This is the time of year when my meal planning falls apart. I have the best intentions but when dinner-making time rolls around, I want something that takes 5 minutes. There is just so much else to do (and as much as I enjoy cooking, I prefer holiday gift shopping, wrapping and gingerbread-people-making.)
I need a go-to list of some healthy, fast options when I’m in a rush. These are a few of my favorites:
The name sounds fancy but don’t let that intimate you. If you have a pan that can go on the stove top and in the oven (cast iron is ideal) this comes together in no time. If you don’t, you can let the whole thing set with a lid over low heat on the stove.
Start by scrambling any veggies you have on hand (shortcut: use frozen onions/peppers or broccoli and spinach). Add 6-8 eggs, whisked and sprinkle with salt, pepper and cheese. Let the bottom set on the stove top and then broil it for 2-3 minutes to brown the top. Delish! (Full recipe here.)
Easy Coconut Curry
Have you ever tried the recipe off the curry paste jar? Do it. This meal also comes together in 10 minutes and the sauce combo of coconut milk, curry paste and a dash of fish sauce is amazingly delicious.
You can use strips of frozen chicken, pork, beef, shrimp or tofu and throw in any fresh or frozen veggies. The combinations are endless.
Or add roasted squash, like in this curry:
We like to make big batches of pesto in the summertime and freeze it in ice cube trays, then store in freezer bags. Trader Joes also has jars of pesto you can keep in your cupboard for a last minute meal.
We like to throw it over pasta (or black bean pasta or spaghetti squash) with shredded or sauteed veggies and parmesan cheese. Fast and good.
Or try this Spinach Avocado Pesto:
There are endless recipes for stir frys but it can be so simple. Our go-to 5 minute stir fry is to melt a few tablespoons of coconut oil, saute the meat or tofu and veggies, then add a few tablespoons of soy sauce and serve over anything… rice, baked potatoes (shortcut- use the microwave!), quinoa, etc.
For more spice, add fresh ginger and fresh garlic for the last few minutes and sprinkle with crushed red pepper or hot sauce.
Bean or Fish Tacos
We don’t use a lot of canned food but refried beans are handy for a last minute meal. I try to keep tortillas in the freezer (homemade or not) for a throw together taco dish. Warm the beans and tortillas and set out salsa, shredded cheese, greens, olives, yogurt or sour cream, scallions or whatever you have on hand.
Not a bean fan? Keep frozen white fish on hand for easy tacos instead. Saute them in a bit of olive oil and squeeze half a fresh lime, salt, pepper and a dash of chili powder over them.
Or use pesto in place of the cilantro sauce in this easy recipe:
Salmon, Sweet Potato and Asparagus
Salmon and asparagus store well in the freezer and sweet potatoes keep for weeks. This can be an easy last minute meal. Salmon can even be baked frozen if you forget to thaw it in the morning. And I love Trader Joes frozen asparagus. We saute it in a little olive oil and it holds the texture much better that I would have expected. Sweet potatoes can be cooked in the over for an hour, or 5 minutes in the microwave.
Of course, you can keep it really simple with scrambled eggs or canned soup for dinner. Or teach your kids to cook. I’m looking forward to that day!
We’ll use some of these recipes in the 21 day clean eating and mindfulness challenge. There are still a few spots left to join us in January!
What are your go to easy, healthy meals?
Does cooking get less priority during the holiday prep time in your house?