20 Minutes To Healthy Dinner
If you look up the word 'convenience' in dictionary, you'll find out that it is 'the state of being able to proceed with something without difficulty.' Like for example making dinner in 20 minutes without stopping at the drive in on your way from work. After you pick up the kids from school. After you shop for some groceries. After you make sure your dog has some drinkable water in his bowl.
It might be one of the reasons why the world population is getting sicker and overweight - we rely on convenience food which, for the most part, is filled with preservatives, artificial sweeteners, is full of sugar and unhealthy fats. Most of the ingredients are not easily pronounced and who would have thought that the second ingredient in pasta sauce is high fructose corn syrup? Ready-made pizza anyone?
So how can we cook a healthy meal under 20 minutes? Read on.
Must Have Basic Ingredients
1. You guessed it, the must have ingredients will always be veggies, veggies, veggies, hey, did I mention veggies? There is one thing all nutrition experts agree on, and that is: we don't eat enough vegetables. Not white potatoes, not tomato sauce, but that green 'stuff' - salads of different color (not iceberg lettuce!), collard greens, such as broccoli or kale, starchy veggies such as sweet potatoes, beans, squashes. If you are adventurous enough, you can grow your own salads, radishes or herbs, they are very easy to grow and much more nutritious than the store bought option. I invite you to sign up for my FREE course From the garden to the table to start growing your own food. Have always some greens in your fridge and avoid packaged salads, they often contain chemicals in order to keep the salad fresh.
2. Dry ingredients. For the shopping list, go to https://www.foodieinprovence.com/blog, scroll down and in the right corner you'll find the Shopping List to regain health. Download it and take it with you when you go shopping. Dry ingredients such as nuts, seeds (can be sprinkled on salads), gluten free pasta, rice, are all very good options to have on hand. Cans with wild caught or sustainably raised fish are also a good choice and a protein source.
3. Healthy fats. I always have olive oil, coconut or avocado oil and ghee on the counter as what would a meal taste without a good fat? It would be bland and would not keep me full for a long time. Healthy fats are not your enemy, it's the unhealthy fats in processed food that make us sick and overweight.
4. Quality protein. Whether you are paleo, keto or vegan, you will need a good source of protein to create a healthy meal. I always have eggs, grass-fed meat or frozen fish ready - choose quick options such as steaks which can be quickly prepared on the grill. Cheap and nutritious option is also offal such as chicken liver which can be made into pate in 10 minutes.
5. Spices, herbs, condiments. What would a kitchen be without a spice rack? We often forget how healthy spices are and keep only some dust covered salt and pepper bottles on our counter. The choice is endless - put some Provencal herbs in your ratatouille, curry powder in your red lentils dhal, nutmeg in your eggnog or cinnamon on your cottage cheese.
6. Fermented foods. Our gut contains millions of bacteria, in fact, we have more bacteria than human cells. Some are friendly and some not so much but in order to keep balance, we need to feed our good bacteria. Make sure you have always some fermented food in your fridge or storage room whether homemade or store bought. Just check when you're shopping for fermented foods that they are properly fermented and don't contain sweeteners or preservatives. Or make your own kombucha, water kefir, milk kefir or sauerkraut, the recipes can be found on the blog in the section Fermentation.
As the ancient Greek healer said: 'Let food medicine be your medicine and medicine be your food.' We are what we eat. Don't forget it when you're going shopping.
Sauteed Veggies on Paleo Tortilla
For the Paleo tortillas:
1 cup full-fat, coconut milk
1 cup arrowroot starch
3 tablespoons coconut flour
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon nigella sativa grains (also known as black cumin, optional)
For the sauteed veggies: Kale, spring onion, broccoli florets
1. Blend all ingredients and preheat your skillet.
2. Fry tortillas on both sides around 3 minutes. Tortillas should turn a light golden color when they’re finished.
3. When you’re done frying your tortillas, place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake them for 10–12 minutes on 150ºC/300ºF, flipping them half way between.
4. Sautee the greens quickly in olive oil. Serve on the tortillas.