Something quite often overlooked in the simplistic lifestyle of the well-being from certain foods. Eating simply is something which really helps me to maintain my optimum energy levels, as well as being good for my bank balance and saving me time.
Firstly, buy enough for just 6 days and use what you have left for day 7. I shop once a fortnight, buying enough for 12 days personally, which works out cheaper when you have to buy a bus ticket per shopping trip. This means not only that your money stretches that extra day; but that you often find hidden treasures. Ever gone out to buy an item for a particular meal and then found that item when you got home; hiding at the back of the cupboard?
Plan your meals a little. I buy meat which lasts me five weeks. I have ham for sandwiches every 2 weeks; but mince, chicken breasts, diced lamb, chops and sausage rolls will keep in a freezer for weeks. I buy fresh produce and batch cook it early on so it can last a week and a half. I also buy fruit that can help spread my vegetables thinner; as I can eat less of them.
This is probably the most appealing reason to eat simply. Eating small portions, often is generally thought to be an effective way of keeping energy and blood-sugar levels at a constant. This keeps cravings at bay and means you’re more likely to make more healthy choices. Healthier choices lead to a constant supply of minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants, which have been thought to improve overall well-being.
If I know what I’m cooking; especially if it involves re-heating something from a previous batch cook; a nutritious dinner can be ready in as little as three minutes, complete with meat, starch and vegetables. It need not even take more time if you’re boiling vegetables; just use a bigger pan/two pans and let the leftovers cool before storing in the fridge or freezer. I find that spending five minutes extra at the weekend ifs worth saving twenty minutes every day for the next five.
So, here are some tried and tested ideas which are simple to cook.
- Salad with Chicken cuppa Soup & Wholemeal Toast
- Pasta Carbonara
- Wholemeal Rice with some Chicken & Sweetcorn Soup
- Cottage Pie
- Chicken Breast with Roasted Vegetables
- Tuna Pasta Bake
- Steamed Vegetables with sliced Ham & Spaghetti
- Pork Sausages with Couscous and Stir-fried Vegetables
- Steamed Potatoes with Fish Fillet & Salad
- Noodles with Tomato Soup & Salad
- Curry & Rice
- Macaroni Cheese with Tuna
- Tagliatelle & Vegetables in Tomato Sauce
All of the above can be cooked by a student; as I know, being one. They’re simple to cook, store and eat; with most containing starch, vegetables and meat. They don’t cost the earth and don’t take that much labour-intensive time.
I mentioned this above and think this really is a key part of simple eating. For example, lets say I boil 3 carrots, a parsnip, green beans, broccoli, asparagus and sweetcorn in one big pan and only eat a quarter of it that night.
With the leftovers I could:
- Microwave in a ready-made sauce
- Add to rice/cous cous/pasta
- Use in lasagne
- Re-heat with spaghetti hoops
- Eat cold in a salad [perhaps not with those ingredients, but adjust to your own taste]
The possibilities are almost endless. I also batch cook pasta, mince [freeze leftovers] and even pre-prepare fruit for puddings.
For example, some thing I haven’t gotten round to trying is Summer’s amazing Apple Pie; because to get my blender dirty for a couple apples doesn’t feel worth it. However, I could blend quite a few apples and freeze or refrigerate the leftovers; leaving some in the blended to add other ingredients and make a smoothie.
Voila! Simple, prepared cooking for many healthy snacks.
What are your favourite tips and hints for cooking simply? Any favourite recipes? Share them with us!
Picture Credit: Blissful_Bee
Inspired by: Minimalist Diet