Healthy cooking suggestions for those with little time
We all have our own excuses on why we aren’t eating better, but the most common reason is a lack of time. Healthy food usually equates with fresh food, which needs to be prepared and cooked properly – when you get in after work the last thing you want to do is start peeling vegetables and de-boning a fish.
We’ve come up with a few cooking tips that can help you to eat well with minimal fuss. No more excuses!
1. Use your microwave
Microwaves are woefully underused when it comes to healthy cooking. But in fact, it is often quicker (much quicker!) and healthier to eschew the oven and cook your meals in a microwave. Make scrambled eggs for breakfast by cracking a couple of eggs into a bowl with a small knob of butter, and heating for around 2 minutes (open the microwave every 30 seconds and mix the eggs with a fork). For dinner, season a salmon fillet, cover it with clingfilm and microwave for 3-4 minutes. Serve with steamed vegetables, which have been blasted in the microwave for around five minutes. Place your chopped vegetables in a bowl, add a little cold water and cover. Stir every two minutes until you’re happy with the consistency.
2. Buy pre-chopped vegetables
There’s no shame in buying pre-peeled or pre-chopped vegetables. Most grocery stores and supermarkets now sell staples such as peeled potatoes and chopped onions. Check out the frozen aisles for more frozen chopped vegetable options, and stock up on tins of chopped tomatoes and pre-soaked beans.
3. Make meals in bulk
Make your cooking time count by preparing your meals in bulk – just cook two or three times more than you need and store the extra portions in the fridge or freezer to enjoy later. This works particularly well for one pot wonders such as chicken casserole, chilli and soups.
4. Plan ahead
Think about tomorrow’s dinner today and get ahead of yourself. Take that steak out of the freezer; marinade that fish; or simply gather all your ingredients together so you’re ready to start cooking as soon as you get home.
5. Invest in time-saving equipment
There are a few kitchen gadgets the time poor cook should not be without.
• A slow cooker is a great way to make delicious, nutritious dishes with minimal effort. Just put all your ingredients into the cooker, set your timer and go to work. By the time you get back, you’ll have a delicious hot casserole waiting for you.
• A good blender is equally indispensable. Choose a model with a glass jug so you can blitz hot soups in it as well as smoothies, sauces, purees, breadcrumbs and anything else you can think of!
• Garlic can be a fiddly (and smelly) ingredient to work with, so get a top of the range garlic crusher which removes the skin as well as preparing your garlic.
• Tupperware is a must have. Store pre-chopped items and leftovers in a good, airtight container, and make your meals last longer.