Like my friend who often says, when she opens her wardrobe: I have nothing to wear!, I’m often standing in front of a half-empty fridge thinking: ‘I have no idea what to cook!’
If you are like me and sometimes just run out of ideas about what to cook, I’ve put together a few tips to help you (and me!) to carry on cooking healthy food.
Talking about planning, I also find that having my kitchen cupboards well organised and tidy helps me to be quicker when I’m preparing my meals. I can also easily see what ingredients are missing and what I need to buy from the supermarket.
It took me a whole weekend to re-organise my kitchen cupboards and drawers and now it’s like having the kitchen feng shuied! Everything is in its place and it’s a real joy to start cooking. I don’t have to run across the kitchen to get to my knife drawer when I need to chop my veggies and my compost bin is in the right kitchen corner, when I need to dispose of what’s not needed. I just wish I’ve done this ages ago!
I’ve focused on sweet snacks in this blog post, but if you fancy something savoury, why not go for something like a healthy homemade salad? You can prepare them in advance and keep them in a small food container that you take with you for your lunch. Salads are a great healthy snack, full of vitamins and the best thing is that you can make a different variety every day. I love trying new recipes from different countries, like these Sri Lankan salad recipes, which just look so yummy!
These are simple food ideas that you can make within 30 minutes or less, and they are still nourishing and delicious too. And the best thing is that in most cases you won’t even need a recipe to make these!
If you have eggs, you have a meal! Gather some vegetables and grate them or cut them very small. Zucchini, red pepper, spinach or any other leafy vegetables work well with this recipe. Mix the eggs, vegetables, pinch of salt, pepper and perhaps some herbs and make them into an omelette. To serve, top with cottage cheese (or soft cheese), chopped chives or other herbs and add a side salad. As simple as this dish is, it’s also high in protein and low on calories, so it’s perfect meal for a light dinner.
2. Meal Delivery Service
You can reach for the phone anytime to order a takeaway, but before you do that, I’d challenge you to try something much more exciting and healthier! I love the idea of these meal delivery services that deliver all the ingredients in a neat box with a recipe card so that you don’t need to worry about shopping or working out what recipe to choose.
This is also great if you want to provide varied food for your family as the meals are specially designed to be well balanced nutritionally. There are plenty of meal delivery services to choose from, and you can pick a diet or cuisine you like.
3. ‘Makeover leftovers from last night’ meal
First of all check your fridge for any leftovers from last night and then decide what else you can use to make a whole meal. For example, if you have a leftover roasted chicken, you can easily make pasta with creamy sauce topped with shredded chicken.
4. Spaghetti with butter, cheese & ketchup
My old-time favourite comfort food that never disappoints. If you don’t have spaghetti, use any other pasta shapes. Prepare the pasta according to the packet instructions, melt in the butter and cheese and topped with ketchup (or your favourite sauce).
5. Loaded baked potatoes
Pick a large potato, pierce it several times with a fork and put it in the microwave for 5-7 minutes. You can cook several potatoes at the same time, but it might take a bit longer. You’ll know when they are done because they will be nice and soft. While your potatoes are getting done, prepare your filling and a side salad.
- Butter & Cheese
- Tuna & Mayonnaise
- Baked Beans (with or without Cheese)
- Any kind of sandwich filling or deli spread
6. ‘What the kitchen cupboard gave’ kind of soup
My grandmother always used to say that anything can be made into a soup. Start with some vegetables like potatoes or carrots, that you peel and chop and add to boiling water. If you have an onion, cut it finely and sweat it lightly over medium heat in a frying pan with a spoon full of butter.
Then start adding more flavour with spices, herbs, a pinch of salt & pepper.
To make your soup a bit thicker, melt butter in a frying pan, add a tablespoon of plain flour and mix into the butter.
Wait until the whole flour mixture turns a light brown and then add to the soup, while constantly steering.
There are plenty of other things you can add, such as egg, small pieces of meat, pasta, a dash of cream.
7. Sausages & Mash
To make this dinner a little bit different, buy speciality sausages with a high meat content and grill them (or fry them). Make a potato mash and boil some leafy greens or serve it with a side salad of your choice.