The most common issues around food prep I hear is “I don’t have time to cook” or “I get bored and need more variety.” I have assembled some quick & tasty recipes for you that keep well so you can enjoy them for days after you prepare them as side dishes or mains. Take them to work and eat the leftovers for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. I am always telling people to spend some time cooking on Sunday to prepare yourself for the week. Put some chicken legs in the crock pot, make a slow roasted lamb leg, or a roast chicken. These recipes are quick so you can make them on a weeknight if you’re in a hurry and need to whip up a quick side for a meat main dish you made prior. Make great snacks, too. Eat & enjoy!
Quick Recipes for Busy People
Cauliflower Mash (good when you want mashed potatoes but not the blood sugar spike that potatoes bring. Cauliflower packs extra nutrients and has liver cleansing properties.)
1 medium head of cauliflower, organic is best
3 – 4 large cloves of garlic, peeled (more if you want to ward off vampires)
1 cup veggies stock
1/4 tsp. sea salt
Fresh ground pepper to taste
2 Tbsp. nutritional yeast, optional
1/4 extra virgin olive oil or organic butter
Wash and trim the head of cauliflower and cut into rough pieces. Heat a pan and pour in the cup of water or stock, toss in the cut cauliflower and cloves of garlic. Bring to a simmer and cover the pan. Allow to cook for about 10 minutes until the cauliflower is soft. Add in salt & pepper. Transfer mixture, including the liquid, into a blender. (You may want to do this in two batches.) Add in the nutritional yeast, olive oil, and a little more salt. Puree until it resembles the consistency of mashed potatoes. You may need to add in a little more water/stock to facilitate the blending, but be careful NOT to add in too much liquid. (You could also add in some coconut or almond milk for extra richness and flavor.)
15 Second Salad Dressing (good to have around–no need to buy dressing from the store, as it often contains rancid oils or soy oil)
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp. honey or maple syrup
1/4 tsp. sea salt (I prefer celtic sea salt)
fresh ground black pepper, to taste
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh herbs, such as dill, parsley, or mint (optional)
or 1 Tbsp. minced shallot (optional)
Place all the ingredients in a clean glass jar. (A recycled nut butter or jam jar is perfect for this task.) Screw on the lid securely and shake vigorously for 15 seconds.
Herb Roasted Root Vegetable Sticks (Root veggies are high in minerals that nourish your adrenals, helping your body adapt to stress. Makes a great snack, too)
1 medium rutabaga
1 medium turnip
5 – 6 cloves garlic, peeled
1 Tbsp. fresh thyme
5 – 6 fresh sage leaves
1⁄4 cup (or more) olive oil for drizzling
Celtic sea salt and fresh ground pepper
Pre-heat oven to 375° F. Peel and cut the root vegetables into sticks approx. 2” long by 1⁄2” thick. Place the cut veggies on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Drizzle with the olive oil and season with the herbs plus salt & pepper. Cover the veggies with another piece of parchment paper and place in oven for about 30 minutes or until the root vegetables are tender. Enjoy as a snack or as a side dish to grilled meats.
Nori Wrapped Quinoa with Avocado & Smoked Salmon This is a mineral and protein-rich snack or lunch.
1 nori sheet, cut into 2 triangles
1⁄2 cup cooked quinoa (or cooked brown rice), optional
2 generous slices of avocado
2 slices smoked salmon
Tamari and wasabi (optional)
Place one triangle of nori on a plate of cutting board. Place 1⁄4 cup of the cooked quinoa in the center, then top with 1 slice of the avocado and smoked salmon. Roll up the nori edges into a cone. Repeat one more time with the remaining ingredients. Dip into a tamari & wasabi mixture, or enjoy it as is. (The nori sheet will become soft, so best to eat this as soon as it’s assembled.)
Nut & Seed Brittle (satisfying sweet protein-rich treat when the 3pm sugar craving hits)
1⁄2 cup maple syrup
2 cups sunflower seeds
1 cup raw cashews, coarsely chopped
1 cup raw almonds, coarsely chopped
1⁄2 cup sesame seeds
1⁄2 cup flax seeds
2 tsp. cinnamon (or more to taste)
Zest from one orange
1⁄4 tsp. celtic sea salt
Pre-heat oven to 350° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, pour in half of the maple syrup. Add in the sunflower seeds and mix well. Then add in remaining seeds and nuts, along with the cinnamon, orange zest and salt. Mix well with a spatula. Add in the rest of the maple syrup and coat the seeds and nuts well. Spread mixture evenly on the prepared baking sheet. Allow to bake for approximately 30 minutes. The nuts should be toasted and hardened. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Break into pieces and store in an air tight container. (Other spices such as cardamom, nutmeg, or even cayenne pepper can be added.)
Mary Vance is a Certified Nutrition Consultant and author specializing in digestive health. She combines a science-based approach with natural therapies to rebalance the body. In addition to her 1:1 coaching, she offers courses to help you heal your gut and improve your health. Mary lives in San Francisco and Lake Tahoe in Northern California. Read more about her coaching practice here and her background here.
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