Wouldn’t it be great if proper nutrition was quick?
We all know the value of eating healthier foods, most of us even know the basics of the changes that need to be made. Despite this, we still don’t make changes because there is one thing standing in our way. The biggest challenge to healthy eating is the cooking part. After years of attempting to follow well intentioned menu plans and recipes I started to avoid and even dread cooking. People who know me know that I love to cook and am super passionate about food as medicine. The loss of my love for food prep was a sad turn of events indeed.
With some introspection, I realized that it wasn’t cooking or eating yummy food that I didn’t enjoy. What I didn’t love was the time it was taking to cook. One of the biggest obstacles my patients site when they’re trying to change their diet is the time it takes to prepare food. If you’re using a diet as a therapy support it can feel like you’re spending all your time on food and that your life revolves around it. The effects of that can be isolating.
I knew there had to be a better way!
For six months I worked on changing the way that I view food sourcing, cooking and flavouring. My goals were to find a way to:
- enjoy flavour rich, appetizing food and food joy
- spend as little time in the kitchen and grocery shopping as possible and
- nourish my body supremely.
Food prep time wasters:
Once I started looking I found seven key time consuming aspects of the recipes that you’ll commonly find in an online search. These pre-made recipes and meal plans come from very knowledgable people and are nutritious. Unfortunately they overlook the lifestyle time crunch we are all facing:
- Stepwise addition of ingredients
- Too many ingredients in general
- Inability to freeze or store in the fridge and maintain appeal
- Lack of versatility
- Cumbersome ingredients to source
It absolutely doesn’t need to be that hard to cook good food. You’ll see recipes popping up in the future with the goal that they are quick to prepare and even tastier than more labour intensive options.
Easy Peasy Herbed Calamari
Prep time: 15 minutes
- two bags of pre cut frozen calamari
- (substitute fresh calamari if available and/or one bag of wild shrimp if you can find it for variety)
- 2 cups coarsely chopped green herbs
- (parsley is my favourite but a blend of any green herbs will do)
- 1 tsp sea salt or herbed sea salt (to taste)
- 1/2 – 3/4 cup of avocado or olive oil
- Little extra avocado oil if using a pan that isn’t non-stick
- large frying pan and lid
- mini food processor
- cutting board
- chopping knife (sharp knives are a must as they save time and improve output)
- large bowl
- Thaw seafood in a tray overnight in the fridge or in a bowl of cool water 30 minutes before you want to cook, wash and rinse the bowl to use later in the process
- On medium heat, heat frying pan, add avocado oil if needed.
- Add all seafood and cover with lid
- Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring if needed until the seafood is almost done cooking.
- Remove from heat to allow if to finish cooking, fill large bowl with cold water, drain pan of liquid and add seafood to the bowl of cold water to cool it down. When the water warms up drain and fill up again with cool water. This will ensure that your seafood isn’t overcooked.
- Wash and coarsely chop your herbs. Add herbs, salt and oil to your mini food processor and chop until you have a liquid green sauce.
- Drain the seafood in the bowl, add the herb sauce and mix. Throw in the refrigerator and consume within three days. Alternatively you can freeze it wrapped in individual portion sizes.
- My favourite thing is to add this to a salad like in the picture above. I’ve also had it for breakfast and dinner with pre-made squash puree. It could easily be added to many dishes so get creative 🙂 Changing up the herbs will also keep it fresh tasting.