I design meal plans for many of my clients and I’ve noticed that the majority of them have one thing in common with an issue that I’ve had to overcome myself- the need to be able to make quick, healthy evening meals that are enjoyable and satisfying!
You may be a busy parent who has a very short amount of time between getting home and leaving again to ferry your children to their evening activities, or you may have a long commute to and from work and get home ravenous and far too weary to begin a lengthy cooking process. Sound familiar?
Most of us find that for some reason we don’t have either the time or inclination at the end of the working day to spend a huge amount of time or effort making meals. The result can sometimes be that evening meals in the week can be boring, repetitive and less healthy than we would like as we rely on convenience foods or possibly more takeaways than we would like to admit to!
I’ve spent a fair bit of time thinking of ways to overcome this so I thought I’d share my top tips for quick, healthy evening meals with you.
- Don’t be afraid to buy ready to make kits- I love the stir fry kits that you can get in most supermarkets which combine meat with veggies, stir fry sauce and noodles- these make a nice balanced meal in under half an hour!
- Bulk cooking- this is a great idea if you can get round to it, and it doesn’t have to involve spending your entire Sunday’s cooking and freezing meals- if you cook a big meal once per week and cook double portions, you can freeze the rest for the following week! Good meals for this are chilli, bolognaise sauce or my personal favourite- curry!
- Slow cookers- I’ve had many clients ask for healthy slow cooker recipes. If you have a little time in the morning or the evening before these are ideal- stick them on to cook in the morning and your meal is ready and waiting for you when you arrive home in the evening!
- Frozen veggies- This can go way beyond the obligatory bag of frozen peas that we all have lurking in the freezer! Buy ready diced onions, butternut squash chunks, sliced peppers and veggie mixes that can be used to shorten the prep time for a curry, casserole or bolognaise.
- Use eggs- Eggs are quick to cook and healthy- an omelette takes less than 10 minutes to prepare and cook and will make a satisfying evening meal. Just add your favourite fillings!
- Use the microwave- Save time by using the microwave to steam bags of veggies or rice, prepare a jacket potato or heat soup or leftovers.
- Go for the soup and sandwich option. An easy way to make a balanced meal in minutes and especially healthy if you choose a veggie packed soup with wholegrain bread sandwich and a quality protein filling like chicken, egg or cheese.
- Pulses- tinned or frozen pulses contain fibre, protein and iron and they are quick to prepare. Keep it as simple with beans on toast or use lentils or chick peas as a quick way to make a veggie curry or chilli.
- Buy quick to cook but quality meat and fish- supermarkets and local butchers or fishmongers have huge selections of ready to cook meat and fish. Choose marinated salmon, chicken or meats that can be cooked in minutes in the microwave, grilled or oven baked instead of fish fingers, burgers and sausages. Serve with some ready prepared potatoes and veggies for a super-quick evening meal.
If you would like more information on healthy eating meal plans
for the whole family, contact Stanner Nutrition Clinic for further information!