Last week, I was talking to a coworker who had questions about healthy eating. Due to my heart condition, I’ve always been very fitness oriented, but I’d never really starting eating healthy until about 10 years ago. It’s been a process and a lot of learning. Also, it’s pretty ironic that I’d be writing an article about eating healthy after I ate ALL THE THINGS at my aunt’s Easter Dinner. I ate the chocolate, the mashed potatoes and gravy, the cream cheese dip, the appetizers, and the dessert. Luckily, I’m all about balance and I ate a healthy breakfast, worked out, and ate a healthy supper.
I’ve found that the easier something is, the more likely you are to make it a habit. Making healthy meals isn’t rocket science. It’s more about keeping the right stuff on hand and a little planning. In the winter, I plan more and make more things in the slow cooker. I haven’t joined 2017 and gotten an Instant Pot yet. Anyhow, I was telling my coworker that by taking the guesswork out of meals, I’ve managed to stay on track. So here you go- a list of what I keep on hand:
1) Chicken Breasts
This one is pretty simple. Boneless, skinless, chicken breasts can be made so many ways. If you’re looking for a blog regarding free range, organic, blah blah blah chicken, look somewhere else. I get mine from our local locker or from Sams in a 10 lb bag. I understand. We should be concerned about what’s in our meat so I do check the ingredients. However, I buy what I can afford. I always make more chicken than I need for a meal because my husband and I both eat lunch at home so need leftovers.
I love salmon. I usually get mine at Sam’s because it has the skin removed. You can make frozen salmon in 30 minutes. I usually season mine with dill, garlic, or lemon pepper. Again, this is pretty simple…
Kale is trendy right now. I don’t really care if it’s trendy, I just like it. I buy it fresh or buy the already chopped stuff that’s in a bag. Both are good. Sometimes the bagged stuff has stems in it and the stems don’t taste good. I add it to salads but my favorite way to eat it is to saute it. Heat olive oil in a pan, drop the kale in, mix it up, add some lemon juice and garlic, and cook it until most of the moisture is gone. It’s so good and so easy to do!
4) Brussels Sprouts
I admit, I wasn’t crazy about Brussels sprouts until I learned to cook them the way I like. My husband likes them steamed and I just don’t. I prefer to cut them up, toss them in olive oil, salt and pepper, and garlic, and roast them on a baking sheet at 375 degrees for about 20-25 minutes. I like my crunchy and even a little charred. If you’re making chicken or salmon, you can do this all on one pan!
I love potatoes! My husband prefers white potatoes and I like both white and sweet. My favorite way to eat them is to dice them up, microwave them for about 5 minutes, then toss them in olive oil and seasonings and roast them at 425 degrees for about 30 minutes. Again, this is something I make a lot of because the leftovers are awesome! If you don’t feel like doing that, just bake a potato for an easy side. (And better portion control!)
6) Primal Kitchen Ranch Dressing
This is the BEST! I discovered this when I started Whole 30 and it’s become my favorite dressing ever. I have 5 bottles in my cupboard and one in my fridge. I don’t like to run out. I usually buy them from Thrive Market online.(I can’t say enough good things about Thrive Market, but that’s a whole ‘nother post! If you want a code for 20% off your first order, contact me and I can email it to you). I use this on salads and as dip for chicken, potatoes, and veggies. Easiest way to get your veggies in- pour some shredded veggies on a plate (I like shredded cabbage or carrots), top them with Primal Ranch Dressing, and eat. I do this nearly every morning for breakfast!
7) Onions and Peppers
I’m lumping this into one because I use them together so much. I love all onions- red, yellow, green. I prefer red, yellow, or orange peppers but my husband likes green peppers so I cook with those too. I saute these with my kale, roast with potatoes if I feel like it, or scramble it in with eggs for a quick breakfast.
I keep a lot of seasonings on hand. Again, I buy the big containers at Sam’s. I use garlic, parsley, dill, chili powder, granulated onion, and basil. I use them to season chicken, salmon, potatoes, vegetables… the right seasoning can really help you enjoy a food you normally wouldn’t try. I also use lemon juice and once in awhile, I do get fresh herbs if I feel like it. Otherwise, it’s pretty much these things.
And there you have it. That’s what I keep on hand. Most nights, we cook some meat and veggies for supper. And maybe some potatoes if we have them. Healthy eating doesn’t have to be complicated. I use to be really great about meal planning but lately, I’ve been slacking. I hate not knowing what we’re having for supper and having to think about it. I also love using my Crock Pot and having supper ready!
So what do you keep on hand? I’m always curious what other people keep in their kitchen.
Have a happy and healthy day!
And I thought you didn’t like to cook, Kari. Things change in the course of marriage. Enjoyed your blog!
I actually still don’t like cooking but I do LOVE to eat so so I’ve learned I have to cook….Also I like knowing exactly what I’m eating.