How to prepare fast and healthy recipes for the evening, and still be able to feast in the lap of luxury
On Monday evenings, the same fate often befell me. Back at home after a long working day and a heavy workout in the gym, I would stand in front of the yawning void that was my refrigerator. Over the weekend, I had other things on my mind than joining the endless queues in the supermarket. Instead, I felt drawn to nature, to the gym, or a hip cafe, to share the latest gossip with friends. Only with something like gluten- and sugar-free cakes, and decaffeinated soya-latte, of course. After all, I went to the gym for a reason, and I knew very well that I could only achieve my bikini body goals with a combination of diligent training and a healthy diet.
So I don’t drink alcohol, don’t smoke, try to minimize my coffee consumption, and eat primarily fresh fruit and crunchy vegetables - organic, naturally. In spite of all these good intentions, I was still standing in front of the fridge on Monday evenings, staring at not much more than a glass of mustard and sour cucumbers. Annoying! I wasn’t getting anywhere like this. So I sat down thoughtfully on the kitchen bench one day, wondering how I could avoid calling the delivery service every evening, and, inevitably, ordering the first and probably not the healthiest meal. Curry with fat coconut milk from the Indian, high carb pizza, average sushi etc. All this not only skews the calorie budget, it also depletes the wallet. And let’s be honest, it’s not exactly healthy in the long run. In addition, I’d like to know exactly what’s actually in my food. Don’t get me wrong, I like to cook. But during the week I’m usually beat, and curl up on the couch with a plate of noodle soup and watch my favorite show on Netflix. Something needed to change.
The solution was obvious, and can be summed up with a pretty buzzword: food prep! That’s right. I decided to choose an evening of the week, in which I would prepare food for the following days. No elaborate dishes, but simple and nutritious food that would provide me with all the essential nutrients. I would mutate into a Tupperware Vegan! But I didn’t care. It meant that I had to get used to going shopping regularly, but I solved the problem by visiting the weekly market. Now, the former chore almost feels relaxing. I find almost everything I need for dinner, and I don’t have to torment myself with shopping cart slalom on Saturday mornings anymore.
So I plan an hour on Sunday to sit down in the kitchen, and in no time I’ve prepared a few dinners for several days. Sometimes I freeze half of it. After all, it might happen that I fancy a change. For that case, there are always healthy alternatives in my freezer. I would like to introduce 3 fast and healthy recipes to you today.
Don’t want to slave away in the kitchen every day, just to do all the washing up? Have a stew. Prepared in less than 30 minutes, stews are also really suitable for total cooking newbies. A healthy, vegan stew can consist of a wide range of ingredients. Potatoes, cereals, and noodles are particularly suitable. Lentils, beans, and chickpeas also go down well. Add to this some fresh vegetable varieties such as crisp carrots, leeks, broccoli, onions, or courgettes. Season with herbs, pepper, and salt - and a delicious, nutritious stew is ready in a jiffy, which is also perfect for freezing.
- 600 g potatoes
- 400 g carrots
- 400 g broccoli
- 1 l vegetable broth
- 1 can of chickpeas
- 2 onions
- 1green pepper
- 5 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 3 bay leaves
- Peel the onions and dice them. Dice the pepper, and fry it with the onion and some olive oil in a large pan.
- In the meantime, peel the potatoes and carrots, and cut them into bite-size pieces. Break the broccoli in small florets.
- Add the potatoes and carrots to the onions and peppers, and the broccoli on top. Add the vegetable broth until the vegetables are completely covered. Add bay leaves. Cover and cook for 15 minutes.
- Add the chickpeas and the cumin, and simmer for 10 minutes at low heat.
- Season with salt and pepper, and serve garnished with parsley or coriander, or let it cool, put it in Tupperware, and store or freeze it in the refrigerator.
Lentils instead of chickpeas. Rice instead of potatoes. Add corn, tomatoes, peas, and garlic. Soy cream makes the whole thing a little smoother. You can also add tofu sausages, or smoked tofu.
There are days when I all could eat is quinoa. Quinoa salads are prepared super quickly, and are wonderfully versatile. I try out a new creation every week, and I’m always amazed! Quinoa makes you satiated and happy, it’s a true power pack - rich in protein and fiber. You will also be pleased to hear that quinoa salad, unlike leafy salad, can be kept in the fridge for several days. It tastes even twice as good, because the flavours have blended! There are so many quick and easy recipes. This is one of my favorites!
- 300 g of quinoa
- 1 can of peas
- 1 yellow pepper
- 1/2 cup spring onions
- 1/3 cup grated almonds
- 1/3 cup of almond milk
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- Salt, pepper, chili
- Rinse the quinoa with cold water and boil for about 10 minutes in saltwater. Allow to cool.
- In the meantime, finely chop the pepper and spring onions.
- Mix all ingredients for the dressing.
- Place the cooled quinoa and the vegetables, including peas and almonds, in a large bowl and mix well, then add the dressing.
- All done! Enjoy immediately, or store it in the fridge until your mouth is watering.
Avocado and tomato instead of peas and almonds, dried tomatoes, and pine nuts.
You probably already know sweet potatoes in the form of french fries and soup, but here’s an even better and certainly less expensive option! Grab a sweet potato, or better three or four, because they keep really well in the fridge, wash it well, and wrap it in aluminium foil. Drop it into the oven, and voilà, an hour later you can enjoy a great meal without much effort. I like to garnish them with salad, grilled veggies, guacamole, or, as in the following variation, with beans and delicious avocado.
- 4-5 medium size sweet potatoes
- 1 can of black or red beans
- 1 ripe avocado
- a handful of rocket
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes
- spring onions
- pepper, cucumber
- salt, pepper, chili
- Wash potatoes, wrap in aluminium foil, and bake for an hour at 190 degrees Celsius.
- Drain the beans, cut the avocado into strips, and wash the salad. Chop tomatoes, spring onions, peppers, and cucumber.
- Let the potatoes cool down, halve, garnish with the vegetables, and season.
- If you want to eat the potatoes later, you should keep veggies and sweet potatoes in separate containers.
Black beans can be easily replaced by red or white beans, as well as chickpeas or corn. Instead of rocket, you can also you iceberg lettuce.
Quick and simple recipes have often saved my evening. I hope you feel inspired, and you’ll get your cook-on more often now!