Quick, Healthy & Easy Food Ideas
Eating well-balanced can play an important role in our overall mental wellness. We aren’t striving for perfection, but we are striving to eat from all food groups using healthy portions. Pairing proteins with carbs can fill us longer. Striving for 2 servings at least of veggies per day can do us right too!
- English muffin or toast with peanut butter
- Greek yogurt and fruit
- Smoothie using pre-packaged frozen fruit, scoop of protein and your choice of liquid
- Hard boiled eggs (either made in advance or you can even buy them made to save even more time)
- Cereal and milk/almond milk
- Eggs and spinach (spray pan with olive oil, grab a handful of spinach, let that cook down for a 60-90 seconds, crack 2 eggs and mix all together with spatula–takes under 5 min)….add cheese and seasonings if you like!
- Banana and peanut butter
- Turkey sausage/bacon and toast
- Protein bar (so many good ones to choose from) and handful of berries
- Not a breakfast type person? What about meat and veggies? Lunchmeat and cheese roll up? Cucumbers?
- Scoop of protein in your coffee (if you are really strapped for time!)
- Pre-packaged chicken caesar/cobb salad
- Lunch meat & cheese roll-ups and baby carrots (or sandwich/wrap if you have time)
- Tuna salad over spinach/greens with crackers
- Chicken salad (pre-made or bought) with crackers, fruit, and/or cucumber
- Rotisserie chicken in a wrap with greens and side of pretzels/hummus
- Any of the breakfast ideas!! Except for coffee and protein–it’s better to eat actual food for lunch 😉
Sometimes there is no time for lunch and it’s best to graze during the day–especially in the weeks and months postpartum. AND/OR if you are just busy with work, kids and life! Again, snacking and pairing carbs/protein will fill you longer, and also still want to find a way to work some veggies in.
- Banana or apple–with a scoop of peanut butter if you can
- Small greek yogurt with a handful of berries
- Pretzels and almonds
- Crackers and peanut butter
- Pre-cut (bought that way or done in advance) veggies with hummus
- Protein bar
- Slices of turkey or deli meat and a few crackers
- Hard-boiled egg (pre-made or bought) and berries
- A spoonful of peanut butter (some say it’s gross, I think it’s good!)
Ahhhhh dinner. These meal ideas are to be considered EASY and get the job done. When I say easy, I mean 5-10 min of prep and minimal cleanup. WHO HAS TIME for all that during the week? These aren’t exciting, but rather functional and balanced. My suggestion is to pair together a protein, a carb, and a veggie so I have listed my top 5 in each category. Mix, match, and enjoy.
- Salmon: Foil on a baking sheet (for easy cleanup) spray with oil, lay salmon and either spice it up, cut lemon and put on top, or douse in teriyaki sauce: About 20 min on 400.
- Pre-made stuffed or seasoned chicken: Most grocery stores now have pre-packaged fancied-up chicken that all you have to do is throw in the oven.
- Shrimp: Buy frozen shrimp deveined and tail off. Thaw; cook in a pan with butter or olive oil and seasonings for a few minutes until cooked through!
- Rotisserie Chicken: Eat warm; Reheat in oven or microwave. Use bbq, buffalo, or your sauce of choice if desired.
- Pork tenderloin: Cover in your favorite spice (if you did not buy pre-marinated), spray cast iron with olive oil, and heat up the skillet. Cook on med/high heat for 8-10 min per side depending on how you like it done. I usually cook a 1.5lb ish tenderloin for about 14-16 min and it’s med rare. (at least 145 degrees) **You can do the same thing with a flat iron steak**
- Rice–make in the instant pot or rice cooker and make enough for at least 2 dinners. Choose brown or white. Eat it plain, with salt, add seasoning (greek seasoning-fav) or sauce (like soy/teriyaki). Best used as side, in a bowl, under a protein with sauce.
- Farro–also make in instant pot and can do same as above to dress it up
- Bread–can we get any easier? Italian bread, sourdough bread, french bread, whatever looks good at grocery store bakery….. with olive oil or butter and garlic.
- Potatoes-small gold yukon gold potatoes, cut in half, toss in olive oil, spread on pan, add seasonings and cook on 425 for about 30 minutes (can do similar with sweet potatoes–IF I have time I like to cut them so they look like fries)
- Pasta–Easy. Mix with olive oil, red sauce, or butter. Choose between regular pasta, whole grain, chickpea, or black bean spaghetti (black bean is best solely with olive oil and seasonings)
- Asparagus: Rinse, snap ends, and roast in oven on 400 10-15 min with olive oil and seasonings
- Broccoli/Cauliflower: Buy the washed and pre-cut (bagged) for ease of prep and roast in oven on 400 with olive oil and seasonings (10-15 min)
- Brussel sprouts: Buy the sliced and seasoned if they have it. At minimum I look for the halved so all I have to do is throw in the oven on 400 with olive oil and seasonings! (15-20 min)
- Raw veggies: Spend 5-10 min to cut up a ton of raw veggies like carrots, peppers, cucumber and celery. Good for easy dinner side and snacks/lunches the next day.
- Salad: EASY–bagged salad with a few toppings.
Salmon and asparagus prep is probably 5 min and then it’s going straight in the oven. Rice will be pre made to be re- heated on stovetop/microwave (butter and water help) or fresh out of instant pot.
- Stuffed chicken/Broccoli/Bread
Broccoli prep is a few min along with getting the stuffed chicken on a tray to throw in oven. Bread also is minimal. Easy cleanup!
- Shrimp, Pasta, Salad
The best is to take out the shrimp the day before so it’s completely thawed by the time you are ready. Get the pasta in first, assemble salad, then when pasta is done, cook up the shrimp. Use favorite red sauce or olive oil. Easy peasy.
- Pork loin/Potatoes, Brussel sprouts
Take pork out of fridge 30 min prior to bring up to room temp. When ready to start prep: cut potatoes and assemble on tray with olive oil/seasonings, put in oven followed by the brussels about 10 min later. Then cook pork loin. This might take a few extra minutes but also typically provides leftovers (hello lunch!)
- Rotisserie Chicken/Raw Veg/Farro
Pull out your pre-made farro or pop some in the instant pot. Heat up your grocery store rotisserie while you cut some veggies (cut extra for snacks/lunch). Use seasonings or sauces to dress up your chicken and farro. Voila!
Mix, match, and enjoy from my kitchen to yours,