It’s no secret that leading a busy lifestyle can be both rewarding and challenging at the same time. On one hand, you may feel more productive and fulfilled by all you manage to accomplish in a day. But on the other hand, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed by everything on your plate, and find yourself struggling to maintain a healthy and balanced diet. Let’s be honest – you have neither the time nor the energy to spend over 20 minutes cooking a meal on workdays, and that can easily make you feel stuck making the same three dishes over and again. If this sounds like you, don’t worry – you’re not alone, and there are a few tips that can help you prep quick and healthy meals in no time.
1. Prep Ahead Of Time
This may seem like an obvious one, but it’s worth mentioning nonetheless. If you’re short on time, the last thing you want to do is spend valuable minutes chopping vegetables or measuring out spices when you could be cooking. To make things as quick and easy as possible, try to have all of your ingredients ready ahead of time. This means doing things like chopping vegetables in advance, portioning out different ingredients to fit your meal, and even cooking rice or pasta ahead of time so it’s ready to go when you need it. And don’t forget – if you’re really short on time, you can have a perfectly balanced meal consisting of just smoothies made out of fruits and veggies. There are even smoothie kits you can get – flash-frozen fruits and veggies that have been pre-portioned out and are ready to be blended up into a delicious smoothie in no time.
2. Make A Plan Before You Start Cooking
Another way to save time in the kitchen is to make a plan before you even start cooking. This means knowing exactly what you’re going to make for each meal and making sure you have all the ingredients and supplies you need on hand. Not only that but also consider the meal itself – how can you optimize your cooking to make it as fast as possible each time? Plan out your cooking so that you’re always multitasking – the thing that takes the longest to cook should already be on the stove while you’re preparing the rest of the meal. That way, you can have a delicious and healthy meal on the table in no time at all. Ideally, this will also help you ensure that you use fewer pots and pans, which means fewer dishes to wash at the end of the meal. Once you have a plan, cooking will be much quicker and easier because you won’t have to stop and think about what you’re doing – you’ll already know what to do next.
3. Find Quick And Easy Recipes
There’s no denying that a hearty stew or homemade lasagna can be incredibly satisfying – but let’s face it, those meals are not exactly quick or easy to make. When you’re short on time, it’s important to find recipes that are both quick and easy to make while still being delicious. Luckily, there are plenty of cheat meal options that will let you enjoy all the flavors you miss without putting in so much effort. Opting for canned foods can sometimes make a great substitute for fresh ingredients, and using pre-made dough can help you make things like pizza or pies in a fraction of the time. And when all else fails, there’s always the option of simply looking up quick and healthy meals online, and you’re sure to find something that you’ll love.
4. Utilize Leftovers To Create New Meals
The best way to prep for easy and fast cooking is to use all of your ingredients wisely, and as already mentioned – make batches where you can. Most cooked foods can last 100 hours when properly placed in an airtight container in the fridge, so if you have leftovers from a previous meal, don’t throw them out or forget about them – utilize them. You can easily turn last night’s dinner into tonight’s lunch by simply adding what you have to an easy vegetable mix or omelet. If you have a bit more time, you can also turn leftovers into new meals altogether. For example, cooked chicken can be shredded and used in a variety of dishes, like tacos, salads, or pasta.
You need to keep your energy levels high in order to enjoy a busy lifestyle, and a healthy diet is a key to that. With these 4 simple tips, you can make sure that you’re always eating quick and healthy meals, even when you’re short on time. Just remember to do prep on days when you have more time, make a plan for how you’ll cook the dishes, find quick and easy recipes, and utilize leftovers wisely, and you’ll be well on your way to success!