini, onions and other vegetables in your food processor, you can cut the cooking time in half (not to mention the prep time) by more than half.
Zest For Flavor:
Use seasonings as replacement for salt and sugar. Citrus zest works particularly well when you want to boost flavor without adding calories, fat, sugar or salt. To easily zest lemons or oranges, use either a zester or microplane.
Be a Woman or Man with a Plan:
The best way to make cooking dinner every night easier is to plan ahead for the week, starting with either your vegetables or meats. For example, if you start the planning with a vegetable, while you’re at the grocery store you can think about what you will need to eat in the next day or two, such as spinach or arugula, and what can keep for meals later in the week, such as beets, red pepper, zucchini, or kale.
Once you have a plan for the vegetables, think about your meats, carbohydrates and legumes.