Finding the means or the time within your schedule to enjoy a healthy and home cooked meal can be a struggle. As a result, we often turn towards processed snacks and frozen dinners brimming with sodium and preservatives. We opt for canned veggies over fresh ones and make frequent trips through the fast food drive thru. While convenient, we aren't doing our bodies any favors by eating this way. Nourishing your body mindfully doesn't have to be a timely or overpriced chore, though! Listed below are three healthy and deliciously savory recipes that take under 30 minutes of prep. There's nothing complicated about how good for you and good to eat they are. They're straightforwardly simple and yummy! Skeptical? Keep reading to find out your new favorite food. Your body will thank you.
1. Creamy Tuscan Pasta
This Italian dish may fool you with how rich it tastes, but in actuality, it's packed full of powerful grains and veggies chock full of vitamins.
Start by boiling four cups of whole grain penne pasta until al dente (or tender, if that is your personal preference). Don't salt your pasta water until the water has already come to a boil! Once it's ready, remove from heat, drain, and set aside.
As you wait for the pasta to cook, dice one onion, mince 2 cloves of garlic, slice 1 cup of cremini mushrooms. Saute in a large skillet for about five minutes, or until softened and onions are transparent.
Cut 1 1/2 cups of grape or cherry tomatoes into halves. Add to pan along with 1/2 teaspoon of dried oregano, 1/2 teaspoon dried basil, a pinch of red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir to combine, and then add 2 tablespoons of tomato paste along with 1 cup of water. Stir again until all of the tomato paste has dissolved into the sauce.
Turn the heat down to low and allow your pasta sauce to simmer for several minutes. This will help release and merge all of those fragrant flavors together. Add in 1/4 of a cup of Parmesan cheese and stir until melted. Next, add in 1 cup of fresh spinach leaves. Stir until the spinach has wilted, about four minutes. Add your pasta to the pan, and give it one final stir to coat. Top with Parmesan and you're ready to serve!
2. Avocado Toast
You may have seen this popular brunch and snack item popping up across trendy cafes or in perfectly-styled social media photos. It's not without good reason! Avocado toast is easy, flavorful, and energizing. Here's how to make it:
Start by smashing one ripe avocado with a fork. Add in a squeeze of lime juice (or a teaspoon if you're using bottled lime juice) for freshness, and season with salt and pepper.
Toast 2 slices of thick, whole grain bread. Spread the avocado mixture on the slices, and top with a drizzle of olive oil, a dash of red pepper flakes and a fried or poached egg. You're ready to enjoy!
Avocado toast is a versatile snack and easy to customize; play around with different flavors and ingredients! Add freshly sliced or pickled radish for an invigorating kick, shaved salmon, sliced tomato, a sprinkle of sesame seed, a garnish of cilantro, a drizzle of balsamic vinaigrette, or a few slice of bacon for a more indulgent treat.
3. 20 Minute Roasted Shrimp and Asparagus
This is the perfect way to enjoy a sit-down meal, even after a long day.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Remove the ends of one pound of asparagus. To do this, bend each stalk gently until the end falls off. Arrange the stalks on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt, lemon pepper seasoning, and a dash of red pepper flakes. Roast for 10-15 minutes.
As you wait for the asparagus to cook, toss one pound of raw, peeled shrimp in a tablespoon of olive oil, as well as the same seasonings as listed previously. Allow to momentarily marinade. Add shrimp to the pan, arranging them around the stalks of asparagus. Roast for five more minutes. Top with grated Parmesan and get ready to dig in!
Questions and Answers:
Becoming healthy starts with becoming mindful. The questions below can help to answer some of the queries you may have regarding eating healthy and the ingredients and recipes mentioned above.
Q: Are frozen veggies any less healthy than fresh veggies?
A: This answer varies vegetable to vegetable! Foods high in Vitamin B and C (such as dark leafy greens and broccoli) lose a lot of their nutrients once frozen because they are water soluble, and thus, are leached of much of their nutritional value during processing. Fat-soluble veggies high in things like Vitamin A and E however, can actually be enhanced by the freezing process, as the temperature can help to deactivate enzymes which trigger a decline in flavor, color, and nutrients after being harvested. These freezer-friendly foods include carrots, sweet potatoes, and asparagus.
Q: What are the benefits of cooking with olive oil?
A: Olive oil is a much healthier fat than butter, and is also rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties.
Q: What are the benefits of whole grain pasta?
A: The refining process of white pasta removes all of its nutrient-rich bran and germ. Whole grain pasta, however, retains its healthy properties, and is rich in magnesium, iron, phosphorus, manganese, selenium, and fiber. It is also a healthy and energizing carbohydrate.