Easy Healthy Meals: Spending All of your Free Time Cooking

easy healthy meals

Do you feel you want to adopt healthier eating habits, but don't have the time?  We've all been there. We put off making healthy dietary changes, hoping our schedules will become a little more forgiving.  In the meantime, we fill our bodies with foods that don't make us feel good. If this sounds familiar to you, the easy healthy meals listed below may be just what you are looking for. These recipes will have you eating healthier without spending all your time in the kitchen.

What Is Considered a Healthy Meal?

A healthy meal is one that makes you feel good. It is food  rich in vitamins and minerals. A healthy meal uses ingredients that will fuel your body, giving you energy and rebuilding hearty cells.

Most packaged foods are full of preservatives and additives. Additives and preservatives can wreak havoc on the body due to its inability to digest them. The body has to work extra hard to break down these synthetics. A healthy meal is easy to digest. The nutrients are absorbed and used easily. No laying on the couch afterwards with a bloated belly. Easy healthy meals are low in calories, high in nutrients, and won't have you spending all of your free time cooking.

Who Are Easy Healthy Meals For?

Healthy meals are for everyone. Healthy eating can boost the immune system, provide the body with energy, and ensure proper and healthy growth in children. Easy healthy meals are particularly well suited to people who want to have a healthy diet, but feel they have too little time to prepare tasty and nutritious meals.

Recommendations for Easy Healthy Meals

Breakfast

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. After 8 hours of sleep, the body needs rejuvenation. Easy healthy meals will refuel you and get you set for an active day at the office or running around with the kids. If your children are off to school, getting them set up for success begins with a healthy, hearty breakfast. Without a nutrient-dense breakfast, you feel sluggish and tired. Our bodies lack the energy they need to get going and the brainpower to do it with ease. Start your day off on the right foot with these easy healthy meals for breakfast.

Protein Packed Breakfast Bowl


Proteins

This yummy porridge is light, but rich in protein. If you love cereal in the morning but want to avoid processed grains, try this recipe. It is loaded with raw, whole food ingredients.

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0
  • Servings: 2

Ingredients

  • 2 bananas mashed with a fork
  • 4 apples, grated
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 4 tbsp chia seeds
  • 4 tsp hemp seeds
  • 2  tsp grounded vanilla
  • Almonds
  • Seasonal fruits for a topping

Instructions

  1. In a medium salad bowl, mix grated apples with mashed banana.
  2. Add chia, hemp seeds, oats and vanilla. Mix well.

  3. Top with fruit of your choice.
  4. Serve immediately.

5 Ingredient Granola


We all love granola but most pre-made granola bars found on the supermarket shelves are loaded with sugar and artificial ingredients. You will enjoy making this batch because it is so simple. Pack a few squares up for an afternoon snack.

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 5
  • Total: 15
  • Servings: 10 bars

Ingredients

  • 1 cup packed pitted dates
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup or honey
  • 1/4 cup natural peanut butter or almond butter
  • 1 cup roasted unsalted almonds
  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 tsp of vanilla
  • Add dried fruit and nuts

Instructions

  1. Process dates in a food processor until small bits remain.
  2. Place oats, almonds and dates in a large mixing bowl then set aside.
  3. Warm honey and peanut butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir and pour over oat mixture and mix.
  4. Once thoroughly mixed, transfer to an 8x8-inch baking dish or other small pan lined with plastic wrap or parchment paper.
  5. Press down firmly until flattened.
  6. Cover with parchment or plastic wrap and let firm up in the refrigerator or freezer for 15-20 minutes.
  7. Remove bars from pan and divide into 10 bars.

Lunch


When it comes to lunch most people think an easy, healthy meal means salad. Though you can make a wildly creative salad, we thought you might like to try something more filling.  We suggest this tasty wrap. For the hearty eater, we included a delicious green soup recipe, too.

Avocado Caprese Wrap

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0
  • Servings: 1

Ingredients

  • 2 whole wheat tortillas
  • 1/2 cup  of fresh arugula leaves or mixed greens
  • 1 ball fresh mozzarella cheese sliced
  • 1 tomato sliced
  • 1 avocado pitted and sliced
  • Basil leaves
  • Olive oil
  • Balsamic vinegar

Instructions

  1. Layer slices of tomato, mozzarella cheese and avocado on tortilla. Add a few basil leaves. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Season with kosher salt and pepper.
  2. Fold the tortilla in thirds and serve.

Blended Green Soup


  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0
  • Servings: 2

Ingredients

  • 2 cups spinach, loosely packed
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 1/4 cup parsley
  • 1 zucchini, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cucumber, peeled
  • 1 avocado
  • 2 tablespoons chopped sweet onion
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and cored
  • 1 lime or lemon juiced
  • 1- 1½ cups water
  • ½ teaspoon Himalayan sea salt
  • 1/4 cup raw cashews soaked for 1-3 hours (optional)

Garnishes

  • Garnish with any combination of chopped vegetables

Instructions

  1. Blend the spinach and one cup of water.
  2. Slowly add in all the ingredients and blend until creamy and smooth.
  3. Serve immediately or chill in the refrigerator for one hour.

Dinner


Dinner is the meal we enjoy the most. The day's work is done and you are ready to relax and spend your time with family or friends. We don't want to invest a lot of time making a meal; we want to savor it. This mouth-watering chicken dish will give you a satisfying flavor without sweating over the stove.

Balsamic Chicken and Asparagus


  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Bake Time: 20 minutes
  • Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 lbs chicken breast tenders
  • Himalayan salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lb asparagus,
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved 

Instructions

  1.  In a small bowl, whisk together balsamic vinegar, 2 tablespoons oil, honey, mustard, garlic, and red pepper flakes until combined. Set aside.
  2. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat remaining oil. Add chicken, season with salt and pepper, and sear until golden. Remove from pan and set aside.
  3. To pan, add asparagus and tomatoes. Season with more salt and pepper, and cook until asparagus is bright green.
  4. Move veggies to one side of pan. Add the chicken back in and pour on the vinaigrette. Toss veggies and chicken slightly. Cook until chicken is done. The vinaigrette should thicken.
  5. Serve hot.

Grilled Pizza


Who doesn't like pizza?  This one is grilled and crunchy. Save time by purchasing a pre-made pizza dough from the health food section of your favorite grocer.

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 lb prepared pizza dough, preferably whole-wheat
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup fresh corn kernels

Instructions

  1. Preheat grill to medium-high.
  2. Roll dough out on a lightly floured surface into a 12-inch oval. Transfer to a lightly floured large baking sheet. Combine 1 tablespoon oil and garlic in a small bowl. Bring the dough, the garlic oil, cheese, corn and prosciutto to the grill.
  3. Oil the grill rack. Transfer the crust to the grill. Grill the crust, covered, until puffed and lightly browned, 1 to 2 minutes.
  4. Flip the crust over and spread the garlic oil on it. Top with the cheese, corn and prosciutto. Grill, covered, until the cheese is melted and the crust is lightly browned on the bottom, 2 to 3 minutes more. Return the pizza to the baking sheet.
  5. Top the pizza with arugula, basil and pepper. Drizzle with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil.

Conclusion

Fruits, vegetables, proteins and fiber should be part of our daily diet. We all know eating right will keep us young and energetic, but with busy work schedules we feel overwhelmed. Stress can add to a decline in vitality, so easy healthy meals are a must.

Today, we are bombarded with fast-food restaurants and to-go menus. However, part of being healthy means sitting down, taking your time to eat and enjoying friends and family. Whether it is a quiet meal for two or a table full of kids, we want to connect. Spending time over an easy, healthy meal is one of the best ways to socialize while refueling the body.

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