I’ll never forget when I started my journey to a healthier way of eating just a little over a decade ago. Planning just one meal felt overwhelming. I was so confused and I would stand in the aisles of the grocery store for hours reading food labels and trying to understand what I was reading. I remember crying to my husband about all the things I “couldn’t” eat. I remember how much time it took to look up recipes, create a meal plan, go to specialty stores to find all the weird ingredients (because back then nutritional yeast and coconut flour weren’t at the local grocery store), and then losing my mind when the recipe didn’t turn out right and we ended up ordering pizza.
Does any of this sound familiar?
See, I grew up eating meat, mashed potatoes and corn. This “healthy eating thing” was something I had to work really, really hard to learn and master. I’ve spent tens of thousands of hours studying food and creating simple recipes. I know not everyone has that kind of time. It’s why I care so much about helping busy moms make healthy cooking just a little bit simpler. I have a “secret” to share with you . . .
If you have these three things in your house you’ll always have a meal:
Actually, make that two things because you don’t even need fruit – just meat and veggies. I’m serious! Once I gave up on researching recipes and I started to focus on shopping the outer aisles of the store, planning, shopping and cooking got sooooo much easier! I could even go to the store without a list, load my cart with a variety of the 3 things listed above, and then come home and use those items to create a quick meal plan. It was beautiful. Let me give you just a few examples of what you can do:
- Grilled chicken with roasted parsnips, sweet potatoes and broccoli
- Grilled mini meatloaf stuffed with zucchini and onion paired with a salad
- Pork chops with roasted squash, asparagus and baked apples
- Spinach salad with bacon, tomatoes, balsamic
- Chicken taco soup
- Pulled pork with pineapple cilantro chutney
- Salsa shredded chicken nachos with mexican cole slaw (ok, you’ll need tortilla chips for this one. Do people run out of tortilla chips?!)
- Egg roll in a bowl
I could go on. But see how easy that is? No substitutions needed. No fancy ingredients. (Wait, except for the coconut aminos. I use that in place of soy for the egg roll in a bowl. But you can order that online these days if you don’t have a Trader Joes or Whole Foods close by. Easy!)
You can stop spending hours reading labels with words you don’t understand when you focus on meat and vegetables. Eating real, whole foods full of color and flavor doesn’t make cooking harder, it makes it simpler! The Bonus? Every meal listed above is completely gluten, dairy and soy free! So if you’re trying to navigate cooking without those things, just know that it’s so much easier than you think.
Fill your plate up with more veggies than anything else. Make sure you add a good fat like nuts, avocado or coconut oil. Season your foods well – not just with salt and pepper. I’m talking comino, curry, rosemary, basil, thyme, oregano.
Smoked paprika changed.my.life y’all.
There you go – dinner’s done! You’re welcome. 🙂
To happier hearts and healthier homes,