Eating healthy and eating fast doesn’t always go together. But with a bit of foresight and some simple kitchen prep, it’s easy to whip up a delicious and nutritious meal. For those of you on the go, help is at hand – from breakfast through dinner.
In celebration of World Food Day on October 16, this list provides an opportunity to further understand what we consume and lend a hand to others with less on their plates. Bon Apetit!
Breakfast is said to be the most important meal of the day, fueling our bodies for work, play and productivity. Be careful about skipping breakfast – as this can put a damper on your day and lead to unhealthy weight gain.
WHY: Eggs are chock full of protein, which our bodies need to build new cells and maintain tissues.
MEAL IS READY IN: 25 minutes
IMPROVISE: Don’t be constrained to adding roasted tomatoes – sauté some spinach and garlic to give your poached eggs a kick.
WHY: Yogurt contains probiotics – a good bacteria that can help with digestion – in addition to calcium which strengthens bones.
MEAL IS READY IN: 10 minutes
IMPROVISE: There are tons of variations on the yogurt parfait, and the tasty concoction can contain whatever you like. Make sure to keep it on the healthy side with fat-free yogurt, low-in-sugar toppings and healthy grains or nuts. Be sure to try the blueberry quinoa parfait, raspberry chia seed yogurt parfait or the mango avocado breakfast parfait.
WHY: This heart-healthy classic is known to lower cholesterol and even boost your immune system.
MEAL IS READY IN: 5-15 minutes
IMPROVISE: Oatmeal can be prepared in the microwave or on a stovetop. To maximize the health benefits, cook oats in water instead of milk. For more varieties on this breakfast staple, check out this guide to jazz up your oats in a healthy way!
You’re putting in a full day of work when all of a sudden your stomach starts to growl – it’s time for lunch! If you can drag yourself away from your desk or whatever activity you are wrapped up in, take a good 30 minutes to nourish yourself during your midday break.
WHY: This tasty wrap features avocados, which contain tons of vitamins and minerals and even have proven links to reducing cancer.
MEAL IS READY IN: 25 minutes
IMPROVISE: If you aren’t into tortillas, substitute whole-grain bread. This sandwich can be made on the run by preparing the carrot and cabbage slaw ahead of time.
WHY: If you didn’t already know, broccoli is a superfood! This vitamin-packed vegetable soup will fill you up without dragging you down.
TIME: 25 minutes
IMPROVISE: This recipe is vegan, and does not contain any dairy products. For dairy lovers, check out this quick cream of broccoli soup recipe.
WHY: Quinoa has become quite the superstar as of late – 2013 was even named the International Year of Quinoa. Fanfare aside, quinoa is super high in protein, easy to prepare and also gluten-free.
TIME: 20-30 minutes
IMPROVISE: Quinoa can be added to most dishes to give it more depth and substance. If you’re running short on time, sweet potatoes can be put in the microwave instead of roasted in the oven. Also, spinach is a great substitute for kale if you are unable to find it at your grocer. For those looking for a creamier texture, pop in some salty chunks of feta to maximize the salad.
In some places in the world, dinner is eaten later in the evening and the fare is lighter. For others, it’s the main meal of the day and includes all the fixings. No matter where you are or who’s popping over, everyone will enjoy these hearty recipes.
WHY: Zucchini is part of the squash family and is low in calories and big in taste! Fresh basil provides a major aromatic kick to any dish you prepare and is known to have many antioxidant and antibacterial properties. Also it’s super easy to grow indoors!
TIME: 25 minutes
IMPROVISE: Be conscious of the pasta you purchase, aiming for whole wheat which contains more fiber than white. Feel free to throw in any fresh vegetables you like to make your pasta even more colorful and flavorful!
WHY: This quick and easy recipe is low in calories and high in nutrition.
TIME: 15 minutes
IMPROVISE: Throw in some tofu or meat to give this dish a boost of protein and iron. Also rice noodles or rice are a welcome addition to this easy meal.
WHY: For people around the world, beans and rice is a staple meal. Black beans are a great source of protein, and will boost your energy levels as they are full of healthy carbs and fiber. Adding rice will make this dinner a complete protein -giving you all the essential amino acids your body needs in one sitting!
TIME: 30 minutes
IMPROVISE: Add some spice to this recipe with a jalapeno pepper or chili flakes. For a Mexican kick, pile on the cilantro. And if you are craving more protein, add some tofu or meat to this dish.