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Author Topic: Favorite "Healthy" & Easy Recipes to Make  (Read 255 times)

TheGreenWizard

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Favorite "Healthy" & Easy Recipes to Make
« on: March 25, 2019, 11:24:15 am »
As I recover from the flu, I'm currently thinking of how to revamp my diet so that I'm more nutritionally sound and so my body is stronger. At the same time, I'm also aware of food costs, and convenience sometimes takes the driver's seat instead of other goals (like keeping my food cost low in my monthly budget, and eating healthy).
So what recipes do you have that are:
  • Healthy
  • Easy to Make
  • Easy on the Wallet
Eventually, I'd like to transfer these recipes to the new forums in the form of a SIG or some other resource. For now, let's see how this goes!
“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go...”
― Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Places You'll Go

TheGreenWizard

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Re: Favorite "Healthy" & Easy Recipes to Make
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2019, 11:38:19 am »
As I recover from the flu, I'm currently thinking of how to revamp my diet so that I'm more nutritionally sound and so my body is stronger. At the same time, I'm also aware of food costs, and convenience sometimes takes the driver's seat instead of other goals (like keeping my food cost low in my monthly budget, and eating healthy).
So what recipes do you have that are:
  • Healthy
  • Easy to Make
  • Easy on the Wallet
Eventually, I'd like to transfer these recipes to the new forums in the form of a SIG or some other resource. For now, let's see how this goes!
To start, here's what I made yesterday that I realized I should make a LOT more often:
Pan Seared Chicken Boneless Thighs with Roasted Veggies
Ingredients:
  • Skinless, Boneless Chicken Thighs (my supermarket has 4 to a pack)
  • Prepared Veggies: Asparagus, Carrots, Bell Peppers, Onions, Mushrooms, etc. (Whatever your heart desires)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Olive oil (or your choice of fat/oil)
Directions:
  • Preheat your oven to 350*F
  • Take a cookie sheet, line it with parchment paper.
  • Prepare your veggies - this is different for each veggie. For Asparagus, I simply chop of the cut ends. For carrots, I chop into 1/2" chunks. Onions get quartered, while mushrooms go in whole.
  • Place the veggies onto the parchment paper, and drizzle some olive oil on them. Mix them up really well to get them covered in oil.
  • Season with Salt and Pepper and place the pan in the now heated oven. Cook for 10-12 minutes.
  • While the veggies cook, get a pan large enough for your chicken thighs, and put about 1 tablespoon of olive oil in it. Turn the heat on to medium-low.
  • While the pan heats up, season your chicken thighs with salt and pepper.
  • Place chicken thighs in the pan, and cover. Do not touch them for about 3-5 minutes.
  • After 3-5 minutes, uncover, and flip them over. Cover again.
  • Check the doneness of the chicken with a meat thermometer. It should be at or above 165*F. If not, flip one more time and cook for a few minutes longer.
  • When chicken and veggies are done, take both out, and serve. If doing meal prep, put them into their tubberware accordingly and enjoy!
“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go...”
― Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Places You'll Go

Ashmire

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Re: Favorite "Healthy" & Easy Recipes to Make
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2019, 12:01:35 pm »
As I recover from the flu, I'm currently thinking of how to revamp my diet so that I'm more nutritionally sound and so my body is stronger. At the same time, I'm also aware of food costs, and convenience sometimes takes the driver's seat instead of other goals (like keeping my food cost low in my monthly budget, and eating healthy).
So what recipes do you have that are:
  • Healthy
  • Easy to Make
  • Easy on the Wallet
Eventually, I'd like to transfer these recipes to the new forums in the form of a SIG or some other resource. For now, let's see how this goes!

Lentils( needs a catchier name, but I suck at that):
Soak 1 cup lentils for 45 mins in cold water, then cook over medium heat until tender( about 1/2 hr). Towards end of cooking time, add any or all of the following: 1/2 cup@ green peas, chopped tomatoes, diced red bell pepper, and mushrooms, 1 cup leafy greens.
Then, whisk together 2-4 tbps @ olive oil and red wine vinegar or stale red wine, plus 1 tsp garlic powder ( you can add some basil if you like also), and drizzle over the top.  A sprinkle of Parmesan cheese and/or fresh ground black pepper is optional but pleasant.

Jenett

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Re: Favorite "Healthy" & Easy Recipes to Make
« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2019, 12:53:47 pm »
As I recover from the flu, I'm currently thinking of how to revamp my diet so that I'm more nutritionally sound and so my body is stronger. At the same time, I'm also aware of food costs, and convenience sometimes takes the driver's seat instead of other goals (like keeping my food cost low in my monthly budget, and eating healthy).

I am dubious about a broad focus on 'healthy' or 'clean' eating, because a lot of people labelling that way a) don't allow for differences in people's personal bodies, and b) often really badly define what they mean by it.

(Also, I have specific food restrictions that mean I can't eat a fairly large selection of raw brassicas, and I can't have nuts in anything that's going to come to work, and wow does the latter one complicate my lunch life.)

The way my nutritionist does it (which works a lot better for me) is to focus on a couple of particular food goals every time I see her, and then I go explore that, and make some of them into longer-term habits. (So, "Ok, let's see how I can get more variety of vegetables into my diet" or "Ok, fish really does help, so says the blood work, how do I do that more reliably?" or whatever.)

Sites:
For actual recipes, I'm a huge fan of Budget Bytes - there's a wide range of recipes, mostly made from scratch (so no 'start from this can of soup, and this other prepared thing'), and many of them are heavily plant based. She's also really good at talking about substitutions and where, say, fat content in the dairy really does matter, and where it's a matter of preference. They're designed to be inexpensive to make (she gives her pricing), generally quite tasty, and most of them are pretty quick preps or 'some prep then it goes in the oven'. She's also been doing a bunch of meal prep posts, with recipe combos.

The one way her recipes don't work for me (and I have to modify for) is that I usually can't deal with eating the same thing all week, and since there's only me at home, anything that makes multiple servings and can't be frozen gets tricky. But there's an auto calculator on her site.

Stuff that's in regular rotation for me:
Autumn Harvest Salad (ok, not this time of year, but..)
Mini Garden Turkey meatloaves (takes a while to prep, but many vegetables involved.)
Tuna White Bean Salad (I like some cilantro in mine too.)

Lunches:
My sort of fallback lunch is basically a ploughman's lunch variation (which is an ahistorical thing, but the concept is valid) where I do some sort of protein (hard boiled egg, a bit of deli meat, a bit of chicken breast made at some other meal, sometimes a chicken sausage or so), a handful of cherry tomatoes or a larger one in pieces, maybe some baby carrots and yogurt dip (see below) or cucumber salad, and some pickles. (And usually a square or two of dark chocolate.)

Especially in the summer, I go through vast amounts of either tzatiki or yogurt dip. (I have a great local source for tzatiki.)

The yogurt dip:
- Greek yogurt (I use whole, other variants are fine if you like them)
- Penzey's Chip and Dip mix , usually about 1 TBS to a cup of yogurt.
- 1-2 tsp dried dill. Or some more dill. I like dill.
- Maybe also some minced dried toasted onions (also Penzey's) or roasted dried garlic (ditto)
- Maybe some lemon juice if I have some.

Goes on many things (including fish or fish burgers), vegetables, etc.

Dinners when the oven is an option: I do a fair number of foil wrap dinners in the winter. They're easy, cheap, and you can make up a whole bunch of packets in half an hour on the weekend and stick them in the freezer until needed.

1) Enough tinfoil to make a packet around the following:
- A chicken breast, frozen (or equivalent amount of tenders)
- 1/3 to 1/2 bag of frozen vegetables (asparagus, mixed corn/peas/etc, mushrooms, carrots, zucchini or squash, anything that can deal with being steamed as part of the process.)
- Some sort of dressing: Lemon juice and olive oil works, honey mustard works, ranch works, BBQ sauce, etc. drizzled over the top. Usually 2-3 TBS.
2) Fold up into a packet that seals. Label as needed.
3) When you want to eat, stick into pre-heated oven at 350F or so for 40 minutes (check to make sure the chicken is cooked: after you've done a couple, the timing is pretty consistent for your oven)

You'll sometimes see these referred to as hobo meals, and searching for that or foil pocket meals will give you lots of varations. (Lots of people include starches in there: I mostly don't.) I like them because they're easy to prep in advance, pretty cheap, and you can do some easy variations without a lot of effort. I generally find them fairly edible for lunch the next day cold, but mileage may vary there.
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Sefiru

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Re: Favorite "Healthy" & Easy Recipes to Make
« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2019, 07:50:18 pm »
I am dubious about a broad focus on 'healthy' or 'clean' eating, because a lot of people labelling that way a) don't allow for differences in people's personal bodies, and b) often really badly define what they mean by it.

Thinking about recipes to post, I realised that not everyone has the same definition of 'easy' either. That said:

Sauerkraut San Francisco

Some sauerkraut (1/2 cup per person? I just eyeball it).
handful of raisins
Pineapple chunks (I have the snack cups, they're just right for one serving, or a can if you're cooking for several people)
pre-cooked protein (I use ham or kolbasa)
a little water

Warm it all up in a saucepan and serve over rice. This is also good because the ingredients all keep well. I keep chunks of kolbasa in the freezer for this sort of thing.

PerditaPickle

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Re: Favorite "Healthy" & Easy Recipes to Make
« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2019, 05:18:25 pm »
Pan Seared Chicken Boneless Thighs with Roasted Veggies

That really doesn't sound too difficult, I'll have to see if my husband will eat it - I love freshly roasted veggies
"If I get on, Susan thought, it'll all start again.  I'll be out of the light and into the world beyond this one.  I'll fall off the tightrope.
But a voice inside her said, You want to, though...don't you...?
Ten seconds later, there was only the snow."
(Terry Pratchett's Hogfather)

PerditaPickle

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Re: Favorite "Healthy" & Easy Recipes to Make
« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2019, 05:24:14 pm »
(Also, I have specific food restrictions that mean I can't eat a fairly large selection of raw brassicas, and I can't have nuts in anything that's going to come to work, and wow does the latter one complicate my lunch life.)

No nuts at all at work, is that because of a colleague with nut allergies?

I shall have to search for foil pocket meals, sounds really handy.
"If I get on, Susan thought, it'll all start again.  I'll be out of the light and into the world beyond this one.  I'll fall off the tightrope.
But a voice inside her said, You want to, though...don't you...?
Ten seconds later, there was only the snow."
(Terry Pratchett's Hogfather)

PerditaPickle

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Re: Favorite "Healthy" & Easy Recipes to Make
« Reply #7 on: April 15, 2019, 05:25:38 pm »


Good thread, TGW - I'm afraid I can't contribute any additional ideas, though (I'd be the last person you wanted to consult about healthy recipes to make!
"If I get on, Susan thought, it'll all start again.  I'll be out of the light and into the world beyond this one.  I'll fall off the tightrope.
But a voice inside her said, You want to, though...don't you...?
Ten seconds later, there was only the snow."
(Terry Pratchett's Hogfather)

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Re: Favorite "Healthy" & Easy Recipes to Make
« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2019, 07:26:09 pm »
No nuts at all at work, is that because of a colleague with nut allergies?

I don't work directly with students, but my library is in the secondary school building where I work, and we have multiple kids in the building with life-threatening nut allergies (including one with life-threatening airborne nut allergies) so no nuts in the building.
 
(Even though kids rarely get within 25 feet or so of my desk, I use the bathrooms and such in the student space, so beside the airborne stuff, there's a chance of particles on my hands/etc. too.)
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Re: Favorite "Healthy" & Easy Recipes to Make
« Reply #9 on: April 16, 2019, 05:57:06 pm »
As I recover from the flu, I'm currently thinking of how to revamp my diet so that I'm more nutritionally sound and so my body is stronger.

I like to keep things fresh. I cut slits into a boneless chicken breast almost all the way through. Then I marinate it overnight in homemade or high quality Italian dressing. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. When done, top with steamed veggies or fried onion, fresh mushrooms and maybe some peppers and chilis.

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