I like to make being and eating healthy as simple as possible, so here are some instructions on how to make cooking even easier.
• First, plan what you need to eat.
• Every day you need to identify your protein sources, complex carbs, fats source, fruits and vegetables
• Ideally you should eat at least 7 servings of fruits and vegetables a day
• Eat at least one fermented food a day
Once you know what you want to eat, it is easy to plan how you might like to prepare or cook it. Create a list of possible recipes for the ingredients you want to cook with. Plan raw and cooked meals and keep it simple. The easiest cooking is steaming, roasting, baking and grilling. If you learn simple ways to season your food you will have tasty food every time.
Steaming vegetables is easy. Fill a pot with about 2 -3 inches of hot water and place a colander on top. Bring the water to a boil. Add the vegetables and cover with a lid. Steam until soft. Hard vegetables like potatoes and carrots take 14 minutes. Medium hard veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, kale, peppers, take 7 minutes. Softer vegetables like zucchini and bok choy take 3 minutes and spinach just needs to be heated. Doing a medley is easy too. Start with the hard veggies. At the 7 minute mark, add the medium veggies and then the softer veggies at the 11 minutes mark when there is just 3 minutes left to go. Season the veggies with grass-fed butter, olive oil or coconut oil, lemon or lime juice, garlic and your favourite herbs like dill, parsley, cilantro, rosemary, basil or oregano. Season to taste with sea salt and pepper. It’s easy peasy lemon squeezey! See what I did there?
Roasting and Grilling Vegetables:
Roasting vegetables is also easy. Hard veggies are best such as potatoes and sweet potatoes (leave the skin on), carrots, squash, parsnips, onions. Mix the vegetables with 1 tbsp olive oil, crushed garlic and your favourite herb such as oregano or rosemary. Bake them at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. Season to taste with sea salt and pepper. If you want to add red peppers and zucchini, then do so at the 15-20 minutes mark as they do not take as long to cook.
The same recipe for roasting can be used for grilling. Cut the veggies into strips instead of chunks, and coat with the oil, garlic and herbs. Place on the grill. Or you can marinade the veggies in the same marinade as the meat or fish you might be preparing.
• Marinating is an easy way to add flavour and texture and extra health benefits to any meal you are making. A marinade should contain oil, an acid and herbs and spices.
• Benefits of marinating: adds nutrients, makes foods easier to digest, and improves the flavour and texture. If grilling, marinades can lower HCA-compounds (created in the processing of the blackened grill marks). HCA-compounds may be carcinogenic.
Here is an Easy Marinade:
1-2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
¼ cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic,
Fresh or dried herb of choice
A pinch of sea salt and pepper
Mix all the ingredients together and cover the meat or fish and let it sit in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
Salad as a Meal:
• Making a salad a meal is easy. Use your favourite greens and add fresh nutrient dense veggies. Fruit can also be added. Legumes make a great addition as they provide protein, fiber and complex carbohydrates. Leftover meat such as chicken could be added as a protein source or add nuts and seeds for protein and essential fatty acids. Adding aged organic cheese is another easy way to add a fermented food.
• Make your own dressings or use your favourite bottle of natural dressing. Add yogurt to the salad dressing to make it creamy or miso as another way to add a fermented food.
Easy Salad Dressing:
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp yogurt or miso
1 tsp mustard
1/2 tsp honey
1 small clove garlic
Sea salt and pepper to taste
Place all the ingredients in a jar with a lid and shake to mix or place in a bowl and which until smooth. Make a larger batch and store in the refrigerator to have ready to use as needed.
• Herbs and spices are far more nutrient dense than food so a little goes a long way. They also have beneficial phytonutrients with all kinds of health benefits.
• Find the ones you like and stick with them to make it easier to prepare meals.
• Garlic and onions are two of the most beneficial foods around – they help support the liver, are full of antioxidants and contain prebiotic substances to help feed our good bacteria. Using them frequently adds flavour and health benefits
• Sea salt and Himalayan salt are also good for seasoning, as are tamari and coconut aminos if you like more of a salty taste.