Easy to Make Healthy Meals
Many people with hectic schedules frequently eat fast food or buy frozen prepared meals to save time. While they may seem convenient, these foods often contain high amounts of fat, salt and chemical preservatives, and have a very low nutritional value. In addition, the cost of prepared meals is much higher than the combined cost of the individual ingredients. With a little planning ahead, it is easy to prepare healthy meals at home. Here are some quick and easy to make healthy meal ideas.
Quick and Easy Stir-Fry
Stir-fry is tasty, nutritious and simple to prepare. Cut up lean beef, pork or skinless, boneless chicken into small, bite-sized pieces. Sauté for a few minutes, then add a variety of chopped vegetables along with some soy sauce and continue to sauté until the meat is thoroughly cooked and the vegetables are tender. Asparagus, bok choy, broccoli, red or green bell peppers, onions, garlic, bean sprouts, snow peas, and ginger are all excellent in stir-fry. For a vegetarian stir-fry use tofu in place of the meat. Stir-fry is frequently served with rice. Start cooking the rice first, and it will be done by the time the stir-fry is ready. To save time, cut up the meat in advance and freeze it in Ziplock bags, then thaw it overnight in the refrigerator.
Easy Healthy Pasta Dishes
Pasta is one of the easiest foods to prepare and it comes in a huge variety of shapes and sizes, as well as whole wheat and gluten free. Simply boil water and cook the pasta until just tender. It can be combined with pasta sauce and precooked meatballs or shrimp, sundried tomatoes, mushrooms or other vegetables, or simply tossed with olive oil and grated parmesan.
Pasta salad is a delicious and healthy summer side dish. Instead of ordinary pasta, quinoa can be substituted to give it a protein boost. Cook the pasta and let it drain and cool. Then add a variety of vegetables such as cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, artichoke hearts, diced red onion, bell peppers, broccoli or olives. Crumbled feta cheese makes a tasty addition to this salad.
Fast and Simple Quesadillas
Quesadillas are an easy to make healthy meal that is a favorite with kids. Simply heat oil in a skillet, place a corn or flour tortilla in the pan and heat until browned. Then lay thinly sliced cheddar cheese on the tortilla and heat until the cheese is melted. Remove from heat, top with shredded lettuce, tomatoes, sliced avocado and salsa, and enjoy. To make a more substantial meal, refried or black beans can be included.
Easy Miso Soup
Miso is a fermented paste usually made from soybeans, but there are also varieties made from barley, buckwheat or rice. It is used as a soup base by simply dissolving one tablespoon of miso per cup of boiling water, more or less to taste. Other ingredients can be added, including green onions, tofu, ginger, noodles, and seaweed such as nori or wakame for an easy to make healthy meal.