In today’s fast-paced world, most people lead hectic lifestyles, because of which many of us have unhealthy eating habits. Several working mothers find almost no time to cook healthy and nutritious meals, mainly because they are busy juggling between a demanding career, home and the family. Hence, fast food, junk food, takeaway meals and instant meals have become a regular feature in most of our diets. Many men, women and children do not even get one nutritious homemade meal, because they are in the habit of skipping breakfast, eat lunch at a fast food joint or a cafeteria and then, eat instant food for dinner. While such meals may keep you full for the time being, they are generally very high in calories, fat, sugar, sodium or preservatives, all of which are could be harmful if consumed in excess.
Hence, their nutritional value is relatively low, as they barely contain any vitamins, minerals or other essential nutrients. Such unhealthy quick meals are bound to take their toll on your health in the long run. Some of the health problems that can affect you, due to excess consumption of such meals include diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, risks of strokes and cardiovascular diseases.
Fortunately, these health problems can be avoided by making a few dietary changes, i.e., by switching over to home cooked and healthy food. This does not mean that a person needs to spend hour in the kitchen, preparing three square meals. As long as leftover food is preserved properly, by being placed in an airtight container that is kept in the refrigerator without much delay, it can be reused in other meals too. In fact, several people are in the habit of cooking larger quantities mainly so that the leftovers can be used in other food, which is the perfect recipe for healthy quick meals. Another point to be kept in mind that not all healthy food takes hours to prepare or cook. Quite a few quick easy meals and recipes are very tasty and highly nutritious. In fact, overcooked food is considerably lower in nutritional value as compared to food that is cooked just right, or is in its raw form. Hence, some of the healthiest recipes can take no more than 30 to 40 minutes to prepare. Contrary to what many people believe, not all healthy food needs to be expensive. Fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices are packed with nutrients, yet are a lot easier on the pocket, as compared to prepackaged or junk food. Recipes for healthy, easy, cheap & quick meals are easily available through various resources, such as cookbooks as well as online resources.
Quick Meals for Kids
It is a well-known fact that most children are picky eaters and therefore, parents generally avoid slaving for hours just to prepare a healthy meal which their children may turn their face down at. Therefore, given below is an example of healthy, but quick meals for toddlers and children:
Chicken Fingers with Baked French Fries:
Chicken is a great source of protein and is generally preferred by many children. However, to make chicken more interesting, it can be incorporated in a child-friendly recipe. Most toddlers and children prefer to eat foods that they can feed themselves easily, which is why both the main ingredients in this recipe are a hit with them.
- 4 Chicken breasts, boneless and skinless, cut into strips or fingers
- 4 medium sized potatoes, cut into wedges or strips
- 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
- 4 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon basil
- Salt to taste
- Preheat a broiler for the chicken as well as an oven and grease a baking sheet or dish
- Mix the basil and the salt and sprinkle them, like seasoning, over the chicken fingers
- Take a medium sized bowl and in it, combine the lemon juice, the soy sauce as well as half the oil (2 tablespoons).
- Place the chicken pieces in the bowl and coat them well with the sauce. Keep the chicken aside for a few minutes
- In another bowl, toss the potato strips well, with the remaining olive oil and then place them on a baking sheet, in one single layer
- Bake the fires in the oven, till they are cooked, which should take around 20 to 30 minutes. Stir them continuously, so that they do not get burned.
- Place the chicken fingers on a broiler rack, and broil the strips for around 10 to 15 minutes.
- Place both the food items on a plate and serve it to the child
Quick Meals for Dinner
At the end of a long an tiring day, no one wants to spend hours in the kitchen, just to put a meal together. Some people look for simple quick meals for two, whereas others may cook for larger families. People living on their own may also make an attempt to cook just for themselves, which is why quick meals for one recipes are also quite popular.
Pesto Turkey and Pasta
All the ingredients in this meal cook quite fast and therefore, this recipe can be executed in 20 minutes. Using leftover roast turkey is the ideal time to make this quick meal.
- 3 Cups bow-tie pasta
- 2 Cups of turkey breasts, cooked and diced
- ½ Cup bell peppers, chopped
- ½ Cup basil pesto
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- Salt to taste
- Boil the pasta and drain it, as directed on the package
- In a wok, heat the oil and add the pasta as well as all the other ingredients.
- Cook the pasta on a low flame for a few minutes, before serving it
Quick Meals With Chicken
Chicken is regarded as a key ingredient that is a part of most low fat quick meals which contain a low amount of carbs. It is also possible to whip up several low calorie quick meals which contain chicken
Vegetable and Chicken Stir Fry
This recipe contains several healthy ingredients, mainly vegetables. Since chicken cooks quite fast, this recipe can be prepared in 15 minutes. However, this recipe can also be modified to include other forms of meat, for those people who are looking for quick meals with ground beef. In fact, meat can be replaced with tofu or tempeh in case of those who are interested in vegetarian quick meals.
- 1 Pound chicken, skinless and boneless, diced
- 3 cups of assorted vegetables
- ½ cup stir fry sauce
- 2 cloves of garlic, chopped finely
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
The quick meals recipes mentioned above are quite safe, but only as long as the ingredients are fresh and the recipe is followed correctly. Moreover, it is best to consult a dietician or a nutritionist before using any of them; this is all the more important in case of those people who are elderly, or are suffering from any preexisting medical conditions. Some of the ingredients mentioned in these recipes for quick meals may lead to allergic reactions in people who suffer from food allergies or intolerance. Such ingredients or recipes should therefore be avoided. In case you notice any side effects or any adverse reactions after trying the simple quick meals given above, it is important to consult a doctor, without any delay.
- In a wok or a large skillet, heat only one tablespoon of the oil.
- Add the diced chicken and cook, for around 3 or 4 minutes, till it is no longer raw. Remove the chicken from the skillet and set aside
- In the same wok, heat the remaining oil and this time, cook the garlic and vegetables till they are tender.
- Add the chicken, followed by the stir fry sauce and cook for another 5 minutes or so.