After a long day of classes and work, cooking dinner might be the last thing you want to do. Before you grab a bowl of cereal and call it good, read this! We came up with a list of easy meal ideas that require very little cooking – just for YOU.
So let’s say you just finished your last class for the day and now you want to eat something hot. What about some nachos or stuffed bell peppers? Yum! Grabbing your favorite tortilla chips and topping them with some cheese, corn, black beans, avocados, tomatoes, and olives is filling, and actually, a pretty balanced meal too. Grain – check; veggies – check; protein – check; dairy – check. And it can be made in your microwave.
Maybe today has been really warm and you’d rather have something cool, yet filling to eat. What about some pasta salad or a pita pocket sandwich? We have this delicious recipe for pasta salad and all it takes is your favorite pasta (that you can make in the microwave, if you need to), broccoli, black beans, pesto, avocado, green onion, and a little parmesan cheese. Filling and refreshing! You can make a large batch and save the leftovers for another time.
Here’s another idea to make food prep easy – meals and snacks that you can make the night before. Try overnight oats, chia seed pudding, and trail mix! These items are customizable so that you can include all of the ingredients you love.
Overnight oats are equal parts rolled oats and any kind of milk. What’s great about overnight oats is that you can flavor it differently every time you make it. That way, you never really get bored of the flavor! For example, you can make PB & J overnight oats by adding peanut butter, a little jam, chopped berries, crushed almonds, and flax seeds on top. You can also make spiced pear overnight oats by adding in a diced pear, chopped pecans, cinnamon, and nutmeg. e opportunities are endless!
Same thing with the chia seed pudding — you can add whatever your heart desires! The base is 3-4 tablespoons of chia seeds to 1 cup of milk. Many people like to top theirs with chopped berries, granola, nut butters, and/or maple syrup for some extra sweetness.
Oh, and the trail mix? Add your favorite nuts and seeds, chocolate chips (or m&ms or peanut butter chips), raisins, dried cranberries, pretzels, cereals, and anything else you enjoy to a large container. Once you mix it all together, portion it out into baggies so that you can take it to go! This is a great snack idea for when you have long school days and you might not have time to go home.
Lastly, we can’t forget about the sides and appetizers! Maybe you’re having a few people over and want to enjoy something small. What about pinwheels? Grab a bowl and add some cream cheese, bacon bits, shredded cheese, ranch, and green onion. Once mixed, spread it on a tortilla and roll it up. Slice it into little rolls (or pinwheels) and enjoy! You could also prepare some veggies to serve with ranch or hummus, or chips with salsa and guacamole.
These are only some of the meal ideas we have for those who are minimalists in the kitchen. To get more ideas, consider scheduling a health coaching appointment with us! Our UCAN health coaches are more than happy to talk about recipes with you. If you try any of these recipes, let us know @nauhealthcoach!