If I had to choose just one tip to give someone that would help “Make Healthy Simple”, it would be this.
Always Be Prepared!
When you are in a relatively chaotic household like ours with lots of after school activities and busy working lives, you are more likely to give in and choose an unhealthy option if you have not stocked up and planned.
Here are some of the ways I ensure there is always something healthy around for myself and the kids.
Meal planning on a Sunday
I do my grocery shopping for the week on a Sunday afternoon, so I take 30 minutes to sit down before I go and plan what we will have for dinner every night of the upcoming week. I also decide on school lunch items and baking for the week, and put all of the ingredients I will need on my shopping list. It also ensures I don’t need to keep going back to the store, where I invariably buy extra items as well!
Stock up on extras
I always make sure I have a good stock of items I can throw in stir fry and salads, or use on a home made pizza sitting in the fridge. Usually this includes sun dried tomatoes, olives, canned chickpeas (its all about making it simple guys), and spinach.
Cooking up a big batch of brown rice once or twice a week and then storing it in the fridge means you always have it there to make a quick healthy lunch or add to your dinner. Often I throw rice, and then a handful of the above mentioned extras into a container to take to work for lunch.
Take advantage of pre – cut items
I know – it’s super lazy and not 100 percent fresh, but our local supermarket has pre cut bags of chunky stir fry veges in the produce section. In a hurry I can make a quick 10 minute stir fry with the rice from above, some tofu for myself, and whatever the rest of the family is having. They also do pre cut pumpkin!
Whenever you can, cook a double batch of dinner so that every second night you don’t have to cook, or you can freeze a couple of meals.
If you know you have a super busy day the next day, pre prepare what you can meal wise the night before.
Which leads me nicely into:
Roasted Red Pepper Pasta Sauce
Tuesdays and Thursdays in our house are always madly busy as straight after work I pick the girls up from school, and Lottie has ballet. We have 20 minutes to get ready including the nightmare job of doing her hair. I am unfortunately a failed ballet mother who after 7 years of twice weekly dance classes still can not get her hair into any kind of resemblance to a ballerina bun.
Ballet finishes at 6.30 and we are straight home and into homework, so dinner needs to be quick and ready.
Last night to make it easier I made this gorgeous Roasted Red Pepper pasta sauce whilst making school lunches, studying and supervising homework. Call me the queen of multi-tasking. Cook it up, shove it in the food processor, and it is ready to go the next night over pasta.
Here is the easy peasy recipe
You will need
2 large red peppers
1 large red onion
4 garlic cloves
Handful fresh basil
50 mls balsamic vinegar mixed with 30 mls olive oil
Ground black pepper
Pre heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius
Cut the peppers in half and cut out the seeds and remove the membranes
Chop the tomatoes and onions into rough quarters
Peel the garlic cloves
Spread the vegetables onto a baking sheet and with a teaspoon sprinkle some of the balsamic/olive oil mix over the veges.
Sprinkle over the salt and pepper
Bake for 40-50 minutes, turning once and re sprinkling oil mixture over the vegetables
Allow to cool for about 5 minutes, and then throw into a food processor
Add in a handful of fresh basil and puree for about 2 or 3 mins until relatively smooth.
Choose a ridiculously cute jar to store it in, and pop in the fridge.
We had ours tonight heated, and served over pasta (gluten free), with a splash of olive oil and some black olives.
The sauce is sweet and smoky at the same time, and goes beautifully with the tart olive taste. Mmmmmmmmmmmm
Question: Give me one tip you would share to help someone be prepared with their healthy eating.