As promised, here are some wonderful healthy meal options for you to help you start the year off right. I find one of the best ways to cook some quick and healthy meal options is to find recipes that are customizable. These kinds of recipes allow you to play with the ingredients and flavours that you like.
This first recipe is for a beef and barley salad. Here are some ways you can customize it for you:
- If you are incorporating more plant-based meals into your diet, leave out the meat, or swap it out for tofu.
- If you don’t have all the vegetables the recipe calls for, just use what you do have. The same goes if you don’t like bell peppers or onions. Just leave them out, or substitute them for pea pods or another fresh veggie you like.
- If you’re not a fan of barley, substitute it for quinoa or even couscous. Quinoa especially can give you that extra protein, if you are reducing meat in your diet.
This next recipe is for a customizable stir-fry. Follow the same rules of substitutions as above and start experimenting.
1 tbsp canola oil
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp rice wine vinegar
Pinch salt and pepper
1 lb protein of your choice
1 tbsp canola oil
1 small onion, sliced
2 cups of your favourite veggies, cut into similar sized pieces
2 tbsp hoisin sauce
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp fresh ginger
1 tsp corn starch
3 tbsp chicken stock, or water
*Double this recipe if you like a saucier stir fry.
- Combine marinade ingredients together and combine with bite sized pieces of your meat or alternative of choice. Allow to marinate in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
- Add 1 tbsp canola oil to a large frying pan over medium heat. Add marinated meat and allow to cook through (10-15 minutes). Remove from pan.
- Add onion to pan and saute until soft, then add vegetables and cook for 10-15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, combine sauce ingredients in a small bowl.
- When vegetables are soft add the sauce and the meat back into your pan. Cook for another 5 minutes.
*A note on eating healthier and diets*
There are so many trendy “diets” out there that really aren’t all that sustainable in the long term. I think we should think about our diet in a different way. Let’s start thinking about it as a lifestyle, and if you want to change your own outlook, the beginning of the year is the best time to do this.
This change may lead to healthier options, but I personally think you aren’t going to be able to eat or live healthier if you don’t like what you’re eating or cooking. These two recipes are just two examples of recipes you can make your own.
I hope they will help you be adventurous in the new year!