I love to cook! I know I’m in the minority; only 3 out of 10 Americans actually enjoy cooking. I watch the cooking channel religiously and am constantly searching through Pinterest for new meal ideas. Most weeks I map out all of my meals planning to create wonderful masterpieces, everything from homemade spaghetti to homemade chicken potpie. Then life happens. Meetings go long, my car catches on fire, my dog decides to get into a fight with the tree and I need to take him to the vet; there are so many things that can go not as planned. All of a sudden my plan to make my French onion soup for dinner, which takes a long time in order to be delicious, is shot and I have to figure out something else. The quick option is to get fast food or even better, go out to dinner with my fiancé to enjoy some restaurants delicious cuisine. Either way, my night of healthy eating has now turned into a 1500 to 2000 calories meal. This is definitely not ideal. It often seems that life goes out of its way to sabotage my efforts to have a healthy lifestyle, there has to be another way. Well after thinking about it there definitely is a solution: quick delicious meals that can be prepared in 15 minutes. Now, cooking quick meals does not mean I can once in a while make one of my more involved long cooking meals again but as long as I plan on at least two quick meals a week then whenever my life tries to sabotage my weight loss I can be prepared with a quick meal.
The best part of quick meals is not only that they are quick but also that they are very easy to prepare. So when I am tired or rushed I don’t have to put a lot of thought into the meal. I have been playing around with a variety of “quick meals” and wanted to pass on those that were the most successful.
So here we go:
Lettuce Wraps– I am a big fan of lettuce wraps. They are delicious and low in calories. Here are my two favorite lettuce wraps.
Taco Lettuce Wrap- an altered version of a recipe found on Pinterest
- 1 pound of ground turkey
- 2 Tbsp of olive oil
- 1 can of black beans (drained and rinsed)
- I can of corn (drained)
- I chopped onion
- 1 packet of taco seasoning (if you can go for it try the spicy, it is better for weight loss to eat spicy food)
- I can of green chilies
- Romaine Lettuce
- 1 jalapeno chopped (optional)
- Heat up the olive in the pan
- Brown the meat in the olive oil.
- Add onion and jalapeno cook for two minutes.
- Add the black beans, corn, taco seasoning and green chilies.
- Mix well and heat through.
- Serve using romaine lettuce as the wrap.
Chicken Lettuce Wrap- an altered version of Amy and Marty Wolff’s Recipe
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 lb. ground chicken breast
- 2 tablespoons almond butter
- 2 tablespoons liquid aminos (soy sauce alternative)
- 2 tablespoons low sodium teriyaki sauce
- 1 small can drained water chestnuts
- 1/2 chopped onion (I love onion so I sometimes use a full onion)
- Handful of almonds
- 4-6 leaves romaine lettuce
- In a pan, heat olive oil. Add ground chicken and brown; stir occasionally to separate the meat.
- Add almond butter, liquid aminos; and teriyaki sauce to the chicken until well mixed.
- Add water chestnuts, onion; and almonds.
- After chicken is completely brown, let simmer for about five minutes; stirring every couple of minutes. Uncover and cook until a thick consistency.
- Cool and serve on large lettuce leaves.
- 2 Tbsp of olive oil
- 1 pound of shrimp peeled and deveined
- 1 onion chopped loosely
- 1 sliced green pepper
- 1 sliced red pepper
- 1 cup of water
- 1 packet of taco seasoning (spicy if you can handle it)
- Whole Wheat Tortillas
Toppings: (all optional)
- guacamole (can be purchased prepared or if have more that 15 minutes can be made at home)
- pico di gayo (can be purchased prepared or if have more than 15 minutes can be made at home)
- plain greek yogurt- a healthy alternative to sour cream
- ice berg lettuce chopped
- low-fat shredded cheese of your choice
- Heat up olive oil in pan
- Cook onion and peppers for 5 minutes
- Add shrimp and cook until a bright pink color
- Add water and taco seasoning
- Heat through and scoop into a whole wheat tortilla and top with any toppings you would like.
Roasted Chicken & Mashed Cauliflower (This is the best of two worlds, I still get to cook and the entry is already prepared)
- 1 Head of Cauliflower (chopped up)
- ½ cup of low sodium chicken broth
- 3 cloves of garlic minced
- 3 Tbsp of chopped fresh rosemary
- 2 Tbsp of butter
- 1 Roasted Chicken
- Pepper (to taste)
- Himalayan Salt (to taste)
- Boil a pan of water
- Cook the cauliflower for 10 minutes or until tender with a fork
- Place cauliflower, chicken broth, garlic, rosemary, butter, pepper and salt in food processor
- Process until smooth and creamy
- Serve with roasted Chicken
Spicy Chicken Sandwiches (yes this takes way more than 15 minutes but it is in a crock pot so the only work you have to do takes 15 minutes)
- 1 pound of chicken breast
- 1 bottle of Franks Red Hot
- 1 Packet of Ranch seasoning
- Whole wheat buns
- In crock pot place chicken breast at the bottom
- Cover chicken with Franks Red Hot
- Sprinkle ranch seasoning over top
- Cook on low for 4-6 hours until chicken is cooked through
- Shred Chicken with a fork
- Mix chicken up with the sauce and ranch powder
- Serve on bun!
These are just a few of my easy recipes I have stumbled on. I will continue to post other delicious recipes that I have discovered (or that I have invented myself).
Until next time use your extra time that you don’t spend cooking on something you enjoy, a walk on the beach, playtime with your kids or anything else that will relax you. Now, stay motivated, happy and remember to have fun in your journey to a healthy lifestyle.
Next Blog: Getting healthy with my two best friends