Six ideas for fast, healthy, real food - Our Daily Green

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Six ideas for fast, healthy, real food

this may be fast, but it's not real or healthy
Today's post was inspired by a photo our friend shared on Facebook from the Food, Inc. page. We've become so indoctrinated into the idea that food needs to be quick, fast, and easy that we'll buy a tube of vegetarian ham, flavored like chicken, which couldn't be further from what it is supposed to be in the first place.

We got to thinking how we've fooled ourselves into thinking that the only fast food available is the kind in a bag that we grab through our car window, without even considering how quickly we could fix simple, healthy, real food at home.

Inspired by the discussion, Our Daily Green wanted to share a few ideas for quick meals or snacks, that are healthy and don't rely on processed food.

  • Fresh fruit is about as easy as it gets. Wash and eat. Apples, peaches, berries, bananas, plums... all are simple and come in a ready to serve package. Stock up on them today. My daughter, who is studying abroad this summer, actually sent me a message to tell me, "I just took a bite of the best peach of my life... I was walking from the kitchen, and stopped dead in my tracks when it hit my taste buds. It was awesome. I just had to share/document this."
  • Eggs. They are not the bad guy. They are healthy, chock full of protein, and scrambling an egg takes minutes, tops. Throw in a handful or two of chopped veggies & some cheese, and you have a quick breakfast. If you need to take it on the road, put it in a tortilla and you've got a scrambled egg wrap.  On a similar note, my friend and writing colleague Dee Dee, mentioned how easy a meal a frittata can be. 
  • Pasta. The whole grain kind. It's a great base for the rest of the other things you want to eat in a hurry. Cook up a pound or two and keep it in the fridge for a quick start to a simple meal.
  • Alternative grains. Quinoa and amaranth cook up quickly, adding depth and protein to any fast meal.
  • Canned beans. No not the mushy chopped, salty green things. Cannellini, black beans, garbanzo, kidney beans. They are healthy, high in fiber and EASY. Purists may cringe at not soaking them overnight and cooking them from dry, but remember, the key here is fast and easy. This is about getting the healthiest foods in our system in a minimal amount of time.
  • Frozen veggies. Keep a variety on hand and be ready to toss them in with the beans, pasta, grains, or eggs. Healthy and quick. 
We also discussed a few important tools, including a slow cooker and a Foreman grill, as well as a rice cooker. These tools save valuable time and should become part of a kitchen with a cook who is short of time.

The first step to healthier eating is the desire to do so. The next step is preparation. Choose healthy foods and the tools that make them easy to prepare. Fast food doesn't have to come from a place you drive thru. It's just as quick to have it on hand and ready to fix. You don't have to be a chef or a foodie to eat well, just committed to your health.

What are some of your favorite fast cooking tips?

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