Save Time By Cooking Extra
Cooking for Multiple Meals – Healthy Living Made Simple
I love being home and planning, prepping and cooking fresh meals. However, let’s face it, a great life can get full and some days, we simply run out of time.
Over the years, I’ve found a couple tricks that help keep my on task with my healthy lifestyle so that I don’t sabotage my success. This way, a good, healthy, nutritious meal is only minutes away when you are hungry or past your meal time or heading towards HANGRY (When you are so hungry that your lack of food causes you to become angry, frustrated or both.)
Keep your freezer full
On my days at home, I love making soups, stews and veggie burgers. I always make at least a double batch and then I freeze them in individual servings to pull out quick for lunch. Most of my soups are plant based and always gluten free and so versatile. Other family members can always add lean chicken. The soups pair great with a salad, you can also add potato or rice or noodles to make it heartier and boost up the calories.
Always Make Extra – veggies, soup, salad, chicken, rice, quinoa
Whatever you are cooking, make extra! You can either freeze as in the case of soups and veggie burgers or use later on in the week for lunch or repurpose for dinner.
- Are you grilling out tonight? Add some extra chicken to the grill to top off your salad for lunch tomorrow. You could also chop up for chicken salad wrapped in your favorite lettuce leaf.
- Grilling or steaming veggies? Make extra! They will go great on top of a bed of greens or over rice or quinoa.
- Is quinoa or rice on the menu? Make extra! You can always pull out a soup to top it with, or a can of beans and salsa, or even tuna and veganese!
Pack away your leftovers FIRST
This one comes from a conversation I had recently with my friend Nakia. She said even when she makes extra food, her family (she has growing boys of the teenage variety) scarfs it up at dinner!
My solution is before you sit down to dinner, pack a serving or two away for your lunch this week!
Making a dinner salad? While you are building it in a family size bowl, have two side containers right next to it and build two smaller salads along with the larger one. One for dinner tonight, and two for lunch this week!
Fresh is great, but in a pinch, frozen veggies will do
I love fresh veggies and am SO excited to be gardening with our friends Roy and Sandy this year. But some days you run out of time and the garden isn’t ready and you missed the health food store and its two days before the CSA delivers. This is where frozen veggies come in handy for a quick soup, side dish, or stir-fry.
And, frozen spinach, broccoli, onions, and peppers all work great in an egg scramble! Great for breakfast or a mid-morning snack!
Dried beans are great but keep a few canned (BPA Free) on hand.
I love dried beans, but you really have to plan ahead to soak and cook them for most recipes. That’s why it’s helpful to have a pantry with a few different varieties of beans. Chickpeas work great on a salad or roasted for a snack. Lima or black work well with quinoa/rice and salsa!
Meal Replacement Shakes
Perhaps my best tip is to have meal replacement shakes on hand. For me, nothing good comes when I am away from my food for long.
I always have one with me along with a shaker bottle, whether I’m just going out for a quick errand or on the road for a few hours. I usually have water with me as well, but if not, that is usually as close as the nearest gas station.
Here are my standards for a great shake:
- Substantial enough to be a meal replacement (approx. 240+ calories).
- Protein should be a grade 7 undenatured whey (From New Zealand preferably)
- Plant-based shakes should be some combination of pea, hemp, or brown rice protein.
- Low Glycemic
- High Fiber
- Free of gluten and soy
- Contain vitamins and minerals
- Contain ACTIVE enzymes to aid digestion
- No artificial flavoring, coloring, preservatives or chemicals.
- Taste GREAT!
For meatless Monday, gluten free, plant based recipes and more, follow me on Facebook. Visit my photo albums and look for the one title Meatless Monday (there are a few in there that contain meat as well)
To find out more about the shakes and healthy nutritional system I use, contact me now
About the Author
I am a writer and nutrition coach inspiring people to live a life of true health, love, laughter and freedom