Tuesday, October 27, 2009

How to Make Healthy & Fast Recipes - Healthy Recipes

healthy recipes

By Jenny Harrington

Often we are too busy to prepare healthy, delicious foods at home. With a little planning and the help of a few time saving techniques, it is simple to prepare healthy, fast recipes for you and your family.


Step 1
It helps to plan ahead. This is where your dry erase board comes in handy. You can purchase boards that have monthly or weekly calendars printed on them. If yours doesn't, that's okay. You can just list the days down the side or draw your own weekly calendar on it with permanent marker so it doesn't wipe off.

When planning your dinners for the week, keep in mind any nights you will be busy or getting home late and plan the quickest meals for then. Also keep in mind any perishables you will need to use up that week, and plan your meals to incorporate them. Soups and casseroles are a wonderful way to use up veggies that are starting to wilt. You can also make sure you have everything on hand to cook your meals for the week, cutting down on last minute trips to the grocery store.

Step 2
When cooking healthy recipes, the focus should be on vegetables. Avoid oils, cream sauces, or using a lot of dairy or meat. Healthy proteins such as beans or tofu can replace meat in many meals. In your favorite recipes, consider healthy substitutions where possible. A few examples are:

Replace half the oil or shortening in baked goods with sugar free applesauce.
Cook with healthier oils, such as olive or canola.
Use only the egg whites in recipes.
Use whole wheat pasta and flour.
Use skim or 2% milk. If a recipe calls for heavy cream, you can mix powdered no fat milk with half the water to replace it.
Use low sodium alternatives when available.
Use brown rice instead of white rice.
Think of meat as a condiment or side dish instead of the main course.

Step 3
Choose recipes that can be made with healthy, quick cooking methods. A stir-fry only takes a few minutes to prepare. You can stir-fry vegetables and meats or tofu in a tablespoon of canola oil for just a few minutes and then use them to top rice or whole wheat or buckwheat noodles. Steaming is another healthy method of cooking. There are microwave steamers available that make it possible to enjoy steamed veggies with just a push of the button. Other healthy cooking methods are broiling, grilling, and braising.

Also consider uncooked meals for the quickest preparation. Salads, sandwiches and wraps can be healthy and only take a few minutes.

Step 4
Do as much preparation as possible ahead of time. When you purchase healthy meats, such as chicken, cook it all at once using a healthy method, then freeze it in meal sized portions. If most of your favorite recipes call for chopped veggies, chop the whole onion at once then store. You only have to grab a handful or thaw out the container, then assemble when it is time to cook. By using your dry erase board to plan meals ahead of time, you will be able to check the night before to see what needs to be pulled from the freezer to thaw for tomorrow's dinner.

Step 5
Keep track of recipes you and your family enjoy in your own personal cookbook. You can collect recipes in a binder and write down experiments that worked and have them on hand when you are feeling uninspired. If you make substitutions, remember to note it on the recipe so you will remember next time. After you prepare a recipe in your binder, make a note of anything you wish to do differently next time and the time it took you to make it. This will help you when you plan future meals.

Tips & Warnings

Freeze leftovers and use for a quick lunch or meal on a day you are too busy to cook. Save your vegetable peelings in a container in the freezer to make stock for quick soups. Instead of using bread for a sandwich, wrap your filling in a large lettuce leaf.


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healthy recipes

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