Partly because of the winter-lack-of-sunlight, and partly because of all my assignments, I don’t have a tonne of time or energy. Do you have any low-energy meal ideas (that feel like real meals) that aren’t just pasta or instant noodles?
Hmmm. It depends on what foods you like! But I’ll try to help!
- Great pasta/noodle carb alternatives are potatoes! Poke holes with a fork and microwave for 5-6 minutes. Take out carefully, mash with some oil or butter! Works for sweet potatoes too. Some great topping ideas: cheese, canned beans, salsa, veggies, pan fried sausage, or a fried egg.
- For breakfast, I love baked oatmeal. It takes a little time to make, but it’s easy and delicious and warming. Put ½ c oats, ¼ c milk, 1 tb oil, ¼ c applesauce or mashed pumpkin or mashed banana, 1 tb sugar, and spices like cinnamon to taste into a oven-safe bowl. Put into the oven or toaster oven for 15-20min at 375-400* F.
- Cold overnight oatmeal or regular hot oatmeal is great too!
- Quesadillas! Fill them with cheese, hummus, avocado, beans, veggies, and/or meat. Simply toast on a pan until crispy and melted, takes only ~5min!
- If you eat eggs, eggs are easy, tasty, nutritious, and fast-cooking. Try omelets, scrambles with veggies and/or meat, or over rice. In general breakfast for dinner is great when you’re busy and tired.
- Mini pizzas! Toast a pita bread and add marinara sauce, cheese, meat, and veggies
- Instant rice is your friend! You can dress it up in many different ways.
- Frozen foods are great too! Frozen veggies make everything easier, as do frozen grain mixes like quinoa or barley.
- Grain bowls! If you have time on the weekend or one evening, make a large batch of grains to add to your meals each day! This can include your favorite grain (i.e. rice, quinoa, pasta), beans or other protein, some sort of veggie, and some sort of topping or sauce that you like. Bake it all together, or just mix with some sauce! Some of my favorites are:
- asian-inspired (tofu and sauteed broccoli mixed with rice, soy sauce, and sesame oil)
- mediterranean inspired (chickpeas with tomato, pepper, and onion/garlic mixed with barley or farro grain and hummus)
- latin-inspired (black beans with chorizo, tomato, veggies, avocado onion/garlic, and corn or tortillas)
- Sauces and spices! Make your food taste good quickly and easily by seasoning well and adding sauces! Some of my favorites are:
- sweet chili sauce
- hot pepper relish (ajvar or red pepper sauce)
- baba ganoush
- oyster sauce
- enchilada sauce
- toasted sesame oil
- nutritional yeast
I hope this helps!– Mimi