Having healthy go-to recipes that you can quickly depend on to provide tasty, healthy, and simple meals makes healthy eating easy even with a jam-packed schedule. One of our wintry favorites is this super easy turkey chili recipe. It's the perfect cold-weather comfort food that's simple enough for a week night meal and tasty enough for a weekend gathering with friends and family — Super Bowl Sunday anyone?
Here are our simple tips to making home-cooked meals healthier:
- Forget the rules — there aren't any! What works well for one person may not always be ideal for another, so make up your own rules. When it comes to cooking, you can have breakfast foods for dinner (or vice versa); there's no need to eat cauliflower if you like broccoli or roasted mushrooms better, and if you get home late . . . it's OK to cook dinner past 8 o'clock (we promise you won't gain weight if it's a healthy meal)! Once you give yourself permission to get creative in the kitchen, cooking can be a lot more fun and a lot less intimidating.
- Plan for it. Plan your meals for the week, starting with what the focus of each will be. The focus can be based on what's in season, what's on sale, your schedule, and what you crave. For instance if you want a couple cereal breakfasts and a couple egg breakfasts; wraps and salads for lunches; and for potential dinners — butternut squash, eggplant, and tilapia are on sale. Start with these meal ideas and then flesh them out in terms of what you'll need to get in order to prepare them.
Keep reading more healthy cooking tips.
- Make veggies the star of the show. When planning meals for the week, your meal ideas don't always need to based around the protein source. Consider what veggie will be at each meal and then build meals around that. Think of veggies as the star of most meals, rather than a ho-hum side dish. For instance, baked eggplant Parmesan with a small side of grilled chicken; butternut squash and white bean soup; curry-roasted cauliflower and quinoa pilaf with a side of broiled salmon.
- Serve and stash After everyone has taken their desired portion of dinner, immediately stash the leftovers in containers and stick them in the fridge. This makes it more difficult to go back for seconds if you're not actually hungry — because you'll have to open and reheat the food. It also means more leftovers, which saves you time and money if you take them for lunch instead of buying one.
Some of our favorite websites and blogs to get healthy recipes and meal ideas are SELF, Cooking Light, EatingWell, C & J Nutrition (of course!), and Eating Made Easy. And if you're curious what we eat on a daily basis, follow our Twitter.
Be sure to share your favorite healthy recipe in our Get Fit For 2011 group to enter our weekly giveaway of a $100 Nike gift card and a chance to win our grand prize — a four-day fitness boot camp in LA, which includes a nutritional consultation with the C&J Nutrition team.