pasta is the best probably.
Get some whole wheat penne (hollow so less actual pasta then say spaghetti), get a marinara (compare to get lowest cal one), and add some veggies sauteed in a little olive oil and garlic and onion. Enjoy!
For me, the quickest, easiest way to eat healthy is a stir-fry. Why? Because you cook it fast (which is nice when you're coming home from a hard day and you're starving!), so you don't need a lot of oil.
Here's a recipe I make often that's not only packed with flavor (I'm a mint freak), but it's delicious as is, over rice (brown's healthiest) or over spinach (loaded with vitamins).
Savory Jade Chicken
Makes 4 servings
1 tablespoon soy sauce (use low sodium)
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup lightly packed mint leaves
1 red jalapeno chili, thinly sliced
1/4 cup Chinese rice wine, or dry sherry
1 tablespoon chili garlic sauce
2 teaspoons sesame oil
Combine soy sauce and cornstarch in a bowl and mix well. Add chicken and stir to coat. Let stand for 10 minutes.
Place a stir-fry pan over high heat. Add the oil and heat until almost smoking. Add the chicken and chili and stir-fry until chicken is no longer pink in the center, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the wine and chili garlic sauce and cook for 30 seconds.
Add the sesame oil and the mint leaves, remove the pan from the heat and toss to coat.
I hate to cook so I totally empathize with your request for easy recipes. I usually bbq a few chicken breasts at a time so I have a couple of days worth in the frig. I make sliced bbq chicken sandwiches on 40 calorie per slice wheat toast with sliced tomatoes and peppers.
Another quick recipe is to put a wheat tortilla in the oven with a little cheese and some chopped bbq chicken (you can bbq several chicken breasts in advance and even freeze them so you they are ready to go). Total prep time is like 5 minutes.
Some may argue that the microwave is not good for you, but if you are not of that mindset - here's a suggestion.
Pick up a frozen salmon patty, tomatoes and fresh garlic.
Pour a tiny amount of olive oil (tsp) into the bottom of a microwave safe container.
Chop up your tomatoes and your garlic and throw em on top.
Cook your entree for 3-4 minutes.
Chicken and Bean Tortillas
2 cups Cooked white pea beans 500 mL
2 cups diced cooked chicken 500 mL
1 cup medium or hot chunky salsa 250 mL
1 ½ cups grated Monterey Jack or Cheddar Cheese 375 mL
6 10-inch flour tortillas
In a medium bowl, combine the cooked beans, diced chicken, salsa, and cheese. Divide misture between 6 tortillas, placing mixture on the bottom half of the tortilla. Begin to roll (cabbage roll style) tucking the sides as you go. Place seamside down on a non-stick cookie sheet. Bake in a preheated 400 F (200 C) oven for 10-15 minutes or until golden and crispy. Serve with a dollop of light sour cream (optional.)
Energy: 479 kcal
Protein: 31 g
Fat: 15 g
Carbohydrates: 51 g
Dietary Fibre: 4.3 g
(28% calories from fat)
Hi. One basic thing I remember when on the look out for a recipe is to avoid things that say FRY. The moment I see that word, I hunt for something else, because I feel that fried recipes generally tend to have higher calories as opposed to those that cook it some other way.
When I was a law student, someone gave me this recipe and now, I just gave it to Gary Allen, drummer for JJ Cale and former drummer for the Charlie Daniels Band. Get yourself a bag of grated carrots or grate a bag yourself or finely chop. Add some raisins, a little salt and pepper, a tiny bit of mayo, yogurt and/or sour cream, honey, Dole crushed pineapple (drained), some baking coconut if you have it. Let sit in fridge for an hour. It's so great! And you will love your raw veggies.
If you like fast and easy grilled meat, I would suggest getting a Foreman Grill. I had one when I first started cooking for myself and it was a total life-saver. I would marinate a couple of chicken breasts or in the morning before I left for work in olive oil, lemon juice and coarse ground pepper. When I got home I would put them on the Foreman grill until it was cooked (which varied depending on the thickness of the chicken breast). I would usually accompany it with broccoli boiled in chicken stock and seasoned with red pepper and coarse ground pepper and topped with some Parmesan cheese.
If you are looking to learn to cook though, I know I learned from watching the Food Network. Specifically, Rachel Ray's 30 minute meals. Some are not the best, but some of her meals are fabulous and easy. I have three of her cookbooks now! :) Good luck with cooking!
Boil a box of couscous with a splash of olive oil. When done, fluff the couscous with a fork and add a small amount of additional olive oil. Add about 1/4 cup of chopped basil, 1/3 cup of chopped green onion, 1/2 cup of chopped dried apricots, 1/4 cup of de-shelled chopped pistachios, a few sprinkles of cinnamon and nutmeg, and salt and pepper to taste. This is great at home and great for parties! The trick is figuring out the best amount of each ingredient...it's up to you what you like best. You can also substitute the couscous for brown or wild rice to add more fiber.
One thing I do is cooking without addatives. I take a fish fillet out of the freezer, thaw it in the microwave (1/3 power for 1 minute). Place it in a nonstick pan and turn on the burner. I watch it closly and turn it over frequently until both sides start to brown. Cover it and turn off the heat. Wait at least 5 minutes.
Fresh veggies like Broccolli and Carrots can be cut and placed in boiling water for 5 minutes. -
Of coarse, to all these one can add natural flovors like garlic, parsley, tyme, etc.
My favorite one is super fast and easy. All you need is 2Tbsp of high grade pure maple syrup, 2 Tbsp of low sodium soy sauce, and some red pepper flakes. Mix those together and use as a very light glaze over anything from lean pork chops/loin, chicken breasts, or my favorite, fish! Just cook up the meat either on the grill or in a saute pan with a dash of olive oil, and then lightly brush before eating. Add some blanched green beans with a touch of sea-salt and you're good to go! This is one of our super fast and easy recipes we use at least once a week because it something I can trow on and off the stove in maybe 10 minutes.
Try broccoli slaw, chicken, grapes, almonds and a dollop of yogurt. It's a wonderfully quick and healthy take on chicken salad. When you make sandwiches use spinach leaves instead of lettuce and a slice of pear or apple for crunch. Add steamed veggies to your pasta dishes.
Cooking healthy doesn't require a lot of skill -- just mindfulness. A basic approach to meal construction -- a few ounces of lean protein, fresh fruits or veggies and a complex carb -- sets the ground work for your imagination. Feel like chicken tonight? Then boneless breasts rubbed with salt, pepper and a few crushed herbs can be the centerpiece for: stir-fried veggies and brown rice, or lowfat enchiladas or grilled chicken caesar wraps or on and on and on.
As you feel more experienced and confident with the basic kinds of meals, then the fun can begin. Try making a healthy sauce, such as reducing fat-free chicken broth and white wine to half its volume and adding special herb blends to pour over fish or chicken, or make a simple glaze of fruit juice, red wine and a bit of conrstarch cooked in the pan you've sauteed fish or chicken or pork in to nap the plate with. Steamed veggies get sassy with just a touch of low-fat plain yogurt and a couple of shakes of Parmesan cheese. Let us know what kinds of things you like to eat so we can offer more targeted suggestions.
Cut open package of firm tofu with a knife and drain out water. Cut tofu into slices about 3/4 inch thick, and drain on several layers of paper towel. Cover with additional paper towels, and press lightly to dry. Leave to dry for a couple of minutes. Cut slices into cubes. Heat about one tablespoon of olive oil in a nonstick pan, or two tablespoons in an iron frying pan. Fry tofu until it is crispy and brown on at least two sides. Serve immediately with soy sauce for dipping. An alternative dipping sauce is mayonnaise with a little catsup mixed in.
One of my favorite quick and easy meals is roasted salmon and asparagus. Just cover a cookie sheet with foil. Place the salmon on one end of the pan and washed trimmed asparagus on the other. Rub with a little olive oil, salt and pepper and any other herb or spice you like. Roast in a 435 degree oven for 12-15 minutes and dinner is served! You can substitute broccoli crowns or green beans for the asparagus.
I highly recommend Martha Stewart's Everyday Food magazine. It's a little magazine, but packed with recipes that are simple, healthy, and seasonal. There are lots of classics, without all the fancy ingredients you find in some of her other publications.