Whip something up!

Posted By Xin-min Lai on Apr 8, 2016 in health and lifestyle

What is convenient, really?  Cooking supposedly is not on that list.  Neither is grocery shopping.  But part of what keeps it from being convenient is education and access.  you have to go to the store to get the food you’re going to cook.  You have to know HOW to cook, and then WHAT to cook.

In my life, I pretty much focus on convenience (i.e. laziness).  The MOST convenient for me is to eat what I already have in my house.  The easiest things to eat are things I don’t have to cook (or that are quick and easy).  So there are a few tricks I have up my sleeve so that I really can just “whip something up” for dinner.

  1. Cook proteins in batches with simple seasoning, and save them for later.  You can use them in tacos, salads, with a side of veggies, wraps – all kinds of quick preps.  Ground beef, chicken, tofu – these work well in many ways.
  2. Buy veggies you can eat raw (or close to it).  Raw veggies can be great as salads, snacks, or the foundation for a fancier dish. One real fancy trick is buying zucchini.  A few turns with a spiral slicer turns it to noodles you don’t have to cook.  (That’s the “pasta” I used in the dish pictured.)
  3. Invest in some seasoning blends (especially useful for cooking chicken or beef), sauces (salsa, pasta sauce, etc), and marinades. Olive oil and balsamic vinegar are a quick salad dressing as well.  There are plenty of places where you can find healthy, more natural sauces – farmer’s markets, even the supermarket carries some decent quality stuff (just read those labels!).  The pasta sauce I used in the picture is one of my favorites – no added sugar, pretty much all ingredients I recognize as food.  If you’re good at making your own sauces, make enough to store for later.

The dish I made in the picture took me about a minute.  I was already exhausted from a full day of work and working out, and I had some (grass fed) ground beef already cooked and stored.  I had a zucchini left, so I knew what I was having for dinner.

Step 1: Used my handy spiral slicer to cut the one zucchini I had left into the noodle form you see.  Sprinkled some salt on it.  30 seconds, maybe.

Step 2: Took out my ground beef (I’d seasoned it with a garlic & herb seasoning blend, parsley, and chili powder).  It had been prepared earlier because I was making tacos.

Step 3: Put the noodles, meat, and my spaghetti sauce on a plate, and microwaved it for a minute.

Step 4: FEAST!

The key to making this healthy thing look easy is to have a few tricks up your sleeve so that it BECOMES easy.  Enjoy!

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