For most people, one of the hardest things about eating healthy is the time is takes to cook. Whether you’re running late to work or running from work to whatever errand or social commitment you have on your calendar, the idea of going home and spending hours slicing and dicing to prepare a meal seems like a nightmare. So, what do you do? You have food delivered, go out to eat, or perhaps you even resort to calling a box of cookies or crackers a meal because, hey – at least you don’t have to cook it.
What you put into your mouth is the biggest component to weight loss. You can run, cycle, lift and yoga all day long, but if your calories are out of control and you’re only eating junk, you’ll never see results.
While healthy meals will always require a little prep work, it is possible to cook a healthy meal in 30 minutes or less. Here are just a few of my favorite fast and healthy options:
Always find yourself in a morning rush? Try pepping your breakfast before bed. This protein-enhanced power breakfast has only five ingredients, takes five minutes to prep, and after an overnight soak in the refrigerator, is ready to grab, go and eat in the morning.
Salmon and Asparagus
There are few fishes more perfect or faster to prepare than salmon. It’s high in protein and full of healthy fat. It also requires minimal prep work, making it an amazing choice for a fast, healthy meal. This healthy meal requires about five ingredients and can be ready in less than 11 minutes!
Simply season with a bit of sea salt and pepper, add 1 ½ tsp. of olive oil, fresh garlic and a squeeze lemon to a skillet and add your salmon. Cook for 1-2 minutes per side (until pink rawness has mostly faded).
For your asparagus, simply wrap in a wet paper towel and microwave for 45 – 60 seconds. Once the salmon and asparagus are cooked, drizzle with olive oil, a dash of salt and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese!
Love chicken parmesan but hate what it does to your waistline? This healthy and delicious swap will have you swearing off pasta for good! This recipe takes only eight ingredients to prepare and can be prepped, cooked and ready to serve in under 20 minutes.
Cacao and Blueberry Protein Smoothie
If you always use the morning rush as a reason to skip breakfast, here’s another quick and healthy meal to help you start your day off right! Gather up:
- 1 cup of almond or coconut milk
- 1 cup Greek yogurt
- 2/3 cup of blueberries
- 1 Tbsp. of raw cacao powder
- 1 tsp. chia seeds
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 6 ice cubes
Pop it all in a blender and blend on high until it’s your perfect consistency.
If you’re one who never has time to cook, a slow cooker is the answer to your prayers! This amazing meal requires only seven ingredients and less than 15 minutes of prep work. Once all ingredients are mixed, simply pop them into the slow cooker and go about your day as it self-cooks for the next six hours.
In the mood for a little Mexican food? This cheesy, spicy casserole has your craving covered! Not only can this meal be prepped and ready in less than 30 minutes, it can also be reheated for a quick, healthy lunch option.
There is no better comfort food than pizza! However, most order-ready pizza is packed with fat and calories and can leave you regretting every bite. Instead of dialing up your favorite delivery, grab the following ingredients from your local grocer:
- Whole wheat pizza dough or wrap of your choice
- Low sugar pizza/marinara sauce
- Part skim Mozzarella cheese
- Turkey peperoni
- Any veggies that you deem pizza worthy!
Apply 2 Tbsp. of pizza/marinara sauce to the pizza dough, sprinkle on your ingredients and pop in the oven for 12-15 minutes. Simple, fast, healthy and insanely delicious!
Sometimes you just HAVE to eat dessert. There’s just something about a gooey, chocolate, sweet treat that feeds your taste buds and your soul! Thanks to this fast and healthy option, you can have dessert any time you want without the lengthy prep time (or guilt). There are only 12 ingredients needed, and in less than 20 minutes – BAM – dessert is served!
So, the next time you’re pressed for time, try some of these fast and fabulous meals in minutes. Not only will they satisfy your need for a quick food fix, they’ll keep you on track with all your healthy weight loss goals! Want more quick and easy recipes? Check out my Cookbook Eat Up & Slim Down or visit the blog here.