My little sister, who by the way, just got into multiple med schools (yay!), text me the other day asking what she can make that’s ‘healthy and gluten free.’ I told her a normal person would just look at my blog, to which she replied, those are too fancy. It made me think, maybe things are too complicated. I like to make a lot of Melting Cherry Tomatoes and Salmon and have that for dinner until it’s gone but it’s not often that I have time to.
So, breaking it down simply for her, I told her:
Start every day with a Green Smoothie or oatmeal. Those are your breakfast options. You can have it in any shape or form, baked, raw, overnight, microwaved, or stove top, but you’ve got to get in the habit. Oatmeal. Every day, got it? Okay, most days.
Tip** If your oatmeal is like glue (according to my sister) try steel cut. Make it ahead and portion it out into containers so that it’s ready to heat. Instant oats would make me never want to eat oatmeal again too.
*I prep the veggies and fruit for my green smoothie for the week and place it in a large container in the fridge. (washed and ready to go) 1 minute in a blender and i’ll have breakfast.
Bowls, You say? I mean, always have quinoa, millet, or brown rice in your fridge. I make a big batch on sundays to have throughout the week. This week I made: sweet potatoes, spaghetti squash, mushrooms… really really really good mushrooms, almond milk (for the week), brown rice, blanched green beans, oatmeal (enough for 4 days), and green smoothies for 2 days. Throw a little of each or two or three of them into a bowl, top with a squeeze of lime or lemon, balsamic, tamari, or tahini, and try your hand at nutritional yeast (It’s cheesy). Also, avocado is the perfect addition to every veggie bowl.
For anyone who needs a compact lunch, like my sister, I suggested she bake a sweet potato (wash, prick with a fork, and bake at 375′ F for 1 hour), slice it open, fill with 1/2 cup of black beans, and top it with greek yogurt. Have it with a green salad (can be as simple as a handful of spinach) and some lemon juice (or dressing of your choice).
*If I was making this myself I would definitely saute the black beans with onion, garlic, cumin, salt and pepper, but if don’t have time for that you could add some garlic powder, salt and pepper, to jazz them up. Or, just scoop them right out of the can, rinse, and squeeze some lime over it.
For dinner, if you like to have meat, go for it. Pick lean meats like chicken, turkey, fish, eggs, or pork loin. You can prep 5-6 chicken breasts every Sunday to have ready for the week to throw on top of salads, in a taco, pair with steamed or sauteed veggies, or to throw in another ‘bowl’. If you’re having meat in a bowl I would skip the rice though and just use straight spinach, kale, or romaine as a base. It’s easier to digest that way.
Sometimes, i’ll even make a veggie bowl for dinner and top it with a poached or fried egg. Stir fries are great! Use your prepped veggies and quinoa and cook them with a little tamari and voila, dinner.
For snacks, I love to make my own granola bars but KIND bars are a great on-the-go option, as well as fruit, string cheese (if you eat dairy), and a handful of trail mix or nuts.
Now… how to make those mushrooms…