5 Easy-to-Prep Healthy Meals That Won’t Break the Budget
January 18, 2021
The key to healthy eating lies in preparing a variety of foods that can fuel you through a productive day. By Minnette Gamez-Aquino Eating healthy does not require a complete kitchen and pantry overhaul. If you already cook at home prior to the “new normal”, chances are, the essentials—aromatics, spices, seasonings, vegetables, and meats—are already in your cupboards and refrigerators. You don’t even need to buy new kitchen gadgets! Whatever pots, pans, and appliances you already have will help you get on your way to healthy eating. But what to cook? Here’s the key to healthy eating: preparing meals that feature a variety of foods that nourish and fuel you through a productive day. Plan your meals weekly, so that you’re sure to benefit from the nutrition of fish, poultry, meat, grains and vegetables. We’ve found some recipe ideas that we’re sure you’ll enjoy and make you feel better. Bon appetit! Go Fish! Fish is an ideal source of protein and comes with a wide range of health benefits. Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals, infusing fish in your meal rotation could make a difference to your cardiovascular health. Heard of the pescatarian diet? It is a style of eating that may reduce the likelihood of contracting 2 diabetes, hypertension and obesity – all risk factors for heart disease. It also mirrors the diet of people in the Mediterranean, where meals loaded with fruit, vegetables and whole grains are paired with mains low in saturated fat like sardines, tuna, salmon and lamb. Find inspiration from Canadian travel and food blogger, and now newly-minted cookbook author, Diala Canelo of Diala’s Kitchen as she highlights the wonderful possibilities of pescetarian eating with her Roasted Salmon with Potatoes and Green Beans on her Instagram account. It is a mouth-watering main dish great for sharing with family and friends. Winner Chicken Dinner Skinless, boneless chicken is a fixture in any healthy eating plan, because it is a source of lean protein and choline. But if you’re tired of steaming, grilling or boiling, add excitement to weekly chicken dinners by pretending it’s a cheat day with a healthy take on Chinese take-out favorite Orange Chicken! This recipe from The Clean Eating Couple is a lightened up recipe packed with aromatics that will have you thinking you’re eating the authentic Cantonese favorite. They have food pairing ideas and make-ahead recommendations if you want this to become a staple of your food rotations. Rice, Rice Baby Watching your carb intake? Don’t skip it. You need carbohydrates to fuel your day. What you can do is switch to a healthier version of our favorite staple grown by our countrymen in the Cordilleras and Northern Mindanao–Adlai! Adlai (Jacob’s Tears) is an heirloom grain that has a pleasant, chewy texture that looks and tastes like traditional rice. Even the way it is cooked mimics that of regular rice. What makes it attractive to the nutrition-conscious is the fact that it is a low-glycemic whole grain packed with fiber, calcium, iron and magnesium. Sure you can serve it like your usual rice with ulam on the side, but we think it’s worth trying the way all-around cool girl Solenn Heusaff-Bolzico enjoys it–Amazingly Easy Adlai Salad. You can eat it on its own, pair with your favorite lean protein or amp up the nutrients with more vegetables like Solenn shared on Instagram. Any Room For Meat? Yes! Healthy eating means balance, so meat should still be part of your diet. If you’re aiming for weight loss, you may get healthy-eating hints from ketogenic diets. Ketogenic or keto diet is a low-carbohydrate mode of eating to encourage the body to utilize its fat stores for energy. You cut out bread, pasta, rice, sugar and fruit but enjoy high protein foods like eggs, fish, meat and beans. Medium levels of unsaturated fat are allowed like those found in avocado, salmon, olive oil, plain yoghurt and butter. Keto eating takes getting used to, but you’ll probably won’t mind skipping the rice if you try Filipino food blogger Connie Veneracion’s Chinese Beef Broccoli. The best part? This recipe was made with feeding a household in mind, so you have a family meal prepped and cooked in 30 minutes! More Salad Days? There’s more to vegetables than salad, like stews and fritters. It doesn’t even need to be just-picked-from-the-garden fresh. Fermented vegetables can also be a great source of nutrition, like kimchi. It is a powerhouse of vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and probiotics. More than just a side, it can be eaten as Kimchi Pancakes like Korean homecooking blogger Maangchi suggests. It is wonderful on its own, with rice or shared with friends as you drink beers while watching your current K-Novela obsession. Think of it as a Korean-style okoy, a great way to enjoy your favorite jar of kimchi sitting in the refrigerator.