Sunday, May 18, 2008

0 Zero Time To Cook? Make Something Simple & Healthy!

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I don't know about you, but right now, I don't have a lot of time to cook. I just started a new job not too long ago, plus, on top of it, I'm adjusting to a new sleep schedule, & so, am a bit tired. Even with all of the running I do to give me energy throughout the day, it's going to take a bit of time to adjust.

So, in order to accommodate, I've been making quick, simple meals to get through the day. And I mean quick & simple. :) Breakfast is usually just cereal, almonds, & a banana (or some quick easy-to-eat-on-the-go type of fruit). Thankfully, I'm able to come home for many PM meals, that is if I'm not just shoving in something that I brown-bagged or going out for the occasional quick meal. If I do go home for lunch, I've got some perennial stand-bys: Sometimes, it's seasoned soft-boiled eggs & a slab of matzo, & other times it might be as easy as raw veggies with cheesesticks or hummus. Basically, right now I'm into anything with zero prep time. :)

If I'm feeling like making more of an effort, I've got two quick, low-maintenance favorites. Both need to be made fresh & eaten immediately afterward for the best & most flavorful eating experience. The first is homemade Greek salad: It takes just minutes to chop up the ingredients (non-fat feta, red onions, cucumbers, red & green peppers, spring mix salad, olives, bottled dressing) & eat it. The second is a mozzarella, basil, & tomato sandwich on some sort of gourmet, rustic, freshly-bread from the supermarket (i.e., sourdough, etc.). The key is to use super-fresh ingredients: The mozzarella I use is the kind that have been made into balls & packed in water; the basil I use are fresh leaves (either store-bought or if available, picked straight from my indoor basil plant); and the tomatoes are of the organic, vine-ripened variety.

Where work is concerned, going out is actually a rarity & usually only done for reasons of convenience; however, when I do "go out" to eat during work hours, I try to keep it healthy, I'll either grab something quick & simple at the "corner store" like dried fruit, plain snack crackers, low-fat cheese or tuna in a vacuum sealed pack, etc., or will eat out at the more-health-oriented restaurants just around the corner, usually for a quick simple sandwich & soup/salad type combo or my usual "quick-to-order, quick-to-eat" selection of Asian-style tamari-marinated salmon with scallions & salad.

So are any of you in a similar situation? If so, how do you personally make healthy food choices with limited time to prepare meals? And finally, if you've got any quick meal or snack ideas, I'd love to hear them! Thanks!


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